There are so many essential parts of a home's exterior that most people don't give a second thought to until something fails, especially with major features like roofing and siding. Gutters are also included in that category. When your home's gutters are working perfectly, you rarely have to think about them. When they're not, you've got problems. One way to avoid the most common problems with gutters is by adding gutter covers to your existing gutter or including them in your new gutter installation. Here are a few of the pros and cons to consider.
Keep Out Debris
The number one reason to install gutter covers is that they are designed to keep out debris. Debris caught in your gutter is the cause of most blockages that can result in leaks and ice dams. The problem with gutter blockages is that — unless you're checking and cleaning out your gutters regularly — you may not notice a blockage until it's turned into an even bigger problem on your roof. That can result in expensive roof fixes and interior leaks.
Keep Out Pests
Another reason to install a gutter cover or guard is that it will keep small animals like mice, squirrels, and birds from nesting in your gutters and causing blockages that you may not notice until it's too late.
Easy to Install
If you choose to include gutter covers in your gutter installation, you won't be paying extensive labor costs because gutter covers are very quick and easy to install.
With gutter covers in place, you'll spend much less time precariously clinging to a ladder while cleaning debris out of the gutter. Rather than once or twice a year as recommended with a coverless gutter, you can reduce your gutter maintenance to about once every two years by installing covers.
Won't Catch All Debris
Even the best gutter cover won't eliminate all debris from collecting on top of the gutter guard. There will probably be some types of organic debris that get caught in the cover or in the holes, and it's possible that leaves may still collect on top. Though it can't completely eliminate all debris, it will dramatically reduce how much collects and how often you have to clean.
Reducing maintenance and the possibility of leaks and buildup isn't free. You can expect to pay around $7.50 to $10 per linear foot. That typically adds up to about $1500 to $2000 total for the average home.