When it comes to a gutter guard, there are five main types: Screen, micro mesh, reverse curve (or surface tension gutter guards), brush and foam. Each type of leaf guard has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. You might be wondering which leafguard is the best option for you? In this blog, we’ll discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each and which is best for your property.
Screen guards are made of wire or plastic grids that keep leaves out of the gutter trough. The main advantages of screen gutter guards is that they are very affordable and easy to install. To install a screen guard, a contractor will lift the bottom row of your roof shingles and slide the gutter screens’ edges beneath the shingles along the entire length of the gutter. The weight of the shingles will hold the screen in place. Often no tools are needed for this gutter guard installation.
Because gutter screens are not screwed down, they can be moved by strong winds or knocked out from beneath shingles by falling branches. Additionally, prying up the lower row of roof shingles to install slip-under gutter guards voids some roof warranties. It’s best to check with your shingle manufacturer if you are considering installing screen leafguards.
Micro-mesh gutter guards are similar to screen guards by allowing water to run through small holes while blocking twigs, pine needles, and debris. They can be installed in one of three ways: by sliding under the bottom row of roof shingles, snapping the guard directly onto the top of the gutter, or attaching a flange to the fascia (the vertical strip just above the top of the gutter).
Micro-mesh leaf gutter guards effectively block even small pieces of debris (such as blowing sand) while still allowing rain to pass through. They’re made of a number of materials, ranging from cheap plastic to tough stainless steel. Unlike other gutter guards, these mesh guards may require cleaning with a hose sprayer and scrub brush on a regular basis to remove ultra fine debris from the mesh holes.
Reverse-curve leaf filters are made from lightweight metal or moulded plastic. Water flows over the top and down a downward curve before entering the gutter below, while the leaves and debris fall off the edge and onto the ground. Even in yards with a lot of trees, these gutter guards do a great job of keeping leaves and debris out of the gutter.
Gutter guards with a reverse curve are more expensive than mesh guards and screen options. They are less DIY-friendly than other types of leaffilter because they must be attached to the fascia of the roof at the proper angle. If not properly installed, water can run over the edge instead of following the reverse curve into the gutter. Because they are installed above the existing guttering, they can appear as full gutter covers from the ground, so it is best to choose a product that matches the colour and aesthetic of the home.
Brush-style gutter protection are essentially large pipe cleaners that sit inside the gutter and prevent large debris from falling into the gutter and clogging it. Simply trim the brush to the appropriate length and insert it into the gutter. Brush-style gutter guards are a popular choice for DIYers on a budget due to their ease of installation and low cost.
This type of gutter guard is usually made of a thick metal wire core with polypropylene bristles extending from the centre. The guards do not require any screws or connections to the rain gutters, and the metal wire core is flexible, allowing them to be bent to fit around corners or unusually shaped stormwater drainage systems. These features make it easier for DIYers to install these gutter guards without the assistance of a professional.
Another simple option is a triangular block of foam that sits in the gutter. One flat side faces the back of the gutter, another faces up to the top of the gutter to keep debris out, and the third flat side faces diagonally in the gutter, allowing water and small debris to flow through the drainage system.
These gutter guards are inexpensive and simple to install, making them an excellent choice for DIYers. The foam can be cut to the desired length, and the guards don’t need nails or screws to stay in place, reducing the risk of damage or leaks. However, they aren’t ideal for high-precipitation areas because heavy rain can quickly saturate the foam, causing the gutters to overflow. They are also prone to molding and need to be replaced frequently.