Gutter guards are little pieces of plastic that sit over the top of your gutters and act as screens. They prevent leaves and other debris from coming into the gutters while still letting water pass through. Gutter guards are nice, but they are not always necessary. Some people don't really need to spend the money to have them installed. But rest assured—if any of the following are true of your home, gutters, or habits, you will absolutely benefit from gutter guards.
Is there a tree hanging over your roof?
Roofers often warn that having a tree hanging over your roof is a bad thing. This is, in part, because of the tree casting shade on the roof that keeps it from drying out. But it's also because the tree will drop leaf debris and other debris onto the roof and it will run into the gutters, causing them to clog. Gutter guards can keep this from happening. Some small leaf debris may pass through the guards, but the majority of the leaves will not. The guards will keep your gutters flowing, which will keep your roof dryer, which will help prevent premature roof deterioration due to the tree.
Can you reach the gutters?
Some gutters, especially those on the porch roofs, are pretty easy to reach from a short ladder. Others are so far up that it may not be safe for you to climb and clean them, even if you did have a ladder that tall. These high gutters are usually best fitted with gutter guards. This way, you don't have to get up there to clean nearly as often, and you don't have to hire someone to do it either.
Do you have a roof prone to ice dams?
Have you noticed ice dams on your roof the past few winters? A lot of factors can play into this, from lack of insulation to poor attic ventilation. However, clogged gutters can be a huge factor too. They hold onto water and can be the starting point for those huge ice formations to grow. Installing gutter guards will help keep your gutters clear all winter, which will ensure water drains from your roof, making ice dams less likely. Fewer ice dams mean less roof damage.
Installing gutter guards is often the best thing you can do for your roof and gutters in the situations above. Talk to a roofer to learn more about gutter guards.