Gutter Guard Installation Chicago

Gutter Guard Installation Chicago

Gutters get messy.

Every homeowner knows what a hassle it can be to clean the gutters. The rotting leaves, tree debris, dead critters, and strange growths—they can all clog up our home’s drainage system fast. In order to stop that from happening, we need to keep the gutters clean.

Or get a gutters guard installation in Chicago.

Gutter guards prevent the junk from clogging up your gutters because they stop it from even getting in. This means less risk of blockage, less risk of gutter and roof damage, and less time balanced on rickety ladders desperately scooping out debris before a storm.

What I’m saying is: gutter guards are a great buy for busy homeowners. They’re also affordable—especially if you install them yourself.

Here’s what you need to know about gutter guards: what they do, how they work, and, most importantly, how to install them properly.

Part I. Gutter Guard Buyers’ Guide in Chicago

What is a Gutter Guard?

There are five main types of gutter guards:

  • Mesh screens
  • Perforated screens
  • In-gutter foam filters
  • In-gutter brush filters
  • Reverse Curve guards

What Does a Gutter Guard Do?

Gutter guards either stop debris from getting into your guttering in the first place, or they catch it before it has a chance to block up the flow of water. They also minimize the risk of water building up and freezing–which damages your gutters, prevent birds from nesting in your guttering, and prevent rodents from nesting or getting inside your attic space.

A gutter guard isn’t 100% set and forget, but it can reduce the amount of gutter maintenance your home needs.

Part II. Gutter Guard Safety

Installing gutter guard yourself is an easy, cost-effective way to cut back your property maintenance—and it doesn’t take long.

Before you start the gutter guard installation procedure, there are a few quick safety checks to get through first:

  • Check your ladder. Half a million ladder accidents are reported in the US every year—don’t be that statistic, please. Your ladder should be stable, secure, and in good repair.
  • Organize a spotter. You may want a spotter to hold the ladder steady, to hand you tools and materials, or to check your work from the ground-level. A spotter also comes in handy if you tend to fumble your screws a fair bit.
  • Tell someone. It’s always tempting to go off and do a quick DIY job at the spur of the moment. But it is vital for your safety that you tell someone where you are going and what you are doing.

Part III. Gutter Guard Installation Procedure in Chicago

In this section, we’ll be exploring the installation procedure for four different types of gutter guard. The last type—reverse curve units—are better left to a professional guttering or roofing contractor. Many reverse curve gutter guards come with a warranty that specifies how they should be installed. If you don’t meet their criteria, you may lose the warranty benefits.

We also recommend you hire an expert to install gutter guards on anything higher than a first-floor roof.

Step 1. Preparing to Install Gutter Guards

Of course, the first step is to buy your gutter guards. Measure the length of the gutters on your home with a tape measure. Ensure that you’ve got the correct measurements, or that you’ve got the equipment you need to trim or overlap the guards if you over-estimate.

Before you install your new gutter guards, you’ll need to do one more gutter clean—for old time’s sake. Make sure to clean your gutters and downpipes thoroughly, to inspect them for any damage, and make any repairs before installing the gutter guards.

The best option for your guttering inspection is to take a garden hose and run water through your guttering system. This will also flush out any small debris left over from your cleaning, and give you a clean slate for installation.

Step 2. Install the Gutter Guards

Installing Mesh Gutter Guards

Mesh screens are exactly what they sound like—solid mesh guards that have a fine opening for water to flow through. Because the openings in the mesh can quite easily be blocked by larger leaves, a mesh screen can be one of the more high-maintenance gutter guard solutions. They have a long life span when maintained properly.

You Will Need

  • Tape measure
  • Screws (if not included in the manufacturer’s installation kit)
  • Cordless power drill
  • Stable ladder
  • Pencil or marker (optional)

Installation Guide

  1. Ensure you have the correct length of guard for the section of guttering you are working on.
  2. Trim as required. If your mesh gutter guard doesn’t allow for trimming—some are framed to prevent warping—refer to the manufacturer’s  guidelines before continuing.
  3. Slide edge of mesh screen under the roofing line
  4. Adhere with screws or fasten according to the manufacturer’s guidelines

Perforated Screen Gutter Guard

Perforated screen guards use vinyl, plastic, or metal fitting guards with perforations to prevent leaf litter and other debris from getting into your guttering. Metal guards give a more sleek finish and fit—at a higher price point—than vinyl perforated screens. They apply in much the same way as the mesh screen gutter guards.

