Your gutters are designed to catch rain that trickles down your roof and then direct it away from your home. However, water isn’t the only thing that can get caught in your gutters. Leaves and other debris can also get stuck there, clogging up the gutters and preventing them from working as effectively as normal. Fortunately, there’s a solution that can help prevent leaves and other debris from clogging up your gutters.
What does a leaf guard do?
The leaf guard, also known as a cover or a screen, sits over the top of the gutters and blocks any debris, which can include leaves, twigs, and more, from getting into the gutters below. The guard lets water through so that it can enter the gutters and be directed away from the house.
Do you still have to clean your gutters with a leaf guard?
While a leaf guard can help to keep your gutters clear of debris that can clog them, having a leaf guard doesn’t mean that there’s no gutter maintenance whatsoever. If you live in a windy and rainy area near a lot of trees, there’s a good chance that some, especially smaller debris, can still make their way into your gutters. They aren’t 100% foolproof, but if they’re installed correctly, they can help reduce the maintenance required.
Do you have to clean the leaf guard?
The leaf guard will also need to be cleaned regularly. This is because debris can build up on top of it and prevent rainwater from draining through it into your gutters. However, cleaning off the leaf guard and the gutters periodically is still a lot easier than dealing with the clogs that can build up in the gutters without a leaf guard.
What types of leaf guards are there?
There are five primary types of leaf guard that you can install. Which one is best depends on your home.
Screen Leaf Guards
A screen leaf guard is made up of either a wire or plastic grid and just sits on top of the gutter. It’s easy to install because you only have to lift up the bottom edge of the shingles of the roof to fit it on. No screws are required. This does mean, however, that it’s possible for a screen leaf guard to get dislodged in high winds.
Reverse Curve Leaf Guards
A reverse curve leaf guard is a bit more difficult to install. It has to be screwed into the fascia of the roof at the right angle. Once they’re installed correctly, however, they work well to direct water into the gutters. They also allow leaves and debris to slide off onto the ground below rather than staying on the leaf guard.
Micro Mesh Leaf Guard
A micro mesh leaf guard is similar to a screen leaf guard, but typically has smaller holes. This helps it block out any but the smallest debris. A micro mesh leaf guard can either fit under the edge of the shingles or snap into place over the gutters. You might have to periodically clean a micro mesh leaf guard with a hose sprayer and a brush to get rid of debris that gets caught in it.
Foam Leaf Guard
A form leaf guard is essentially a triangular piece of foam that sits in the gutter. One of its flat sides faces upwards, another faces the back of the gutter, and the third flat side is diagonal within the gutter. Foam leaf guards are popular because they’re easy to install. No screwing in is required and the foam can be easily cut so that it fits in the gutter. However, they’re not the best type of leaf guard if you live in a very rainy area because the foam can cause the gutter to overflow if it absorbs too much water.
Brush Leaf Guard
A brush leaf guard looks like a large pipe cleaner. They’re inexpensive and easy to install because they sit in the gutter and don’t require screwing in. They can also be cut to size and are flexible enough to go around a corner.
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