Limitations of Gutter Leaf Guards – Part II

Learn About The Different Types of Gutter Leaf Guards

In a recent article we exposed the pros and cons of using gutter guards. In this second installment on the topic of gutter guards, we discuss the pros and cons of some of the most common options available. Gutter guards come in a variety of forms, each with its own set of pros and cons. 

types of gutter leaf guards

We will discuss some of the most common types of gutter guards and their comparative characteristics:

  1. Mesh Gutter Guards
  2. Reverse Curve Gutter Guards
  3. Bottle Brush Gutter Guards
  4. Foam Gutter Guards
  5. Snap-in Gutter Guards

Today, we’re talking about many different types of leaf guards, but there’s also many different types of roof gutters, some of the most common types are K-style gutters, half-round gutters, box gutters.  The diagram below shows a crosssection view of a depiction of a common K-style gutter. 

k-style gutter 

Many of the types of gutter guards that we will discuss today fit well with a case dog gutter because typically, case style gotter will have a flinch bent inward at the outer edge. This terminal bend allows for increased rigidity at the outer edge of the gutter and also allows a location to lock in a gutter guard.

Mesh Gutter Guards:

Mesh guards consist of a fine metal or plastic mesh that covers the gutter opening. The mesh allows water to pass through while blocking debris.

Pros: Effective at keeping out large and small debris.

Allows good water flow, reducing the risk of overflow.

Relatively affordable and easy to install.

Cons: Fine mesh may trap tiny debris, requiring occasional cleaning or maintenance.

In colder climates, mesh guards can get clogged by ice and snow.

The adjacent image shows a gutter mounting hanger.  There are multiple different types of hardware to mount and hang gutters from a typical fascia.  Flat roofs normally terminate at a drip edge overlaid with an overlay of single-ply membrane under and on top of the metal drip edge, sandwiching the metal flashing.  

Reverse Curve Gutter Guards:

reverse curve gutter guardsReverse Curve guards are designed with a curve that allows water to cling to the guard while debris falls off and drops to the ground.

Pros: Effectively keeps leaves and large debris out of the gutter.

Helps with self-cleaning during heavy rain.

Cons: Some smaller debris can still enter the gutter.

Installation can be more complex compared to other types.

Bottle Brush Gutter Guards:

Brush guards consist of bristles or brushes made from durable materials such as polypropylene, and they are inserted into the gutter

Pros:  Blocks large debris like leaves while allowing water to flow freely.

Durable and long-lasting.

Cons: Smaller debris can still enter the gutter.

Regular cleaning is needed to prevent clogging.

Foam Gutter Guards:

Foam guards are made of porous foam that fits inside the gutter channel, allowing water to pass through while blocking debris.

Pros:  Easy to install and affordable.

Resistant to mold and mildew.

Cons:  Can get clogged by fine debris, requiring periodic maintenance.

Durability may vary depending on the quality of the foam.

Perforated Gutter Guards:

Perforated guards are made of metal or vinyl sheets with small holes or perforations, which allow water to pass through while keeping out larger debris.

Pros: Effective at preventing leaves and debris from entering the gutter.

Durable and long-lasting.

Cons: Fine debris can clog the holes, necessitating occasional cleaning.

In regions, like Washington DC with occurrences of heavy rainfall, water overflow can be an issue.

Snap-in Gutter Guards:

Snap-in guards are typically made of vinyl or aluminum and are designed to snap into place over the gutter.

Pros: Easy to install and remove for cleaning.

Decent protection against leaves and larger debris.

Cons: Not as effective at keeping out smaller debris.

May become dislodged during heavy rain or wind.

When choosing a gutter guard system, consider your specific needs based on the layout of nearby trees and the volume of water flow based on your roof layout respective to the gutter size and ratio of the roof area, the types of trees in your yard (and neighbor’s yards). Plan for regular maintenance with any system but factor how the system selected will affect the amount snd type of maintenance required.  

Smart proactive replacement, construction, upkeep and maintenance of low slope roof and mansard roof systems requires an enthusiastic interest and understanding of historical methodologies, waterproofing principles, and building science.   Here in Washington DC, historic and modern residential and commercial buildings are extremely expensive and the roof and related systems provide the shield that preserves the building. 

We encourage all of our clients, and all readers of this article and to our blog in general, to prioritize the value of quality construction and building maintenance, and develop a relationship with our company.  You can learn a lot more on our blog.  Feel free to check it out.  If you have questions about the roof and related systems of your building in Washington DC, contact us or fill out the webform below and drop us a line.  We will be in touch if we can help.

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