Thinking of installing Gutter Guards in Maryland? First, ensure safety and preparation. Gently lift the shingles, slide the gutter guard underneath, and secure it. This basic guide provides instructions for an efficient installation on various roof types.
Table of contents
- What are Gutter Guards?
- Why Gutter Guards are Essential in Maryland
- Safety Precautions
- Maintenance Tips
What are Gutter Guards?
A gutter guard is a protective mesh or screen installed over or within a gutter to prevent leaves, debris, and other objects from entering and clogging the system. Its primary function is to allow rainwater to flow freely through the gutters while keeping out unwanted materials.
Installing gutter guards can reduce the need for frequent gutter cleaning and maintenance, providing a convenient solution for homeowners looking to protect their gutters and improve the longevity of their roofing and water drainage systems.
Why Gutter Guards are Essential in Maryland
Gutter Guards in Maryland homes provide a practical solution to handle the state’s varied and sometimes harsh weather conditions while minimizing maintenance efforts and protecting the home from potential water and pest damage. Gutter Guards are essential in Maryland for several reasons:
- Varied Weather Conditions: Maryland experiences a wide range of weather conditions, from heavy rains and snowfall in winter to thunderstorms in summer. Gutter guards help in efficiently managing rainwater and snowmelt, preventing water damage to homes.
- Fallen Leaves and Debris: With a significant number of deciduous trees in the state, there’s an abundance of fallen leaves, especially in autumn. Gutter guards help prevent these leaves and other debris from clogging the gutters.
- Pest Prevention: Gutter guards reduce the likelihood of pests and rodents making homes in the gutters, which is a common issue.
- Reduced Maintenance: With the changing seasons and frequent weather events, gutters without guards require more frequent cleaning and maintenance. Guards help reduce the need for regular gutter cleanings, saving time and effort for homeowners.
- Ice Dam Prevention: In winter, ice dams can form in clogged gutters, causing damage. Gutter guards help mitigate the formation of ice dams by allowing for better water flow.
Prioritizing safety is crucial when installing gutter guards in Maryland. Firstly, always have a buddy or family member present to watch your back and assist in case of falls or emergencies. This second pair of eyes provides an extra layer of safety, especially if you’re working on a ladder or roof. Also, put on gloves as protective equipment. Gloves will keep your hands safe from sharp items while you set up your gutter guards.
Since Maryland weather can be unpredictable, check the forecast beforehand to avoid working in adverse conditions like rain, snow, or high winds, which increase accident risks. Taking these precautions helps ensure a safe and effective gutter guard installation process.
Getting ready before putting in gutter guards is important to save money and materials. Here are some things you need to do to prepare for installing gutter guards.
- Set of Gutter Guards: We suggest getting ones that have both micro-mesh and aluminum steel, similar to those offered by Xtreme Gutter Guard or Leafaway, we highly recommend them.
- Durable Ladder: A stable and durable ladder is essential to safely reach the gutters. It provides the height needed to work comfortably and securely, allowing you to access and install the gutter guards efficiently.
- Drill: This tool is used to secure the gutter guards in place. Depending on the type of gutter guards, you might need to drill holes or drive screws into the gutter to hold the guards securely.
- Tin Snips: Tin snips are useful for cutting and shaping the gutter guards to fit the specific dimensions of your gutters. They allow for precise cuts, especially if you need to adjust the size or shape of the guards during installation.
- Flat Bars: Flat bars can be used to gently lift shingles without causing damage, creating space to slide the gutter guards underneath.
- Pair of Wooden Boards: Wooden boards can be used as a makeshift workbench or to provide support when bending or shaping gutter guards.
- Clamps: Clamps are used to hold the gutter guards, wooden boards, or other materials firmly in place while you work. They provide stability and precision, allowing you to cut, bend, or adjust the guards as needed without slipping or moving.
Measure the Gutter
Measuring your gutters before buying gutter guards is very important. This step helps you get guards that fit just right. When the guards fit right, no leaves or debris can get in. Also, knowing the size means you won’t buy too much or too little, saving you money and trips to the store. To measure, use a tape measure to find the width and length of your gutters. Most gutters are five or six inches wide. Getting guards that match your gutter size ensures they work efficiently, offering better protection and making installation easier and more secure.
Clean the Gutter
It’s important to clean your gutters before you put in gutter guards. Start by taking out leaves, twigs, and any other junk in the gutters. This makes sure your gutter guards fit well and work right. You can use your hands or a small tool to get the debris out. After that, use a hose to wash out the gutters. This gets rid of smaller bits and helps you make sure water can flow through easily. Also, check that the downspouts aren’t blocked. Clean gutters help your new gutter guards do their job which means you won’t have to clean them out as often later on.
