The best steel roof can still benefit from a well-designed gutter guard that protects the gutter from debris such as leaves, branches, and bird droppings so that water is effectively channeled away from your home.
During the rainy season, gutter guards are especially helpful in preventing clogging that may cause water to overflow. Without a proper gutter guard, water can penetrate the eaves and ceilings and do major damage. Instead of going that route, being proactive helps you avoid spending thousands of dollars on water damage.
At Metal Roof Professionals Group (MRP), we supply and install gutter guard systems to protect your gutter from clogging. Adding a gutter guard can also add years to the life of your roof and gutter. Other benefits include:
- No leaves, pests, and other blockages
- Reduced need for cleaning the gutters
- Reduced roof maintenance
- Lower risk of water damage such as rust and corrosion
- Increase the lifespan of the gutter
- Ability to harvest clean rainwater
- Increased protection against bushfires
- Improve home value
According to the Country Fire Authority (2010), 85% of homes affected during bushfires are victims of windborne embers or burning debris rather than direct contact with flame. Depending on the strength of the wind, fire embers can travel in the air for up to 5 kilometres.
Vulnerability to embers
During an ember attack, gutters are the main source of house fires because they provide fuel for the embers and easy access to the roof cavity.Cluttered gutters full of dry leaves put your home at risk of catching fire. Embers can also get inside your building through gaps between your roof, gutters, and fascia. Fire starts when embers land on insulation or other fuel sources. Unprotected gutters and poorly specified gutter guards are the main reasons largely contributing to this problem.
Australian Standard AS3959-2009 Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas specifies different construction requirements based on your property’s BAL (Bushfire Attack Level) in order for your homes to better withstand bushfire and ember attack.
Ember guardsEmber guards prevent burning embers from getting into your home through gaps that are greater than 3mm. Made from a non-combustible mesh with a hole size of 2mm or smaller, they are required for all new homes built in a bushfire-prone area with a BAL rating of 12.5 or higher. Effectively, ember guards seal off any gaps greater than 3mm like those surrounding your roof sheeting.
For homes in areas with a BAL of 12.5, 19, or 29, ember guards can be made of either corrosion-resistant steel, bronze, or aluminium. Homes with BAL of 40 or higher can only use ember guards made of corrosion-resistant steel or bronze. Overall, the corrosion-resistant steel gutter mesh with an aperture of 2mm is an ideal ember guard solution.
Gutter guardsOn the other hand, gutter guards are optional in areas with a BAL of 12.5, 19, 29, 40, or FZ. If you do choose to use them, gutter guards should be made of non-combustible materials that are compliant with Australian standards.
Gutter guards generally come in either metal or plastic. It is best to use metal gutter guards as they provide better protection from embers. At Metal Roof Professionals Group (MRP), we only use COLORBOND® gutter guards because its ZINCALUME® steel base is fire-resistant. COLORBOND® also complies with Australian standards and is well suited for NSW’s climate.
You have to note that most gutter guards do not qualify as ember guards. Make sure to use correctly-specified products.
To minimize risk from ember attack and water overflow, it is important to clean your gutters every so often. If possible, use a brush or blower to remove all the leaves and debris that may be blocking them. Hosing down your gutters and downpipes will also ensure there is minimal blockage. Take extra steps to ensure leaves don’t decompose because they will have a higher tendency to block your gutters when they do.
Time and Money
Aside from doing proper maintenance, investing in quality gutter guards not only protects your home from fire and water damage but also increases its long-term value. It will help you save money that would otherwise be spent on gutter-cleaning professionals.
Improve Home Value
People normally choose a home with gutter guards rather than one that does not have them. It is because home buyers want to make sure that they will be stress-free moving in and have the best value for the money that they spent.
Skip the hassle and reap the benefits of a well-designed gutter guard on your roof. Contact us now to have one installed in your gutter.