DIY Gutter guard pros and cons
While gutter guard systems have been designed to eliminate the task of scaling a ladder to clean your roof and gutters 3-4 times a year, keeping your guttering clean and functioning at optimum, there are pros and cons in purchasing a commercial DIY kit. To further understanding and make an informed decision, we have some factors to consider below:
What Is a Gutter Guard?
Gutters work in cohesion with the roof itself to keep rain flowing off and away from the home. In addition to rainwater, all sorts of debris like leaves and even pests can enter your gutters as well. This is where the homeowner is now forced to scale a ladder and do the hard work of cleaning the gutters. If leaves and debris are left unattended, blockages can build-up, resulting in mould, leaks, and damage to the roof.
DIY gutter guards vary in style and material, generally, they can be a screen cover that you place on top of the gutter to block debris. Other DIY options available include, in-gutter systems, requiring a bottlebrush or steel guard to be inserted into the gutter tray. This may be a cost-effective short-term solution but will not entirely keep your gutters clean further requiring annual cleaning and maintenance.
Disadvantages of DIY systems:
Advertised as being the ultimate line of protection and defence for your property, DIY kits may provide a short-term fix but there are plenty of detractors. Critics say that unlike professionally installed systems, the DIY options do not offer the same level of protection or longevity that professional systems do. King Group Australia recommends seeking the advice of a professional prior to installing even the simplest DIY system to your property.
DIY gutter guard systems may reduce the number of debris and leaves from entering your gutters however they don’t entirely stop you from having to conduct regular maintenance. Depending on the system installed, it is often found that leaves, debris twigs and other plant matter build up on top of the guards, and you may have to remove them to clean them, which—depending on what type of guard you purchased—could increase the amount of labour.
Depending on the size, pitch and access of your property, a homeowner can expect to pay anywhere between $1,100 and $3,500, depending on the system and how many gutters and valleys require protection.
Advantages of DIY Gutter Guards
Still, gutter guards do have advantages you should consider before you decide to eschew them altogether.
DIY Gutter Guards Can Reduce Maintenance
Yes, smaller debris still makes its way into your gutter and will build up over time. But it will take a lot longer, meaning that while you can’t eliminate maintenance altogether, if you get quality gutter guards, you can at least reduce how often you need to climb up on that ladder. The development of moss is a concern, but as long as you check the gutters regularly—even if less regularly than before—you should be able to head off problems.
They’re Easy to Install
Unlike some gutter guards that require professional installation, a DIY gutter guard can be purchased at a home improvement store and simply slid over the top of the gutter. There’s no need to hire a professional to do it and it takes very little time to do.
They’re Not That Expensive
In the short term, yes, it’s a somewhat steep price tag. But keep in mind that quality gutter guards will last for years. But considering the average price for a gutter cleaning is $160—and the fact that, generally, people get their gutters cleaned twice per year—gutter guards could pay for themselves in just a few years. And if you’re doing it yourself, that saves you from one of the most back-breaking chores a homeowner has to do.
They Improve Water Flow
A gutter guard can help water flow better through your gutter system by keeping debris out that can disrupt the flow or clog it up. A blocked gutter will cause water to overflow, which can result in foundation damage or even cause water to get inside the home.
Should You Buy Gutter Guards, Or Hire a Professional?
So are gutter guards a good investment, or should you hire a professional to clean your gutters instead? The truth is, it depends on your situation.
If you dislike climbing a ladder to clean out gutters, even if it is only a couple of times per year, but aren’t keen on spending money hiring a professional, then gutter guards can at least cut down on some of that labor.
You could also have a professional install more complex gutter guard systems like under-shingle designs, which slide under the edge of the shingle, or reverse-curve systems that better direct debris away from your gutters.
But if you don’t mind this biannual chore or worry about moss build-up, you can probably skip gutter guards. Or you can avoid the chore altogether by hiring a professional gutter cleaner near you