5 Must-have Gutter Accessories for Your Gutter System
Every home deserves a long-lasting and highly efficient gutter system. And to build one, you need not just a set of durable gutters, but also a set of functional gutter accessories to go along with them.
These attachments can either beef up your gutters to make them more resistant to outdoor elements or they can add features and functionalities that a normal gutter doesn’t have.
In this piece, we’re going to talk about the best gutter accessories you should have if you want your gutters, and your home in general, to be in the best shape possible.
1. Leaf guards
Leaf guards, also called gutter guards, are easily one of, if not the most important accessories that your gutter system should have.
These accessories can save you a lot of money and help you avoid a headache.
One of the reasons why gutters deteriorate easily is because of the rainwater pooling inside the canals. The water that gets trapped inside eventually causes rust and mould. It also softens up and damages the roof shingles, the fascia boards, and other adjacent materials over time.
Simply put, everything could go south from the moment that the water pools inside the gutters. And there’s only one reason why this happens: clogged gutters.
When your gutters are clogged with organic materials like leaves, twigs, and sometimes, even bird poo, the rainwater won’t flow naturally into the downspout, defeating the very purpose of a gutter system.
That’s why installing leaf guards onto your gutters is a must. It prevents clogging from happening and reduces the need for gutter cleaning.
But don’t get us wrong, you’ll still need to have your gutters inspected for cracks and other damages once in a while.
3 Types of Leaf Guards
Depending on your budget and preferences, your options for gutter guards may vary. Good thing there are different types of leaf guards that can cater to your needs and capacities. These gutter guards may differ in terms of the material, how they operate, and their affordability.
Perforated Gutter Guards
These are one of the most commonly used gutter guards here in Australia. These guards are made up of long sheets of aluminium, which can be flat or wavy, and also have punched holes in them to allow the flow of rainwater from the roof.
Normally, these leaf guards are installed inside the canals, making it a little difficult for inexperienced homeowners to DIY the installation.
Can block medium to large-sized debris
Rust-resistant so they will last longer
A little more expensive than some DIY gutter guards
Requires professional installation and replacement
Won’t block smaller debris like pollen, tree flowers, and pests
Mesh Gutter Guards
When it comes to filtering out debris, mesh leaf guards may be the best of them all, thanks to the fine mesh that can block even the smallest pine straws, shingle granules, and other tiny debris.
These gutter guards are typically made up of mesh, and a structural backing that’s made of metal.
If you choose to go with this type of leaf guard, make sure that the one you’re going to buy has a solid frame and mesh to make sure that it won’t bend and get snapped easily.
Can block almost all debris, no matter the size
Perfect in neighbourhoods with lots of trees
Very durable (if you choose the right brand)
Requires professional installation and replacement
Reverse-curve Gutter Guards
Unlike the first two leaf guards on this list, this type of gutter guard acts more as a cover than a filter. The way it works is that it covers the majority of your gutters with a slotted opening near the edge, allowing the rainwater to pass through. The debris, on the other hand, will simply slide off the gutter guards and onto the ground.
Unlike the filter-type gutter guards, this type keeps the debris from sitting on the top of your gutters
Prevents the rotting of your fascia boards
Can take large amounts of rainwater
If you have a pretty sloped roof, rainwater might flow too quickly and just flow over your gutters
Some debris, especially the small ones can still get inside your gutters
These are permanent and may require professional installation
2. Downpipe filter guards
Aside from using gutter guards, another way to filter huge debris out of your downpipes is by installing downpipe filter guards.
This gutter accessory goes by several names like downpipe protectors, downpipe strainers, downpipe barriers, downspout guards, and more.
But basically, these downpipe guards are small coverings that fit perfectly onto the mouth of the spout to keep large debris from falling and clogging the downspout.
Much like the gutter guards, downpipe filter guards are either made of metal or plastic that are in wire-style designs and may come in various shapes and sizes.
They keep the debris off the spout pretty well
This accessory is a cheaper option compared to the gutter guards since you don’t have to install guards onto your entire gutter system
They are easy to install
Depending on the hole size, smaller debris may still fall into your downpipe
They only keep the debris from clogging your downpipe, but not necessarily your gutters
So regular maintenance is still needed to prevent clogging in the gutters
3. Gutter hangers
Gutter mounting systems are just as important as your gutters. Not only do brackets keep our gutters perfectly in place, but they also extend the lifespan of your gutter systems.
Sturdy gutter hangers act as the main support system that allows the gutters to handle large amounts of rainwater, thus, preventing them from sagging and falling off.
