Though normally installed after the homeowner has moved in, the benefit of gutter guards should be taken advantage of as soon as the roof is complete. Clogged gutters can lead to termite infestation, unwanted moisture and mold issues around the building envelope, unhealthy landscaping conditions, and damaged insulation. Cleaning gutters four times a year (as recommended with unguarded gutters) can be both expensive and, as with any trip up the ladder to the roof, dangerous for the homeowner.
The best practice for keeping gutters free of debris is by installing gutter guards, such as roll screen guards.
Roll screen guards are generally made of aluminum and come in a variety of colors and screed designs. Unlike vinyl guards that cover the gutter, roll screen guards allow the homeowner to see to the bottom of the gutter, and they can be pulled out of the way for cleaning and maintenance. They also allow for the gutters to be flushed with a hose without having to remove them, which can save time and trouble for the homeowner.
Here's how to install a roll screen gutter guard:
Overlapping the screens by a half-inch will help ensure that the entire gutter is protected, and it will keep leaves from falling through the cracks. Sometimes builders prefer to tuck the guard under the shingles. The problem with this method is that over time debris can build up at that intersection and damage the fascia, so the best practice is to lay the guard on top of the shingles.
Even with gutter guards in place, it's a good idea to inspect and clean the gutters every fall. Seeds and smaller debris will eventually find their way into the drainage system and can lead to damming or clogged downspouts.
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