There are two options a homeowner has at their disposal when attempting to confront the situation of rain falling on the home: gutters or no gutters. Gutters are designed with the main function of catching rain water and channeling the rain away from the house thereby protecting the foundation and integrity of the home. Rain is a natural occurrence that every home in the world battles on a continuing basis. Gutters will catch rain (IF they are clear and in proper condition) and all other matter or debris that finds its way into the open trough of the gutter.
The best way to keep the gutters in good, clean, functioning condition is to protect them from accumulating unwanted crud and debris. Protection, or prevention, is obtained by placing a cover or guard on the gutters to keep the debris out of the gutters. There are many options available to the homeowner in the field of gutter protection. The options can range anywhere from total covering of the gutters, which eliminates the ability of gutters to perform their intended function, to no protection or open gutter.
Protecting Your Gutters
- Ensures that your gutters stay clean – Be wary of gutter protection systems that have any type of large slots or openings. Wasps, mosquitoes, hornets, birds, chipmunks and squirrels can invade and cause havoc. Mammals will seek food or nesting materials and gnaw through plastics or thin sheet metal. Moderate to slow moving water from your roof will drag debris into your gutters and clog your gutters and downspouts. This frequently happens in the Spring when catkins or pollen worms are prevalent. Roof grit can also pile up and become a seed bed yielding a veritable “gutter garden”.
- Don’t fall off your ladder when cleaning your gutters – More than 2.1 million people sought emergency treatment in the United States for ladder-related injuries. Of those injuries, almost 10 percent resulted in hospitalization or transfer to another hospital. The most frequently reported injuries were fractures. In cases in which the location where the injury took place was recorded, 97 percent happened at home. In nearly 77 percent of the cases, the injured party was male. Over 180,000 accidents each year occur from people falling off their ladder when cleaning their roof or gutters. About 1% is fatal and 4% are debilitating. Ladders should never be placed against a gutter. Use standoffs or let a professional do the work.
- No liability from un-insured/under insured contractors – Make certain that people working on your property have full liability insurance. Your homeowner’s insurance policy does not, usually, cover sub-contractor’s employees. You would need a special rider on your home owner’s insurance policy which could cost $100’s of dollars. ( We check for insurance on all NCR Verified Installers that are listed on our pages, but you should allways ask for a certificate anyway – cannot be to careful in this matter )
- Increases the sales-ability and value of home – Most gutter systems will not be even worth mentioning by a Realtor. Systems that hold up over time and prevent damage to your home will be a decided advantage. Make sure that the gutter system comes from a reputable company, offers full warranties and that those warranties are transferable to a new owner.
- Adds the benefit of harvesting water from rain – A durable “micro-mesh” system is most desirable to most rain-water recovery companies.
- Eliminates nesting of mosquitoes and wasps in your gutter – Wasps, mosquitoes, hornets, birds, chipmunks and squirrels can invade and cause havoc. Mammals will seek food or nesting materials and gnaw through plastics or thin sheet metal. Moderate to slow moving water from your roof will drag debris into your gutters and clog your gutters and downspouts. This frequently happens in the Spring when catkins or pollen worms are prevalent. Roof grit can also pile up and become a seed bed yielding a veritable “gutter garden”.
- Momentary investment in your home – Usually the largest single monetary investment that an individual makes is the home. By not protecting it from wood rot, foundation undermining, mold and mildew and roof damage, you are lessening the value of your investment.
- Take time to install (if you do it yourself) – There are many do-it-yourself systems available to the customer. Do you have the time and are you willing to ignore the danger of installation. Several products require special non-ferrous circular saws to safely perform cuts. Many people, young and old, have become debilitated causing them to lose their jobs and livelihood. Is it worth it? Is the cost of installation more important to you than risking your ability to work?
- ROI sometimes does not pan out – Depending on various factors in some cases you would never make a Return of Investment back on gutter covers that are purchased for the home, so this can be classified as a more of a luxury purchase, however it is saves oneself from the hassles of a DIY clean or hiring someone to do it bi-annually