Oh how will I choose with all these new wonderful gutter guard covers and companies? I mean, it is an important choice, being that prices and companies vary widely across the America and from state to state.
This is a very important issue to cover, unless you like being on a ladder, or paying twice a year to make sure your gutters are serviced and clean. An open gutter system is just not a complete system in my opinion. Your gutter system is your outside home plumbing. You do not want it to clog up, and by leaving it open, you up the chances of, say, a varmint dropping a pine cone or a bunch of big oak leaves blowing in there. I have seen either or a combo of both.
I have seen lots of rotten fascia board from gutters backing up and running over the top. You can run into some real damage from the water or from the fascia damage to the ends of the rafters, and the soffit can rot leading to way bigger issues.
So here we are, making this important decision together. I will hold your hand all the way through the process and make it as painless as possible. I promise. We are about to dive deep into the gutter cover – guard business. Hold on to your seats people, here we go.
Before picking your guard company, ask yourself some questions. What type leaves do you have around you? Do you have pine needles, or possibly seeds that fall? You could even want covers because you collect water for everyday use.
There are lots of good reasons to have the gutter covers, but every house is different.
First off, let us get rid of anything plastic! I have never seen a quality plastic cover. Most plastic gutter covers cave in under any weight, and wet leaves are heavy.
One Piece Gutter – Cover Combination
These systems work in light rain well, but in heavy rain, if the water has any speed from a steep, or metal roof system, the rain can over shoot the whole gutter. Sometimes these systems make really nice homes for wasp, and bird nest, being that they are not a totally closed system. You can not add these covers to existing gutters, you have to buy the complete package.
Screen Covers With Plastic Frame
The screens that are stainless screen, with a plastic or PVC frame material, can if not installed to specifications will warp in the sunshine. These screens are beautiful when new, but as they age, not so much. One of the bigger problems with screen covers is, when you have big rains with fast moving water, the water will skip right across screen that is too fine.
Stainless Steel Screen With Aluminum Frame
These screens when installed correctly, are very nice, and durable in most conditions. The problem with some of these, are things like the wire mesh having a bit larger holes allowing pine needles to stand up stuck. These may also let some of the smaller roofing particles from the shingles to pass through.
The Problems I Find with Leaf Blocking Gutter Covers
Heavy rain fall can run too fast for the cover – Guards to catch. Companies that have this issue add splash guards to the valleys where the water comes off the roof fast. The problem with adding splash guards is, leaves fall behind the splash guard and between the guard and roof, causing a build up and issues.
If you have a steep roof, a metal roof, or just live in a area with heavy rain on a regular basis, you may want to go with a screen that has a raised pattern that can slow water as it hits the screen. The problem with a raised pattern however, is the fact that small particles catch around the raised surface areas over time.
Buying Gutter Protection – What Should I Know?
I have worked installing gutter covers – gutter protection, and I have been in the sales side of this business. I worked for two of the bigger companies who I will not mention. I have seen the sales tactics, and I also know that if you have a gutter dented from your husband falling off the roof, the price you pay may just be higher, sad to say!
Read the fine print about what you are really getting as far as a warranty. Some bigger companies have a lifetime warranty they promise. A lot of these warranty’s are really factory warranty’s on the screen used. You may find yourself paying a nice trouble call after a time period.
Price Per Foot of Gutter Covers
The person who comes to your house will measure your gutter system. They may punch it into their smart phone and pull out a nice fat price. Do yourself a favor: Ask the total feet they are going to install. Once you have that number, divide the total feet by total price to get your price per foot.
If you do not like high pressure sales tactics, you probably should ask other people’s experiences when they used the company you are thinking about using. Big companies use sales people, not installers, so you may be promised the moon. If the price makes you want to throw them out of the house, please do.
In most cases, big companies sub out most of their work to little sub contractors. Basically, you are paying the big company for their name, and they then give a little to the contractor to do your job. You may be able to hire that little guy to do same job with comparable covers for basically half price!
This day and time, you can research the smaller companies, and get some really good prices. No gutter covers, guards, or protection are perfect! That being said, these systems are way better than just having an open gutter to catch everything and do damage. When you have the representative on-site, ask to see the covers, feel the strength and see if is tough or flimsy. You should also ask and be clarified about what comes with the cover install.
When it comes to older gutters, you want the company to make sure they are adding clips for support, and that the gutters are sealed. Make sure that any extra repairs you have in mind are also listed in paperwork and signed by both parties involved. You may want to ask the contractors to provide proof of insurance.
Gutter Cover Maintenance
Gutter covers still need maintaining from time to time. You can buy extenders to add to leaf blowers and allow you to reach gutters on a one-story house from the ground. If you cannot do this for yourself, you may want a professional to just come check them out every couple of years.