Pros and Cons of Gutter Guards – An Expert Weighs In

Welcome!   

Before we delve into the details, let’s start our journey with a story.  Meet Rob.  He represents the plight of a homeowner struggling with water damage. 

Let’s imagine his situation together.

In the bustling suburb of Lenexa, surrounded by beautiful parks and plenty of trees, Rob stood contemplating his beloved home. Just a few months earlier, he started to notice a few problems around his home.  Stains appeared on the interior wall of his kitchen, followed by peeling paint.  Then a musty smell appeared, leaving an unpleasant odor around his home.   Following the clues, Rob discovered water damage in his attic.  Blocked gutters had pushed rainwater beneath the roof’s underlayment which caused leaks in the attic which eventually found its way through the ceiling and into the interior wall. Rob couldn’t believe that the lack of gutter maintenance had caused so much damage. 

He had solved his problem by using a local Kansas City gutter company to install gutter guards. 

Now, as Rob stood gazing at his home, a sense of relief washed over him.  He felt they clearly understood the problems that he faced. They were able to provide a unique solution that would help put an end to clogged gutters and his home’s water damage. 

At the heart of this transformation was the Advantage Gutter Guard®, a solid, aluminum gutter guard that fit seamlessly with his existing gutters. This brought much-needed relief from gutter cleaning and maintenance. This innovative system had freed him from the perilous task of scaling ladders. No more clearing out the debris that nature inevitably deposited in his gutters. 

Could you see yourself in Rob’s shoes?  If you could, we bet you’d appreciate some expert help sooner rather than later too. 

That’s where we come in. 

In this article, we delve into gutter protection, guided by Rob’s experiences and the solution that can turn the tide in your favor – Advantage Gutter Guard®.

The Science Behind Gutter Guards

As we walk the journey of home restoration with Rob, it’s crucial to understand the science behind gutter guard technology. 

At the heart of gutter guard design is a simple principle: ‘Let water in and keep everything else out’.

When you install any type of gutter guards, whether foam gutter guards, screen gutter guards, brush gutter guards, or micro mesh gutter guards, the objective is the same for homeowners – to get a gutter guard system that will:

  1. Block unwanted debris in the gutter and allow the water to flow freely
  2. Reduce gutter cleaning and maintenance

Achieving this feat has more to do with science and physics than homeowners realize. To be clear, not all gutter guard systems are equally effective at achieving this objective.  Let’s explain why.

A poorly designed gutter guard can lead to further problems 

These kinds of problems are what Rob and other homeowners want to avoid. You need a gutter protection system that channels water away from your home, protecting its structural integrity.  Water has a unique property that allows it to adhere to surfaces and flow with the contours of the surface that it runs off.  This is called surface tension.  You see this when you spill a soft drink on the kitchen counter and it follows the contour of the counter and then finds its way down your kitchen cupboards before hitting the floor. 

While water has this interesting property to it, debris does not.  Engineered to exploit these principles, an optimal gutter guard uses this principle of surface tension to guide rainwater into gutters while keeping debris out. Because many gutter guards rely on filtering debris and water instead of using surface tension, they end up with clogged leaf filters that do not achieve the goals of blocking debris or less maintenance.

Understanding these principles highlights the true value of a professionally installed gutter guard that is solid, does not have openings on top that filter debris and water, and uses the proven principle of surface tension – like Advantage Gutter Guard®.

Spotlight: Advantage Gutter Guard® 

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Unique Design Features

Engineered to handle immense pressure, Advantage Gutter Guard ®  is made with sturdy, heavy-gauge, all-metal (no plastic), and rust-free construction. The solid surface keeps debris out of the gutter. The nose-forward design blocks debris from entering the gutter. The design harnesses the power of surface tension properties to control heavy rainwater. It is designed to hold its own in high winds, heavy rain, burning heat, and blizzards. The sturdy, heavy-duty bracket is specially designed to secure the gutter guard and gutter tightly in place, with no roof penetration.

Reputation and Credibility

It has been third-party tested to handle 3x the rain of a heavy Midwest rainstorm and 122 lbs. of pressure per linear foot so it PROTECTS GUTTERS FROM THE WEIGHT OF ICE AND SNOW. To put that into perspective, it can support 4 feet of solid ice or 12 feet of snow stacked on top of it. This means that not only will Advantage Gutter Guard ® protect your home and guttering system, but also, it will not break down and need to be replaced like plastic or flimsy metal gutter guards. Our high-quality materials provide a long-term solution.

Lifetime Guarantee

Advantage Gutter Guard® comes with a fully transferable lifetime performance warranty that the gutters will remain clean and free-flowing. A no-clog guarantee that if your gutters ever clog, we will remove the debris free of charge. Additionally, we have a 20-year manufacturing warranty on material defects.

