Protecting Your Gutters
Gutters protect your home from damage caused by rainwater running off your roof and pooling around your home. But what protects the gutters from the elements? A gutter protection system. From systems that form a natural barrier to leaves and debris, to systems with the sole purpose of keeping gutters clear, there is a gutter system to fit every budget.
Keeping Gutters Clear
Gutters are natural collectors of leaves, twigs, insects and whatever else lands on your roof and gets washed into them. Without a system to guard and protect from the elements, debris and even falling limbs or leaning ladders, they could succumb to all sorts of problems.
Evaluating Gutter Protection
The right gutter protection system can keep your gutters clear and the water flowing safely away from your house, just like they were designed to do. Gutter protection does just what the name implies, “protects” your gutters from filling with leaves and debris that collect over time. There are a variety of styles available, each with different features.
Tension-type systems affix a helmet or cover to the gutter in an attempt to keep debris out while allowing water to pass through. These systems are usually expensive and may need to be removed during a re-roofing project. In addition, tension-type systems may require you to lift your roof shingles to place the leaf guard underneath — be careful, because doing so can void your roof warranty.
Filter-type systems are typically made of plastic. They often look like a sponge or bottle brush and act as a filter to create a partial barrier to debris.
Barrier-type systems offer a wide variety of options, from inexpensive plastic or wire mesh to perforated aluminum systems that block everything except the smallest debris. Aluminum options are preferable because they are more durable and can withstand years of abuse from the sun and animals. Hole size is critical because even the smallest debris entering your gutters can collect over time and cause clogs. Even though the hole looks small relative to the size of a leaf, keep in mind that leaves are brittle and break down, creating smaller leaves and twigs, all of which can enter your gutter — increasing your chance of clogs.
Look for a solid aluminum construction, which prevents rusting, distortion and the need for painting.
Hanging Systems with Gutter Protection
There are many type of hanging systems, from old-fashioned screws and spike/ferrules, to hidden and zip hangers, to continuous hanging systems. But a smart buy is one that combines a sturdy hanging system with a proven gutter protection system — especially if you’re replacing your gutters. This two-in-one solution is a great way to secure your gutters more rigidly to your home and protect your investment from the elements for years to come.
Quality and Performance
Anyone can claim that their product is the best. Look for manufacturers who publish their testing data so you can decide for yourself what product will do the beset job for you. The highest quality products will meet and share the following criteria: