Leaf protection may not be something that most people think about during the long months of winter but spring will be here before you know it. And spring is the perfect time to have your gutters cleaned and all of the debris that built up in your gutters during the late fall and winter months removed so your gutters do their job when spring showers arrive.
Once your gutters are clean, it’s the perfect time to have leaf protection, or gutter guards, installed. Why leaf protection? To make life easier. Gutter guards can reduce the amount of gunk that needs to be cleaned out of your gutters and that means fewer trips up a rickety ladder to clean debris out of your gutters. Or, if you’re one of the wise people who has a professional like GutterPros clean your gutters, leaf protection cuts down on that cost because you won’t need to have them done as often. Your gutters still may need to be cleaned now and then but it won’t be as often as you do without leaf protection.
Before you decide on which leaf protection to choose, it’s important to look around your property and understand what you need your gutter guards to guard against. Do you have a lot of leaves fall on your roof? Are they mainly large leaf trees like maple trees? Do they drop a lot of “helicopters”? Do you have pine trees showering your house with needles? Do you have oak trees that drop “tassels” each spring?
Cost is another factor that should be considered. There are inexpensive solutions but they generally don’t work as well or last as long as the more expensive ones. Foam Guards are inexpensive foam tubes that are cut to length and placed inside the gutters. They look a little like triangular pool noodles. They don’t let leaves in, only water, which is diverted by your gutters. Unfortunately, they tend to deteriorate rather quickly in the elements and need replacing fairly often.
Another inexpensive solution is Brush Guards. They work the same way as foam guards but instead of foam, they are long tubes made of bristle brushes. They tend to gather leaves and pine needles instead of repelling them as they should. If you’ve ever used a broom to clean pine needles off your driveway, you know how that will turn out.
Micro Mesh or Perforated Aluminum Guards are thin sheets of metal placed over your gutters with holes that allow water to flow in while keeping leaves out. They may attach under your shingles so it’s important to make sure it won’t void your roof’s warranty if you still have one. Roof repairs are usually a lot more expensive than gutter guards so you need to make sure that your warranty remains valid.
Another type of leaf protection is Solid Gutter Covers or Reverse Curve Gutter Guards that are sheets of metal that hang over your gutters. The ingenious design allows water to flow over the smooth curve, leaving leaves and debris to drop over the edge and onto the ground. They work well with leaves and sticks but if you have a lot of pine needles, they can cling to the edge and cause a clog.
Having the right leaf protection not only saves you the hassle of cleaning your gutters, but it also helps to protect them from damage. When leaves build up in your gutters as it rains, the muck becomes heavy and your gutters begin to sag which causes leaks or breakage. While gutters do not cause ice dams in the winter, gutters that have a lot of debris in them during the winter can contribute to the formation of ice dams which can lead to costly roof damage and leaks inside your home.
So start thinking about leaf protection now. At GutterPros, we specialize in commercial gutters, copper gutters, and leaf protection and have several options when it comes to leaf protection for your gutters. Call us today at (314)656-7195 and let us find the right one for you!