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The Upside:  Benefits of Gutter Guards

Three undeniable benefits make proven gutter guards worth the investment – especially solid, reverse curve gutter guards such as Advantage Gutter Guard®. Let’s discuss the top three reasons to invest in the right gutter guard. 

Preventing costly damage to your home

First and foremost on the list is keeping your home from being damaged by debris clogging up your gutter and causing water damage.  The subsequent fallout of this water damage will be mildew, mold, and other unpleasant consequences like a flooded basement.  According to Forbes.com, it can cost an average of $4,300 to repair a flooded basement in 2023.  Professional mold remediation will set you back anything from $1,000 to $9,000, depending on the extent of the problem.  

The bottom line is this: If you feel you can’t commit to regular gutter cleaning and don’t know if you want to invest in gutter protection, then consider the financial cost when this strategy fails, and it usually does. 

Keeping you off the ladder

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These are the top three reasons for buying gutter guards, but there are other good reasons too.  Let’s take a look.

Pest Control

Gutter guards play an important role in keeping birds, and rodents from making their home in your gutters.  Squirrels, rats, and mice love a warm spot to make their home and there is no more welcoming place than a gutter full of debris.  It’s the ideal nesting and hiding place.  While this might sound cute, it won’t be that way when they make the inside of your home their next living space. 

Solid gutter guards that keep gutters clean and free-flowing such as Advantage Gutter Guard® have the added benefit of preventing stagnant water from collecting in your gutters and thereby keeping mosquitos from choosing to nest in the gutter.  Many homeowners have been plagued by itchy bites during long summer months, not realizing that a clogged gutter is a primary breeding ground for bugs. 

Helps Prevent Mold and Mildew

If only Rob had known this sooner.  This was the major problem experienced by Rob and it cost him dearly.  In this case, prevention is always better than cure because once mold and mildew set in, you can expect large-scale remediation work to be on the cards.  Not good for any bank balance. 

For Rob, clogged gutters caused overflowing and a backup of water under the shingles, and into the soffit and fascia.  With hindsight, he knows that his reluctance to do regular gutter cleaning led to his woes, but it was an expensive lesson to learn.  The resulting problem caused his home, his family, and his finances a lot of discomfort. 

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The Downside: Common Drawbacks of Gutter Guards 

Of course, as helpful as gutter guards are, there can be drawbacks. Many of these are associated with the types of gutter guards. 

We bring you back to the objective of gutter guards and that is to ‘Let water in, and keep everything else out’.

It’s important to have a balanced conversation about installing gutter guards if you want to make an informed decision. Another good reason to have gutter guards installed is the fact that you won’t have to climb a ladder regularly to clean out debris that clogs gutters. Debris buildup happens faster than you can keep up some days, and this leads to overflowing gutters.  For this reason, you’ll have to scale the ladder at least four times a year as the seasons change and every time you do this, you run the risk of injury.  It’s astounding that over 500,000 ladder injuries are reported every year. [1]

Our friend Rob rather liked the idea of not breaking any bones and was excited by the fact that he could eliminate gutter cleaning with Advantage Gutter Guard®. Now his annual maintenance is done from the ground. He hasn’t climbed a ladder in months, which is fine by him. 

The right gutter guard stops you from wasting time gutter cleaning.

While we can’t return your lost time to you, we can assure you that you won’t be wasting any more time in the future. When you no longer have to worry about leaves, twigs, and other debris clogging your gutters, you can get on with other things.  Having said that, make sure that the type of gutter guard you use will give you this benefit and not cause other problems for you to solve. 

Here are some of the concerns that have been raised by homeowners that we have helped over the years. 

Clogging issues

It’s natural to wonder if gutter guards can add to the gutter being clogged and the unfortunate answer is:  Yes. Some gutter guard types do add to the clogging problem if they are not regularly cleaned.  Most often foam gutter guards and brush gutter guards are prone to the accumulation of small debris. And when this is combined with water it forms a muddy sludge that can stop water from flowing freely.  

Mesh gutter guards are more inclined to act like a shelf or filter collecting debris until the filter is clogged and water cannot flow through the filter. While the gutter doesn’t clog, the mesh itself is clogged and needs to be cleaned, so they are not immune to needing regular cleaning.  Then you’re back to searching for solutions on how to clean gutter guards.

The next drawback is the use of low-quality materials or inferior construction of the gutter guard. 

Use of inferior materials

Anything that is built using plastic or flimsy metals, or secured with plastic brackets is a no-no when it comes to holding the weight of snow and ice.  Strong winds can cause damage to these kinds of materials.  

