12 Jun DIY Gutter Guard – Pros and Cons
DIY Gutter Guard – Pros and Cons
Cleaning out your gutter is a task that no homeowner likes to complete. Not only is it a very time-consuming and mucky process, but it can also be a dangerous task and every year estimates suggest that 1,600 Australians are hospitalised following injuries after falling from a ladder.
Of course, if you are not confident of climbing a ladder yourself or you do not want to face the dirty task of cleaning the gutter out, then you can always hire in a professional to do it. This can be a costly procedure though, yet despite the importance of having a clean gutter many people do not think about either cleaning or protecting theirs until it is too late.
What is a gutter guard?
A gutter guard is an essential addition to any home. They are a unique product that has been specifically designed to protect your home and prevent your guttering system from becoming blocked. To do this, gutter guards prevent debris from entering your gutter by effectively blocking the open entrance, whilst still allowing rain water to enter through.
This is a vital layer of protection. Blocked gutters can quickly lead to significant structural damage as rain water builds up on the roof, leaking through into your property and causing your wooden framework to rot and degrade.
However, gutter guards do not just protect your home against blocked gutters. Your guttering system is a prime entry for vermin, so a gutter guard is a strong level of defence against creatures finding a way into your property and setting up a nest. If you live in an area prone to bush fires, then gutter guards, or ember guards, are a great way to help you defend against burning embers entering your property and igniting debris such as dry leaves.
When it comes to styles of gutter guards, there are a huge variety of options for homeowners to choose from. There are a range of different materials and levels of protection, ensuring that no matter you budget, you will be able to protect your home. Some of the most typical styles of DIY guards that you can install yourself at home include:
Brush Gutter guards
Brush gutter guards are amongst some of the cheapest on the market, and are some of the easiest to install to your property thanks to them simply slotting into your open gutter. This style of guard features a row of outward facing bristles that brush debris such as leaves and sticks down towards the ground, whilst still allowing rain water to enter the system and flow through it.
Although brush gutter guards are incredibly popular and easy to install, they do not offer maximum protection and can still get blocked regularly. This means that you will still need to climb a ladder and clear out the various leaves and sticks that have found their way past the bristles and into the gutter. If you live in an area at a high risk of bush fires, then it is also important to remember that the materials used in brush gutter guards can be a hazard as they are often flammable.
Foam inserts work in a very similar fashion to the brush gutter guards, and are very similar to the foam noodles that you might have used as a child whilst swimming. These guards fit directly into the gutter itself and help to create a flat, table-like level across the entire guttering system. This prevents any debris from entering the system while rain water can soak its way through the foam and into the system.
Foam inserts are a fairly cost-effective solution, but they are by no means the cheapest option and are not always the best option for your home, particularly if you near lots of vegetation. Seeds from neighbouring trees and plants can fall on the foam and begin to sprout, causing you significant challenges.
Constant exposure to the UV rays of the sun can also cause the foam to degrade and break down, lowering their level of protection.
In recent years, mesh panels have become a very popular choice for homeowners as they are a relatively affordable solution that provides vast levels of protection. These kind of guards attach directly to your roof and block the entire gutter, preventing leaves and other debris from entering the gutter and causing your system to become blocked.
To ensure that rain water is still able to flow through the system freely, the mesh panels feature rows of perforated holes that are large enough for water but small enough to block any debris. They are a very easy solution to install yourself at home, but they are not the most durable solution as over time the materials can begin to degrade whilst the small holes can also become blocked, requiring you to clean the gutter regularly.
Another popular solution for homeowners across Australia is the use of integrated mesh. This kind of gutter guard also attaches directly to the roof and protects the entire top of the gutter. Attaching to the inside of the pipe, they help to form a slope effect that encourages debris down towards the ground whilst the various holes in the mesh ensure that water is able to flow through freely.
Integrated mesh guards are amongst one of the most durable solutions on the market, and they are also known to help increase the overall strength of the gutter. There is a wide range of thickness to choose from, ensuring that you can always find the perfect solution for your property.
This type of gutter guard offers protection in a very similar way to the mesh panels, but is instead made from a durable plastic. This style of guard fits directly into the guttering system, preventing any debris from entering whilst ensuring that rain water is not blocked from flowing through your guttering.
They are a very affordable solution, which has helped to make them particularly popular for homeowners on a budget, however they are also prone to becoming blocked easily.
What are the pros of installing DIY gutter guards?
Many homeowners wonder if it is worth installing gutter guards to the property, but the right solution can provide you with a number of significant benefits, but the three most popular include:
- Save yourself time
One of the most popular benefits of a gutter guard is that it can save you significant time. Although DIY gutter guards do require you to invest some time to install them, you will be able to save you the dreaded weekend chore of having to climb a ladder and clean our your gutters that have become blocked with dead leaves and debris.
This is a nasty task that no one likes to carry out, so a DIY gutter guard will reduce the number of times you need to dedicate a weekend to cleaning your gutters. It is important to remember that no gutter guard is truly effective and at certain periods your guttering system will still need to be cleaned.
There can be no denying that cleaning your gutters is a dirty chore, but it can also be highly dangerous. Every year thousands of Australians are injured after falling from a ladder, whilst on average 19 people die from their injuries.
This means that the more frequently you have to climb a ladder to clean out your gutters, the higher at risk you are of experiencing a fall. That means that installing a gutter guard to your property not only helps to protect against blockages, but they can also help to protect you.
Of course, it is not just about reducing the number of times that you have to climb a ladder. Specialist gutter guards known as ember guards are able to prevent burning embers from entering the property and igniting dry debris. This is the leading cause of properties catching alight during a blaze, so preventing those embers from entering will help to protect your home further.
Even if you do not live in an area that is prone is to bush fires, gutter guards are constantly working to improve the safety of your property. Blockages cause water to build up on the roof of your property, leading it to become stagnant or cause dangerous mould, which can be very harmful to you and your family.
- Save yourself money
The right gutter guard can also save you money in the long term. The initial cost of installing them, either by yourself or through the services of a professional installer, is often the leading cause that puts homeowners off from fitting them to their property. Depending on the style of guard that you are looking to install, the costs can range from several hundred dollars up to several thousand.
This is certainly a large expense for anyone to outlay, leading to many deciding to pay for their gutters to be cleaned annually instead. However, after several years the costs soon outweigh those of the installation, making it an unviable long-term solution.
The biggest cost saving measure that gutter guards provide, though, is their preventative protection. The damage caused by blocked gutters can be incredibly costly to repair, as damage to your foundations or replacing rotten wood costing thousands of dollars and requiring the expert work of professionals. What is worse, many insurance policies do not cover damage that has been caused by a blocked gutter, so installing a gutter guard is an essential item for any homeowner.
What are the cons of DIY Gutter Guards?
There can be no denying that gutter guards are able to provide your home with a significant range of benefits. However, they are not always a perfect solution. One of the biggest negatives of DIY gutter guards is that they can be a time-consuming project to install and need to be installed properly.
Equally, a poorly installed gutter guard will not work as efficiently as they were originally designed, meaning that they can quickly become blocked. However, taking your time to install them correctly and ensuring that they are regularly maintained will help you to reduce this negative aspects.
Are Gutter Guards worth it?
There can be no denying that gutter guards are a worthwhile addition for any home. While they are not a fool-proof solution, and even the very best gutter guard will still require you to clean your gutters occasionally. The right DIY gutter guard, however, will reduce the number of times that you need to climb the ladder and can help you to save significant time and money.
Here at Aussie Gutter Protection, we understand the benefits that the right gutter guard can bring to your home, and our experienced team can help you to find the right solution for your property.