Three Types of Gutter Guards to Consider
Cleaning your home’s gutters every spring and fall will keep them working like they should; but, some homeowners take their gutters for granted. Leaves and debris will build up and clog the gutters which can result in water damage to your roof. If left unchecked, the problem will just get worse and eventually lead to sagging gutters, damaged roofs and even foundation problems.
Cleaning gutters is a messy job and requires working from a ladder while having the appropriate tools to do the job close by – probably attached to the ladder your standing on. Sitting on your roof to clean your gutters is definitely not recommended.
Cleaning gutters is a relatively simple job, but many homeowners don’t like getting up on a ladder or paying for a service to clean their gutters. Fortunately, manufacturers are always coming up with new inventions such as the gutter guard that make this job easier and less frequent.
There are three types of gutter guard systems you may want to consider:
- Screen/Filtering systems are made of metal or vinyl screens that fit on top of the gutter. Water passes through holes in the screen while leaves and debris filter away or remain on top of the screen. This type of system is inexpensive and almost nothing can enter the gutter. However, as small as the holes are in the screen, particles can pass through. After some time, sludge will accumulate in the gutter and must be removed.
- Blocking/Filtering Systems consist of two types: a highly porous foam that comes in 4-foot strips or the gutter brushes that fill the gutter cavity. The form type is placed inside the gutter and blocks leaves and other junk from getting down inside. The water runs down the foam inserts and the debris remains on top of the form. The form is an inexpensive solution, but eventually you will still need to clean the gutters; on the positive side, cleaning will be easier since the debris is not buried inside the gutter, but sitting on top of the foam. The other option is gutter brushes sit inside the gutters. Water passes easily through the brush, but debris is caught up in the bristles and decomposes. Gutter brushes are easy and cheap, but not all debris will decompose and may be difficult to manually remove from the bristle.
- Reverse Curve Systems separate the water from the debris. Good concept, but questionable as to how well it works. With the Reverse Curve system, the idea is that the water will follow a curved ridge and pour into the gutter. Reversely, leaves and other debris will not follow the ridge and will flow straight off the curved ridge onto the ground. This type of gutter guard cannot be purchased retail, but must be professionally installed.
Gutters serve an important function in protecting your house from water damage, unfortunately, maintaining gutters and downspouts is one of the most often overlooked jobs around the house. Gutters will always need to be cleaned and maintained; however, gutter guards will allow you to go longer between cleanings.
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