Whatever screening material you use, the perforations will normally be circular, long oblongs, or diamond-shaped. Perforated screen guards are simple to maintain—and require very little ongoing care. Simply wipe or rinse large debris away with a hose or broom, and the perforated screen gutter guard should last for many years.

You Will Need

  • Tape measure
  • Screws (if not included in the manufacturer’s installation kit)
  • Tin snips
  • Cordless power drill
  • Stable ladder
  • Pencil or marker (optional)

Installation Guide

  1. Ensure you have the correct length of guard for the section of guttering you are working on.
  2. Trim as required. If your mesh gutter guard uses overlapping to fit, follow your manufacturer’s guide for how to do this for your specific product.
  3. Slide edge of mesh screen under the roofing line
  4. Adhere with screws, snap over gutter edge, or fasten according to the manufacturer’s guidelines

In-gutter Foam Gutter Guard

Foam guards are made from a polyurethane or poly-blend foam. They sit just inside the guttering, but do not fill the entire depth of the guttering tub. The goal of the foam gutter guard is to allow water to flow through it and into the gutter, without allowing any debris through.

Foam gutter guards are a cost effective, easy solution, and require very little work to fit into your gutters. This is because the foam is relatively flexible, and will settle easily into the guttering.

Foam gutter guards require a little regular maintenance to prevent the foam being blocked, but can last up to 4 years with ongoing care.

What You Need

  • Tape measure
  • Box cutter or heavy duty knife
  • Stable ladder
  • Pencil or marker (optional)

Installation Guide

  1. Ensure you have the correct length of guard for the section of guttering you are working on.
  2. Cut foam to fit the section of guttering
  3. Push the foam gently into the section of guttering, ensuring it sits flush with the very ends of your gutter.
  4. Do not push down on the foam. Just settle it snug into the lip of the gutter, so it stays flush with the top rim.

In-gutter Brush Gutter Guard

Brush gutter guards look a little like a chimney-cleaning brush, or giant BBQ grill brush. They are made up of heavy bristles around a wire center.

The heavy duty bristles catch any large debris before it has a chance to accumulate, and allows water to flow freely.

Brush-type gutter guards require fairly regular cleaning if you have a lot of overhang from trees, but should comfortably last up to 5 years with general maintenance.

What You Need

  • Tape measure
  • Wire cutters or heavy duty secateurs
  • Stable ladder

Installation Guide

  1. Ensure you have the correct length of guard for the section of guttering you are working on.
  2. Cut brush to fit the section of guttering
  3. Push the brush into the section of guttering, ensuring it touches the whole length of the guttering section.

Done!

Part IV. Gutter Guard FAQs

Can I install gutter guards on old guttering?

Of course. Gutter guards perform best when used on guttering that is clean and in good repair—age doesn’t matter.

How do I know if a certain gutter guard will fit my gutters?

You will need to measure carefully, and talk to the manufacturer or retailer. Always check the Returns Policy.

Will metal mesh rust?

Many of the quality metal mesh gutter guards and perforated metal gutter guards are treated to be rust-free. To check the rust-resistance of your specific gutter guard, check with the manufacturer or retailer before you buy.

Will gutter guards prevent dust and pollen getting into my gutter?

There is no gutter product on the market that can do that at this point. It’s a good idea, though.

How long will my gutter guards last?

This is one of those questions where the only answer is, “it depends.” Foam and brush guards can last up to 5 years with care, but have a standard life of between 2 and 4 years. Adhered gutter guards—like mesh and perforated—last longer.

Do gutter guards cause run-off?

Properly installed gutter guards won’t cause run-off. If water run-off is an issue after you’ve installed guards, it may be that there are large leaves preventing water from running cleanly into the guttering.