A quality gutter guard will save you
Gutter cleaning may seem like a routine home maintenance task – but combine a ladder, various tools (buckets, hoses, leaf blowers), inappropriate safety equipment and a strenuous activity that involves climbing, carrying and reaching – it’s not hard to see how falls that can result in serious injuries for homeowners are on the rise.
Carrying out the work yourself can be a false economy if you get hurt, find yourself in hospital and unable to go to work. Consider your other options like installing gutter guards on your home. You will reap the rewards very quickly – extending the life of your gutters; protecting the value of your home; and avoiding damage through water intrusion, pests and fire. The list of benefits is long – but surely the biggest of all is your safety, health and well being.
Still an issue that can’t be ignored
Despite the dangers, gutter cleaning and maintenance is still not an issue that can be ignored. All major insurance companies warn property owners not to be complacent with gutter cleaning, as it keeps gutters clear of debris and is vital to prevent water and other damage to buildings.
While each building is different, all are at risk from water damage. From a minor leak to violently destructive winds or storms, any unwanted water intrusion can significantly impact the value of your home. Overflowing gutters are one of the four most common reasons for water entering homes during storms and high rainfall events. Ensuring your gutters, roof, windows and walls are well maintained is essential to reducing the likelihood of water damage around the home.
A safe and cost effective solution
Installing a gutter guard can greatly reduce the maintenance activity (time/money) spent on the roof and gutter, the need to work at height and subsequent risk of falls.
The costs of leaving your gutters to fend for themselves can really add up, depending on a range of circumstances. If we accept that the gutters still have to be cleaned, is there a safer, more cost effective way to address this task? As part of their study, the VISU researchers made a number of recommendations to prevent injuries and fatalities from falls around the home. They recommend removing the need to access heights where possible, for example, installing gutter guards (gutter mesh) to reduce the ladder use around the home (VISU 2006).
Installing gutter guards can greatly reduce the maintenance activity spent on the roof and gutter and eliminate the need to work at height several times a year to clear blocked gutters. It provides a long term solution by preventing debris from entering the gutter in the first place. No gutter guard system is maintenance free; however, installing gutter guards greatly reduces the number of times you’ll need to access the roof and gutter for cleaning and maintenance – reducing your exposure to ladders and possible falls.
When you compare the one-off costs of installing a gutter protection system versus how much you spend annually on cleaning and maintenance, and the potential costs of what could go wrong with your gutters, it definitely pays to invest to protect the value of your home. Prevention is better than the cure – in more ways than one.
Even with gutter guards, you will still have to check and clean your gutters once a year so consider outsourcing the job wherever possible.