Gutter Guards Require Annual Maintenance
Some promote Gutter Guards to keep your gutters clean. Gutter guards are heavily promoted at home shows with fancy demos of pure water flowing into the gutter guard while the leaves magically float over and to the ground. The debate of adding gutter guards or leaving the gutters open has valid points on both sides. In this article, I will discuss the pros and cons of gutter guards. I will also discuss the dangers of clogged gutters and the importance of ensuring that your gutters are clean and flowing freely when the rains hit.
I went to a house to clean the gutters. It looked like a simple job at first glance. The owner had installed gutter guards. There were visible leaves resting in the roof valleys and on the gutters. When I took a closer look from the top I could see that the gutters were full of debris. In this case, the leaves were not getting in but all of the small sticks and seeds had sifted in. All of the gutters were full to the brim with composted material. Much of the debris had moss and grass sprouting. All of the downspouts were clogged with solid and black water stains visible on the outside of the gutter from water spilling over the rim. In one area the full gutters had made contact with the plywood roofing causing dry rotted to form, the shingles had decomposed.
It is important to keep your gutters cleaned. In the above example, the home owner had not checked the gutters in 10 years. The assumption was that the gutter guards would take care of it. Gutter guards do not eliminate the need for yearly maintenance. They do reduce the risk of clogging and time it takes to keep your gutters flowing.
Gutter Guards yearly maintenance:
- Clean debris resting on the guards each year with a brush or blower.
- Leave an opening or easy access at the end of each gutter. Run a hose with running water into the opening and feed it through the gutter. This will flush out any of the small particles that have settled
- Do not leave leaves resting on the roof. Leaves left to rest will decompose. As they break down the decomposed leaves will sift through the gutter guards.
Gutter Cleaning yearly maintenance:
- Remove all leaves from the gutters
- Run water through each gutter.
- Run water through the downspout.
Tip: I use a plug to allow the gutters to fill up about 2/3 full. Pull the plug and the majority of the debris will flow with it.
Lighthouse Window Cleaning offers a free gutter inspection with window cleaning.