How Installing DIY Gutter Guards Can Save Your Roof and Your Sanity

Experienced DIYer. That’s how the people closest to you would describe you. Ladders? Rain gutters? No problem: You got it covered. But boy, do you hate cleaning the rotted muck, dead bugs, and goodness knows what out of the gutters a half a dozen times a year (or more on a bad year). Then, it hits you. Maybe you should get DIY gutter guards. While it’s true that you still will have to clean your gutters even if you have gutter guards, you also know that you’ll be washing them a lot less.

The question is, do you want to take on that project yourself? After careful consideration and research into the different kinds of gutter guards that are on the market, you’ve decided that you’re up to the task.

However, before you embark on this task, there are some things that you need to keep in mind.

Give the Gutters a Good Cleaning

You’ll do your new gutter guards a disservice if you install them before you’ve cleaned out your dirty gutters.

Scoop out any leaves and muck, and then run water in the gutters, until the water flows freely through the gutters and out through the downspouts.

Do any necessary repairs, like straightening out any parts that are bent, checking sealants and making sure the gutters sit close to the fascia.

Replace any portions that are damaged, and then allow the gutters to dry.

Pro tip: You should be aware of some warranties or homeowner insurance policies become null and void if you do any kind of repair work yourself. It’s best to consult your paperwork for these policies before you get started to ensure that you’re not doing anything that will cancel your policies

Along the same lines, make sure that you’ve read the installation instructions for the gutter guards. Installing the guards incorrectly will cause water to spill over the gutters and down the walls of your home and onto the foundation. This could also have ramifications for your homeowner’s insurance or roof warranty.

How to Safely Install DIY Gutter Guards

diy gutter guards

Whether you are hiring help or decided to install the new gutters by yourself, the first thing that you need to do is ensure you remove all the debris in the gutters. Once you are done with it, you need to ensure that the drainage is flowing smoothly. One way of doing this is to test them with water; you can take your garden hose and run the water through the gutter.

Before you order your gutter guards, you need to measure the length of the gutters. It is recommended that you measure twice with a tape measure. If you end up ordering a gutter guard that might be a bit long for your gutters, you can cut it accordingly. Depending on the gutter guard’s type and material, you will need metal snips, a chop saw, or a circular saw to cut it.

You will also have to collect the other tools for installing the DIY gutter guards. For simpler designs, you might not even have to open your toolbox. However, for over-the-top guards, you will need pop rivets, nails or screws to hold them together in place. You will also need a screwdriver and/or a power drill. Since the design aspect of each gutter guard is different, you may need to check with the manufacturer for the attachment instructions.

Installing the gutter guards is the main job here. Before you pick out the tools, you need to read the installation instructions carefully and ensure that you have everything you need. There are certain gutter guards that can be fixed only by professionals. So you need to be sure that you are capable of installing the gutter guards before commencing with the job.

There are a lot of different reasons why people install gutter guards; for whatever reason you do so, safety should be your priority. As mentioned earlier, you first need to clear the debris of your clogged gutter. To do this, you need to practice good ladder safety to make the trips up to the roof for cleaning. Thousands of people get injured from ladder falls each year, most of which could have been prevented easily. If needed, hire the help of another person who can hold on to the ladder while you are installing new gutter guards.

Post-Installation Care

After you’ve installed your DIY gutter guards, put a note on your calendar to check them two times a year. Even with gutter guards, you won’t be completely free of your leaf gutter complaints. Nor will your gutters stop attracting bugs, twigs and branches and seeds.

Once these materials begin to rot, your gutters will become clogged. A big storm can also damage the gutters or the gutter guards, making them less effective. So, you do have to check your gutters twice a year. Your gutter guards make the job a bit easier.

When it comes to cleaning gutter guards, then yes, you should do it. You will have to address to consistent maintenance after every autumnal leave fall and storm. Cleaning a gutter guard is extremely easy; all you need are some things like a hose (added assistance), hand protection, ladder, and drop cloth.

You first need to place the drop cloth on the area where you will be working so that the debris does not land on your lawn or garden beds. It will also protect your bushes and shrubs and provide easy cleanups. Then secure your ladder; you can also ask a friend to hold it for better safety and stability. Also, while cleaning the gutter guard, ensure that you are wearing hand protection. Start removing the debris from the gutter guards; you may also remove the guard for better cleaning, if possible. Make use of a hose for removing dirt accumulation.

The good news is that you won’t be doing it as often and the job won’t be as difficult to tackle because the gutter guards will provide this area of your home with a great deal of protection.

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