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Pros and Cons of Gutter Guards

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Is there a downside to gutter guards?

Brown gutters installed on red wood home

As good as gutter guards can be for your home, there are still downsides. Homeowners need to consider not only the pros, but the cons before installing micro mesh gutter guards on their home. The biggest downside of gutter guards is the cost. This can cause “sticker shock” to many homeowners. A quality micro mesh gutter guard is more than a screen that is placed over the top of the guttering. The cost of the gutter guard is driven by the materials used, the design of the gutter guard and the professional installation by a reputable company. These factors determine the final cost of a gutter guard installation.

Homeowners also need to consider that micro mesh gutter guards do not eliminate the need for cleaning. Depending upon the design and material used for the gutter guards, small debris and particles can still enter the gutters, causing mold and algae to grow. These growths can result in slowing the flow of water to the downspouts and away from the home. Dirt and small particles can also become lodged into the micro mesh gutter guard, therefore not allowing water to enter the gutters. In both cases, the gutters and the micro mesh will need to be cleaned periodically throughout the year.

orange leaves on a roof
Long-lasting gutter guards

Finally, a downside to consider is the strain and stress that a gutter guard can put on the fascia of the home. Small limbs and twigs can build up on top of the micro mesh gutter guard. This will add extra weight to your gutters and, in some cases, cause the guttering to pull away from the roofing and side of the home. It should be noted that the gutter guard itself will add weight to the gutters. This is a factor to keep in mind and should be discussed with a gutter guard professional before installation.

Considering the pros and cons of micro mesh gutter guards is essential in determining whether or not gutter guards are best for your home.

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Is it better to not have gutter guards?

If you are considering the installation of micro mesh gutter guards, you will want to consider the cost, time and periodic cleanings that are required to install and maintain this type of system onto the home. The micro mesh gutter guard is best at keeping dirt, debris, twigs, small limbs and particles out of the gutters. This system will help to maintain the integrity of the gutters and keep them in proper working order. 

Orange gutters in front of blue sky

However, if you live in an area that is free of trees and debris that would clog your gutters, then a micro mesh gutter guard may not be ideal for your home. The gutter guard system could cause more work for the homeowner with periodic clean-outs. Homeowners may find that the micro mesh gutter guard will become clogged more frequently and require more cleanings. If this is the case, homeowners may want to consider an easy on gutter guard. This system is an alternative to a micro mesh gutter guard. It will still give the benefits of a gutter guard, without a lot of time and labor to clean and remove debris from the guttering.

What are the disadvantages of gutter guards?

Many gutter guard companies will tell homeowners that their gutter guards are the best and give all the positives to adding micro mesh gutter guards to their home. But in order to make the best decision for your home, you need to know not only the advantages, but the disadvantages as well.

One of the disadvantages of micro mesh gutter guards is that in the winter and severe cold conditions, gutters can still become clogged by ice dams. These icy formations are a result of excessive water in the gutter and then freezes. When this happens, water is not allowed to flow to the downspouts and away from the home. This backup of water can result in water overflowing from the gutters and causing soil erosion from the foundation.

Another disadvantage of gutter guards is the moss, mold and algae can grow in the gutters. This can occur when water does not leave the gutters completely. The build-up of these matters will deter water from flowing freely and moving to the downspouts. Again, when water backs up, it can over spill the edges of the gutters.

The cleaning of the gutters can be a disadvantage as well. If it is inconvenient to clean or becomes too labor intensive, the negative of micro mesh gutter guards can far outweigh the positives. When searching for the right system for your home, you will want to find a company that is convenient and makes cleaning the gutters easier for you as the homeowner.

Can gutters get clogged by gutter guards?

Yes, gutters can still become clogged by dirt, debris, pine needles and other small particles that can enter the micro mesh gutter guard. These types of gutter guards will deter a large portion of the debris that can enter the gutter, however, if the micro mesh is too small, this dirt and debris will clog the actual micro mesh. This will lessen the effect of the gutter guard and require cleaning more frequently. This can also be a disadvantage. While a homeowner is installing a gutter guard system to reduce the gutter maintenance, if the wrong type of micro mesh gutter guard is installed, it may end up causing more work for the homeowner in the long run.

Plants growing out of rain gutter.

What are common problems about gutter guards?

Even with all the benefits of gutter guards, there are still common problems to consider. Many homeowners feel that the cost to install gutter guards are too high or that gutter guards are not 100% maintenance free, or that the gutter guard could potentially damage your roof or fascia. While all these are true, these scenarios also need to be carefully considered.

