Gutter guards are still relatively misunderstood. There’s a lot of misinformation out there about gutter guards.
This misinformation has meant that some people purchase gutter guards that don’t really help them. Others refuse all gutter guards, thinking they’re going to be wasting their money.
That’s why we decided to put together an in-depth, ultimate guide to gutter guards. We’ve talked about them on our blog, here and there, but we’ve never really pulled all of the information together and put it in one place for you.
We’re going to remedy that today, so you can make informed decisions about gutter guards from here on out.
Types of Gutter Guards
You’ll see a lot of different gutter guard names and concepts, but most of them fall into one of four basic categories.
Gutter Screens are designed to fit over your gutter. They’ll usually have very small holes in them to let the rain through.
Inserts fit right into your gutter. Some of them look like big pieces of foam, and some of them look like brushes. The idea is that they’re permeable, so that water can get through, but nothing else can.
Gutter Covers are designed to cover most of the gutter. Supposedly, they’ll divert the water into the gutter while keeping all of the debris out and on top.
Permeable gutter covers like the Flo-Free leaf guards we use here at Rain Control Aluminum. These are actually the only gutter guards that do exactly what they’re supposed to do. You’ll find out why in a minute.
Why Most Gutter Guards Fall Short of Their Promises
Most gutter guards simply have serious design flaws.
Let’s take gutter screens, for example. The person who designed those was thinking of great big leaves and neglected to think about fine debris.
That designer also didn’t think about torrential rains, like the type we get here in the Tampa, FL metro area. Those rains can actually drive bigger debris through the holes.
Once debris is in the gutter it builds up just as it did before the gutter guards went on. Sure, it’s building up at a slower rate, but the build up is still happening.
What about the inserts? Great idea, like putting big sponges in your gutters…until the insert rots. Some of the inserts also are more like brushes, and they just turn into big, mucky messes because stuff still gets in there.
Then you actually have to reverse the installation on your gutter guards to get to the debris. That makes the gutter cleaning task twice as bad as before, even if you don’t have to do it quite as often.
A rotted or clogged insert still prevents the free flow of water, which means that it’s just as bad as having dirty gutters. Eventually you’re going to have to get up there and get rid of them, and that means you’ve wasted your money and your time.
Gutter covers just don’t leave enough space for the water to actually get into the gutter, so they’re like these overzealous guards that do their job a little too well. Nothing gets in the gutters, which is great. Unfortunately, “nothing” includes “the vast majority of the water the gutters were designed to catch.” That stuff just goes right over the side, and you’re back at square one.
Flo-Free is Different
Flow-free acts as a permeable gutter cover. The inside of the gutter is clear and clean. The industrial nylon lets water right through, but that’s the only thing that comes through.
You’re left with a nice channel of water running under the gutter guard. Leaves–even pine needles–just fall on top.
You don’t have to worry about this stuff rotting and clogging up your gutter, either. It will last for 25 years, about as long as your roof will. Yes, you’ll have to replace them eventually, just as you’d have to replace anything on or in your house eventually. But their long lifespan and effectiveness makes them more than worth the money.
Maintaining Your Industrial Nylon Gutter Guards
Many people get disappointed with gutter guards simply because they’re sold to them as being “maintenance free” options. However, no gutter guard is maintenance free entirely.
As discussed, the “screen or mesh” guards will require you to get up there and clean the gutter eventually, because there will be all of this fine debris in there. The inserts will rot eventually, or will need to be cleaned out eventually.
Industrial nylon gutter guards do require you to get up there and brush the leaves off of them from time to time. Remember stuff is piling up on top of the guards. If too much piles up on top then the water can’t get through the debris to the guard and into the gutter, which means you’ve got water cascading over the side of your house again.
Fortunately, this is a very quick, simple task, and is nothing at all like getting up there with your gloves and your shovel to spend your entire weekend on a full scale gutter cleaning.
The Right Gutter Guards are An Investment
Gutter guards eventually pay for themselves.
Right now, you’re either spending your time on gutter cleaning, or you’re spending your money on it. Either way, this has to be done twice a year.
If you purchase the right type of gutter guards then you can skip all of that. It won’t be long before they pay for themselves.
If you’d like to get a free quote on yours, call us. We’re working in Homosassa, New Port Richey, Ocala and everywhere else in the Tampa Bay metro area. Flo-free leaf guards may be even less expensive than you think they are.