Do your gutters deliver all of the rain your roof collects right to the downspouts? Some roofs have the problem that gutter water splashes out, soaking people, or digging holes into landscaping. The solution is often (but not always) gutter splash guards. They’re a simple, inexpensive solution to a very frustrating problem. Let’s discuss what they are and how you know if you need them.
What are Gutter Splash Guards?
Gutter splash guards are thin, small pieces of vinyl that are installed on gutters to direct water back into the gutter. You can find them with a straight profile or curved to fit on the corners of your gutter system. The corner pieces are particularly useful, because most gutter splashing happens just above the corner, in the valleys of a roof.
Why Use Gutter Splash Guards?
There are many reasons that a gutter might overflow or splashdown. However, gutter splash guards are designed to correct for when there’s too much water in the gutters. This often happens in valleys, where the water from two roof planes collect. Sometimes, high volumes of water coming off the roof simply can’t be captured by the gutters, and part of it goes straight over the gutters onto the ground.
Why is gutter overflow a problem? It can create several issues:
- Landscaping damage
- Damage to the foundation of your home
- Damage to the gutters themselves
- Increased potential for roof leaks at the roof edges
This problem might also cause more minor annoyances, like spraying water or mud or yourself or your siding and windows.
Who Needs Gutter Splash Guards?
Gutter diverters will not solve all kinds of gutter overflow problems, so it’s important to know when you need them, and when you don’t.
You need gutter splash guards if the water missing your gutters is rushing over the top of them, in specific spots, when there is a lot of rain. If gutter splashing happens very frequently on your roof, it may be better to get larger gutters that can accommodate the volume of water you’re dealing with.
Gutter splash guards also won’t fix other common gutter problems, such as clogs, poorly aligned gutters and leaking gutters. It can be hard to tell which problem is behind your gutter issue, especially because it likely happens in high rain when there’s a lot of water moving down your roof. So, it’s important to get expert advice.
Although, sometimes gutter splash guards are a cheap, simple solution for a structural problem on the roof. For example, if you have an upper roof plane that drains onto a lower roof plane, there may not be much you can do to reduce the amount of water that drains into the gutter. A gutter splash guard may be simpler than trying to rearrange the gutter system on the upper roof plane.
A professional roofer can help you figure out if gutter splash guards will solve your problem, if they’re part of the solution, or if they won’t help at all.