Beautiful surroundings with mature trees can congest rain carrying equipment. Enhance your gutters performance with leaf protection systems.
These consist of a hardware cloth or expanded metal that is usually installed under the first tab of the shingle and fastened to the front top edge of the gutter. The ¼” holes will keep out larger debris while allowing smaller debris into the gutter, which are washed out the downspout during a rain. Leaves do sit on top of the screen, this is normal, after they dry out the wind blows them away. Do not use the plastic screens, as they do not stand up in the upper Midwest climate. Make sure you get the heavy gage type. Screens have been around for decades and have proven themselves as the most economical system available. An added bonus is that these are very maintenance friendly. A simple brushing with a broom will dislodge any debris that gets stuck in the holes. They also are easily removed to maintain the gutter system, and can be seen through to locate potential problems. This kind of protection is not readily seen.
These are relatively new to the market and consist of a fabric mesh that is very porous. These keep out most debris except for the very small, and again these are washed to the downspout during a rain. The mesh is treated to prevent damage from the sun and to prevent mold forming. The filter works the same way as the screen in that the leaves sit on top of the filter until dry, and then are blown away. These are also not readily seen and are more costly than screen, but still reasonable. These are also very maintenance friendly. Sections can be removed and gutter checked, maintained, and easily re-installed. They also have another benefit in that it completely encapsulates the gutter, so mosquitos’ breeding is severely hampered. This type has been used in Michigan for about 4 years with success.
BULLNOSE LEAF PROTECTION:
This is a generic term for a number of gutter coverings. These consists of a metal or aluminum cover that is installed above the gutter opening with a curved front edge that theoretically lets water in to the gutter and nothing else. On almost all of these systems, your roof must be invaded at either the 1st or 2nd course of shingles. We have tested many of these products and have found they do not work as well as advertised. The debris still gets into the gutter and makes them look dirty. These are readily seen, and are not maintenance friendly. These are the most expensive of the systems and we believe not worth it.
We are not aware of a truly maintenance free system, so you will have some work to do with any of these systems, but a lot less then having nothing at all.