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Do You Need Gutter Guards? (4 Reasons to Install)

September 20, 2023 | 3 min. read

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Gutter guards help preserve your gutters by keeping debris like pine needles and leaves out; preventing clogs and exterior home water damage. But are gutter guards worth the cost?

Rescue My Roof has been working with homeowners for over a decade, helping them protect their homes from unsafe conditions. 

This article will go over the benefits of gutter guards and how to determine whether they’re right for you. Ultimately, you’ll know if gutter guards are a must-have or pass.

Are Gutter Guards Worth It? 4 Reasons to Install Gutter Guards

Gutter guards keep debris at bay – and the less debris that makes it into your gutters, the less often you need to clean them.

Not everyone needs gutter guards, though. Here are a few reasons you may want to install them.

1. Pest Infestations

Bird's nest with eggs in white gutters.

Without gutter guards, pests can make themselves at home in your gutters. 

Mice, squirrels, and bats can build nests in your gutters. Additionally, pests like mosquitoes can take advantage of the wet environment. Pest infestations in your gutters can clog or damage your gutter system.

Gutter guards help prevent pests by making gutters much less hospitable and more challenging to access. If trees surround your home and are more susceptible to bugs and small animals, gutter guards may be a solution.

Speak with a gutter professional to get their take on whether or not gutter guards as pest prevention is the right option. 

2. Ice Dams

Icicles caused by ice dams hanging from gutters.

Wisconsin is notorious for its cold winters, which makes calls about ice dams one of the most common roofing problems during the long winter. 

Any water that doesn’t drain from your gutters can freeze in winter. Gutter guards help prevent clogs and improve water flow so that melted snow can drain from your gutters properly instead of refreezing. 

If ice dams are a common problem for your home, gutters guards and other options can help you get through the winter. 

3. Blockages

When your gutters are blocked, you must spend time, money, or both to address the clog before it becomes a bigger problem. 

The weight of trapped water and waterlogged debris can cause your gutters to sag or pull away from your roof. Additionally, trapped water makes gutters more prone to rust and leaks. 

Gutter guards can significantly reduce or eliminate blockages, meaning less frequent maintenance or repairs. 

If you have been plagued with clogged gutters and constant gutter cleaning, gutter guards may be the right option.

4. Water Damage

Flooded basement due to water damage.

Clogged gutters can lead to several types of water damage. Gutters can overflow, causing foundation cracks, basement flooding, and interior drywall damage. And, as the water makes its way into unacceptable places, mold and mildew can grow. 

All of the issues above are why gutter maintenance is essential to your home’s health. If you are beginning to see signs of mold, mildew, or other water damage but your roof is in good shape, the gutters may be the culprit. 

Gutter guards can help prevent clogs that lead to water damage. But if your gutters are consistently clean and problems still arise, it may be time for a gutter replacement instead. 

Considerations Before Installing Gutter Guards

If you’re struggling with pests, water damage, blockages, or ice dams, it may be time to consult a professional about gutter guards.

However, struggling with these common roofing and gutter issues doesn’t mean gutter guards are the only solution. Here are more things you should consider before taking the plunge: 

  • Gutter Condition: Before installing gutter guards, ensure your gutters are in good condition. Any existing damage or sagging should be repaired before adding gutter guards to ensure a proper fit.
  • Gutter Guard Type: There are various types of gutter guards, including screens, mesh, and solid covers. Research the options and choose one that suits your specific needs and budget.
  • Installation: Gutter guard installation can be a DIY project, but it’s often best left to professionals. Improper installation can negate the benefits of gutter guards or cause damage to your gutters.
  • Maintenance: While gutter guards reduce the frequency of cleaning, they do not eliminate it entirely. Some debris may still accumulate on top of the guards and need occasional removal.
  • Cost: Consider the upfront cost of purchasing and installing gutter guards versus the long-term savings in reduced maintenance and potential repair costs.
  • Local Climate: Your location plays a role in determining the necessity of gutter guards. If you’re in an area with heavy rainfall, dense foliage, or snowfall, gutter guards are more likely to be beneficial.

Are Gutter Guards Right For You?

If you’re struggling to keep debris out of your gutters and it’s leading to other issues, like pests, water damage, and more, gutter guards will help keep your gutters clean and reduce maintenance. 

However, if you are experiencing any of the issues above and your gutters are not consistently clogged, there is probably another culprit, like a leak, rotten decking, or clogged ventilation, causing these issues.

It’s best to consult with a roofing professional for a free roof inspection before investing in any roofing solutions. After all, you want to make sure you are making the best decisions for your home. 

You can learn more about roofing issues with “5 Reasons It’s Essential to Clean Your Gutters” and “5 Signs It’s Time for an Asphalt Roof Replacement.”

Do you need a roof inspection in southeastern Wisconsin? Contact the experts at Rescue My Roof today to get a free estimate