What Are Gutter Guards?
When installed, gutters form a trough with an open-top to catch the rain or snowmelt that flows down off the roof and drain it away from the foundation of the house. But the open top of gutters allows anything to enter, from leaves and twigs to living animals.
In the case of yard debris, it will often collect and clog the gutter, causing improper drainage and overflows. Wildlife in gutters can lead to a range of issues. Not only will the debris they collect – such as nesting materials – clog the gutters, but they can attract other wildlife and pests and permanently
damage the gutters, leading to costly repairs.
Their close proximity to your roof also gives them easy access to attic spaces and the rest of your home if they can chew their way inside. That is why it may be a good idea to prevent access to your gutters using gutter guards.
Gutter guards are a cover that goes over the open top of the gutter to keep debris and animals from getting into the gutter itself. There are several styles of gutter guards, but all have a means of letting water through while keeping debris out. They may be made of mesh, have perforations, or leave a tiny gap between the guard and the edge of the gutter that only water can get through.
A gutter guard is a semi-permanent installation that can be placed onto existing gutters. Depending on the type of guard, it can either be laid directly on the gutter or the gutters may need to be rehung
slightly lower to make room.
The guards are designed to withstand outdoor conditions, including sunlight. Most will last for several years and the more durable gutter guards will keep leaves, twigs, and pests out as long as the gutters are in place.
Where Regular Gutter Cleaning Falls Short
A standard solution to gutter maintenance is annual or bi-annual cleanings. During this time, any collected debris is removed from the gutter, theoretically also removing animal nests, waste, and remains.
Occasional gutter cleanings, however, mean that your home is unprotected the rest of the year. Wildlife damage can occur in a few days, meaning waiting until fall or spring to look for damage can be too late. By that time, animals may have already moved into gutters or progressed even further into your house.
Our Gutter Guard Installation Services
We first examine the gutters and roofline for any signs of animals already there or damage. These are addressed first so we can be sure that your gutters, roof, and attic are in good shape. Then we custom fit the gutter guards.
We work carefully to ensure the gutter guard is flush with your gutter. Any holes or gaps are an entryway for animals and we seal the guard to the gutter and beneath shingles and tiles. A high standard of work guarantees that the gutter guard is both properly installed and will hold against animals, high winds, and other potential damages.
We can install gutter guards on asphalt roofs, slate roofs, tile roofs, and more. We can also work with your existing gutters to choose a gutter guard style that fits securely to keep all pests out.
Wildlife Pests that Live in Your Gutters
Gutters are an ideal spot for pests. Collected leaves and branches give them material to build nests. Insects and animals already in your gutters can provide a food source for other wildlife and prey animals benefit from the protection of being off the ground.
Animals that most frequently live in gutters include:
- Birds – With flight giving them easy access to gutters and the shelter protecting their nests from wind and predators, birds are one of the most common gutter nuisances. Their nests will clog up gutters and their droppings nearby are a health concern.
- Mice – Mice can climb into gutters and build extensive nests out of materials they find. Because many mice can squeeze through holes the size of a nickel, any damage in or around your roof will allow them to cross from your gutters into the interior of your house.
- Rats – Although less of a threat than mice since rats prefer to stay near the ground, rats can still make homes in gutters under the right circumstances. They carry diseases and their chewing and droppings can cause damage to your property.
- Squirrels – Squirrels spend the majority of their time off the ground. A tree branch or electrical wire that runs to your roof enables them to access your gutters. Squirrels can dismantle fascia and soffits if they want to create a path to move into your home, and the gutter gives them convenient access.
- Snakes – Able to climb up downspouts and across tree branches, snakes will come into gutters seeking bird eggs and small rodents for food. They can live curled up in your gutter for as long as food is available.
Having debris or animals in your gutters also creates a comfortable environment for insect pests like mosquitoes, flies, ants. If an animal is trapped in the downspout and drowns, the remains will draw a range of scavenger animals and insects to your home while causing an intense and unpleasant odor. The standing water and wet foliage is also prone to insect invasions.