How to Compare Gutter Guard Systems
Gutter guard systems keep debris out of gutters, which helps homeowners avoid the dreaded chore of climbing a ladder to clear muck out of the gutters. Some of the debris that gets into gutters includes twigs, leaves, pine needles and cones, acorns and seeds. By keeping gutters from becoming clogged with debris, gutter guards enable rainwater pouring off the roof to flow through the gutters and down spouts to drain away from the house, instead of pooling near the foundation. Choosing the best system means comparing gutter guards, which come in a variety of styles and materials.
Research gutter guard systems by reading about them online, or in publications such as "Consumer Reports" or magazines geared to remodeling. Gutter guards systems come in basic types such as screen, fine mesh screen, surface tension and foam or brush inserts.
Go to a home supply store that sells gutter guard systems. From your research, you should know the job of gutter guards is keeping debris out of the gutters while letting rainwater pass through unimpeded in both heavy rain and light rainfall.
Examine the gutter guards on display, visually compare the systems. Keep in mind that a smaller mesh screen seems to block more debris while still letting rain through.
Check the prices. A September 2010 "Consumer Reports" research study found that fine mesh screen gutter systems did the best job of blocking debris while letting rainwater flow through. Next best overall were screen systems, followed by surface tension and the other gutter guard systems. Ask the Builder also says a micro mesh gutter guard works best. However, the fine mesh screen systems cost more than regular screen.
Compare the maintenance requirements for the gutter guard systems you are considering. Experiment with the display to determine if the guard is easy to install on the gutter.
Ask a store clerk if they have any recommendations if you are unsure of which system to pick. Double-check to make sure the gutter guard system is recommended for your roof type and will not void your roof or gutter warranty.
- Ask the Builder: Gutter Guards - Do They Really Work?
- Ask the Builder: Gutter Guard Test Results
- ConsumerReports.org: Consumer Reports Magazine: September 2010, Recommended Gutter Guards
- ConsumerReports.org: Consumer Reports Magazine: September 2010, Gutter Guard Ratings
- ConsumerReports.org: Consumer Reports Magazine: September 2010, How to Choose
- ConsumerReports.org: Consumer Reports Magazine: September 2010, Gutter Guards Do-it-Yourself Systems Beat the Pros