Cleaning gutters is hardly at the top of everyone’s want-to-do list.
It’s a time consuming and potentially dangerous chore, but it can be avoided through installation of a quality gutter protection system!
There are many types of gutter protection systems available but which ones are worth the time, effort and money? We aim to help you navigate through the pro’s and con’s of some of the options available to find the right solution for you.
Things to consider in your search for the right gutter protection system include cost and effort of both the initial installation and the ongoing maintenance required.A good gutter protection system will do 3 things well:
- Keep leaves and pests out of your gutters and valleys.
- Allow water in.
- Gives the best chance of leaves coming off (reduces maintenance).
Depending on the type of roof you have you may also need to consider the valleys as well as your gutters, these are the intersection points where two roof lines meet creating a V-shaped metal channel that runs from the gutter to the top of the roof.
As the name suggests there are various gutter ‘insert’ solutions available that aim to cover and protect gutters from trapping leaves and debris, whilst allowing water to penetrate and flow. The available gutter inserts are foam inserts (typically made of polyether or polyurethane foam), hedgehog inserts (they look like a brush, made of polypropylene bristles) and gutter cups (a cage structure, usually plastic).
Pro’s and Con’s of gutter inserts
The first obvious advantage of these gutter protection systems is the price, being quite cheap. However, keep in mind the ongoing maintenance costs of such systems. Over time, the foam inserts will start to perish and will need replacing and the brush product may shed the bristles after being cleaned a few times.
Another advantage to the two examples above, is that they can be relatively easy and quick to install. However, these types of gutter inserts require a lot of maintenance and will have you climbing up and down your ladder on a regular basis to clean out the debris build up which arguably negates the point of having a gutter protection system in the first instance.
When looking at the effectiveness of gutter protection, gutter inserts are not the best choice. Light autumn leaves and debris may initially blow off, but things like gum nuts, twigs and branches won’t - especially when wet.
In addition, while the product allows the water to have clear drainage along the bottom of the gutter, during storms the gutter's draining capacity is greatly reduced inhibiting the volume of water flow to the downpipe potentially causing overflows.
Another weakness of these systems is the ease in which wildlife like possums, birds and rodents can make short work of them, often leaving them in shreds.
Mesh Gutter Guards
Mesh guards, as the name suggests, are a membrane that is installed over the gutter (either made of plastic, galvanised metal or powder coated metal) that aim to stop all the leaves, debris and pests out of your gutters while allowing water to freely flow through, into your gutters to complete the job as intended.
Pro’s and Con’s of Mesh Gutter Guards
There are a few mesh gutter guard systems available with varying levels of expense, difficulty of installation, longevity and level of maintenance required. Mesh systems however, are suitable for any type of roof (tile, deck metal, corrugated metal, etc) and can also be effectively installed over valleys to prevent debris build up, which is why they are generally considered the most thorough, cost effective and long-term solution to gutter protection.
Instead of leaves getting stuck in filters and clogging the gutters, needing regular cleaning and maintenance, mesh systems allow the leaves to slide off, requiring less regular intervention from the home owner.
As the gutter is fully covered and fixed to the roof it also stops pests from entering or nesting in your gutters.
A mesh system will almost certainly be more expensive than an inserted product but when reviewing your gutter protection system options, consider the lifetime cost, time saving and quality of the system.
Leaf Stopper’s Aluminium Mesh will usually last the lifetime of the gutter - and often greatly extend the life of the gutters as well. When you compare the benefits and the peace of mind you have, it’s easy to see why there’s a growing trend for homeowners to look beyond the so called ‘quick fix’ products and to purchase a quality gutter protection system.
Contact Leaf Stopper today
If you have any other questions or require more information regarding which is the best gutter protection system for your house, call one of our friendly staff at Leaf Stopper today!