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What are Gutter Guards? (Types, Cost, Installation, and More)

March 26th, 2021 | 5 min. read

What are Gutter Guards? (Types, Cost, Installation, and More)

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We’ve all seen overflowing gutters, but we don’t think about the damage they can cause. They can cause a leak down the walls of your home or can even impact your foundation with all the overflowing water from all the debris blocking up your gutters.

To avoid this, you can call a local roofing company to clean them out, or you can do it yourself. You don’t want to do it yourself because of the safety risk, and you don’t want to keep paying someone to clean them. 

Wouldn’t it be great if there was an option that can stop debris from getting in your gutters in the first place? Luckily, there is and we’re going to break it down for you. 

The team at Bill Ragan Roofing has been helping the residents of Nashville with their gutters since 1990. We strive to provide you with the best experience possible during a stressful time. Whether you need your gutters cleaned, replaced, or installed, you can count on us. 

By the end of this article, you’re going to learn what gutter guards are, the types, how much they cost, and more. 

What are gutter guards? 

Gutters control where the water goes after it leaves your roof. However, when they're full of debris, the water coming off your roof water has nowhere to go. 

This can lead to a variety of costly problems. So, how do you avoid this happening to you?

The first way is to have your gutters routinely cleaned out as part of roof maintenance. The second way is to have something installed over them to catch or shed the debris. 

That’s where gutter guards come in. Gutter guards are a loose term used to describe anything that goes over your gutters to catch or shed any debris coming down your roof. 

What are the types of gutter guards?

While the term gutter guards is used loosely to describe a gutter covering, there are 2 “styles” (types) of gutter guards. The 2 types are gutter guard screens and gutter helmets. 

Gutter guard screens

Gutter guard screens are made of a wired mesh (expanded aluminum wire or powder- coated steel wire) that goes over the top of your gutters.

gutter guard screens

This type of gutter guard allows the water to flow into your gutters like it normally would while the mesh screen catches any debris. 

The problem with this type of gutter guard is that small debris (like maple tree helicopters) can slip between the wire and fall into your gutters. But for bigger debris like oak leaves or pine needles, a gutter screen should work just fine.  

Gutter helmet

Gutter helmets have two different types to choose from. One that clips onto the existing gutter and another that is one solid piece (gutters and gutter helmet roll-formed together), like LeafGuard. 

gutter helmet

Gutter helmets function by using static to roll the water coming down your roof back into the gutter while debris rolls off the gutter helmet onto the ground. If debris does get into the gutters, you’ll have to call the company that installed them because it’s really hard to clean it out. 

The downside to this kind of gutter guard is that water can go over the gutter helmet when it starts to rain before the static builds up. This is not an ideal situation (especially if you have a basement) because the water will run down and affect the foundation of your home. 

How much do gutter guards cost?

I can’t give you an exact number on the cost of gutter guards because every company prices them differently, but I can at least give you an idea. 

For gutter screens, an aluminum wire gutter screen could run you about $4.25 per linear foot. While a powder-coated wire gutter screen could run you about $5.50 per linear foot. 

If you’re looking for affordability, gutter screens are going to be the right choice for you. On the other hand, gutter helmets (like LeafGuard) can get expensive. 

LeafGuard and other types of gutter helmets could run you around $30 per linear foot. Be aware, you’ll have to go through an actual franchise to buy gutter helmets.

What you need to know about gutter guard installation

No matter what kind of gutter guard you choose, it must be properly positioned under the roofing materials. If you have drip edge (metal flashing that’s installed at the edges of the roof), gutter screens clamp onto the front of the gutter, go underneath the entire roof, and sit on the drip edge.

If you don’t have drip edge, gutter screens must be installed between your shingles and your starter shingles. Otherwise, water will turn back, get underneath the materials, and rot the fascia board.

Gutter helmets need to be mounted on your roof under the second shingle up from the gutter line. If they’re mounted on top of your shingles, leaks are going to start showing up and you’ll have to replace the bottom part of your roof decking all-around your home. 

Do your gutters and gutter guards get removed during a roof replacement?

Now you know a little more about gutter guards, such as the types, how much they cost, and that they have to be installed on your roof in the right position. If you’re in the market for a gutter helmet like LeafGuard, you’re going to have to buy and get the product installed by a franchise location in your area. 

If you’re interested in gutter screens, your local roofing contractor can install them for you if they offer the service. But what happens to your gutters and gutter guards when you get a new roof? 

Do they get removed or replaced at the same time as your roof replacement? This is a concern for many homeowners, especially if they invested in gutter guards. 

Because it’s such a concern, we’re going to break it down for you. 

The team at Bill Ragan Roofing has provided high-quality roofing and gutter services in Nashville and surrounding areas since 1990. No matter what your roof needs, you can count on our workmanship to get the job done right. That’s why we’re proud to offer you a lifetime warranty.

To learn what happens to your gutters and gutter guards during your roof replacement, check out this article on Do Your Gutters Get Removed During Your Roof Replacement.

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