Do Gutter Guards Work?
Why Are They Important?
Roof gutters are essential to manage and drain rainwater. They also let you harvest rainwater and utilise it fruitfully. However, a common problem with roof gutters is that they become clogged with leaves and other forms of debris. When this happens, rainwater can’t flow properly and the gutters overflow. This can result in damage to the roofing and walls, growth of mould and weeds due to perennial moisture in the gutters, and a range of other problems.
Gutter guards, also known as leaf guards, offer a handy solution to these problems. The basic purpose of a gutter guard is to keep your roof gutters clean and the water flowing. Gutter guards achieve this by covering the gutters and preventing the entry of different forms of debris into the guttering. They are available in a variety of shapes, sizes and types. Here is a look at some of the key benefits offered by gutter guards. Also included in this guide are the leading gutter guard brands and products as well as general estimates on the costs involved.
Benefits of Gutter Guards for Roof Plumbing Systems
Increase Home Value: Gutter guards add some value to your property. A new homeowner will appreciate the fact that there is no need to clear the gutters on a routine basis. Gutter guards also add an element of aesthetics to the roof by covering up guttering in a classy manner. To make the most out of a gutter guard, make sure you choose one that complements the roof type, colour and architecture.
Prevent Mold Damage: Leaves and other debris can clog up an over roof gutter. This in turn leads to moisture and encourage mold to grow not just in the gutter but in the adjoining areas such as ceilings and walls. This can necessitate expensive repairs down the road.
No Need for Maintenance: Clearing up clogged gutters and removing debris on a routine basis is quite a hassle. With gutter guards, you very rarely have to perform gutter cleaning or maintenance.
Avoid Flooded Basements: Clogged roof gutters can lead to flooded basements. Gutter guards ensure better management of rainwater and prevent such this.
Fire Protection: Many gutters guards offer excellent ember protection. They achieve this by blocking out embers with a fine mesh structure. This makes them particularly beneficial in areas with high bushfire risk.
Prevent Ice Dams: When water is not properly drained from a roof gutter, ice dams may build up. These can deteriorate the quality of indoor heating while also creating problems for your roof and adjoining structures. Gutter guards prevent the formation of ice dams by making sure that rainwater keeps flowing through the guttering.
Types & Systems
Different types of gutter guards are typically used by homeowners to safeguard roof gutters against leaves and other forms of debris. You will need to consider the pros and cons of each when wondering ‘what is the best gutter leaf guard for your roof.’ Here is a look at these types.
- Foam Gutter Guards: Foam gutter guards, as the name suggests, make use of long pieces of foam. The foam strips are cut in triangular shape and then adjusted inside a roof gutter. Water passes through the foam while other types of debris such as leaves and twigs are blocked. Foam guards offer a good short-term solution but they may not be very effective in the long-term. In fact, foam gutter guards typically last between 1 to 2 years, after which they will require replacing.
- Mesh Gutter Guards: Mesh guards are one of the more popular and reliable types. This type of gutter guard comes with tiny holes on every square inch. The holes draw in the water from the roof while effectively keeping out the debris. Mesh gutter guards are typically quite durable and versatile, so that they can be used on a variety of roof types. This is why they are commonly seen on Australian roofs. Unlike foam guards, you will not need to have mesh guards replaced for many long years. However, this type of gutter guards will cost you more at the time of installation.
- Bottle Brush Gutter Guards: This type, as the name suggests, utilises wire cleaning brushes, also known as bottle brushes. To install this type of gutter guard, all you need to do is purchase the bottle brush pieces and place them install the roof gutter. Much like foam guards, bottle brush guards are able to keep our large pieces of debris. They also take up less space which allows air to circulate through the roof gutter and dry water more readily. Bottle brush guards can work great for a long time – for maintenance, you simply need to take them out and shake off the debris before placing them back again. Although very affordable and DIY-friendly, a slight downside to these is that they are very light-weight and can be blown away in strong wind conditions. Bottle brush guards may also fail to prevent the growth of weed.