A high-quality product like Advantage Gutter Guard® might appear to be a big investment at first, however, if you consider the cost of replacing inferior products over time along with the cost of any structural damage we have discussed, then you’re looking at thousands of wasted dollars. We feel that prevention is the way to go and we think Rob would agree after his ordeal. 

Aesthetic appeal

Initially, this might not be something you’re particularly worried about, especially if you’re trying to solve a mold, mildew, and destruction problem like Rob.  Once the initial emergency has passed you will inevitably turn your attention to whether the gutter guard you’ve chosen has added to the aesthetics of your home.  

Anything you add to your home that sticks out like a sore thumb will result in annoyance. Choose a gutter guard that blends with the trim and color of the home.  If the type of gutter guard you chose is installed over the top of the shingles, you could be looking at a foot of extra metal wrapped around the roof like a tinfoil gutter helmet. Not a good look.  

Go with a product that will be pleasing to look at and add to the beauty of your home. Choose a professional local company, like Gutter Cover Kansas City®, that can offer you high-quality, strong, rust-free materials that last. This will increase the satisfaction you feel from investing good money in top-quality products. 

Advantage Gutter Guard® is made for all roof types and is available in 33 colors, including copper.

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Warranty problems

Right off the bat let’s just say that DIY products and products that roofing and gutter contractors buy at the supply store, are not the same quality as professionally installed gutter guards and therefore they usually do not carry a warranty.

Also, be on your guard about contractors who don’t seem concerned about the condition of the existing gutters before installing the gutter guard.  It stands to reason that a damaged gutter system will not perform well. No gutter guard can make that situation better. 

Here are some top problems we’ve encountered with warranties that will help you to steer clear of issues. 

Warranties for filters, mesh, and screens usually mean they guarantee that the inside of the gutter canal will not clog.  However, it does not cover debris getting trapped on the top and blocking water from entering the gutter system.  You will likely be left scrubbing mesh or pulling debris out of holes while holding onto the ladder that you didn’t want to climb in the first place.  Make sure you educate yourself on the extent of any warranty because companies tend to adhere to the stipulations strictly. 

Why do we offer a lifetime warranty of ‘no clogging’ with Advantage Gutter Guard®?  

The unique nose-forward design guarantees that no debris can get trapped in the gutter.   Other reverse curve gutter guards that are not nose-forward tend to be cheaper versions. These do not employ the sturdy materials and design features that we developed our product with. Products like these often do not come with a warranty, yet, can be a costly option offered by home improvement stores, roofers, and handymen. 

With Advantage Gutter Guard® even oak tassels which are like glue when wet, can be hosed off from the ground or brushed away with a long handle broom because it is a smooth solid surface.  We recommend using a hose to wash away dirt from our product, once a year – just to keep everything nice and clean. 

Our customers had this to say:

“9 years ago – Gutter Cover was installed on my home, workshop and barn. These buildings are surrounded by hundreds of trees; not one instance of clogging or cleaning since.” – Ed Callahan 

“After soliciting quotes and services from virtually every company in the Overland Park area, my wife and I chose Gutter Cover Kansas City as our selection for a complete gutter replacement. When our inspector, Chad Wiggins, visited our home for a quote, we knew that there was something special about this company. Rather than a quick walk-thru and generic quote, Chad spent more than an hour looking at every part of our gutter and drainage system. He provided us with a frank and honest assessment with several options to consider.”- Gary Cole 

Professional installation for warranty cover

While we’re on the subject of warranties, make sure that the product is installed by a professional. They should be happy to put a warranty on the work they’ve delivered.  Any company that deserves to be hired by you should strive to comply with the safety requirements of OSHA and be fully insured. A good contractor will always do a thorough inspection of the condition of the gutter itself and make sure it is in proper working order before installing gutter guards. They will look for things like whether the gutters are large enough to handle the water from your roof, and if they are sealed and sloped properly. This is what you can expect from Gutter Cover Kansas City®.

And finally

As you’ve seen from our story about Rob, the consequences of clogged gutters extend far beyond mere inconvenience.  Costly repairs and safety hazards are just some of the unpleasant side effects that homeowners must face. 

Don’t let another season pass without securing the integrity of your home and ensuring that you stay off the ladder.

Take the first step to a cleaner, safer, and more efficient home by contacting us for a free consultation today. We service Kansas City, Central Missouri, and Topeka. We will ensure a qualified consultant does a thorough inspection of your gutters before giving you a quote.  

Worried about the cost?   We keep our prices fair and also offer great financing options including 0% interest for 18 months.