Traditional Gutter Guards: Why You Need to Avoid Them
In theory, gutter guards are among the most important features of a roof. Although their purpose is to protect gutters and not the roof itself, they are still indirect contributors to the longevity and integrity of a roof system.
Problems may emerge, however, if you use traditional gutter guards. These are narrow metal screens that go directly over open, curved gutters. The way they work is very straightforward: they prevent leaves and debris from entering gutters, allowing only rainwater to pass through and flow into the downspout. They work fairly well, but often not for long.
Here are some problems that often materialize when traditional gutter guards are used:
1. They’re not that effective at preventing debris from entering gutters.
A common issue with traditional gutter guards is that the holes are either too tiny or too big. If they are just the right size, wear and tear eventually makes them bigger or smaller, depending on whether the metal breaks or the holes get clogged with debris first.
If the holes are too tiny, wet leaves can block them and prevent roof runoffs from flowing past and into the gutters, rendering them useless. If the holes are too wide, the smaller leaves and debris can slip through, enter the gutter, and eventually clog the downspout.
2. Traditional gutter guards add weight to open gutters.
Gutter guards are an added weight that can pull curved gutters away from the gutter wall. Now, if you had to choose traditional gutter guards, there’s a good chance your gutters were installed via spike-and-ferrule or hidden hangers. Both are old gutter techniques that are prone to early damage because all that’s holding them in place are the screws drilled into the gutter wall.
Since traditional gutter guards tend to gather debris, you can expect that they will eventually weigh your gutters down. When this happens, the screws will loosen and you’ll be left with numerous punctures that can lead to leaking.
3. Bees, insects, and birds can build a nest inside the gutter.
Once you put the gutter guard over a curved gutter, you’ll have created the perfect spot for insects to nest in. Bees and hornets are common examples of insects that often build colonies in the cozy space in your gutters. Birds can also nest in your gutter if a section of the screen comes loose and there’s enough space for them to enter the gutter.
Insects and birds can move in during the long, dry months. If they finish building their nests and colonies before the rainy season starts, chances are they’ll stay put even when the rain starts pouring. You can only wait for the birds to leave their nests or hire a pest control company to get rid of the colony for you.
4. Gutters with traditional gutter guards need frequent cleaning.
Since traditional gutters are prone to trapping roof debris, it only means that they require frequent cleaning. It’s not just a matter of sweeping leaves off the roof but also clearing mulch out from the gutter (even if they effectively block leaves and twigs, the gutter screens cannot keep dirt from falling through). It’s an extra responsibility that we don’t imagine any homeowner would be happy to take on.
What’s the Ideal Solution, Then?
Roof and gutter experts have developed a much more efficient method of keeping gutters debris-free without compromising roof integrity or creating possibilities for roof leaks. One of them is the seamless gutter. We at Bruce Andrews Seamless Gutters took seamless gutters one step further, however, with the LeafLock Gutter Protection System™.
Our gutters have a “nose forward” design that covers the entire gutter and has a curved edge. Through surface tension, rainwater will follow the curve and flow inwards toward the gutter. The gap between the Leaflock gutter protector and the gutter is narrow, however. Leaves and debris cannot enter the gutter and will simply drop down the ground.
Get in touch with us if you want to know more about the LeafLock Gutter Protection System™. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and give you a quote.