- Screen Gutter Guards: Another widely used type of gutter guard systems is the screen gutter guard. This type of gutter guard is popularly preferred by homeowners across Australia. This is because a screen guard offers many benefits with few downsides. Screen guards come constructed from both metal and plastic. Plastic is typically preferable as it doesn’t rust, although it is lighter and more likely to blow away in strong winds. Screen guards are quite affordable and effective in keeping out most types of debris.
- Reverse Curve Gutter Guards: Reverse curve guards have been in use for more than a century. This type of gutter guard sits on top of your roof gutter, looking almost like an inverted gutter. It can keep off large pieces of debris although it is ineffective in draining water very well. Installing a reverse guard is quite technical and not even all guard contractors are adept in installing it right.
Commercial Roof Vents
Gutter Guard Installation
Brands & Products
AquaGuard is an Australia-based manufacturer of quality gutter guards. The company operates out of South Australia, Tasmania and Adelaide. Locally owned and managed, the company takes pride in being able to deliver its products well as gutter guard installation services across Australia.
AquaGuard Gutter Guard
AquaGuard gutter guard comes constructed from high-quality aluminium. This makes it highly resistant to rust or corrosion, making it perfect for coastal and marine environments. The texture of the guard comprises of a fine mesh with 1.8mm gaps. This helps the guard effectively prevent leaves, rodents, pests and any debris from entering the roof gutter. AquaGuard has also designed this gutter guard to be full fire-proof, with the mesh keeping out any embers from bushfires. The company offers a 20-year warranty on its gutter guard which is a testimony to the quality and reliability of this product.
At a glance:
- Mesh gutter guard with 1.8mm gaps
- Aluminium construction with corrosion-resistance and anti-rust properties
- Suitable for marine and coastal environments
- Fire-proof gutter guard with protection from embers
- 20-year warranty
GuttaFilta is the company that has spearheaded the adoption of foam filters as gutter guards. The company grew out of Dyman Foams, a parent company that has been in business for over 20 years. In 2011, GuttaFilta was established and began offering its trademark product – the GuttaFilta gutter guard. As is the case with many other companies, GuttaFilta offers its products as a standalone purchase or combines it with professional installation, depending on your requirements.
GuttaFilta is a kind of foam guard that is constructed from open cell polyether polyurethane foam. It has a porous structure so that water can flow right through it. At the same time, it is able to block leaves, debris and even smaller particles like dust from entering a gutter. GuttaFilta is one of the most affordable gutter protection solutions on the market. It is also fairly reliable, backed with a 7-year warranty. Its long-term integrity is ensured by various stand-out features. It can start an exceptional degree of physical stress without deforming. GuttaFilta foam guard is also UV-resistant and will work perfectly through hot and cold temperatures. As a gutter guard, it is very effective and does a good job of keeping your roof gutters clean and your rainwater clear of any impurities.
At a glance:
- Foam guard made from open cell polyether polyurethane foam
- Porous structure for easy water flow
- UV-resistant and able to withstand physical stress without deforming
- Suitable for high and low temperatures
- An affordable gutter guard solution
- Backed by a 7-year warranty
The Blue Mountain Co has been in business for over 25 years. The company was previously known as The RH Group but was rebranded as The Blue Mountain in 2018. In contrast to many other gutter guard manufacturers, Blue Mountain stands apart for its attention to detail and dedication to design. The company also has a number of resources available online. You can also try your hands at the company’s online Mesh Matcher tool to find a size and type that best meets your needs.
Steel Gutter Mesh
Blue Mountain offers steel gutter mesh of various sizes and types. The steel gutter mesh guards offered by the company include 2mm, 4mm and 5.4mm sizes. The smaller 2mm mesh is perfect for keeping your gutters free from leaves, needles, embers as well as any other forms of debris. 4mm mesh is able to keep out medium to large leaves as well as pests and vermin, although it doesn’t offer ember protection. The 5.4mm mesh is suitable for preventing larger leaves, pests and rodents from entering your gutters.
All sizes come constructed from non-combustible, safe and highly durable steel. Being constructed from steel, this mesh guard is also able to withstand stress from hail and other debris without incurring any damage. Blue Mountain offers these mesh sizes in nearly 30 colours along with all the related components. These mesh guards can be used on all roof types. Blue Mountains also offers 4mm mesh guard in aluminium.
