Some jobs are just plain messy and stinky and quite horrible to do. Cleaning out gutters is one of them! But, it needs to be done, you say to yourself, Not necessarily! Cleaning gutter guards can be a thing of the past, if you install gutter guards. But, how are you supposed to know which kind of gutter guard to buy?
Now, you’re in the market for new gutter guards and you want to know which is the best gutter guard for your home. We can help you with that… Let’s start with the three of the most popular types of gutter guards available: screen, surface tension and fine mesh. These guards are designed for 5-in. K-style gutters, typical of many homes.
If leaves are the main problem, plastic drop in screens are the most appropriate type of gutter guard for you. Cut into sections and wedge them into place between the gutter and the fascia – no fiddling, no fastening necessary.
Screens are the easiest to install – and can be installed in a number of different ways. You can slide these up under the shingles, allowing the screen to angle downward, allowing debris to slide off the roof. Or screens can be dropped in, making these a good choice if the shingles are old and brittle, or a shingle type (other than asphalt) that can’t be pried up.
Screens are available in a wide variety of shapes and materials.
Points to note:
- Openings in screens are big enough to let in seeds and pine needles. Removing them may require moving the screens.
- The screens can become plugged, because some of the debris gets entangled and isn’t easily brushed or blown off.
Surface-tension guards work well with leaves and other large pieces of debris These guards are the most effective if they’re installed so that the slope of the guard matches the slope of the roof. Water clings to the rounded nose of the guard and flows into the gutter with this type of guard. Leaves and other debris fall off the edge. Small debris does get in sometimes but, if they’re installed correctly, the amount of debris that enters the gutter is usually small enough to be washed away. Plus, the solid surface of the guards can be cleaned with just an occasional spraying with a garden hose.
Points to note:
- Surface-tension gutter guards are more visible than other styles
- Water can shoot over them in heavy downpours
Fine-mesh guards work like screens – they block all but the smallest debris. The tiny spaces in the mesh don’t get clogged by seeds and needles, but they can fill with small particles such as shingle grit. This fine-mesh gutter cover can be installed under the shingles; with the back bent up, it can be fastened to both the fascia and the gutter for additional strength.
Fine-mesh gutter guards still need an occasional cleaning, but unlike screens, fine mesh is easy to blow or brush clean.