If you live in a four-season climate, then you may be looking at the coming fall season with a sense of trepidation because before you know it, your weekend afternoons are going to be spent cleaning leaves, twigs, and other debris out of your home’s gutters. In fact, you may even be thinking about having gutter guards installed to help conserve some of the time and effort you’re no doubt worrying about losing.
But, are gutter guards worth it? How do gutter guards work, and how well do they keep leaves out? Can they help prevent roof damage? This guide to gutter guards answers these questions and more.
What Are Gutter Guards?
Commercially available gutter guards are typically made from either vinyl or metal and they’re designed to secure in place at the top of the gutter. There are several types of guards available on the market, each with its own pros and cons, but the general design of a gutter guard consists of a mesh-like covering that covers the gutter and allows rainwater to enter, but not leaves, twigs, and other debris that can quickly and easily clog the downspout.
If the downspout becomes clogged, it causes water to collect and ultimately flow back into the home where it can cause the roof to start rotting. Some of the common types of commercially gutter guards available include:
- Metal Screen Guards: Metal gutter guards are affordable and snap into place with a clip that secures to the outer lip of the gutter. While affordable and easy to install, this type features mesh that can catch and hang on to small pieces of debris, which can clog the mesh and restrict water from entering the gutter.
- Sponge Gutter Guards: Sponge gutter guards are essentially large sponges that are designed to sit inside the gutter. The sponge prevents large debris from getting in and clogging the downspout, while soaking up the water and gradually releasing it down the drain. This type is effective at keeping large debris out, but not small matter, which can still wind up clogging the drain spout.
- Reverse Curve Gutter Guards: This type of gutter guard forms a rounded cover over the gutter that forces large debris to bounce over it and to the ground. This type of gutter protections uses water surface tension to route the water into the gutter, while shedding the leaves and debris.
- Slit Gutter Guards: Slit gutter guards are designed to allow larger quantities of water into the gutter through one or two recessed slits, and while the slits do help, they have also been shown to struggle with large amounts of water from torrential rains.
- Micro-Mesh Gutter Guards: Micro-mesh gutter guards are effective because the fine mesh does not capture debris and water can easily flow through. However, they are the most expensive and complex to install, often requiring professional installation to ensure optimum performance.
How Well Do Gutter Guards Work?
Almost all commercially available gutter guards perform well at keeping large item debris like leaves and sticks out of gutters. The biggest difference between the types available is how well they prevent small debris from getting in, and how well they handle large amounts of water. As mentioned previously, some perform better than others in these regards.
The most important thing to realize is that installing gutter guards won’t eliminate your need to check and maintain your gutters over the fall. While they do help keep debris from clogging the downspouts and thereby can help reduce the frequency of your chores, gutter guards can’t keep 100% of all debris out. In some cases, such as after a heavy storm, gutter guards can even become dislodged or broken. Because of this, regular inspection and routine gutter maintenance will still be required.
If you want a gutter guard system that truly delivers exceptional drainage and virtually eliminates the hassle, expense, and time you spend on your gutters, then you need to look beyond the gutter guards being sold in your local home improvement store. What you want is the Thompson Creek Gutter System.
Get a Free Estimate for the Thompson Creek Gutter System Today
Unlike commercially available gutter guards, the Thompson Creek Gutter System features unique gutter hoods that effectively filter leaves and other debris from ever entering the gutter. The Thompson Creek Gutter System features a seamless trough, and will never clog or pull away from the home. Our gutter system is the easiest and most effective way to solve your gutter problems. To learn more, contact Thompson Creek and get a free estimate for your new gutter installation today.