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Practical Tips on Choosing the Kind of Right Gutter Guard

Gutter guards are an essential item in keeping your gutters clean and working properly.  However, some are better than others in keeping the rainwater flowing.  Here we will look at things to consider when making a purchasing decision.

Construction and Material

To keep your eavestrough free and clear, a guard of some type is essential.  To keep from having to replace or repair your gutter system, it is better to pay more now than later.  Buying cheap guards will end up costing you headaches in the future. 

Here are some drawbacks to the different materials used to make gutter guards.

Aluminum

Aluminum is a tried and true construction material, but it can corrode, leaving gaps and holes where debris can collect, ruining the efficiency of your eaves system.  Generally, aluminum is reliable, but it needs to have a protective coating of paint to last.  Any chips or other defects introduced in the paint will eventually lead to corrosion.  These defects can come from wear and tear, manufacturing errors, or installation mistakes. 

Plastic

Plastics have become more popular over the last couple of decades as they are generally cheaper to install, and they don’t have the issues aluminum does with corrosion.  However, in cold climates, they tend not to last as long.  UV rays from the sun eventually degrade the polymers in the plastic, which make them more brittle and end up cracking during the cold winters, which leaves you a mess and a big expense to get fixed.  Avoid plastics or PVC if you live in a cold climate.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel doesn’t rust like aluminum, and it doesn’t degrade like plastics from exposure to the sun, but it is going to cost you more, almost double the price.  While stainless steel lasts longer, it doesn’t last two times as long.  Aluminum can last just as long as stainless if you maintain the paint finish.  Stainless steel is also a heavier material to work with, which makes getting it on your house a bit trickier.

Galvanized Steel

Galvanized has some of the benefits of aluminum but more drawbacks.  Like aluminum, it can corrode if the protective coating is compromised.  Aluminum can corrode, but steel will eventually rust if exposed to water.  Galvanized steel is also much heavier, making it harder to install.

Foam

Another material to consider is foam.  Foam is easy to install since it is extremely light.  It is also inexpensive.  The main problem with foam gutters is that they can become very clogged, requiring messy cleanup.  Once clogged, you won’t ever get full efficiency back as each pore in the material would need to be cleaned out.  Foam guards come with a UV protective coating, but it won’t last as long as the other materials.  The foam will shrink over time, depending on how much direct sunlight it gets.

Final Considerations

Some gutter guards do not work; you should research to figure out which material is best for your home and budget.  Now you know some of the drawbacks of the materials

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