Proper gutter systems are important in the protection and health of the roof and siding of your home. Without proper waterflow, rainwater can flow over the side of your gutters and stain your home, or even cause erosion. Improper downspout flow can cause flooding damage in basements and first floor spaces, causing up to thousands of dollars’ worth of damages. To prevent these damages, New Outlook insists on scheduling semi-annual gutter cleanings to reduce the extensive costs for repairs. There is no better way to keep your gutters clear than a good old fashioned hand cleaning, and this includes the use of gutter coverings, a trend that may even escalate your troubles ten-fold.
With Joplin, Missouri’s summer season quickly approaching, New Outlook is receiving a lot of calls from homeowners who did not get a gutter cleaning last Fall and are realizing they do not have the best water flow in their gutter systems. This is causing both siding and flooding damage, all of which could have been preventing with a Fall gutter cleaning. Many of these calls involve inquiries of the benefits of installing gutter coverings to prevent foliage from clogging their downspouts. To their disappointment, there are not many.
3 Reasons to Avoid Gutter Coverings and Gutter Guards
Protect Your Neighborhood Wildlife
One common issue we have found that comes with the use of gutter coverings is the impact on wildlife. Small animals (birds, chipmunks, squirrels) tend to build nests beneath these coverings, thinking it is a safe home. These nests cause blockages in your waterways, which may cause these animals to get trapped in foliage. This inadvertently causes them to suffocate or drown in your gutter systems. Our gutter cleaners have found countless animal carcasses within residential gutters, commercial gutters, and storefront gutters, especially within gutter downspouts. To avoid this, we inform homeowners of this major concern and insist on removing and disposing of all gutter coverings.
Avoid Unexpected Costs of Structural Damages
Helmet-type gutter coverings, such as Gutter Guard, causes a completely different, more costly issue. These bulkier type of coverings can put a great amount of excess weight on your housing’s facia. This weight can cause cracks and warping to the appearance of your home in the long-term, decreasing it’s value. This can be discouraging to homeowners as it negatively effects both the appearance and the structural integrity of their home. Adding weight to your gutters may also cause flooding through your roof as the pressure can add gaps in your shingles, again, causing unexpected damages.
Along with adding pressure to your home’s fascia, installation of these types of guards is quite intrusive. In order to add guards to your home, services include peeling the first row of shingles from your roof in order to slide the guards beneath. This can compromise the roof of your home, leaving you with even more damages in the long term. Repairing these damages can be quite costly, much more than semi-annual gutter cleanings.
You Are Still Going to Require Cleanings
What most homeowners do not realize is that even though you have installed gutter coverings, you will still need to schedule routine cleanings. It is a common misunderstanding that having guards on your gutters means zero maintenance. This could not be further from the truth. One of the biggest enemies to gutter coverings are Pine tree needles. If you have ever purchased a Christmas tree, you are quite aware of the mess they can make. While thin, these pine needles can really add up and cause homeowner’s frustration when they realize their downspouts are clogged. For this reason, most companies that sell gutter coverings require annual, if not semi-annual, cleanings.
Homeowners who are seeking out cost effective ways to clean their gutters must know that there are no short cuts to long term protection of their homes. If something sounds too good to be true, chances are it most likely is. The use of gutter coverings can inadvertently trap the wildlife in your neighborhood, add damages to your roof, soffit and fascia due to weight and pressure, and be quite costly for installation and maintenance over time.
Why deal with unexpected fees when you can have the care and attention of personal, semi-annual hand cleanings at a fraction of the cost? If you or someone you know is curious about the use of gutter coverings, guards or filters, make sure they are aware of the potential consequences. Don’t believe me? Always make sure to read the fine print, look up class-action lawsuits, reviews, and search through the Better Business Bureau and see for yourself. Be safe, stay knowledgeable, and above all, always strive for a New Outlook.