Every year, thousands of people who have lived in the same home for years and managed to keep up with all the maintenance a home requires climb down their ladders and think to themselves, “That’s the last time I’m going up a ladder. I want the best gutter guard to end gutter cleaning.”
We understand completely. Whatever your reason, it’s a good one. Your tired of the constant maintenance or you feel the best way to deal with ladder safety is from the ground, it doesn’t matter, you want the best gutter guard.
So what should you look for to make sure you’re getting the best product?
Best Gutter Guard – What to Look For
- Does it do what you expect the best gutter guard to do? A very simple question, but an important one. A gutter guard that lets in any debris is no different from an open gutter. Do a visual test of the product with water and real debris from your own yard. Don’t take a salesperson’s word on what the product does, use your common sense. You’ll want a gutter guard that can keep out all debris all the time.
- How good is it at self cleaning? Gutter guards that sit flat, over, or in a gutter will act like a shelf and can trap debris. They are also more likely to create a place for ice to build up and back up the roof in the winter. To self clean, the best gutter guard should be pitched with the roof. Pitched products are less likely to trap debris, meaning less ongoing maintenance of the gutter guard for you (wasn’t that part of the reason for installing one in the first place?).
- What’s the warranty? We should start out by noting that there is a difference between a product warranty (from a manufacturer) and an installation warranty (from a dealer). Often, problems stem from installation issues, so you’ll have to address them with the company who you contracted with. Most manufacturer warranties are “if it clogs, we’ll clean it for free”, which also puts the problem on the installer. Manufacturer warranties can also dramatically change if the product was installed by a homeowner versus a dealer.
- What about roof oils? Products under traditional asphalt shingles will coat with oils unless they can self clean. Traditional curved systems tend to clean well on the top, where rain will hit, but the parts of the curve that stick straight out and drop into the gutter don’t fare as well. Filtration products work best since the filter is exposed to the rain and when the product’s filter meets the exacting standards of the Higginbotham ratio, a proportion of threads diameter to threads per inch that maximize the products ability to self clean.
Do you have any thoughts on the best gutter guards? What features they should have? How they should perform? Feel free to share them with us.