In a place like rainy Vancouver, everyone knows the importance of having a gutter. Without a gutter on a rainy day, you might as well be walking under a waterfall.
One of the most dreaded home maintenance chores, however, is cleaning the gutters. Just saying it sounds terrible and sends shudders down the spine. Climbing up a ladder and cleaning muddy gunk of leaves and debris out of a metal tunnel is no one’s idea of fun.
There is one solution for this unpleasant task that home owners can turn to, and that is to install a gutter guard. Not everyone has heard of a gutter guard before, so we’ve come up with a little explainer of what kinds of gutter guards are available and the pros and cons to them.
A gutter guard is a device installed into or on top of (depending on the kind) an existing gutter system. They help prevent buildup and clogging, while still allowing water to collect and flow away from the roof. In a city like Vancouver, where there are many leafy trees and long spells of rain, gutter guards help ease the burden of keeping gutters clean.
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There are three basic types of gutter guards: inserts, screens and reverse curves.
Inserts are measured to the size and length of a stretch of gutter and are placed inside the existing gutter system. They are made of a porous substance like foam so that water is still able to flow but debris is either blocked or collected at one end.
Inserts are perhaps the least expensive and easiest to install. However, because they don’t act as a cover to the gutter, small bits of debris can get inside and cause build up. While insert gutter guards are effective, they do require regular cleaning.
Screen gutter guards are just like they sound. This type of gutter guard is made of a type of metal mesh that sits atop a gutter network. They prevent debris from falling into the actual gutter and at the same time allows the rainfall to enter the gutter.
Screens are more expensive and require more expertise to install than inserts but they are easier to maintain. A home owner can simply wipe the solid debris away once it builds up on top of the guard.
Finally, reverse curves are a convex curve structure that is placed atop the gutters while leaving a space for the water to drain into. This type of gutter guard is more heavy duty than others but does the same job — it prevents debris like leaves and twigs from collecting inside the gutter so that rainfall can flow freely.
Reverse curve gutter guards are the most expensive option and require the most amount of expertise to install, but they are the easiest to maintain. However they can only handle a given amount of water so in a period of heavy rain, they may cause the gutter to overflow.
Whether you have gutter guards installed or not, all gutters will need some maintenance and cleaning. Gutter guards do, however, make that difficult chore easier. And in a city like Vancouver, gutter guards are often a wise investment to save time and to avoid the trouble of clogged gutters.
At Taves Roofing, we are experts in all kinds of gutter installation. If you have any questions about what type of gutter guard would best suit your needs, don’t hesitate to give us a call.