What is a Gutter Strainer?

what-is-a-gutter-strainerIf you’ve examined your gutters you might have found something that looks like a wire mesh bird cage, a big wire spider, or a wire light bulb. If you do, don’t remove it! That’s your gutter strainer.

Gutter strainers are also called downspout strainers. Their job is to keep your downspouts, one of the most important portions of your gutter system, from getting clogged up.

Clogged downspouts are a huge concern. They can cause your gutters to overflow. When that happens, water typically falls right against your house’s foundation.

Let the water fall on your foundation long enough and you’ll find yourself dealing with some of the most costly and difficult repairs that you can make to a home. Cracked and damaged foundations are no fun.

Ignore a cracked foundation long enough and you’ll soon see your floors and walls buckling too. Pretty soon the entire house can become unsafe. That’s why clogged and overflowing gutters are no small issue, and should be addressed right away.

The steel spring type of gutter strainer is well reviewed and quite effective. They’re durable, and their design lets small debris pass while keeping most of the bigger items out of your downspouts.

These strainers are important primarily if you have not installed gutter guards. You usually don’t use both types of protection at once.

Gutter guards are better since they can prevent a great deal of debris from ever entering your gutters in the first place. Still, if you don’t have gutter guards yet, a strainer can be an important part of any gutter maintenance system.

If you’ve checked your gutters and haven’t found a strainer, it might be a good idea to add on. You can usually find one at any hardware store for less than $4.

Installation is easy, but you will have to get up on your ladder. Find the hole in your gutter where the downspout begins. Push the strainer into the spout. Make sure the large “head” section is pointed upward.

Inspectapedia.com has a nice photograph of a properly installed gutter strainer here.

It’s also important to note that while strainers will keep your downspouts from getting clogged, the gutters themselves may clog quicker than without using a strainer. Still, though, it’s much easier to clear a clog in a gutter than one in your downspout.

If you’re not sure your gutters are getting the job done right for you, or if you need more protection to deal with Florida’s torrential rains, please call us. We’ve helped homeowners in St. Petersburg, Largo, Clearwater and the entire Tampa Bay area with issues just like these since 1975. Call us today for a free estimate!

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