One of the less glamorous parts of owning a home is that you will have to clean out your gutters to keep them working as intended. It only gets worse if you have trees that lose leaves or drop seed pods! However, we can make the process easier with a gutter cover. There are many types to choose from, with different strengths and weaknesses. Let’s dive in:
1. Gutter Helmet
Gutter helmet, or reverse curve or surface tension gutter guards, are designed to move rainwater down. They also cause leaves and other debris to drop down to the ground rather than collecting in your gutters. Unfortunately, most of these guards lift up roof shingles, which could void your roof warranty. They don’t work as effectively as they should because clogs can form when debris builds up in the opening. You might also have a pest problem if bees or wasps get through the opening and build nests in your gutters.
2. Bottle Brush Guards
Inexpensive “bottle brush” guards such as GutterBrush are made of heavy-duty bristles. When inserted inside the gutter, the bristles are supposed to prevent leaves and debris from accumulating. In reality, many users have found that leaves simply build up behind the projecting bristles or become stuck on the bristles themselves, defeating the purpose of installing gutter guards in the first place.
3. Foam Gutter Guards
Made from porous polyurethane, this guard inserts directly into the gutter and a common brand is GutterStuff. While the foam allows water to flow slowly through the gutter, users report the foam begins to deteriorate and become brittle after only two years of use. The foam also allows shingle granules to pass through and collect at the bottom of the gutter. In fact, we have a video up on our Facebook page showing why we don’t like foam gutter guards!
4. Perforated Gutter Guards
Perforated metal guards fit under shingles and cover the gutter. This type of cover is effective at keeping out leaves, but not needles, pods and seeds. As small debris becomes stuck in the perforations and covers the trough created by the gutter guard, water is increasingly likely to overflow because it can’t get through to the gutter below. We use a brand called GutterRx in this style.
5. Micro Mesh Gutter Guards
Super-fine mesh screens were designed to eliminate the problems with perforated metal covers. Micro mesh gutter guards have tiny holes that are barely visible to the naked eye. These guards, which are typically made of stainless steel, allow water through while keeping debris out. Consumer Reports named these as the best type of gutter protection and they offer a permanent solution to clogged gutters. Micro mesh gutter guards are an ideal option if you want a maintenance-free system to protect your gutters.