How to Keep Leaves Out of Gutters – Best Leaf Gutter Guards

Another common, and very important questions is “How do I keep the leaves and other debris out of my gutters?”  With gutters, comes a good bit of maintenance and upkeep to keep them in the best condition possible and to insure they are operating properly.  The most common of these issues is going to be the collection of fallen leaves clogging up your gutter system. When this happens, it will lead to a few different problems, all of which can end up being a pricey fix if it is not tackled right away.  If the leaves clog up system, the water will still collecting in the gutter, and then spilling over the sides. Now, while it may seem like that is not that big of a deal, it very much can be. While you could just constantly clean out your gutters, that can be a very time consuming and painstaking process that would need to be repeated quite often.  The best option is to install gutter guards on your gutter system. In this article we will discuss the different types of gutter guards and which would be best for which situation.

Picture of How to Keep Leaves Out of Gutters

Firstly, let us take a brief look at the reason we have gutters installed.  Gutters are installed around the edge of our roof is to protect our house from water damage.  From the top down lets touch on the big issues this can cause. Gutters help collect the water from off of the roof, which this, the water can seep under the shingles as it falls off the roof, which will lead to damage under the shingles.  As the water falls down the side of the house, it can also seep between the siding and the house itself, also causing water damage. Lastly, but by far the most important is the protection of the homes foundation. When the water is not properly diverted away from the foundation it can cause erosion of the soil around the foundation, which can even further lead to flooding around the foundation. The  constant presence of water will lead to cracks in the foundation, causing flooding of the basement or crawlspace, bringing it into your home which can lead to a whole lot of other issues.


The issues mentioned above can also be caused if your gutters become to clogged up with leaves and other debris, as well as adding to that list the need to clean and repair your gutter system.  The answer to this is going to be to install gutter guards. These guards range in price and usefulness. If you live in house that has any trees around it, gutter guards are going to be a great investment.  Gutter guards come in different materials and designs but all hold a common purpose, keep the leaves and debris out of your gutters. Let’s look at the best gutter guards options below:


Screens: Screens are one of the more common types of gutters guards.  They come in a variety of shapes and materials and can be installed a few different ways.  Mostly they can just be dropped into the gutter, one side slipping under the edge of the shingles and the other side against the edge of the gutter.  The plastic screens often require no type of fastening. The downside to this is that they are not always as secure. Other screens also fit under the edge of the shingles, but is often fastened on the other side against the gutter itself, which is a more secure option.  These screens are common and can be a good choice because they are not as expensive as other types of guards. They keep out larger leaves and debris. They are readily available at many home improvement stores. They are easy to install and works with a variety of roof types including shingles, steel, slate, wood and tile.  The downside is that the plastic screens can be damaged by exposure to UV sunlight. Branches, snow, ice and strong winds can damage the screens. The screens do have openings large enough that they can occasionally get clogged with pine needles and seeds. There are limited color choices. The screens and gutters will still require regular cleaning and maintenance and can be difficult to clean.

Pic of The Best Gutter Guards in the Market


Surface Tension:  Surface tension guards operate so that the water will cling to the rounded nose of the guard, causing the water to flow into the gutter while leaving leaves and other debris to fall off over the edge.  Small debris may still occasionally get in but is usually washed down the downspouts without much of an issue. Surface tension guards work best if installed so that the slope of the guard is similar to that of the roof.  The gutters may need to be rehung to allow for proper angling so that the water continues to flow down and out.


Some of the Pros to installing this type of guard are that they withstand branches, snow, ice and strong winds.  These types of guards require little to no maintenance if they are installed properly, and are long lasting. With all positive attributes, they are not without their drawbacks.  These include the fact that they are the most expensive option. They are also not as readily available, meaning they may have to be ordered. They are more difficult to install, and the fact that gutters may have to be rehung to accommodate this guard.  They are more visible from the ground and may not be an option on some roofs such as steel, tile, slate or wood roofs. Water can also shoot over the guards if there is a heavy downpour.


Fine Mesh: These guards function much like the screen guards, but they block all except for the smallest of debris.  The spaces in the mesh are so tiny that they will not clog with seeds and needles, but can still fill with the very very small particles like shingle grit.  Fine Mesh guards will still need an occasional cleaning, but it is not nearly as intensive as other options and they are easy to blow or brush clean. They are installed under the shingles, or bend the back up and screw it into the fascia.  This method also strengthens the gutters themselves, making them hold up better to snow and ice.


