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Is Gutter Guard Worth The Cost? (2023 Guide)

Posted on January 1, 2023
By Aussie Gutter Protection

There are many gutter guards available, but are they all worth the cost?

So, is gutter guard worth it? Homeowners who want to reduce gutter cleaning and prevent clogged gutters will significantly benefit from gutter guards. Professionally installed gutter guards also provide solutions for bird proofing, rainwater harvesting and bushfire protection from ember attacks.

This article will examine whether gutter guards are worth the cost, which types offer the best gutter protection and for which gutter guard solution.

Gutter Before Gutter Guard Installation

How do gutter guards work?

Gutter guards prevent leaves, twigs and other debris from entering the gutter system preventing clogged gutters and improving water flow. Gutter guards are typically made of plastic, stainless, and aluminium; they may form part of a gutter guard system. Depending on the gutter guard type, they may sit inside or above the gutter to filter the leaves and debris.

Types of Gutter Guards

Different types of gutter guards include:

  • Integrated mesh gutter guard system
  • Gutter panels, sometimes known as a gutter helmet
  • Gutter screens
  • Foam gutter guards
  • Brush gutter guards
  • Reverse curve gutter guards

Integrated Mesh Gutter Guard System

leaf guard installation melbourne

An integrated mesh gutter guard system, including micro-meshes, is the best way to prevent debris from clogging gutters and debris buildup. These guards are installed as part of a protection system and come in various materials and colour choices. They are ideal for homes with heavy tree coverage and can provide solutions for ember guard, bird proofing, and water tank protection. Although they are more expensive than other mesh gutter guards, they come with extensive product warranties of up to 25 years and workmanship warranties for professional installations.

Mesh Panels

Mesh panels are a popular option for homeowners due to their low cost and wide coverage. These large sheets of mesh cover the entire gutter system and have perforated holes that allow water to drain while blocking debris. However, they are only sometimes permanently secured and can be dangerous in areas prone to strong winds and bad weather. They also have shorter product warranties compared to integrated mesh gutter guard systems.

Mesh Panel Gutter Guard

Screen Gutter Guards

Gutter screens are made of a plastic or metal grid with small holes and are easy to install. They prevent larger debris from entering the gutter system but require frequent cleaning and are prone to clogging. They have shorter product warranties than micro-mesh gutter guards.

Reverse Curve Gutter Guards

Reverse curve gutter guards use surface tension to direct water into existing gutters while preventing debris from entering. They require professional installation and are more expensive than other DIY gutter guards. They effectively prevent clogs in heavy rain and require less maintenance but are unsuitable for bushfire protection, bird proofing, and rainwater harvesting.

Foam Gutter Guards

Foam inserts are easy to install and prevent clogs, but they are less durable than mesh guards and can become clogged over time. They are susceptible to mould and fungus growth and can attract pests. They are also considered fire hazards and are unsuitable for bushfire protection.

Foam Gutter Guard

Brush Gutter Guards

Brush gutter guards use heavy-duty bristles to prevent larger debris from entering the gutter. They are easy to install but less effective against small debris and can cause overflowing gutters if not properly maintained. They require more replacement and are considered fire hazards and unsuitable for bushfire protection.

Speak to us about getting gutter guard installed for your home.

Reasons to Install Gutter Guards

Installing gutter guards is helpful for several reasons, including the following:

Leaf & Gutter Protection

The most common reason to install gutter guards is for leaf protection. Gutter guards do not provide leaf-proofing. However, it will require minimal maintenance. However, it prevents regular maintenance, gutter clogs, and stagnate water pools. Standing water caused by blockages can cause damage to the gutters and roof.

Gutter Cleaning

Bushfire Protection with Gutter Guards

Protecting your home against bushfires requires effective ember guards. Ember attacks can cause airborne burning embers to ignite litter in unprotected gutters. Gutter guards with a mesh aperture hole size of 2 mm or less are the most effective at preventing ember attacks. Australian fire-rated guards with BAL ratings and Fire Rating Flame Index “0” are also certified for BAL-rated bushfire-prone areas.

