Everyone knows how important it is to maintain your home’s gutters. Everyone also knows how grueling it can be to clean out your gutters. With this in mind, many homeowners looking for an easy solution for preventing clogged gutters are interested in gutter guards. The idea behind gutter guard products is that they are designed to help keep debris out of your gutters by protecting your gutters from accumulating that debris in the first place. There are many different kinds of gutter guards, each with its own goal of keeping your gutters clear. But it’s not that simple.
There are many considerations that you should take in before deciding to invest in gutter protection. You may not live in areas where trees are prominent and do not need gutter guards. If the nearest large tree is more than 200 feet away from the edge of your roof, gutter guards are probably not necessary. However, even if you live in an area covered in large, leafy trees, gutter guards may not offer the protection you are looking for. Read on to find out about gutter sponges, one such method of gutter protection and whether or not it is effective in preventing gutter clutter.
What are gutter sponges and how do they work?
Sponge guards are among the various types of gutter guards and work through the use of a sponge that is shaped to conform to the inside of each gutter. Most sponge gutter guards consist of an open-cell polyurethane insert or an insert made of foam. This foam or sponge acts as a trap by intending to filter any large debris out of the water that flows down the gutter. Sponge gutter guards are a do-it-yourself product and can be found at most home improvement stores.
There are a few important things to understand about sponge gutter guards.
Many are not flame retardant which may be a serious issue if you live in an area prone to fires. Sponge gutter guards can impede water flow, backing up your gutters and causing water to possibly spill down your home’s walls. While gutter sponges are somewhat effective at filtering out most large debris, they often leave behind small needles, leaves and seeds. Over time, these small items of debris collect to form a thick layer of mud and muck at the bottom of the gutter. For this reason, gutter sponges can be prone to rotting and even mold. This smelly, unhygienic mess then has to be cleaned out, defeating the purpose of having a preventative system in the first place.
Sponge or foam gutter guards typically only last 1-2 years, making it a costly option for a gutter protection system. They also attract and retain oils and tar from your roof. These oils build up in the cellular walls of the foam, eventually turning the foam material into a solid. For a system that is designed to allow water to flow as easily as possible, having a large, solid form in the place you need the most flow again seems contradictory to the point of having a preventative gutter system.
What gutter guard is best for my house?
If you’re looking for the best way to clean and maintain your gutters year-round, Ned Stevens Gutter Cleaning can answer all your gutter solutions questions and address all your gutter needs. As we mentioned, gutter guards – foam or otherwise – don’t replace gutter cleaning. There’s no perfect “set-it-and-forget-it” solution that will keep your gutters totally debris-free without some help. Call us today and get $25 off your first gutter cleaning!