While gutter leaf guards are crucial to your roofing system, cleaning them can be tedious and time-consuming. Probably the last thing you want is to spend your weekends perched on a ladder, scooping leaves out of your downspouts.
But gutter maintenance is one of those necessary chores you can’t put off. Clogged gutters can pave the way for a world of problems, including water damage, ice dams, and even cracks in the roof.
That said, leaf gutter guards can significantly reduce the number of times you have to clean roof gutters. These leaf protection systems cover your gutters and keep twigs, branches, and animal droppings from backing them up. Additionally, they prevent rodents and insects from making a nest out of your rain gutters.
Gutter leaf guards are essential for homeowners looking to protect their homes, save time, and cut down on regular gutter maintenance. What’s more, they come in various forms, making it easier for you to choose an option that fits your budget and needs.
6 Types of Gutter Guards You Should Know About
Contrary to popular belief, there’s more than one type of gutter guard in the market, each with its unique features and benefits. Let’s see what they are.
1. Foam Gutter Guards
As the name suggests, this gutter leaf guard is a piece of foam that fits into your gutters. Usually made from polyether or polyurethane, their primary purpose is to block out debris while still letting water pass through.
One of the biggest advantages of foam leaf gutter guards is that they are relatively inexpensive and easy to install. So, if you’re planning to DIY your gutter guard installation, this might be the choice for you.
But foam gutter guards aren’t flawless. For starters, they can mold quickly and may require frequent replacements. Moreover, foam gutter guards are unsuitable for high-precipitation areas because heavy rains can quickly saturate the foam, causing the gutters to overflow.
2. Bottle-Brush Gutter Guards
Brush guards sit inside the gutter and use large-bristle brushes to keep leaves, twigs, and branches out. Thanks to their ease of installation and low cost, they are a popular option for DIYers on a budget. All you need to do is trim the brush to the appropriate length and insert it into the gutter.
These gutter guards often consist of a thick metal wire core with polypropylene bristles extending from the center. Moreover, they can fit around corners or unusually shaped stormwater drainage systems. What’s not to love?
A word of caution though. Smaller debris can get caught in the bristles and make its way into the gutters, eventually leading to clogs and damage. Additionally, you’ll have to remove these guards while cleaning your gutters, which can be quite a hassle.
3. Reverse Curve or Surface Tension Gutter Guards
Did you know that reverse curve gutter protection systems have been around for 100+ years? They’re an overhead hoods with a slotted opening designed to let water enter. Think of them as a gutter on top of your gutter.
Surface tension gutter guards let the water flow over the top, around the curve, and into the slot while the waste slides down the top of the cover.
There are plenty of perks to using reverse curve gutters. For starters:
- They come with a warranty
- They keep large debris like pine needles, acorns, and leaves from clogging your gutters
- They alleviate ice dams
However, like foam gutter guards, surface tension gutter leaf guards are not suited to areas receiving heavy rainfall. The water can gain too much momentum coming off your roof and damage your basement/foundation. Also, these gutter leaf guards are notorious for welcoming unwanted pests and insects under their dry hoods.
4. Screen Gutter Guards
Made from wire or plastic, screen gutter guards are exactly what they sound like- flat, holed screens that sit on top of your gutters. A professional gutter installation company will lift the bottom row of your roof shingles and slide the guard’s edges beneath them. The weight of the shingles will then hold the screen in place.
Since this type of gutter guard installation requires no heavy tools, you can easily attempt it at home. That said, be sure to check with your shingle manufacturer before prying up the shingles. You don’t want to sabotage your roof warranty.
5. Mesh Gutter Guards
Mesh gutter guards are similar to screen guards but feature a more compact design to block more debris. Although they are recommended for professionals, experienced DIYers can still install them with a little patience and elbow grease.
Not only can these gutter leaf guards withstand heavy rain, but they’re also very durable and require minimal cleaning. A quick wash once or twice a year can help extend their lifespan significantly.
6. Micro-Mesh Gutter Guards
And finally, we have the undisputed champion of home gutter protection systems: micro-mesh gutter guards!
These gutter guards are arguably one of the best in the market, with perforated screens that can block even small-sized debris. Plus, they’re usually built from stainless steel and can stand the test of time. In a nutshell, these gutter guards can provide a safe and relatively maintenance-free means of protecting your gutters.
Micro-mesh gutter leaf guards can work wonders for your home. That said, they do require professional installation: and Ace Gutter Inc can help! Reach out to our rain gutter experts in Utah, and we’ll take it up from there.
The Bottom Line
Now that you know about the six different types of gutter guards, you should have no trouble picking one for your home. Remember, there’s no such thing as a perfect gutter protection system. It’s up to you to weigh your needs and choose one that balances style, form, and functionality.
At Ace Gutter Inc, we offer three remarkable leaf protection systems to keep your downspouts free from leaves, pine needles, and similar debris. Whether you need brand-new gutter leaf guards or want to upgrade your existing installations, we’re the people for the job. Get in touch with us to improve your roof gutters today!