What are Gutter Covers?

R. Anacan

Water is a major cause of damage to a home. When water is allowed to collect and accumulate too close to a home, damage to the foundation and structure can result. When it does occur, water damage is often extensive and can be expensive to repair. Water gutters and downspouts are therefore an integral part of a home's design and it is important that they effectively and adequately direct the flow of water away from a home.

Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

A home's drainage system works best when the gutters and downspouts are clear of debris, allowing water to flow without obstruction. However, the exterior location and open design of gutters make them prone and susceptible to debris accumulation. It is therefore important for a homeowner to regularly inspect the rain gutters and downspouts for obstructions and clean them when necessary. Unfortunately, the process of doing this can be time consuming and dangerous.

Gutter covers can reduce the amount of times a homeowner will need to check and clean the gutters and downspouts of a home. Gutter covers can also reduce the likelihood of water damage to a home due to clogged gutters. While the specifics of the designs may differ, gutter guards work by reducing the amount of debris that is allowed to enter and accumulate in the gutter, while still allowing water to flow into the gutter and away from the home. Gutter guards are either typically installed on the top of the open gutter or inside the gutter itself.

Someone considering installing gutter covers should take the time to carefully research the many designs that are available to see which one is right for their particular needs and if the benefits are worth the expense. While the costs will vary based on the home's design, many home improvement sources state an average cost of $6 - $8 United States Dollars (USD) per linear foot to have gutter covers professionally installed. Gutter covers can also be installed by the "do-it yourself" person, usually at a substantial savings versus professional installation.

It is important to note that regardless of the design, gutter covers will usually allow a small amount of debris to enter, which can accumulate in the gutters and downspouts over time. Therefore gutter guards do not eliminate the task of cleaning the gutter system of a home entirely. Even with gutter covers installed, a homeowner will still need to inspect and clean the gutters of a home regularly.

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