The main enemy of rain gutters is debris. This is most often in the form of organic debris, such as leaves and twigs. A gutter leaf guard is a wise investment for any home owner. There are contractors who specialize in installing leaf guards, but for those home owners who prefer the do-it-yourself projects this is an easy one to complete on your own. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to install gutter guards.
Items needed to install gutter guards:
Ladder (extension ladder if installing a leaf guard on a two-story house)
Gutter leaf guard material
Scissors or tin snips
Clean debris from all gutters by hand or with garden hose. Remove larger debris, such as leaf clumps or twigs, before using garden hose to prevent clogging of downspouts.
Lay out leaf gutter guard material to cover length of gutters. The material will come in different lengths, depending on the type and manufacturer. Lengths are generally 3 to 10 linear feet per section. For some types of plastic leaf guard, width will need to be adjusted by trimming. Some types of metal leaf guard may need width adjusted with tin snips.
To install gutter guards, begin attaching leaf guard sections to gutter. Some types of leaf guard clip onto outer edge of gutter, some clip on and fit under the edge of roofing material, while most plastic types are attached to gutter with wire or plastic ties in increments. Note: do not nail those types that fit under roofing material to roof. This type of leaf gutter guard will slide under any roofing material and will stay secure. (In some cases, extremely high winds may cause this type of gutter guard to come loose. Those who live in areas of constant high winds may want to contact a leaf gutter guard installation contractor for advice or installation).
The key to install gutter guards is in making sure that all leaf guard sections are securely attached. Use sufficient tie-downs or wire to make sure gutter leaf guard sections are secure. This will usually mean securing each end of 3 foot sections, or securing longer sections every 2 to 3 feet.
Adjust openings in gutter guard if needed to allow for debris that is common to the area. This will require the use of scissors for plastic leaf guard material or tin snips for metal leaf guard material.