Types of Gutter Guards
Fall is right around the corner and as beautiful as it is to watch the leaves turn into countless different shades of red and yellow, it can be very frustrating if you are a homeowner whose gutters are clogged from all the falling leaves and debris.
As the leaf season starts blanketing the streets in colourful leaves, you might want to install gutter guards so that you can enjoy this alluring transformation with peace of mind.
We know how overwhelming it can be to make a decision about what type of gutter guard you want to invest into. Too many choices can be just as frustrating as lack of options. To assist you through this process, here’s a list of different types of gutter guards that will help you narrow down your options.
Mesh / Screen
This type of gutter guard simply snaps on to your gutters. It filters virtually all dirt and the debris that is small enough to squeeze through will just flow down your downspouts without clogging the gutters. This is a great way to protect your gutters from leaves and larger sized debris.
While you have different material options for this kind of gutter guard such as plastic and vinyl, aluminum is the best alternative in terms of its longevity and low maintenance qualities. Plastic and vinyl provide the same filtering benefits, however due to the nature of their materials, they will not give you the long lasting results as aluminum does.
The best way to visualize how solid cover gutter guards work is by slightly tipping a glass of water and observing how the water runs down the side of the glass sticking to the surface. This concept, known as the surface tension principle, is essentially how solid covers work. Their edge curves past the edge of the gutter and then returns back into it. When they work as intended, water follows the curve to end up in the gutter, but debris falls off the edge of the curve.
Solid cover gutter guards tend to be on the higher end of the spectrum in terms of price and since they rely on the surface tension, they may not work as well in higher velocity rain, causing water run off from the gutters.
Among the cheaper options you have brushes and foam inserts that fit right into your gutters. These are very simple and easy-to-install systems that do not require a lot of tools. Gutter brushes have polyurethane bristles that resemble the spikes that are used to prevent birds from landing or roosting on ledges. The bristles face upright inside the gutter allowing the water to flow through whilst keeping the debris on top. Foam inserts, on the other hand, fit directly into your gutter, helping to block the debris from going into the gutter.
While these are cheaper-to-implement options, they may not provide the long-term solutions that you are looking for. Foam inserts tend to work well in the beginning, however debris gets stuck and builds up inside the foam over time, causing it to clog.
When it comes to choosing a gutter guard, you are definitely not short of options. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide which system will work better for your needs and your budget.
One thing to consider when comparing prices is the price per lineal foot. Sometimes we get drawn to a product because the price per item is cheaper in comparison to others. This can be very misleading, as every brand has different pricing techniques so it is important that you think in terms of a common variable to make a fair comparison between them. At the end of the day, your home is your biggest investment and you want to make sure that you are putting your time, effort and money in the right places, for the right reasons.