While gutter hangers are already secured in place during the initial gutter installation, you can also have them replaced with the same hangers or you can upgrade with a different type. Below are your options:
Brackets and straps
These hangers are the most commonly used mounting system, especially for K-style, half-round, and other gutter types.
Brackets and straps provide sturdy support underneath the gutters as they are both fastened onto the fascia boards.
The only difference is that the straps have additional hardware that wraps around the gutters like a belt for a more secure mounting.
Spikes and ferrules
As the name suggests, this type of hanger is made up of a spike and a ferrule.
The way it works is that a metal tube, called a ferrule, is placed inside the canal. The spike is then driven from the front end of the gutters, into the metal tube, and up to the back end of the gutters, until it pierces through the fascia boards.
This gutter hanger is widely popular because it’s inexpensive and relatively easy to install. However, it has one major drawback.
Once the spike is pierced through the fascia, it naturally splits the fascia board, leaving the wood exposed to rainwater that causes fast deterioration of your fascia.
Just based on experience, this is probably your best option when it comes to gutter hangers.
Hidden hangers are basically a piece of metal that is placed horizontally inside the canal. Both ends are attached to the inner walls of the gutters, with the other end screwed into the fascia board.
Not only do hidden hangers provide stability to your gutters, but they also provide a cleaner look as they are completely invisible from the ground. Which is something both the brackets and spikes can’t offer.
4. Bird spikes
Your roof and gutters are the favourite hangout place (or worse, breeding ground) of birds.
That’s why if your gutters are clogged and your roof tiles are cracked, you have your local birds to blame for they build their nest in your gutters and promote plant growth on your roof.
To keep these from happening, one of the best bird control measures that you can do is to install bird spikes on your roof or gutters.
These bird spikes are normally made from stainless steel and are built as a set of inverted V-shaped spikes. With these spikes installed, birds won’t be able to land or perch on your roof and gutters.
If you’re somewhat afraid that these spikes will hurt the birds, don’t worry, these are blunted at the top so they can deter the birds without harming them.
Bird spikes get the job done
They are easy to install. You can attach them onto your roof using either silicon adhesive, nails, or screws
Most bird spikes are made of stainless steel so they’re durable and can last for a long time
They can be unattractive especially if you can easily spot them from the ground
The spaces between the spikes can still be used by smaller birds as nesting grounds
Where can you install bird spikes?
Since bird spikes can easily be cut into smaller pieces, you can install bird spikes almost anywhere in your house. Below are some of the places where bird spikes are best for:
While there are other bird control measures out there, using bird spikes is one of the most cost-effective ways to do it. If you’re tired of random birds freeloading on your roof and gutters, you can buy these bird spikes online or in most hardware stores.
You can also ask your go-to gutter professionals if they can set it up for you when they come to repair or replace your gutters.
5. Ember guards
If you live in a bushfire-prone area, you’re going to need this accessory. In some cases, you’re even required to install these on your home.
As the name suggests, ember guards are covers that are installed on any opening of the house to prevent embers from coming into your house, thus, preventing it from getting torched by fire.
Ember guards, like gutter guards, can either be made up of a mesh or a perforated sheet of non-combustible materials. And depending on your bushfire attack level (BAL) rating, the material you must use will vary.
These materials range from corrosion-resistant steel to bronze and aluminium ember guards.
Ember guards vs gutter guards
Gutter guards These are the main differences between these two useful accessories:
An ember guard has a required hole size of 2mm or less, while gutter guards don’t have any required hole size minimum
Ember guard materials must be non-combustible like steel and bronze, while gutter guards can be made of either steel or vinyl, polyethylene, and others
Ember guards can be installed in almost any opening in your house like roof vents, gables, pipes, eaves vents and other gaps
Importance of ember guards
According to recent studies, 85% of the homes in Australia that burnt down during wildfires were not because they made contact with the fire itself. Most of them were set alight by windborne embers.
In other words, the bushfire damage may have been preventable if there were ember guards installed on the houses.
That’s why if you live in a bushfire-prone area, make sure to install ember guards in various places around your home to protect yourself, your family, and a valuable asset like your house.
If you need guttering services in Sydney, choose Gutterline
Whether you’re building or renovating your dream home in Sydney, and you need someone to install your gutters and accessories, we’re the best team for the job.
Our team of guttering experts can provide you with not only the best guttering materials but also the best service you’ll get in town.
Contact us at 02 8677 3373 for installation, repairs, replacement, and maintenance of your gutters.