When it comes to the maintenance of our homes, gutters play a crucial role in protecting our houses from water damage. However, gutters can easily accumulate debris such as leaves, twigs, and dirt, which can clog the system and hinder the performance of your gutters.
This is where gutter guards come into play – these innovative devices are designed to prevent debris from entering the gutter system while allowing water to flow freely. But can you install gutter guards on existing gutters?
The answer is that yes, in most cases gutter guards can be installed on existing gutters rather easily.
These include screen mesh guards, foam inserts, bottle brush guards, and reverse curve guards. Each type has its own unique features and benefits that cater to various homeowner needs.
Regardless of which type you choose, all gutter guards are designed for installation on existing gutters. The installation process typically involves a few straightforward steps.
Which Types of Gutter Guards Can Be Installed on Existing Gutters?
When it comes to protecting your gutters from debris and clogging, there are various types of gutter guards available on the market. Understanding the different options will help you make an informed decision about which type is most suitable for your existing gutters.
|Type of Gutter Guard||Can It Be Installed on Existing Gutter?||DIY Friendly vs Professional Installation|
Screen gutter guards are a very common type of gutter guard system on the market and they can be installed on existing gutters fairly easily.
The main advantage of screen guards is that they are very inexpensive and are fairly simple for DIY installation. All you need to do is slip the edges of the screen guard under your bottom row of shingles.
However, that’s about where the advantages run out for screen gutter guards. Since they aren’t screwed down, or fastened in any way, it’s extremely common for the wind to blow these gutter guards away.
Additionally, while screen guards can be successful at keeping larger debris out of your gutters, smaller debris will have no trouble making its way in. This will lead to clogged gutters, and overflow during heavy rainfall if not maintained properly. Overall, screen gutter guards usually aren’t worth the trouble.
Micro Mesh gutter guards are an increasingly popular product. These guards consist of finely woven mesh screens made from stainless steel or aluminum, with tiny apertures that allow water to pass through while keeping out even the smallest particles.
The design of micro mesh gutter guards ensures that shingle granules, leaves, pine needles, pollen, and other debris are effectively blocked from entering the gutter system.
The fine aperture size prevents any clogging or blockage, ensuring a constant flow of water throughout heavy downpours. Another benefit is that micro mesh gutter guards enclose the gutter, and provide an added layer of protection against insects and critters that won’t be able to make their way into your gutters and cause damage or build nests.
When it comes to installation, micro mesh gutter guards can definitely be installed on existing gutters, and it’s relatively easy to do if you know what you are doing. Our recommendation is to reach out to a professional in order to ensure proper installation or to follow manufacturer instructions very closely to ensure optimal performance.
One downfall of Mirco mesh though… Trees that pollinate or create a fuzz plug micro mesh. Once micro mesh is plugged with fuzz or sap you have to use a wire BBQ brush to clean which can be very time-consuming and labor-intensive.
Reverse Curve, also known as surface tension gutter guards, are designed to utilize the principle of water surface tension to guide rainwater into the gutters while keeping debris out.
These innovative guards have a unique shape that allows water to adhere to the guard’s curve and flow smoothly into the gutter system. The concept behind reverse curve gutter guards is quite simple yet effective in preventing clogs and maintaining proper water flow.
One of the main advantages of reverse curve gutter guards is their ability to handle large volumes of water without overflowing. The curved design helps create a path for rainwater to follow, even during heavy downpours or storms.
Reverse Curve gutter guards can be installed on existing gutters as well, however they are not DIY friendly like screen, foam, or brush gutter guards can be.
Professional installation of these guards is highly recommended as if these guards aren’t installed with a secure fit that covers the entire length of the gutters and is not installed at the proper angle to the fascia of your roof, then they can be useless. Water will run right over the edge and pool at the foundation of your home, rather than catching the reverse curve of these guards and draining into the eavestrough.
Foam gutter guards can easily be installed on existing gutters, but they’re also one we think you should avoid at all costs.
The goal of foam guards is to keep debris on top of the foam that sits in your gutter, while water flows through the foam and into the gutter.
The problem with foam is that debris will accumulate in large quantities on top of the foam and stay there. Plus, when it rains and the foam gets wet, it provides a prime opportunity for seedlings to sprout and grow inside your gutter.
In areas with high levels of rainfall, foam guards will quickly saturate, and cause your gutters to overflow.
Our recommendation is that even though foam is one of the most DIY-friendly gutter guards available and can easily be installed on existing gutters, avoid them at all costs!
Brush guards consist of bristle-like brushes that are placed inside the gutters, forming a barrier against debris while allowing water to flow freely.
The bristles act as a filter, trapping larger particles on top while enabling water to pass through easily. This prevents clogs and allows for efficient drainage during heavy rains or melting snow.
Brush gutter guards are one of the easiest gutter guards to install on existing gutters. They are highly versatile as they can fit into various gutter shapes and sizes and they can be easily trimmed using scissors or utility knives to ensure a perfect fit for any existing gutter system. Installation should be no problem for DIYers.
However, brush gutter guards will trap debris inside of the gutter and durability is usually an issue. So be prepared for frequent trips up your ladder to clean your gutters if you opt for brush guards, and that you’ll be replacing them sooner than most other guards on the market.
Perforated Metal gutter guards are one of the most durable and long-lasting options available on the market. These guards are typically made from high-quality aluminum or steel, ensuring strength and resistance against harsh weather conditions.
The design of perforated metal guards consists of small holes or slots that allow water to flow through while filtering out debris effectively.
The precision-engineered holes in the guard not only prevent leaves, twigs, and other debris from entering the gutter system but also facilitate smooth water drainage.
If you are seeking a robust solution for preserving your existing gutters while minimizing maintenance efforts, perforated metal gutter guards are an excellent choice. They can be installed on existing gutters with professional installation, and their well-engineered design allows for optimal water flow while effectively filtering out debris
Our Recommendation – Alu Rex Gutter Guards
At Gutter Dunn, we’ve been installing gutters and gutter guards for over 15 years. In that time, we’ve worked with every type of gutter guard made of every material out there. Plastic, aluminum, steel, etc.
We proudly stand behind the gutter guard products from Alu Rex. Alu Rex offers perforated metal gutter guards that are very high-quality and extremely durable.
Take the Gutter Clean System (GCS) for example. This gutter guard can be installed on your existing gutters and is made of high-quality grade, weatherproof aluminum. These gutter guards will not rust, crack, chip or warp and they’re built to support the weight of debris and snow, making them the perfect guard for those harsh Canadian winters.
The GCS has been tested and shown to drain 29.7” (755mm) of water per hour, and if all that wasn’t enough these gutter guards are backed by a 40-year clog-free warranty.
Nearly all gutter guard products on the market can be installed on existing gutter guards fairly easily, some can be done DIY, while others should be done by professionals.
However, just because all gutter guards can be fit to your current gutters, doesn’t mean they should! Micro Mesh, or Perforated Metal gutter guards will generally outperform their counterparts like screen, brush, or foam guards.
And when talking about preserving your home’s foundation, and getting the most value for your money over the span of decades, the added cost of a premium gutter guard solution will often pay for itself.
At Gutter Dunn, we’ve been protecting homes in Edmonton from water damage for over 15 years! We’ve installed countless gutter guard systems onto existing gutters as well as new systems like the Continuous Hanger System that combines gutter protection and installation into a single product. If you’re interested in gutter guards for your existing gutter system, or looking to get your home fit with new gutters, give our expert eavestrough team in Edmonton a call today!