If you're getting ready to install new gutters on your home and you're thinking about adding leaf guards, preparation is key to getting the best performance from them. In fact, there are a few common problems that can occur with leaf guard installation that may lead to more serious issues. Here's a look at what you need to know about optimizing your gutter and leaf guard installation to protect your home.
Preventing Ice Buildup
When you have leaf guards on your gutters, one of the things that you will risk is the accumulation of icicles. This can lead to ice dams if not addressed in a timely manner. Ice dams usually form as a result of poor ventilation in the attic, so make sure that you have the ventilation spaces checked before you install your gutters.
In addition, talk with the gutter installation contractor about ensuring that your gutters and the leaf guards are installed so that they are level with the roof's pitch. This helps to encourage water runoff, which minimizes the potential for freezing and ice accumulation. You'll also want to make sure that you are proactive about clearing snow from your roof. A quality snow rake will help you do this, that way you minimize the melting under the snow, which will reduce the risk of any freezing.
Ensuring Proper Water Flow
If your roof has any visible valleys, those are areas where rainwater will concentrate. This happens because water naturally flows to the lowest possible point. This can often lead to water flowing faster from those channels than from anywhere else on the roof. Once it hits your gutter, the water from those valleys can not only be flowing quickly but can also be greater in volume than the rest of the water runoff. This may cause it to overshoot the gutter edge, particularly when you have a leaf guard on the surface.
You can minimize this problem by working with the installer to place a diverter and a specialty mesh cover in those areas. This will help to ensure that the water can still flow properly so that you don't have overflow problems. Just keep in mind that the mesh will still need to be small enough to prevent debris from falling into the gutters.
Reducing The Risk Of Clogging
While leaf guards will prevent your gutters from becoming filled with leaves and debris, they aren't always completely free of clog risks. The problem is that when leaves settle on top of the guard, any rain that falls will make them wet and soggy, making them stick. This blocks the mesh, preventing water from flowing into the gutters as it should.
The best way to avoid this is to ensure that your leaf guards and gutters are installed with the pitch of your roof or are angled downward toward the ground slightly even if your roof isn't pitched. This encourages dry leaves and debris to slide off the mesh surface so they don't end up becoming wet, sticky messes in the rain.
For more tips and information, check out a company like Wrights Gutters & Guards.