If you live in an area with lots of trees you are bound to have to clean your gutters at least once a year.
Doing so means pulling out the ladder usually on a cold day and scraping out rotting leaves, twigs and other things you may not even be able to recognize.
To eliminate these problems there are a number of different Rain Gutter Protection Systems that you can add to your gutters in just a couple hours.
Lets look at a few of the options you have.
Rain Gutter Screening
Screen that you can insert is available in rolls. To install the screen you unroll a strip of it along your shingles and then work the front and back edges into your rain gutter lip.
Gutter screen is available in an ABS plastic material which is easy to cut and sometimes in a metal product which may take more abuse.
The only problem with gutter screen is when the debris that flow into it during a rain end up clogging the screen or diverting water over your gutter completely.
In that instance you could end up with a basement full of water when the rain hits the ground and flows back towards your house.
Solid Metal Gutter Shields
Gutter Shields or Helmets some companies call them are bent aluminum flashing that caps your gutter. Instead of water flowing directly into the gutter water flows over the shield to the front edge where it then follows the rounded lip and enters into the gutter.
If there are leaves or other debris on the roof then they should be washed over the edge of your gutter guard.
Theses systems work great if you have a light rain but once the rain reaches a down poor water will begin to flow too quickly to make it into the gutter.
This is basically like not having a gutter at all.
Gutter Guards and Screens are great when they work but when they don’t they can make your job that much more difficult.
Water damage to your homes even after excluding floods from natural disasters is the most common claim filed against home owners insurance.
For this reason it is probably best that you stay away from these products unless you are in an area that sees only light rain and where you have few trees.
In our other HowTos we will look at the easy methods of cleaning your gutters even without the need to get up on your roof or ladder.
Safety is always your first concern and although gutter guards may reduce debris entering your gutters they may also clog up much faster then a 5 inch wide gutter.
If you are in need of advice call a roofing contractor and ask what they recommend for your specific location.