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A little while back, we discussed how to clean out your gutters. If you want to avoid that on a yearly basis, you’ll want to take some steps to lead-proof your gutters, or at least try and reduce the amount of debris that will make its way to your gutters throughout the year.
Covering Your Gutters
To keep debris out of the gutters, you can go a few ways.
- Snap-in Covers – Available in sections, these guards are easy to install over the top of your existing gutters. That ease of installation comes at a cost, though, as these are usually the most expensive DIY options.
- Foam Filter Inserts – These inserts go inside of the gutter itself, with the top of the foam level with the top. The debris washes off as other debris pushes it along, while the water filters down through the foam blocks into the gutter, and along to the downspout. One issue with these guards though is that they can retain water at times, which can be a roblem in winter – the water could freeze up and put strain on your gutters due to the excessive weight.
- Flexible Gutter Guards – Rolls of mesh material, fastened in with girders or other fasteners. This is the cheapest way to go, for sure, but is also one of the more labor-intensive to install and less durable of the bunch.
- Brush Guards – These are systems that are essentially a roll of bristles that sit in the gutters and prop up debris, while letting the water fall. Like foam inserts, they just sit in your gutter.
- One-Piece Gutter Systems – These are one-piece gutter systems that have to be installed in the place of your existing gutters. There are a number of companies with various proprietary systems – from integrated covers, to hoods that deflect and redirect debris. Picking the right one is a matter of what works for you.
You’ll need to choose which suits your gutters and budget the best. Some houses and gutter systems will call for different guards. For instance, a gutter with lots of bends and curves would be better off using trimable and flexible guards, like the bendable brush guards and easy-to-trim foam inserts.
Keeping Debris Off The Roof
We’re big fans of getting to the root of the problem, or in this case, the branches. The best way to keep debris out of the gutters it to keep it off of the roof in the first place. While you might not be able to do anything about your neighbor’s debris blowing in, you can at least take care of your own trees. Trim back branches that hang over your roof to reduce the amount of leaves that will drop on to your roof.
Maintaining Gutter Guards
Having gutter guards doesn’t mean you can just ignore your gutters from then on out. They will still need to be cleaned on a regular basis. However, having guards will allow you to clean them less often, and will make it easier. Instead of digging around and clearing out debris, you’ll merely need to clean off the top of the guard.
So if you’re tired of the hours you spend cleaning out your gutters, not to mention the mess you need to dig your hands into, consider getting some guards to make your life a little easier.