How to Fit Your Home with Bushfire-Rated Gutter Guard
Regardless of whether your home is in a bushfire prone area or lies outside the bushfire danger zone, every Aussie knows of the devastating effects bushfires cause throughout the hot Australian summer season. Animal habitats are destroyed, lives are lost and homes are swept up in flames. It’s a horrible thing to witness, and our hearts go out to the families who have been affected by bushfires.
This is why we strive to provide accurate information and high-quality products so you can figure out how to retrofit your home with bushfire-rated gutter guard. Taking the right steps to help prevent airborne embers entering gutters and setting homes alight is a valuable investment for safety and peace of mind. Depending on your property’s rating according to the ‘Bushfire Attack Level’ standards, fortifying your home with bushfire-rated gutter guards could play a huge part in helping your home survive bushfire season for years to come.
What are the ‘Bushfire Attack Level’ standards?
After the Black Saturday fires of 2009, the Victorian Government introduced a BAL or “Bushfire Attack Level” rating for homes. Basically, it’s a guide that determines how a home may be affected by airborne embers, radiant heat and contact with direct flames from bushfires in the area. There are 6 different BAL levels, as per the table below. You can easily find out your home’s BAL rating by checking in with your local council.
As you can see, any home that sits above BAL 12.5 requires some form of retrofitting to reduce the risks of damage from bushfires, including the chances of airborne embers settling in leaf-ridden gutters or exposed roofing. That’s where we come in…
How do bushfire-rated gutter guards protect homes?
If you own a home, you know how utterly clogged gutters can get. We can’t often find the time to clean them out, which means that come bushfire season they’re packed full of dry leaves and twigs which is, ultimately, a gutter full of kindling. All it takes is one small stray ember to set a clogged gutter alight or enter exposed roofing and ‘whoosh’, the entire house can go up in flames. Ember guards have been constructed with government regulations that surround the dangers of airborne embers in mind.
How are ember guards different from other gutter guards?
Gutter guards are knights in shining armour, fitted to fight back waves of fallen debris. When installed correctly, they can even act as a slide of sorts to allow sticks and leaves to fall off the roof and be cleaned safely from the ground. While all Leafbusters gutter guards excel at this basic task, our recommended Ember Guard Mesh has been engineered specifically to help protect homes with a BAL rating. Ember gutter guards are made with much smaller apertures (holes) that are less than 2mm wide to prevent even the smallest ember from entering roofing via the gutters. This provides an added level of protection aside from just keeping gutters clear.
They’re also quite a bit more durable than regular gutter guards due to the usage of corrosion resistant materials and fire-resistant aluminium. The way the mesh is woven rather than moulded makes it more resistant to tears too. These additional features of ember guards are actually recommendations made by the Victoria Building Authority, so you know they’ve been made with studies and relevant data in mind.
How is ember mesh gutter guard installed?
As with most things, it’s always a good idea to let the professionals do what they do best. Installing a gutter guard is a delicate process that takes a little know-how, so we’d much prefer to do those hard yards for you. If not installed correctly, gutter guards may be at risk of fraying, leading to build up on top of the roof, rather than the debris sliding to the ground.
If you’d like to know more about having the Ember Guard Mesh that Leafbusters recommend installed on your home, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Give us a call on 1300 GUTTER (1300488837) to speak with a Leafbusters rep and prepare your house for the next bushfire season.
*BAL guidelines and building codes can change often. Before making any major changes to your bushfire plan and your homes bushfire protection, we warn that it’s also advisable to consult your local fire brigade.