Bird-Proofing with Gutter Guards

Gutter guards are an effective solution for bird-proofing your home. Integrated mesh gutter guards prevent birds from gaining access to the roof and nest in gutters and valleys while promoting healthy water flow. Gutter guards with surface tension deter birds from perching and nesting and can be paired with other bird prevention methods, such as spikes and solar panel protection, for complete bird protection.

Bird Proofing Gutter Guard Banner

Vermin and Pest Prevention

Although it is impossible to completely vermin-proof your home, preventing overflowing gutters can reduce the risk of pests and vermin nesting in your gutters and roof. Gutter guards can be an effective solution for preventing overflowing gutters and the unwanted pests it attracts.

Rainwater Harvesting with Gutter Guards

Gutter guards are essential to rainwater harvesting systems that prevent contaminants from entering the water tanks. All gutter guards must meet Australian standards to comply with AS4020 water standards for potable water. Plastic gutter guards are unsuitable for this purpose, but micro-meshes that meet the standards come with Australian water standard certificates.

Tile Roof Gutter Guard

Commercial gutter guards

Commercial gutter guard installations require thicker and wider guards spanning gaps over 750mm wide without sagging. These guards are designed for commercial building gutter protection, such as factories, shopping centres, and facilities, often with oversized box gutters, roof-to-roof fixtures, and significant roof gaps. Paired with bracing and fixing options, commercial gutter guards make gutter guarding on commercial properties easier.

Solar Panel Protection 

Commercial gutter guard installations require thicker and wider guards spanning gaps over 750mm wide without sagging. These guards are designed for commercial building gutter protection, such as factories, shopping centres, and facilities, often with oversized box gutters, roof-to-roof fixtures, and significant roof gaps. Paired with bracing and fixing options, commercial gutter guards make gutter guarding on commercial properties easier.

Solar Mesh Completed Installation

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Do gutter guards work on Australian homes?

Gutter guards provide excellent solutions for wet gutters and dry gutters. The gutter guard also comes with disadvantages. If they are not correctly installed, they could break, or their construction may cause excessive debris in your drainage and cause overflowing water. Alternatively, if it were easy to install, it would keep leaves out of your gutter no matter how windy. Gutters serve several purposes – they help to prevent rainwater from entering your house and into your foundation.

Gutter Guard Comparison 

Integrated Mesh Gutter Guard Brush Gutter Guard Mesh Panels or Flat Panels Foam Inserts Vinyl Guard
Reduce Maintenance
Leaf Proofing
Prevents Blockages
Strengthens Gutter Systems
Bird and Pest Proofing
Bushfire Protection
Water Harvesting

Gutter Guard Benefits

Does gutter guard save you money?

One reason homeowners delay installing gutter guards is due to cost. A comprehensive gutter guard solution for a standard-sized family home can cost between $400-$4,000.

It is undoubtedly a considerable expense to outlay, but it can save you money in the long run. However, installing gutter guards, compared to hiring a professional gutter cleaner once or twice a year, will significantly reduce costs over two years.

However, the gutter guard’s preventative measures are the most significant cost factor. A backlog of water can cause considerable structural damage, which is incredibly expensive. Whether it’s a flooded basement, rotting wood, damaged interiors or mould – they are not simple fixes and will require the input of a skilled (and expensive) expert. These repairs can lead into the thousands, if not tens of thousands, if your foundations need repair, making that small investment for gutter guards seem worthwhile!

Do you have home insurance? How closely have you read the small print? Many people do not realise, but most insurance companies will not cover you for damage caused by clogged gutters. Home insurance companies do not want to cover you for damage that could have been prevented by simple maintenance.

school case study gutter mesh

How much do gutter guards cost in Australia?

A comprehensive gutter guard solution for a standard-sized family home can cost between $400-$4,000. Several factors relate to gutter guard pricing, including the cost of the gutter guard product and installation. Gutter guard costs per metre vary from the product; brush gutter guards and screen gutter guards are the cheapest options. Installing guards versus hiring gutter guard companies to install the product will also change the cost of installing guards. Installation costs vary by roof size, multiple-storey numbers, roof pitch, accessibility and complexity of installation. A large roof requires many different gutter runs, increasing installation costs.

Speak to us about getting gutter guard installed for your home.

Does gutter guard save you time?