At a glance:
- Steel gutter mesh guard in 2mm, 4mm and 5.4mm sizes
- 2mm gutter guard also serves as an ember guard
- Non-combustible gutter guard suitable for bushfire-prone areas
- Available in 30 colour options
- Suitable for all roof types
- 4mm aluminium mesh guard also available
Commercial Roof Vents
Is Brand Important?
Fielders is one of the most reputable manufacturers of roofing companies in Australia. The company has been on the leading-edge of innovation in the industry for more than 100 years. Today, it manufactures a huge range of roofing, flooring, fencing and architectural products. When it comes to gutter guards, the company has two chief offerings: the Watergate Leaf Guard and the Watergate Pop Guard.
Watergate Leaf Guard
The Watergate Leaf Guard comes constructed from high-quality zinc. This ensures that the structure of the gutter guard will not deteriorate over time. Watergate Leaf Guard is designed to fit 125mm wide guttering. It is equally suitable for installation on tiles and corrugated roofing. A great thing about this gutter guard is that it essentially ‘locks in’ and stays firmly in place. Small perforations in the guard ensure steady water drainage while blocking away leaves and other debris. Watergate Leaf Guard is available in 10 meter units which make it easier to install on your own.
At a glance:
- Leaf guard constructed from high-quality zinc
- Durable and resistant to structural damage over time
- Suitable for 125mm wide guttering
- Available in 10 meter units for easy DIY installation
- Lock-in mechanism to keep the gutter guard in place
Watergate Pop Guard
Watergate Pop Guard is another gutter guard offered by Fielders. It is constructed from zinc but unlike the standard Leaf Guard offered by Fielders, the Pop Guard is not permanently fixed to roof gutters. Instead, this perforated grate can be installed on 100mm gutters and removed whenever needed. This leaf guard is also very DIY friendly.
At a glance:
- Perforate gutter guard made from zinc
- DIY-friendly with no installation required
- Easy to put in place and remove whenever required
- Suitable for 100mm wide guttering
Bunnings is one of the leading home improvement retailers in Australia. The company’s warehouses across Australia are famously home to a huge variety of home improvement products from leading brands. This is true for gutter guards as well. Bunnings offers gutter guards from a number of manufacturers and you can get these from any Bunnings location. Here is a look at some of the gutter guards offered at Bunnings.
GumLeaf 1200mm Colorbond Corrugated Gutter Guard
This gutter guard is from GumLeaf, a notable Australian brand. The guard is constructed from high-quality steel and can be folded under the first row of tiles to ensure a perfectly neat finish. GumLeaf 1200mm is suitable for all roof types and sizes. It comes with a 20-year warranty and is effective in ember protection as well.
At a glance:
Constructed from high-quality steel
Machine-folded under tile rows for a neat finish
Suitable for all roof types and sizes
Comes with a 20-year warranty
Whites Super Gutter Guard
This gutter guard from Whites comes in a variety of size options. Available at Bunnings, the Super gutter guard features fine apertures to maximise blockage of leaves and other debris. It is DIY-friendly and can be easily installed on standard gutters. This guard is constructed from recycled plastic and is incredibly durable. Being made from plastic, it is also free from rust and corrosion.
At a glance:
Constructed from recycled plastic
Highly durable, UV-treated and resistant to corrosion or rust
DIY friendly for quick and easy installation
Gutter Guard Costs
If you decide to use a gutter guard at your home and wonder ‘how much does leaf guard cost per foot’, the answer is: it depends. For per foot or per meter costs, it depends entirely on the type of gutter guard material and profile you are going to use.
If you are going to use a bottle brush or foam guard, it is going to cost you a lot less. In contrast, more permanent varieties like mesh guards and screen guards are going to cost more.
For overall costs, you will have to factor in the length of the area that needs to be covered. Here is a general estimate of the costs involved with different types of gutters:
- When using a foam guard, you simply need to get a foam guard and insert it into the gutter. A piece of foam cut for this purpose costs around $4 per foot or $13 per meter. To cover the entire length of gutters in an average sized home, you will need about $350 worth of the foam to get the job done.