So, Pros are that these gutter guards keep everything out of the gutter.  There are also higher quality version that hold up well to branches snow, ice and strong winds.  They are easy to install and work with various roof times. As with the tension guards, these are not as readily available but do require very little maintenance and cleaning.

How Much Does it Cost to Put Up Gutters – Types and Prices

Installing or replacing your gutter system can seem like a pretty hefty undertaking, but it us a very necessary one.  The gutter system is specifically designed to collect and lead water away from the house, and most importantly the foundation.  Without gutters water will drain down the side of your house and settle around the foundation, causing erosion of the the soil and eventually cracks until the foundation wall.  The same thing can happen if your gutters are clogged or damage. Leaves and other debris will enter the gutter system, altering or stopping the water flow which can lead to damage of the gutter system and the drainage of water along the house.  This is why no matter the cost, it is always a good idea to keep your gutter system maintained and if necessary, replace them. Here we will take a look at the different types of gutter systems and their cost.


Picture Showing How Much Does it Cost to Put Up Gutters

Galvanized Aluminum Gutters: Aluminum gutters will range in price from $4 to $6 per foot.  These gutters run more toward the middle of the cost spectrum, yet they still hold a lot of advantages.  Aluminum gutters are durable, and can be used as fascia boards. They require very little maintenance and can withstand extreme temperatures both hot and cold.  Although they can hold up to extreme temperatures, a rapid change in temperature will cause cracks. And as with some other gutters, they do clog very easily with fallen leaves and other debris so it is always a good idea to add gutter guards to the cost of any gutter system. Different type of gutter guards are available according to your need like the trees around your house. When it comes to pine needles, you need guard screens with smaller openings.


Vinyl Gutters: Vinyl gutters are the least expensive, costing as little as $4 to $8 per foot,  rarely do the more expensive options cost any more than $8. Vinyl gutters are an affordable and lightweight option, coming in a variety of colors.  One major downfall of vinyl is that they are not durable in cold weather, and can in fact snap when temperature drop below 10 degrees Fahrenheit.


Copper Gutters: Copper gutters are the highest quality gutters available on the market but that comes at a cost.  They run between $15 on up to $25 per foot. Copper is the most durable gutter, and while it is the most expensive, they do have a much longer lifespan.  They are also made from nearly 40% previously recycled material, meaning there is less wasted involved in the manufacturing. Also, copper is a material that many people like to steal, so it can be can be a fairly risky proposition to keep in your house.


Steel: Steel gutters are the next step up from Vinyl or Aluminum, and run between $4 and $8 a foot.  These gutters are a great choice if you need a gutter that can hold a lot of weight. This is especially helpful if you live in a house that is surrounded by a lot of trees or sees a lot of rain.  Due to its ability to hold more weight, they do not need to be cleaned as often, though it is still recommended to clean them. But, like all steel it can rust overtime so you will need to keep a constant eye on the gutters.


Let’s break it down and take a look at an approximate cost for installing gutters.  You have a house that requires a gutter system of around 100 feet. The type of gutters you have picked is a K style aluminum gutter system.  The price of materials will run you between $401 and $493, when ordering a 100 feet of gutter, you will want to add in a few extra feet for the supplies due to any cuts that may need to be made or any other issues that may arise.  For the labor you will be looking between about $250 and $390. The labor for gutter installs should entail favorable site conditions, layout, fabrication and security of rain gutters to roof. Also consider adding gutter guards. It is also necessary to set the proper drainage slope.  Sealing the corners and edges as well as any preparation,protection, setup and cleanup of materials.


The total cost using the above example should be somewhere between $680 and $907.   It is also important to take into account that there will be a fee for the removal of the gutters that are presently on the house, which will run somewhere between  about $81 and $177. So if you are looking into replacing your gutters, it is a good idea to aim on the higher end of the estimate. That way you can make sure you get the best service and materials, without having any surprises in the end.

Best Gutter Guards for Pine Needles | Dustin Johnson Exteriors & Roofing

Gutter guards are an essential part of any gutter system, and this is especially true when your house has trees around it.  Without gutter guards, leaves and other debris will begin to accumulate and eventually clog up your gutter system. You will constantly have to clean out your gutters, be it you doing it yourself with a ladder or hiring someone to come clean them.  If they are not maintained then it can cause a buildup and will hold water, leading to an even further build that can lead to the gutters cracking or breaking, allowing the water to fall directly against the house and settle down and around the foundation.  This can eventually lead to crack in the foundation and flooding in the basement or crawlspace leading to many and eventually costly problems.

