03 Sep Which Gutter Guard Solution is Best in Victoria
Choosing something that’s best for you is often a combination of assessing the practicalities, looking at reviews and then using personal preference. Sometimes it’s just gut instinct although that’s not recommended as a good method to choose gutter guards.
Gutter guards have a serious purpose and so you need to consider them carefully before making your choice. Failing to do so may mean that you end up with something that’s not suitable, won’t last as long as you expect and which you’ll regret in the long term. So put your gut instinct to one side and make a choice based on functionality and suitability.
Why you need Gutter Guards
The prime purpose of gutter guards, as the name suggests, is to guard your gutters against intrusion by debris blown in on the wind. They prevent your gutters becoming clogged with leaves, pine needles, twigs, seeds and other debris, which will eventually become a soggy mess that will prevent rainwater flowing freely along your gutters and into the downpipes.
As well as being unsightly, the accumulation of debris can eventually begin to smell and, with the build-up of bacteria, will become a health hazard. The rotting debris will attract vermin that will feed on it as well as birds and other pests that will be attracted and may eventually build nests, often gaining access to the interior of the roof to do so.
The most immediate and obvious sign of problems will be rainwater overflowing the gutters and cascading down the side of the building because its normal route along the gutter is obstructed. This water can get into the walls and foundations of the property and cause mould and damp as well as other problems and may also damage the electricity supply if it gets into the basement.
If you rely on the rain to provide drinking water, a blocked gutter will either cause the water to be lost or contaminated, which can be extremely serious without access to any other source of supply. And during the dry season in bushfire areas, accumulated debris in gutters is a source of inflammable material that will help the spread of fires and can be a serious threat to the property.
All this means that your gutters need to be kept clear of debris and, without gutter guards, this causes a regular cleaning out to be necessary. In some areas, where there are few trees and the incidence of debris is relatively light, gutter cleaning may be necessary only every two years or at even longer intervals. Where there are tall trees close to your property, however, and blustery winds blow the leaves about, it may be necessary to do this more often, at least annually after every leaf fall or more frequently after storms.
However often you need to do it, gutter cleaning isn’t a pleasant task. It’s a dirty and inconvenient process and, unless you only have a one storey property, is not for the faint-hearted. Working up a ladder while handling cleaning equipment can be a dangerous business that can often result in injury and so professional cleaning may be necessary, which all adds to the cost if undertaken regularly.
Whichever way you look at it, gutter cleaning is best avoided if at all possible. Since leaving the debris to accumulate in the gutters is not an option due to all the problems that causes, the only practical solution is to install gutter guards that will prevent the debris from getting in.
Assessing the Different Types of Gutter Guard
There are various types of gutter guard available and each has different characteristics, strengths and weaknesses. Some are suited to particular situations so you need to fit the ones that are best for you.
- Brush guards are like giant bottle brushes and are one of the easiest to install because you simply cut them to the required length and then push them into the gutters. However, although they do allow rainwater to flow freely into the gutter, twigs, leaves and other debris will tend to get stuck in the bristles and so periodic cleaning will still be required, although not as often. The guards can also be dislodged by high winds, particularly if they don’t fit tightly into the gutter.
- Foam guards are also cut to length and pushed into the gutters where they let rainwater through but obstruct debris. They are one of the easiest and cheapest types to install but the least resilient so you may need to be re-installing frequently, which will make them more expensive in the long-term.
- Screen guards comprise a wire or plastic grid that is installed by sliding it under the bottom row of roof tiles, which hold them in place. This type is reasonably inexpensive and effective at keeping leaves out of gutters. However, the plastic versions can become brittle and break while lifting the lower roof tiles may invalidate any roof warranty you have.
- Mesh guards are similar to screen guards but have smaller holes and so are more effective at blocking small pieces of debris, even coarse sand. They are available in a variety of materials and are generally attached by snapping the guards onto the gutter and possibly screwing to the fascia. Tiny debris such as seeds may lodge in the mesh and may need to be removed occasionally by scrubbing or spraying.
- Reverse curve guards are installed above the gutter and so are more visible. They are the most expensive option and comprise a solid sheet with a slit that allows rainwater to go into the gutter while debris slides across and away. Professional installation is necessary because the guards have to be set at the correct angle, otherwise water can run past rather than into the gutter.
Choosing the Most Appropriate Gutter Guard
The right gutter guard will be the one that works for you and offers the most cost-effective solution. At Aussie Gutter Protection, we generally think that mesh guards are the best option because they provide comprehensive protection against all types of debris, they’re good value for money and are very resilient so they’ll stay in place and keep doing their job for many years with very little maintenance needed.
We can provide mesh gutter guards in varying sizes to fit all gutters and in hard-wearing aluminium or polyethylene that is both resistant to rust and other types of deterioration. If you live in a bushfire area, our Emberguard range meets BAL standards and will offer additional protection against fires with guards that won’t burn and gutters that won’t contain combustible material.
Whatever you buy, don’t get flimsy plastic guards that, although cheap initially, will easily break and won’t last the course. You’ll need to replace them frequently so their original cheap price will eventually become costly.
All our guards are Australian made so they’re ideally suited for the conditions they’ll face in this country. They’re made from the highest quality materials and so come with long warranties because we know they’re built to last. With them, you’ll have clear gutters, a better protected building and no need to regularly climb ladders to undertake cleaning and maintenance.