Anyone who has looked into gutter guard will no doubt find a myriad of different options. All of them will claim to be the best solution for you. Getting the right advice can be difficult. Without sound advice you may join the list of haters who claim that gutter guard doesn't work. This blog post highlights the two (2) worst mistakes that I come across in Adelaide and how you can avoid them.
Look, I am not wanting to take a shot anyone in particular, be it a company or an individual but people are constantly making mistakes in the gutter guard game. For me, this can be a real source of frustration as clients are dubious about the effectiveness of the product. For customers who make the mistakes, they usually end up joining the pile of people who claim gutter guard doesn't work. If you want an idea of what a proper gutter guard system will cost read my post: How Much is Gutter Guard.
So what are these mistakes I hear you ask and how do you avoid them? The two worst gutter guard mistakes are: (1) Thinking that you can set and forget the gutter guard system
(2) Choosing the wrong gutter guard for your situation. So now you know what they are, lets have a closer look and work out how to avoid them.
(1) Thinking That You Can Set and Forget the Gutter Guard.
I hear this mistake all the time. Fortunately more and more people are catching on to this mistake and its pitfalls. Typically this mistake is perpetuated by companies wanting to claim that their solution is a permanent fix and taken up by customers who want to believe there is such a thing as a permanent fix.
No gutter guard is maintenance free. Let me say that again. NO GUTTER GUARD IS MAINTENANCE FREE. In fact if someone tries to tell you that their gutter guard is......RUN! No matter how well you stop leaves, you will never stop silt from entering the gutter. When this builds up -and eventually it will- tiny seeds from grasses and other weeds will take root. Once they have taken root, they will block the flow of water causing problems. Sometimes worse than before.
When you are choosing a gutter guard system, make sure that you can flush the gutters out from time to time. AND NO- HEAVY RAINFALL IS NOT ENOUGH TO FLUSH THE GUTTERS OR IS IT ENOUGH TO USE A HOSE AND SPRAY WATER THROUGH THE MESH. It doesn't matter if you push water through when the gutters are dry or not. There is simply not enough force to do move the silt enough to clear the gutters. If this is the only option to flush the gutters, it means the mesh is securely fixed and the holes are small enough to be doing a great job of stopping leaves but the tiny holes will also disperse the water and thus reduce the pressure necessary to flush the silt. Just because you will need to flush out your gutters does not mean you should choose a cheap product that sits in the gutter. Thinking I will have to clean them out anyway is not a solution. There is a big difference between putting a hose in an inspection point and taking out a guard and cleaning the gutter.
The key to avoiding this mistake is to find a gutter guard and a gutter guard installer that will work out a maintenance plan with you. I personally like to install inspection points over every downpipe and where it makes sense to flush back to a downpipe such as on corners or at gutter ends. By installing inspection points, you will be able to simply push a hose down the gutter allowing enough pressure to remove silt. Typically this can be done once a year to keep your gutters flowing and working beautifully.
(2) Choosing the Wrong Gutter Guard for Your Situation
There are a lot of gutter guards on the market and to be honest, some of the gutter guards I usually avoid are the best guard for certain situations. Let me give you an couple of examples.
The uptake of solar panels in South Australia has created some situations where panels are incredibly close to the gutter. In fact sometimes so close that an expanded or diamond mesh can not be installed without removing the solar panels. Depending on the amount of leaves that are likely to fall in this section of gutter, often it is a financially sensible compromise to use a guard which sits in the gutter, for example watergate.
Certain trees such as pine trees with very small needles or Jacaranda trees are another situation where you must get the correct gutter guard. For these trees, you can install a micro mesh but unfortunately you can not get an inspection point in them. The key to avoiding this mistake is leaving the micromesh loose by not securely fixing the mesh to the gutter edge, thus being able to gain access to the gutter. Using micro mesh will stop the leaves entering but you will need to flush out the gutters probably twice a year. The last thing you want to be doing is removing clips or trim to gain access. Even worse sometimes customers have to remove a glue strip which is securing the mesh.
Out of the two worst gutter guard mistakes you can make, this is the hardest to solve. Companies will tell you that their solution is the best and not ever offer a multi-guard solution to suit the particular foliage or circumstances of each section of gutter. If you are interested to know what are the best 3 ways to clean you gutter, click the link (cheeky post)
If you live in South Australia and are thinking about installing gutter guard, make sure to contact me.