Are you thinking of installing gutter guards to your property? Do you need to replace your existing solutions? Gutter guards are not often something that homeowners or property owners think about or consider until a problem arises.
When your guttering system is working as it is designed to, it is very easy to forget about them. However, a clogged gutter is a serious problem that can cause you significant problem. Your home is your castle, as the saying goes, and across the country homeowners spend vast amounts ensuring that their home is protected from a host of hazards, yet your guttering is often an area that is overlooked.
Compared to most home improvements, gutter guards are an incredibly affordable solution and can help protect your home. They are suitable for every type of building in Australia, and whilst there are many professional installers out there who can ensure that your gutter guards are expertly fitted to your property, they are also suitable to be installed at home by any DIY enthusiast.
What are the dangers of a blocked gutter?
Blocked gutters are an incredibly common problem around the world, however they are often not spotted until it is too late. Because of their height, the only way to determine the current state of your gutters is to climb a ladder and inspect them visually, which is a time consuming process.
Not only are blocked gutters a chore that no homeowner wants to complete, they can also cause a number of significant issues to your home. Some of the most common problems caused by blocked gutters include:
- Roof damage
One of the most significant issues of a blocked gutter is the damage it could cause to your roof. A functioning gutter system helps to drain rain water away, so when it becomes blocked that water begins to pool on your roof, which can then begin to cause the materials to rot and wear away, leading to leaks and even mould.
- Foundation damage
That pooling water can be very dangerous to the foundations of your property. As water begins to soak through your roof, it can seep into the very structural foundations of your home and lead to the wood expanding or rotting away, putting the entire structural integrity of the property at risk.
- Rotting Fascia Boards
Fascia boards are located around the exterior of your home and support the guttering system. Typically made from wood, as water pools up this wood is incredibly vulnerable, making it susceptible to rot. In turn, this leads to further damage of your gutters.
- Ice Damage
If you live in a cooler environment, then that pooled water can become a dangerous ice risk. When the water freezes, it begins to expand which can place significant pressure on your roof, which could lead it to collapsing.
- Fire Hazard
Blocked gutters also pose a significant fire risk to your property. As dried leaves and debris build up in your gutters, they can quickly ignite during a hot summer or from a stray ember being carried on the wind from a nearby bush fire.
Best types of DIY gutter guards
If you are looking to protect your home and install gutter guards to your property, then there is a wide variety of styles and materials to choose from. Depending on the size of your property and the protection that you choose, the vast majority of solutions are able to be installed at home by any DIY enthusiasts.
Each guard is designed to perform a specific task and whilst no one product is able to suit every situation, they are able to provide you with a significant level of protection. To ensure that your home is as secure as possible, we have taken a closer look at some of the pros and cons of some of the most popular solutions on the market today:
These are one of the most affordable gutter guards on the market and are a very quick installation. This form of guard sits directly within the guttering itself and consists of a circle of outward facing bristles. Sometimes referred to as a hedgehog guard, this style of guard is designed to brush large debris away from the gutter and down towards the ground.
One of the biggest benefits of a brush gutter guard is the speed that it can be installed. This is particularly useful for those homeowners looking for a quick but effective DIY project. Although they are a cost effective and durable solution, they do still require regular cleaning as smaller debris can work its way in through the bristles and eventually clog the gutters.
Another possible problem with gutter guards is the material that they are made from. As they are designed to be affordable, the materials used are often designed to mass produced; however, the bristles are often a fire hazard and can quickly ignite should they come into contact with a stray ember.
If you have ever been in a swimming pool and played around with foam noodles, then foam inserts are made with a very similar material. This type of guard fits directly into the gutter and these long tubes cover the entire gutter and prevent any debris or dirt from entering the guttering system.
Thanks to their easy installation, they are an incredibly popular solution for homeowners as they require very little DIY knowledge to install. However, just like brush guards, foam inserts do have some negative aspects. One of the most significant is that the foam material can act as the perfect environment for mould, whilst the damp environment often sees stray seeds beginning to sprout, which can lead to significant issues.
Another common problem with foam inserts is that over time, the constant exposure to damaging UV rays from the sun and the elements can lead to the material beginning to degrade, which means they will need to be replaced regularly. Equally, the flat level created by the foam can act like a shelf and debris can begin to build up so you will need to regularly clear this out still.
Mesh panels work in a similar way to a foam insert and create a flat level above your gutter that prevents any debris from entering system. To ensure that rain water is able to still flow freely through your guttering, the mesh features small perforated holes that allows water to enter.
This style of guard is usually very easy to install and can attach either directly to the gutter itself or to the roof. There are a range of materials that can be used for these guards, which means homeowners are able to find a solution that is able to perfectly match their property and budget.
However, just like the foam guards, the flat level created by mesh panels can still lead to a build-up of debris which will need to be cleared regularly. Alongside that, they are not always the most durable of solutions and will need to be replaced after several years of being exposed to the elements. Whilst the perforated holes act as a very good defensive barrier, they can become blocked by dirt and grime, which prevents the flow of water through the system.
Integrated mesh is one of the most effective and durable solutions on the market today. Working in a similar fashion to a mesh panel, an integrated mesh solution attaches directly to the roof and inside lip of the gutter pipe, helping to create a slope that encourages debris to fall towards the ground.
This is a highly effective solution and is able to keep your gutters clear from dead leaves and twigs, whilst the tough material prevents any vermin from entering your property. Considered a mid-range solution, integrated mesh is a highly durable but often affordable gutter guard option that can provide you with a very strong and effective guard.
However, despite its clear strength and protective benefits, integrated mesh does need to be installed correctly for it to work as designed. This means that although it can be installed by DIY enthusiasts at home, they do need to take their time to ensure that it is attached to the property correctly in order to work. Equally, homeowners will need to ensure that they choose the right thickness of mesh for their property, too thin and vermin or debris will be able to puncture their way through and cause a blockage.
Vinyl guards are another very popular form of gutter guard in Australia and are able to provide homeowners with a high level of protection whilst also being incredibly easy to install. Fitting directly into the gutter guard, vinyl solutions require very little DIY knowledge and can be installed by most people with enough time and care.
Working in a similar fashion to the mesh guards, the vinyl solution creates a slope effect that is designed to push debris away from the roof and down towards the ground. This ensures that the gutter is able to be kept clear whilst still allowing rain water to flow through the guttering system freely.
Vinyl guards are a popular solution for property owners across Australia thanks to their relatively cost effectiveness, which means even those homeowners on a budget can utilise them. However, whilst they are an effective solution, they are prone to becoming clogged quite quickly, which requires you to have to climb a ladder and clean them out more frequently. Over time, constant exposure to the elements and harmful UV rays from the sun can also cause the material to begin to degrade and warp.
What is the best solution for you?
No matter the size of your property or the level of protection that you require, there is always a gutter guard solution for your needs. These are only some of the most common options available on the market today, and there are countless options and materials to choose from.
When choosing a gutter guard, it is important to remember that no one solution is able to fully protect your home, and over time you will still be required to clean the guttering out. However, the right solution can significantly reduce the number of times that you need to clean your gutter and ensure your home is fully protected from blockages and vermin alike.
Here at Aussie DIY Solutions, we understand the importance of the right gutter guard. That is why we offer clients with a wide range of DIY solutions, in a vast choice of materials, ensuring that no matter the property, you will always be able to find the right solution.