Gutter Screens Recommended by Austin, TX Fire Departments
The Austin Fire Department (AFD) recommends the installation of gutter screens along with regular gutter cleaning to help protect your home from wildland and structural fires.
It is top of mind to keep our yards tended and free of clutter. Exterior home maintenance may include clearing out dry leaves and brush, trimming landscaping and dead tree branches, and keeping our lawns cut and watered.
But how often do we look after the roof and gutters?
How Gutters Become Fire Hazards
Roofs are the most vulnerable surface of your home during a nearby fire. Wind-blown embers land on the roof or become lodged in a valley, vent, or gutter, and start a fire.
A spark from a wildfire, structural fire, car fire, the neighbor’s fireplace, or even a summer barbecue can travel up to 5,000 feet.
Over time, every gutter system gathers leaves, needles, small branches, and other debris. On their own, these items can act as accelerants for errant sparks.
Combined with the heat and long periods between rain in Austin, they dry out and turn the gutters that protect your home from rainwater, into fuel for a fire.
Though gutter screens don't completely eliminate the need for cleaning, gutter guards are a wise investment. Gutter cleaning isn’t needed as often, your rain gutters function better, and they extend the life of your gutter system.
Tips to Help Protect Your Home Exterior from Fire
One of the top tips from fire departments is to use gutter screens or otherwise guard rain gutters to prevent the accumulation of leaves, needles, and branches.
And there's more you can do according to Austin's Wildland Fire Action Guide:
- Landscape with fire-resistant plants that have high moisture content and are low-growing.
- Keep woodpiles, propane tanks, and combustible materials away from your home and other structures such as garages, barns, and sheds.
- Ensure that trees are far away from power lines.
- Use fire-resistant building materials such as non-combustible siding material and metal or tile roofing.
- All roof and eave vent openings should be covered with 1⁄4-inch or smaller metal mesh.
Considering Gutter Screens or Guards?
Gutter Tex will consult with you and recommend the best gutter guards for your system. We can also provide gutter cleaning, seamless gutter installation, and gutter repair.
Make sure your gutters are not a fire hazard with gutter screens and cleaning. Request a free consultation estimate from Gutter Tex.