Leaves and other tree debris can be a menace to your home’s rain gutter system. If your gutters are getting clogged with waste, it may be time to install gutter guards. Keep these tips in mind when making a purchase.
When Your Problem is Small Debris
Small debris, such as tiny pine needles and seeds, can be kept at bay by installing larger downspouts. If small debris is your only issue, this is the route to take. Consider putting a three by 4-inch downspout on 5-inch gutters.
A note about the gutter opening to the downspout. Before considering installing an internal device in this area, evaluate how much debris your gutters are exposed to. A moderate or large amount of trash can clog the downspout opening, backing up water in the drains. Water flow is necessary to keep your gutter system clean. A larger downspout with a more significant outlet will minimize your potential for clogging.
When Your Problem is Large Debris
If you have a problem with large debris, installing gutter guards is the way to go.
Large debris, such as leaves, larger pine needles, and twigs, wreak havoc on your system if they get trapped in the gutter. When in the channel, they do not move, trapping smaller debris and causing clogs. In these cases, they do not dry up or blow out. Your only choice is to get up on a ladder and manually remove them. This can be avoided by choosing a well-designed gutter guard system.
The best gutter guards lie on top of the gutters, not down inside of them. Gutter guards installed on the inside will cause you to have the same clogging problems you had without them. Any large debris that land on top of your gutter guards will eventually dry up and blow away. When it comes to gutter guards, you have a few different choices.
- Fine mesh gutter guards. This type of gutter guard goes over the top of your gutter and acts as a sieve. It lets water through while keeping debris out. These are very effective and long-lasting. The downside is that moss or mold can clog the mesh.
- Solid gutter covers. These have a solid top and usually feature a reverse curve that lets water drip into the gutter through an opening too small for large debris. They can be expensive and have the potential to create icicles in colder climates.
- Gutter Inserts. Gutter inserts are often made of brushes or foam and fit directly into the gutters. They don’t require screws or fasteners, meaning there is less potential to damage your roof. However, they have the potential to restrict water flow because of their placement inside the gutter.
Consider the type of debris you encounter, your budget and your roof before deciding which gutter system is best for you.
A well-designed gutter guard system should keep itself clean for the most part. The gutter guards will keep most of the debris out, maintaining a good flow of water through the system. Any small debris will be whisked away, flowing through the gutters, into the downspout, and out of the system. Some gutter systems will ice up in the winter, particularly in colder climates. Keep the temperature of your area in the winter in mind.
Many people wonder about gutter cleaning products that can be used from standing on the ground. It is challenging to clean what you cannot see. The most thorough method for cleaning your gutters, should debris sneak in, is to climb on a ladder and clean it that way. Consider hiring a professional to do this job for you.
In summary, when choosing gutter guards, keep these things in mind:
- The type of debris you encounter.
- The size of your downspout.
- The weather in your area.
- The condition of your roof (e.g., a mesh may not be the right choice for a moss covered roof, and a solid cover may not be conducive to a colder climate).
The system you choose should prevent clogging, keep itself clean, and work well with the condition of your roof at The Architecture Designs.