If scraping decaying leaves out of your gutters is a job you hate, you should think about installing gutter guards. The guards keep leaves out of the troughs while allowing rain to seep in, so your gutters work as intended. While they don't make your gutters completely maintenance free, they do cut down on a lot of time and labor spent cleaning them out. Here are a few things to know.

Different Types Of Gutter Guards

Some guards are screens of mesh or nylon that sit on top of the troughs. Others are curved like a dome, so leaves slide off. Some guards fit inside the gutters. They have sponges or bristle brushes that allow water in, but keep leaves out. When choosing the type of guards to put on your gutters, decide if you want the guards to be visible and affect the appearance of your house. The domed guards that sit on top of the troughs are the most visible, and you may or may not like the way they look.

In addition, if you have pine trees near your house that shed tiny needles, you want to make sure the guards you choose have holes small enough to keep them out of your gutters. Guards made of fine mesh would be a good choice.

Cleaning Gutter Guards

While all guards are effective at keeping out large leaves that waft down from trees, tiny debris such as seeds and bits of bark may still find their way inside your troughs. The debris could even block the holes in the screens. For that reason, you want to choose guards that are easy to take off and put back on so you can clean them easily.

If you have screens or bristle guards, you may be able to leave them in place and spray out the troughs and guards with a garden hose. However, you'll have to remove domed guards so you can see inside the troughs. The guards should snap on and off in large sections so you can remove them and hose them off in your yard. Then you can rinse out the gutters while the domes are off. With no leaf clogs in the gutters, seeds and tiny debris will be easy to flush out.

You can have gutter guards installed on your current system, or you can buy new gutters that come with guards. They are suitable for all types of gutters. Whether yours are vinyl or aluminum, seamless or sectional, you'll find guards that blend in well. If you want to cut down on the amount of home maintenance you need to do, and you want to keep pests and leaves out of your gutters, then gutter guards could be just what you need when you have trees that overhang your home. Contact a local installer, like Conifer Gutter Service, if you need more information.