- A bottle brush guard is another low-cost solution. It costs around $8 per meter or around $2.5 per foot. For an average home, the total costs of covering all gutters with bottle brush guard sits at around $400 to $500.
- Mesh guards typically cost more. They can range anywhere from $7 to $30 per meter depending upon the type of profile and quality of material you use. You can choose from metal or vinyl mesh guards. Vinyl mesh guards cost more and you will spend around $800 when using them to cover gutters in an average-sized home.
- Integrated mesh guard are another commonly used gutter solution. This type of gutter guard costs on the higher-end side of the mesh guards. You can expect to spend $1,000 or above for a typical home when using an integrated mesh guard.
The costs above pertain only to the material costs of different types of gutter guards. If you are going to take a DIY approach to installation, you need not spend any money on installation. However, it may not be practically possible to handle a more advanced type of gutter guard installation, such as that of a mesh guard, on your own. For this, you will need to hire a professional contractor and pay in lieu of the labour costs.
Installation costs will depend on a number of factors. These include:
- The Roof Pitch. The roof pitch is how flat or inclined your roof is. If the roof is fairly flat, installation of the gutter guards is easy and quick. For more inclined roof profiles, access is going to be harder and specialised equipment may need to be used. This will result in a more time-consuming installation process.
- Size of Roof. The size of your roof will naturally factor into the total bill of installation. The larger the roof is, the longer it is going to take a professional to install the gutter guard, incurring more costs. For an average Australian home, the total length of gutters that need to be covered is around 50 to 70 meters.
- Type of Roof. Whether you have a tiled or metal roof can also play a role in determining the overall installation costs for a gutter guard.
- Roof Profile. If your roof has a fairly plain profile with few valleys and hips, the installation will require fewer cuts and adjustments. For a roof with a lot of valleys and hips, there will be many more adjustments and the installation costs will be higher.
Ultimately, you will need to consider all these factors when determining the costs involved with gutter guard installation. On average, if you have a home with gutters running the length of
around 60 meters or 200 feet, you can expect to spend around $1,500 to $2,000 on gutter guard material costs and installation. If you do the installation on your own, the total costs may come down to less than $1,000.
An exception here is the more high-end gutter guard brands which may come with a price tag of $30 per meter of even $65 per meter. Total material and installation costs for these high-end solutions can be as high as $3,000 to $5,000.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do I need gutter guards?
If your roof gutters are often clogged with leaves and other debris, or if you don’t want to undergo the hassle of cleaning gutters often, you should consider a gutter guard.
Does leaf guard work with pine needles?
In a word, yes. The finer mesh-based gutter guards can keep out pine needles quite effectively. Typically, a leaf guard that offers ember protection is also quite effective in blocking out pine needles from your gutter.
Do roofers install gutters?
Many roofers do. Others offer gutter installation alongside gutter guard products.
Are gutter leaf guards worth the money?
Gutter guards save you the annual costs of roof gutter maintenance. They also add a certain aesthetic value and practical benefit to your roof which may enhance the value of the property.
Are bigger gutters better?
Bigger gutters are able to drain water better. However, they are also that much more vulnerable to debris like leaves. With bigger gutters, you will also need bigger gutter guards to secure them.
What happens when gutters get clogged?
Clogged gutters can prevent water from being properly drained. This can lead to water retention, moisture and the growth of mold and weed.
Can you install gutter guards on existing gutters?
Yes. Many standard gutter guard sizes match the standard gutter sizes on roofs. However, you can also get custom-sized gutter guards for your roof.
Do leaf guards work in heavy rain?
When installed right, leaf guards will work effective in all weather conditions.
What is the best leaf guard for gutters?
This depends on your budget, the severity of the debris problem and your aesthetic preferences.
We have been in business for over 30 years as a commercial & residential roofing company. RVA is the sister company of Sydneyroof. At RVA we are focused on Industrial & Domestic roof ventilation, fibreglass skylight panels, and roofing utilities. We believe these areas of the roofing industry have been largely
Our pricing is transparent and highly competitive. We do our best to take the guesswork out of the final cost at the beginning.
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