One of the chores everyone hates is cleaning out the gutters. It's such an involved task: you have to get out the ladder, climb up and clean out the leaves and gunk from the part of the gutter you can reach, then climb down and move the ladder and repeat. It takes up a good part of an afternoon, especially if you have a large house. Fortunately, a good leaf guard gutter system can save you a lot of time and energy by making gutter cleaning a chore of the past.
What is a leaf gutter guard, you ask? Well, it's more or less a "roof" for your gutters that makes debris like leaves slide straight off your roof to the ground. At the same time, gutter leaf guards are made of material that allows rain water to flow through them. Furthermore, they do not block any of the top of the gutter, allowing it to catch as much rain water as possible.
So what makes a rain gutter leaf guard any different from one of the many different types of gutter screens out there? First, the guard is slick and slanted. It lines up with your roof and creates a seamless, slick surface that sends all leaves, branches, and other items sliding right off the roof and down to your yard. Sometimes gutter screens actually catch debris, leaving it up to you to climb up on that ladder every spring and clean off the things that were supposed to keep you in your easy chair and off the roof.
In addition to protecting against leaves and other summer, spring and fall debris, gutter leaf guards also protect against winter ice dams. Because the guards don't let anything solid through them, snow can't accumulate inside your gutters. This prevents the snow from freezing into ice dams, which can cause damage to your gutters in addition to clogging them up.
Best of all, gutter leaf guards can generally be installed right on top of your existing gutters and roof shingles. Generally, these leaf guards don't damage or affect your shingles in any way – they don't even need to be nailed or screwed onto your roof. This keeps your roof shingle warranty valid since you aren't doing anything to the shingles at all.