Gutter guards are available to home owners as they cover and protect gutters from being damaged and from having clogs or cracks. This ultimately translates into needing less gutter cleaning, which is always a good thing for those who don’t like to get in there. However, there are different types of guards available and it can be hard to understand the benefits and drawbacks of each.
- Mesh screens and covers can be a concern if the perforations aren’t large enough or if they are too big. If water can’t get through, rainwater will not end up going through your gutter system. Alternatively, if the mesh screen is too large, items like pine needles, small pine cones, leaves, branches and other small debris might get through defeating the purpose of having a guard in the first place.
- There are also foam guards that you can insert into your gutters. These guards are made of polyurethane and allows water to go through the foam, while keeping larger debris out of your gutter system. The trouble is that this foam gutter system does not have the same lifespan as your gutter itself which means after a few years (or less), the foam will start to break down. It has also been reported that small particles and granules from roof shingles have also been able to pass through the foam, and collecting at the bottom of your gutter system.
- Perforated metal gutter guards are specially-designed to be installed under your roof shingles and overlap to cover your gutters. These types of guards are mostly designed to keep larger debris out like leaves and nesting birds, however smaller items like pine needles and seeds, or small branches might get through or get stuck in the perforations of the guard. This will eventually lead to an overflow of water and dysfunctional gutters.
- Probably the original gutter guard system was designed as a “reverse curve.” These are designed to push the water around the nose and through the slits into the gutter. Meanwhile, leaves and other debris are kept at bay by falling over the curve and onto the ground. The slits are really thin which means animals cannot get through.
- Some guards are made of heavy-duty bristles which fills the gutter and is meant to prevent debris from lodging inside the gutter itself. Because it doesn’t completely fill the gutter, there is still space for smaller pieces like needles, branches, leaves and other items to get in, and because they are bristle brushes it is possible that items will get caught in the bristles themselves instead of being pushed away. This can result in an even harder clean up.