The process of installation can vary depending on the type of roof because some roofs have different materials. Different materials may need different installation methods for gutter guards, so it’s wise to understand this beforehand. Before you start installing, consider speaking with a Gutter Specialist in Maryland. They can offer valuable insights and advice on the best way to install gutter guards for your specific type of roof. If you prefer not to do it yourself, they can also handle the installation for you, saving you the trouble and ensuring it’s done correctly.
Installing Gutter Guards on Asphalt Shingle Roof
First, gently lift the shingles. Slide the gutter guard underneath. When you need to connect two sections, make one end of the mesh lay over the other. Then, put screws into the aluminum strips of the guard.
To create an end cap, cut off the aluminum ends. This way, you can use the mesh to cover the gutter end. Grab and snap off the end with tin snips. Fold the mesh down into the gutter end cap. This keeps birds, rodents, and bugs out of the gutter.
For outside corners, mark the joining piece with the same angle as the roof ridge. Then, cut the mesh and aluminum with tin snips and slide it under the shingles.
For inside corners, push the gutter guard flush to the back corner. The piece joining here should be done like the end cap. Cut the aluminum strips back a bit so the mesh covers the gap. This setup helps more rainwater go through the mesh when there’s a lot of rain, and it stops debris from getting through since the gap is covered.
For additional help with installing gutter guards, consider viewing an easy-to-follow YouTube video that guides you through the process of installing gutter guards on an a metal roof.
Installing Gutter Guards on a Metal Roof
The installation steps for gutter guards on a metal roof are similar to those for an asphalt roof. Simply slide the gutter guard beneath the metal sheets, then secure it by screwing it into the gutter’s front lip. In some cases, you might need to loosen the screws on the metal sheet to slide the gutter guard under. Once the guard is in place, tighten the screws back down.
Installing Gutter Guards on Tile and Wood Shingles
Installing gutter guards on tile and wood shingles is almost like doing it on asphalt shingles. The main difference is you need flat bars to lift the shingles. Use one flat bar to lift a shingle. You might need to leave the flat bar there to keep the shingle up while you work. Gradually move downward, using the platform to raise additional shingles. Once this is done, continue with the rest of the installation steps. After you’ve installed the guards, press down any shingles that are still raised.
Installing Gutter Guards on Low Hanging Gutter
For low-hanging gutters, you need to first bend the back part of the mesh upwards. Start by measuring and marking where the bend should be on the mesh. Place the gutter guard between two boards, secure it with clamps, and then begin to bend the mesh at the marked spot. Once this is done, you can continue with the installation of the gutter guard, following the instructions for your specific roof type.
Once your gutter guards are in place, debris and dust from your roof may begin to gather, leading to clogged micro-mesh on your guards. When clogs occur, water can’t flow through the gutters. Below are some tips for maintaining clean gutter guards to ensure they function properly.
- Regular Checks: Inspect your gutter guards frequently, especially after storms or during fall when leaves are more likely to gather.
- Brush Off Debris: To clean your gutter guard from the ground without a ladder, acquire a brush that comes with a long pole. Unfasten the brush from the pole and reconnect it to the opposite end, ensuring the brush faces downwards. This setup simplifies the process of cleaning your gutter guard without the need to climb onto your roof.
- Hose Down: Every so often, use a garden hose to spray down the gutter guards. This helps remove smaller debris and dust particles.
- Use a Drone: If you have a drone, it can be a handy tool for clearing leaves and small twigs from your gutter guards. Simply fly the drone above your roof, and the wind created by its blades will help dislodge and remove debris. Additionally, drones equipped with cameras offer an extra benefit: you can visually inspect your gutter guards without the need to climb up onto your roof. However, proficient drone-flying skills are necessary to avoid causing damage to your roofing during this process.
- Consider Professional Cleaning: If cleaning seems challenging or risky, consider hiring professionals who offer gutter guard cleaning services.
This comprehensive guide has equipped you with the essential steps on how to install gutter guards in Maryland efficiently. From understanding the importance of gutter guards in the state’s diverse weather conditions, prioritizing safety precautions, preparing adequately, gathering the necessary materials, to the actual installation on various roof types including maintenance tips—each phase is crucial to ensure your gutter guards function effectively for years to come. For a hassle-free installation experience, always consider consulting with a gutter specialist in Maryland. Happy installing!
Fact checked by Jacob Petrosky – 10/9/23