Leaves, insects, sticks, dirt, and rocks are just some of the types of debris responsible for clogging your home’s gutter system. Gutter guards prevent the gutters from becoming blocked by these materials, and in turn prevent your home from serious problems caused by water damage and exposure.However, it’s important to note that not all gutter guard systems operate at the same level of efficiency. While most products will protect the gutters from larger particles, most are incapable of screening out smaller debris from entering the gutters and causing clogs.
As with any home improvement purchase or installation, choosing the right products that offer the highest quality and best durability is a critical part of the process. Smart Exteriors is committed to using only the best products from the most reliable manufacturing companies on the market. For more than two decades, we’ve made it our number one goal to stay up to date with the best and newest technologies, in order to provide our customers with the smartest gutter protection systems on the planet. Best of all, our gutter guard products are backed by our lifetime transferable warranty—a testament to the trust we have in our own installation services and products.
Installing the right gutter guards can protect your home from several serious threats, including foundation damage, landscape erosion,and other costly disasters. If you’re interested in protecting your property from water damage caused by clogged gutters, take a look at the research we’ve collected on the different types of gutter guards available, along with a breakdown of how each of them holds up when compared against each other.
There are two basic categories that gutter guard products fall under: those that are installed by professionals, and ones that you can install by yourself. According to our own research, we’ve found that many homeowners attempt a DIY gutter guard installation before resorting to a professional installation. In fact, many of our own customers admit to trying an average of two to three different products or DIY attempts before handing the project over to us.
As tempting as it may seem to want to do it yourself, the products found inmost home improvement stores just don’t match up to the lasting quality of a professional-grade product and expert installation. We highly recommend saving money and getting it right the first time around—with a product and installation service that’s backed by a lifetime guarantee (like the one we offer at Smart Exteriors). While we do not advise the DIY options for most homeowners, those with the right experience, tools, and resources can find the following inexpensive options at their local hardware store:
Metal Screens: Metal screens are an inexpensive, easy-to-install gutter guard that can be found in most home improvement stores. While they can provide an adequate solution to keeping large particles and debris out of your gutter system, they aren’t as successful in blocking finer particles. Additionally,metal screens are not securely fastened into place and will buckle or blow off completely in harsh winds, heavy snow or ice, and other conditions.
Plastic Screens: Similar to metal screens, plastic screens are inexpensive and easy to install yourself. They also offer the same pros and cons as metal screens.In general, neither metal nor plastic screens are considered as good long-term solutions for gutter protection, as both require plenty of maintenance to clear debris that gets stuck in the screens.
Foam Inserts: Foam inserts are also inexpensive to purchase and very easy to install. The inserts lay flat in the gutter and allow water to pass through them, blocking larger debris from passing through. The downsides to foam inserts are that they clog easily, can begin growing mold and plants, and can serve as an excellent breeding ground for mosquitoes. They also require constant routine maintenance to keep them from clogging and causing water to overflow.
Slit/Holes: A slit/hole gutter guard system is the simplest method for preventing clogs,consisting of a series of a material, usually aluminum, that lays flat over the gutter. The material is perforated with strategically shaped holes or slots designed to pull water through while keeping dirt and debris trapped outside. This system is prone to overflowing in heavy rains if the holes or slits fail to draw in the water fast enough. It can also provide insufficient protection against smaller particles, like pine needles, dirt, seeds, and insects, which will pass through the small holes and eventually clog the entire gutter system.
As long as you choose a high-quality company to perform the installation, rest-assured that professionally installed gutter guard systems are far superior to DIY options. Still, homeowners will need to decide on the gutter guard system that’s best for them according to the options available.Here are the three most common gutter guard systems produced in the United States, including micro-mesh—the preferred system used by your trusted team of gutter installation experts at Smart Exteriors.
Slit/Holes: Unlike the DIY version, the professionally installed slit/holes system is mechanically fastened to stay in place. The system keeps large debris from entering the gutters. However, it performs similarly to the DIY version in that it can overflow and overshoot the gutter in heavy rains. The slit-holes can also become clogged easily and require plenty of maintenance to keep them from becoming blocked by smaller particles.
Reverse Curve: Much like the slit/holes system mentioned above, the reverse curve(or surface tension gutter guard) works well for keeping large debris out of the gutter system. On the downside, the design of the reverse curve gutter guard requires an opening of less than an inch at the nose of the gutter. This gap often becomes filled with debris, and also bees, mice, birds, and other creatures that build nests or crawl inside, causing clogs.
Micro-Mesh:In contrast to the other options on the market, micro-mesh systems are the only gutter guards that feature an enclosed design. The sealed system keeps out even the smallest particles from entering the gutters. This option is typically more expensive to install but offers the most benefits and long-term protection for your home when compared to the other options. Micro-mesh products are composed of two separate components: the frame and stainless steel mesh, which can vary in quality depending on the manufacturer.
For example, the frames can come in various materials, including plastic or aluminum sheet metal, or extruded aluminum, which offers the highest performance. The mesh, on the other hand, is made from varying grades of stainless steel. Smart Exteriors uses micro-mesh products that feature 316L surgical-grade stainless steel, which is considered far superior to the 304,308 grades, which can corrode quickly.
At Smart Exteriors, we agree with Consumer Reports’ recent rating of stainless steel micro-mesh technology as the highest performing gutter guard system on the market. We’ve seen the difference that superior-quality gutter guards can make when compared to other systems, and how well they work to protect your home from flooding and water damage.
We are proud to use only the finest micro-mesh technology, with products that feature surgical-grade steel and extruded aluminum frames. For more information on our products and services for protecting your home’s gutter system, give us a call to speak with a representative now. You can also fill out our online form to receive a free, in-home pricing estimate for your next gutter guard installation project.
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