Keep It Clear: Gutter Guards and Gutter Cleaning

Written by Jeffrey Fick, vice president of Fick Bros. Roofing
Updated April 15, 2015
Clogged gutters can do serious damage to a home over time. (Photo courtesy of Angi member Patricia M. of West Palm Beach, Florida)

Keeping your gutters clean can prevent serious damage to your home.

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Many homeowners are looking for a miracle product that will free them from ever having to clean their gutters again. And there are some companies eager to claim they have created such a product.

There are some good gutter cover designs available. However, every gutter guard system we have tested (and we’ve tested a lot of them) has its pluses and minuses.

The real deal

You may have seen a gutter guard demonstration at a local home show or at a shopping mall, or maybe even in your home. They look great... the water rolls around the edge of the gutter cover and into the gutter, keeping out leaves and other debris.

But do they really work in the real world?

To some degree … yes. But no gutter guard design is perfect. There is not one that will prevent you from ever having to clean your gutters again.

RELATED: Angi Guide to Common Roofing Problems

Clogged gutters can mean serious trouble

Gutter cleaning, as you well know, isn’t confined to the fall. Here in Baltimore, for example, many trees shed debris throughout the seasons.

Clogged gutters can do serious damage to a home over time. Usually  fascia, eaves and foundation areas suffer first. Paint peels and insects invade. In some cases, rainwater can enter an exterior wall through eaves.

Prolonged exposure to a clogged gutter system also will render rafter end and roof sheathing vulnerable to rot. Repairs can be expensive.

RELATED: Why You Shouldn’t Neglect Your Gutters

It is not uncommon for some homes to need the gutters cleaned four times a year.

Lots of choices

● There are more than 70 gutter protection products in the U.S. and over 150 companies selling these systems. Just remember: There is no such thing as a maintenance-free gutter guard.

● Most gutter guard products do a good job of preventing full-sized leaves from entering your gutters. However, many of the gutter cover products fail to stop tiny tree flower buds, seed pods and evergreen needles from entering or clogging the gutters.

Gutter cleaning vs. gutter guards

● Gutter guards may run from $8 to $20 per lineal foot installed. An average house may have 100 to 200 feet of gutter; some houses have even more. An average starting cost for professional gutter guard installation is $1,500, according to Angi.

● Professional gutter cleaning keeps you safe, because you don’t have to drag out the ladder and get up on the roof. Prices for a professional gutter cleaning service may range from $75 to $225 for an average home, says Angi.

RELATED: How Much Does It Cost to Clean Gutters?

A version of this article appears on the Fick Bros. Roofing website.

Jeffrey Fick is vice president of the highly rated Fick Bros. Roofing, a family-owned business providing roofing services in Baltimore, Maryland, for over 100 years. A predominantly residential roofing company, Fick Bros. Roofing and Exterior Remodeling is now serving third- and fourth-generation customers.

As of April 15, 2015, this service provider was highly rated on Angi. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angi for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angi.

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