Picture Showing Best Gutter Guards for Pine Needles


When it comes to pine needles, just any old gutter guard will not do the trick. Because pine needles are thin and long, they tend to fall into the larger openings of some of the available gutter guards.  Even the smaller openings on some guards leave too large an opening for pine needles. This can cause a problem. If enough pine needles get through the openings, the gutter system can become clogged causing leakage and gutter damage.   So before you go out and purchase the best gutter guards in the market, take a look around your house to see what type of trees you have near your house.


The common guards consisting of plaster or metal mesh will be fine in keeping any type of leaves out of your gutter but may not be effective against pine needles.  Because they are long and thin they will most often fall into the holes of the screen. From there they will start to stick and accumulate inside the gutter system affecting the flow of water.  The needles may not seem capable of that much damage, but just imaging all of the needles that you will see fall off a pine tree. Imagine how much of those could slip through the cracks, accumulate inside the gutter system, clogging the gutters and blocking the flow of water.  This adds weight and causes the water to spill over the side of the gutters, completely by passing the usefulness for the gutter system. This, like mentioned before, can lead to significant damage to the siding and foundation of the house, and possible flooding inside of the house.


Many people will try using the foam gutter guards.  These are long pieces of foam that slip into the gutter itself, therefore blocking any large or significant leaves and debris from sticking and accumulating inside the gutter system..  The needles themselves can not penetrate foam gutter guards, but they do get stuck in the top surface, which will then trap other debris that is falling off of the roof. Pulling the needles out of the foam is a very difficult task, especially while working from a ladder.  If you do not have any large trees around, this may prove a cheap option, but it will still require a good bit of maintenance as the leaves and most importantly pine needles will get stuck to the foam itself, leading to the damage we have discussed above.


Pic Showing Best Gutter Guards for Pine NeedlesThis leads us to the best option for fending off pine needles, and other small debris, such as shingle settlement.  It is an aluminum structure which consists of a series of channels that are separated by gaps covered with a fine mesh stainless steel cloth.  The water will readily pass through the mesh, but it leaves out virtually all solid matter. Instead, the solid matter will sit on top of the mesh until it is washed off.  The construction of the guard is such that the mesh will not sag, so the debris never collects. They even have an option to install a heat strip to prevent ice dams from gathering in the colder weather.


A very important thing to always keep in mind  with your gutters, even with the use of gutter guards, is to make sure to keep them cleaned.  Even with the gutter guards, some debris and pine needles can accumulate on or around the gutter guards.  Maintaining your gutter system. is the most foolproof way to ensure it is operating at its best, and keeping the water away from your siding and the foundation of your house.

Do I Really Need Gutters? | Dustin Johnson Exteriors & Roofing

Short answer is yes. Gutters are an absolutely vital part of any house.   People often wonder if gutters are actually needed. Without gutters, the rain would fall off the roof, yes, but instead of being lead to designated safe areas away from the house, it will drop down right alongside the house.  This can and will cause a whole host of issues. In this article, we will discuss the reasons a house needs gutters, and also address a few upkeep and maintenance ideas you want to keep in mind.


Picture of Do I Really Need Gutters?First we are going to discuss why gutters are so important.  One of the main, and possible most important issue is that not having gutters causes the collecting of water right against the house. Many people think ‘Well, if I do not have a gutter system, the rain is just going to drain right off the roof, just as it would with a gutter system, right?” That is a big no. The gutter systems are specifically designed to collect and divert water away from the house, especially away from the foundation. Your gutter system is your homes main source of soil erosion control for your foundation. Having the water just drain right off the roof will cause the water to collect right around the foundation, leading to many and eventually costly problems which may amount to more than the price of putting up a gutter. The water will begin to erode the soil that is surrounding the foundation, eventually causing cracks. This will also cause more water collection, leading to possible leaks going into the basement, crawl space, or it will just begin to fill over a concrete floor.


Once a leak starts, believe it or not that is still just the beginning of any possible problems.  With a leak, you are already going to have to look into the issue of the water eroding the soil, finding and patching any leaks in the foundation.  This is because the water will often dig in and erode at the whole area, leading to pricey fixes of the foundation. Now, once the water is inside this will lead to rotting of the interior of the house, even within the walls which becomes a very costly fix.  Other than the rotting, the moisture inside the house can lead to mold growth, moist air leading to condensation forming on the interior of the windows. This happens especially in the winter when you use the heat because the water that has entered the house will evaporate into the air, and then collect on the walls, windows and everywhere.  It is extremely important to keep the interior as dry and leak free as possible.


