Do Gutter Guards Make Fall Gutter Cleaning Easier?

By Amy DeYoung

If you’re a homeowner frustrated with the buildup of twigs, leaves, and debris in your gutters, you may have considered installing gutter guards. So, do gutter guards really make gutter cleaning easier?

Unfortunately, gutter guards don’t necessarily make fall gutter cleaning easier because they still require maintenance and cleaning. However, gutter guards reduce how often you need to clean your gutters and the amount of debris and leaves you’ll need to clear out.

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What Are Gutter Guards?

Gutter guards are attached to your gutter system and prevent large debris from entering your gutters, protecting them from becoming clogged with leaves, pine needles, and twigs.

Gutter guards are usually made from PVC, aluminum, or another type of metal, depending on the type of gutter guard. They have a thin, micro-mesh material that protects the gutter system from debris. Depending on where you live, this mesh may prevent all leaves and twigs from entering your gutters, or it may only prevent most debris from entering if the leaves and pine needles in your area are small and fine enough to squeeze through the mesh.

Overall, gutter guards are effective at preventing the majority of debris from entering your gutters. However, dirt and small particles can still build up, leading to possible flooding or water damage if your gutters aren’t properly maintained.

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How Gutter Guards Make Fall Gutter Cleaning Easier

Gutter guards make fall gutter cleaning easier by preventing the majority of debris from getting into your gutters in the first place. High-quality gutter guards are virtually maintenance-free but will require periodic examination and cleaning if anything gets through the mesh gutter guards.

Generally, hiring a professional to clean your gutters twice a year will cost you about $300 on average. Professional gutter cleaning services will reduce your risk of falling off an extension ladder, ensure the job is done correctly, and save you time. However, this can quickly become expensive and may make investing in gutter guards, which are typically $30 to $100 per foot for the product and installation, worthwhile.

Do Gutters With Gutter Guards Need to Be Cleaned?

If you’re interested in having gutter guards installed purely to save time cleaning, you may be discouraged to learn that gutters with gutter guards still need to be cleaned regularly.

Gutters with gutter guards installed require home maintenance. In addition, the debris that would typically be in your gutters will have accumulated, either on the top of the gutter guards, the peaks of your roof, or the ground.

The good news is that this debris will not be wet and sticky, as it would be inside the gutters, making the cleanup significantly more manageable since you can brush it off, use a leaf blower, or pick up the debris with cleaning tools.

Disadvantages of Gutter Guards

The disadvantages of gutter guards are that they still need to be cleaned, albeit less frequently than gutters without gutter helmets. The biggest issue is that cleaning gutters with gutter covers is more time-consuming because gutter guards are usually quite bulky and difficult to clean.

However, if your rain gutters currently need to be cleaned a lot due to a large number of trees and flying debris in the area, professional gutter guard installation may be a good choice for you to reduce the frequency you need to clean your gutters. They will also prevent your water flow from being stopped.

The Verdict

Gutter guards can save you a lot of time when deep cleaning your gutters several times a year. If you choose to invest in gutter guards, we recommend examining your gutters twice a year to see if there is any buildup. If you notice buildup, take some time to clean the debris out. This process will be much shorter than the average gutter cleaning project and less messy since you won’t have piles of wet leaves and debris clumped together.

Professional installation of gutter guards is also an excellent investment if you live in an area with a large number of trees and heavy wind and rain. If you find yourself needing to clean your gutters multiple times a year, installing gutter guards can help you cut back on the frequency and intensity of cleaning.

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