How to Build Your Own Gutter Guards

Written by sal marco
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How to Build Your Own Gutter Guards
Gutter guard reduce the amount of time spent cleaning the gutters. (Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Gutter guards keep debris from entering roof-edge gutters and creating clogs. Blockages cause water to pour over the sides of the gutters and down the house toward the foundation, which can lead to water and moisture issues in crawl spaces and basements. Overflowing gutters can also lead to roof leaks. Many homeowners use commercially available guards to keep leaves and twigs out of the gutters, but making your own is less expensive. Homemade gutter guards provide the same level of protection as the store-bought variety.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Metal or fibreglass mesh
  • Metal snips or heavy-duty scissors
  • Ladder
  • Self-tapping screws
  • Drill
  • Galvanised wire
  • Wire-cutters
  • Lockjaw pliers

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Measure the length and width of the gutters. Write down the measurement.

  2. 2

    Cut sections of metal or fibreglass mesh screening with metal snips or heavy-duty scissors 2 inches more than the width measurement. Cut the length pieces into manageable 4- to 6-ft sections.

  3. 3

    Place a ladder against the house to access the gutters.

  4. 4

    Lay a section of metal or fibreglass mesh over the gutter beginning at the end of the gutter. Let the end of the mesh hang over the end of the gutter by 2 inches. Allow 1 inch to overhang on each side of the width.

  5. 5

    Pull the end of the mesh over the end of the gutter and hold it in place. Place a self-tapping screw on top of the mesh and drive the screw through the mesh with a power drill, into the gutter to secure the end of the mesh.

  6. 6

    Cut 12-inch sections of galvanised wire with wire-cutters. The number of pieces of wire depends on the length of the gutter.

  7. 7

    Thread a piece of wire through the edge of the mesh that is overlapping the width of the gutters until half of the wire is through the mesh. Pull the wire around the bottom of the gutter and bring it up to the overhanging wire mesh on the opposite side. Thread the wire through the mesh and twist the ends of the wire together tightly. Hold the edges of the wire together with lockjaw pliers and twist the ends tightly. The mesh should feel taut to the touch. Snip off excess wire with wire-cutters. Repeat every 8 to 10 inches.

  8. 8

    Position the second piece of mesh on top of the gutter allowing it to overlap the first section of mesh by 10 to 12 inches. Thread wire through the mesh, wrap around the bottom of the gutter and twist to secure in place. Continue to place the mesh on top of the gutter, thread the wire through the mesh and twist the wire to secure the mesh in place tightly. When you reach the end of the gutter, secure the mesh in place with a self-tapping screw.

Tips and warnings

  • Gutter guards prevent debris from entering the gutters, but you will still have to clean the debris off the gutter guards. Leaves and other debris can block water from entering the gutter through the mesh.
  • Clean the gutters before installing gutter guards.
  • Follow safety rules when using a ladder.

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