Other issues include water getting underneath the shingles on the roof.  If the water is not properly diverted, this will occur and will lead to roof damage such as wood rot, and any materials that lie between your house and the shingles could be damaged as well.  Aside from roof damage, the water running down the side of the house can do a decent amount of damage as well. The water can get underneath the siding of the house, if the house has siding. This can cause additional rotting and other issues due to the fact the moisture will get trapped between the siding and the house itself.  This will also increase erosion in some places. For example, a brick house may have erosion and then have a “rusting” effect that may occur afterwards.


Here we will discuss exactly what it is the gutter system will do to help prevent the above issues.  The gutter system is designed to collect and divert water flow away from the roof, siding, and most importantly the foundation.  When it is raining, the water will drain down the roof, being collected into the guitars that hang just under the edge of the roof.  The water will then flow into one of the many downspouts, that will run the water down and away from the foundation, often into a designated path.  This is what prevents most of the issues we have talked about in this article.


Now that you have a better idea of importance of a good gutter system, keep in mind that gutters also causes clogging when full of leaves and other debris so maintenance is extremely important to prevent any unnecessary issues and extra costs.  The decision on what type of gutter guards to purchase on the market depends on the type of trees you have around your house because if you have mostly pine trees, then you will have to worry on the pine needles getting through the mesh of your gutter guards.


As you can see, having a functional gutter system can prevent water damage to your roof which can cause rot and also cause deterioration and mold to the shingles, soffit, fascia and masonry.  It will also prevent moisture in the windows caused by condensation, damaged sills or interior walls. The gutter system will also prevent water along the foundation which can cause erosion, further damaging your foundation and causing basement flooding.

How Much Does a New Metal Roof Increase Home Value?

Metal roofs can increase the home value of a home for a variety of reasons. It is a higher upfront cost, they last longer and require less maintenance over time. Metal roofs hold life span on about 50 years, whereas its shingle counterparts last around 20 to 25 years. They also add the value of a home for its usefulness, energy efficiency, life span, and requires less maintenance. Dustin Johnson Roofing & Exteriors provide home and business owners choose the best metal roofing product for their residential or commercial properties.

Image of how much does a new metal roof increase home value

According to a 2012 study by Homewyse, the average metal roof installation will run between $10,000 an $13,000. This translates to about $9.38 a square foot, which is a great deal more compared to a shingle roof which will run you about $3.41. Now to talk about how this affects the resale value. A metal roof can net you an additional 1 to 6 percent on the resale value when compared to shingles. In some regions, the homeowner can recoup up to about 95 percent of the install amount of a metal roof.

Below we will discuss a few of the reasons one may choose metal roofing over asphalt shingles. Shingles may be more cost-effective up front and are often more acceptable aesthetically, but metal roofs to hold a host of benefits. Often times a shingle roof is required in a lot of neighborhoods do to HOA and other neighborhood rules.

Metal roofing is easily the strongest when compared to the other types of roofing materials available. When installed properly metal roofing can withstand strong winds, hard rains, snow, hail and ice, extreme cold and heat. Fire resistance is also a major point to discuss in metal roofing. This is important especially around areas where wildfires are prevalent. Hot ashes or embers fall on a metal roof, it is much much less likely to catch fire than shingle roofing.

Metal Roofs are also more environmentally friendly, which is evident in the following ways. It is highly recyclable. This means that the leftover pieces, tear-off panels, and damaged parts can be saved for future use. There are metal coils and sheets that are comprised of previously recycled materials. Actually, 95% of aluminum roofing is already made of recycled materials.

Energy Efficiency is another selling point, you can choose from a variety of Energy Star rated colors and finishes for metal roofs. It is also easier to mount energy-saving equipment such as solar panels using clamps for a metal roof. They are also lower maintenance than other roofing options. Metal roofing can also increase the property value since metal roofing lasts longer. This does, however, require a higher upfront charge for installation and materials. It is easier to retrofit over an old roof, which can help you save some money. This can help reduce the amount of waste that eventually goes into a landfill.

Overall yes metal does increase the resale value, it really comes down to preference locations, needs, etc… Metal is more upfront but has a longer lifespan, meaning it will hold its resale value a little longer. Metal is about three times the cost of shingles up front though, which is a cost most people just do not want to put down. The best thing to do is call our roofing specialist and discuss your needs, concerns, wants, all of that with our roofing specialist. That will be the best way to ensure that you get all the information you need and get the best install needed.