The installation of the micro mesh gutter guard is an investment into your home and can easily cost anywhere from $1000 to $3000, depending upon the size of your home. Homeowners need to weigh this cost against how much time is going to be spent cleaning and maintaining the gutters. Although they are advertised as maintenance free, there is still a level of cleaning and upkeep that has to be taken into consideration to keep the gutters functioning properly.

Many homeowners feel that in order to cut the cost of installing gutter guards, that they will just make this a do-it-yourself project. While this is an option for many home-improvement, installing gutter guards may very well be the one improvement that should be done by a professional gutter guard company. If a gutter guard is not installed properly, it could damage the roof or fascia. This can result in the gutter becoming too heavy and will either bend, coil or tear away from the home.

Ladder resting under gutter

What is the downside of LeafFilter?

This national brand of gutter guard system has many positives, but as with any home-improvement, there are downsides as well. LeafFilter’s biggest downside is that they have a very limited warranty on their product and will not cover any damage that may occur while installing the gutter guard system. When considering this company, do realize that they have a higher price point than other gutter guard systems. Although they may be higher rated, they may not be the best company for your home.

Do gutter guards work in heavy rain?

One of the most important questions on every homeowner’s mind when considering a micro mesh gutter guard is will they work in heavy rain. The short answer is yes, they will work and improve the flow of water away from the home. The longer answer will explain how this will work and put your mind at ease.

The first thing you will want to do is to make sure that the gutter guards are installed properly, either by a reputable company or as a DIY project. This will ensure that the flow of water will be dispersed in the correct way and will not overflow or dam up the downspouts. The next step to ensure that the gutter guards will work in heavy rain is to make sure that the tops of the guards are clear from small twigs and limbs at all times. This can hinder water from entering the gutter and therefore cause the gutter to overflow. Water can wreak havoc, removing water and getting it away from the home is the best solution.

Heavy rain fall flowing out of gutter spout

Do mesh gutter guards work?

Micro mesh gutter guards are a great way to keep debris, twigs and small particles out of the gutter. This will increase the effectiveness of the gutters by allowing water to freely flow to the downspouts and away from the home. The installation of any micro mesh gutter guard system will not eliminate the need to clean your gutters periodically, nor will it completely put an end to leaves, twigs and debris. But a micro mesh gutter guard will offer many benefits to the homeowner. As with any home improvement, there are pros and cons to be considered. Here are just a few:

Pros

Water dripping out of a gutter spout
  • Downspouts are not clogged by debris
  • Less maintenance and cleaning of the gutters
  • Reduction in rust and corrosion
  • Reduce overflows due to water flowing freely in the gutters

Cons

  • Cleaning gutters periodically
  • Heavy rains can cause debris to collect on top of gutter guard
  • Micro mesh gutter guard may become clogged
  • Cost to install micro mesh gutter guard
Man with an orange helmet installing gutters
Hand installing the corners of a gutter

There are no perfect guttering systems, but a consultation with a gutter guard professional can provide you with the answers you need to make an informed decision.

Do mesh gutter guards clog?

Yes. Contrary to popular belief, micro mesh gutter guards will clog and stop the flow of water. The key to a successful gutter guard system, is finding the right micro mesh gutter guard for your home. If you live in an area that tends to have a lot of debris, such as pine needles, then you will want to search for the best gutter guard that will block this type of particle. The smaller the screen mesh, the easier it is for dirt and small particles to become lodged. Yet, if the mesh is too large, a variety of dirt, twigs and debris will enter the gutter and stop the flow of water as well. In order to correct this, the screen will have to be removed and cleaned. This will once again allow the water to flow into the gutter and return the gutter guard system to proper working order. Contacting a reputable gutter guard company will help homeowners gain valuable knowledge into what system is ideal for their home.

Does gutter guard work on pine needles?

The best gutter guard for preventing pine needles from entering the gutters is to have a micro mesh gutter guard installed on your home. The micro mesh gutter guard comes in a variety of sizes and will work to deter debris and small particles from clogging the gutters. The smaller the mesh, the less debris, like pine needles, will enter the gutter. However, the smaller mesh will clog from dirt and other debris, and will require more frequent cleaning. The use of a larger mesh will not clog from dirt and debris, but the downside is that the gutters will become full of pine needles, dirt particles and small debris that can pass through the larger mesh screening. 

In order to find the ideal micro mesh gutter guard, homeowners will need to evaluate the elements that affect their homes and decide what is the best gutter guard. Working with a company that specializes in micro mesh gutter guards and other gutter guard systems can help give homeowners the direction they need to make the right choice for their home.  

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