To Guard or Not to Guard

April 22, 2016

To guard or not to guard? That is the question. The answer depends on what you are looking for. If you want your gutter and drainage system protected from clogs and back-ups that can lead to expensive house repairs, gutter guards are the solution for you. If, however, you’re looking for a way to prevent any kind of future gutter maintenance, your only real option is to move to the desert because no such solution exists. Even the best guards need to be kept free of debris that can gather on the tops of the guards and prevent water from entering the gutter system.

Because there are so many types of gutter guards on the market today, choosing the right guard can be an overwhelming process. The Gutter Boys are here to help. Founded in 2001 by Ken Wilson and Anthony Alberino, The Gutter Boys has grown to become one of the largest gutter maintenance companies in Northeast Ohio. “We’ve cleaned tens of thousands of gutters and have seen every guard on the market in action,” says Ken. “Years of experience uninstalling and cleaning under faulty guards have made us experts at spotting effective products. Ideally, gutter guards should accomplish two objectives.”


Good Guards Should

  • Prevent debris from entering the downspouts. Though obvious, a surprising number of guards fail miserably in this task. Most keep large leaves and debris out well enough, but, over time, shingle debris, dirt, seedlings, and other small invaders (including nasty wasps) make their way into the gutters and clog the gutter system. Chief offenders here are the cheaper guards made of plastic, mesh, and thin metal (found at retail stores), gutter brushes, gutter sponges, and gutter foams.
  • Preserve the function of the gutters. Gutters perform the important function of managing the water around your house, and can only fulfill this purpose when water is allowed into them. So if you purchase a guard that covers 90 percent of the gutter opening (or open area yield), the only thing that’ll be flowing away from your house is dollars. Cover more than half the available open area yield of the gutter and you may have your own personal Niagara Falls during heavy rains. Typically, guards that fail in this objective are the most expensive on the market and utilize “surface tension” to roll water into the gutters.


Guards to Avoid

Generally speaking, stay away from guards that install under the shingles. In addition to the risk of shingle damage during installation and uninstallation, these guards can push up the first layer of shingles over time as they warp and shift, Ken notes. You also want to avoid guards that raise the profile of the gutter by adding height because they can lead to ice damming in the winter and debris may congregate behind them in the fall. Both kinds of guards can lead to roof and water damage. “After years of cleaning gutters beneath so many faulty guards, we decided to start installing gutter guards ourselves,” says Anthony. “The products we offer are guaranteed to be the most effective on the market today and have a proven record of balancing the twin objectives of prevention and preservation.”


Valor Gutter Guard

The Gutter Boys are the exclusive installers of Valor Gutter Guard in Northeast Ohio. Check out the website: Valor is a strong and effective gutter guard system that utilizes the latest micro-mesh technology. The patented S-Curve directs the water flow into the gutters, while the raised portions keep debris from sticking to the guards. It really is the best guard on the market, perfectly balancing the twin objectives of Prevention and Preservation.


Spring gutter cleaning

Though often overlooked, spring gutter cleaning is a must for homeowners who want to ensure their homes are protected from water damage due to overflowing downspouts and clogged drainage tiles.  “Trees drop just as much debris in the form of fruits, seeds, leaves, flowers, and small sticks and twigs in the spring as they drop in the fall,” says Ken. “The combination of heavy spring rain and wind along with the smaller size of tree debris is a recipe for clogged downspouts and wet basements. For this reason, it is just as important to get your gutters cleaned and downspouts flushed in the spring as it is in the fall.”

The Gutter Boys is headquartered at 8059 Lewis Road, Suite 301, in Berea. Call 440-454-7040 or visit for more information.