If you have ever had to climb a ladder to clean your gutters, you will know what a nasty chore – and chances are not one you want to be repeating any time soon!
Installing a gutter guard reduces the need to clean your gutters and the time spent emptying your gutter’s contents.

That’s not to say you will never have to wear gloves and get your hands dirty again. In reality, dirt and debris will still work through the guard, and you may need to flush the gutters now and again.

Gutter Guard Installation

Does a gutter guard improve safety?

Gutter cleaning is a small risk. Still, a 2015 report from the NSW Institute of Trauma and Injury Management (ITIM) revealed that in four years between 2010 and 2014, there were 8,496 hospital admissions and 51 deaths in New South Wales alone from people falling off a ladder.

Another area typically overlooked when it comes to the benefits of installing a gutter guard is the preventative role they play when it comes to bushfires. In fact, there is now a set requirement expected from constructors’ when building a property in a bushfire-prone area. The Australian Standard AS3959-2009 building regulation now requires all homes in such an area to have an ember guard installed. 

These non-combustible guards are slightly different from a traditional gutter guard, with their sole purpose designed to prevent burning embers from entering the building. Embers are the prime source of property destruction in bushfires, with the 2010 County Fire Authority report showing that 85% of homes were destroyed by a blaze started by an ember attack.

If you are not residing in a bushfire-prone area, then a gutter guard can still work to protect your property from unnecessary damage that can be a safety risk to you and your family. With proper protection and adequate cleaning, a gutter will become clear, leading to a backlog of water. In turn, this can cause harmful mould growth, which can cause respiratory problems, particularly in the young and elderly.

Not only that, but a significant buildup of water from a clogged gutter can also cause considerable damage to your property itself. From cracks in walls to damaged foundations, these can all eventually cause the house to become uninhabitable.

gutter mesh micro-mesh ember guard

How long do gutter guards last?

The gutter guard life expectancy varies from product to product. Foam, brush and screen gutter guards are the least durable. An integrated gutter guard system with a micro-mesh is the most durable and long-lasting gutter guard. Most gutter guard companies that install these systems off product warranties average 15 years, but they vary based on the gutter mesh material. The best gutter guard companies also provide workmanship warranties and guarantees for professional installation.

Another factor that impacts gutter guard longevity is material type. Colorbond® steel and powder-coated aluminium mesh are more durable than poly and plastic gutter guards. Aluminium gutter mesh is more malleable than Colorbond® steel mesh, which is preferable for extreme bushfire protection. Local climate and weather conditions can also impact the durability of the gutter guards. Poly gutter mesh is ideal for coastal applications where metal versions tend to rust.

Do gutter guards look good?

Tuff Mesh gutter guard Finished Installation

In terms of aesthetics, most gutter guards are invisible from the ground and improve the look of gutter systems overflowing with leaves, debris and twigs. Gutter covers and foam inserts create a flat surface, making leaves and twigs buildup visible from the ground. These gutter guards may not be a worthwhile investment if

More comprehensive leafguard gutter guards offer colour-matching capabilities that match the mesh and trims to the Colorbond® gutter, metal roof and tiled roof colours. It creates a surface tension that encourages debris to fall to the ground. These gutter guard systems are the best for homeowners who value property aesthetics.

Speak to us about getting gutter guard installed for your home.

Are gutter guards worth it?

Ultimately, homeowners should consider their budget, the type of debris in their area, and the shape of their gutters when they ask themselves, “are gutter guards worth it?” Integrated mesh gutter guard systems are an affordable and effective option for preventing debris from entering the gutter system and reducing the need for frequent cleaning, but they have drawbacks. The right choice will depend on each homeowner’s specific needs and preferences.

Organise a free estimation and quote from our team if you want to know whether your home could benefit from gutter guards, gutter leaf guards, or mesh for solar panels.

Aussie Gutter Protection is a leading professional gutter company, working with high-quality materials; products GutterMeshTuffMesh, SteelMesh and SolarMesh; installation methods for leaf guardbird proofingrainwater harvestingbushfire prevention and protection for solar panels. AGP offers professional installation at affordable pricing to keep your gutters clean and ensure rainwater flows freely. Get a free consultation that brings you one step closer to ridding yourself of clogged gutters. 

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