We’ve never met anyone who enjoyed cleaning their gutters from leaves and debris and if you fall into this category, gutter guards and screens might be a great solution for your home. Gutter guards and screens effectively do the same job but just a little differently. They both create a barrier over the top of your gutter which allows water through into the gutters but keeps leaves and debris from accumulating in them. It is simple but there is a tremendous amount of design and engineering that have gone into these tools. Which product is better for your home, gutter guards or gutter screens? Our experienced team can help you choose and go over all of the options for you. For those that want some more information, keep reading below.
Gutter Screens & Guards
Gutter screens are probably what you are imagining right now. They are a screen like device that fit over the top of your gutters preventing leaves and debris from clogging them but allowing water through. They are made from a variety of materials including plastics, aluminum or stainless steel. They also vary by the types of holes cut into the screens. Some are a very fine mesh while others offer larger holes. They also can vary in shape. Some are set into the gutter and others offer a convex shape raising up and over the gutter. Lets take a deeper look at some of the options.
Micro Mesh Gutter Screens
Fine Mesh Gutter Guards are increasing in popularity and are becoming the preferred gutter guard system. Micro Mesh Gutter Covers are a completely sealed system that prevents debris of any size to enter the gutter and create a potential water damage problem.
Most Micro Mesh guards have two components, a frame and stainless steel mesh. This, however, is where the similarity ends as each manufacturer will use different types and quality of materials and use different methods to manufacturer those products. We also want to point out that these differences will dramatically alter the performance. So when it comes to choosing a micro mesh guard, it is best to consult with a professional who knows what systems and brands work well, and which ones will let you down.
Made of metal or plastic, screen gutter guards are an affordable option and come in a wide variety of styles and materials. Gutter screens are one of the easiest to install and this obviously keeps the overall cost to you the homeowner down. However, fine mesh does work best for filtering out small debris. Depending on the type of screen you might choose you could be left with rust stains on your gutters after a few years so knowing which screen to choose is really important. The plastic versions won’t lead to rusting but depending on the manufacturer can be made from less durable materials and will become brittle, warp, and break from the exposure to the elements and temperature changes. Also, pine needles can also get stuck in between the holes. Depending on the design of the screen and the shape of the holes, they can be blown out by strong winds.
Brush or Foam Gutter Guard
Brush and foam gutter guards are one of most inexpensive forms of gutter protection on the market. However, they offer the least reliable protection and should not be considered a long term solution. These products can be purchase at your local DIY Hardware or Big Box Home Center and claim to be easy to install and will give long lasting relief from the dangerous job of cleaning your gutters. Unfortunately, just the opposite is true.
Foam and brush guards are supposed to allow water to flow through your gutters and downspouts while filtering our all the debris. However, bristles in brush guards and improper fitting in foam guards, trap the debris causing the guard to fill with leaves and seed pods creating messy clog that need to be cleaned. Foam and Brush guards will start to degrade, shrink or harden allowing a fertile environment for small trees to actually grow in your gutters! Additionally, trapped moisture will be an environment for insects such as mosquitoes to breed as well cause mold and rot to form.
Reverse Curve Gutter Guards
These are the oldest technology dating back to the early 1900’s. Many different brands have incorporated design changes to improve the performance and durability. Water tension, sometimes referred to as surface tension or water adhesion, guides the water into the gutter system. The design requires an opening of ¼” to 1” on the front nose of the gutter cover. This design works well to shed larger leaves and debris but smaller particulates such as seed pods, small leaves and pine needles can get dragged into the gutter system and cause a clog down the road.
They are made from a variety of different materials such as plastic or aluminum sheet metal. The aluminum products are more durable than the plastics, but can still be damaged by larger debris. An area of concern has to do with the installation of the product. Many installers are unfamiliar with proper installation procedures and will nail or screw the product to the roof decking. This often creates Roof and Gutter problems over time and should be avoided. Make sure you give us a call if you are considering installing these guards on your home.