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Most roof gutters are subject to a significant amount of material that can cause blockages and leaks. Roof moss, pine needles, leaves, even tennis balls and other debris such as falling cement from chimneys.
Gutter guards are designed to allow rainwater through while keeping this debris out. These are the two basic requirements of any gutter protection product. Unfortunately many fail even at this early stage, while some are so over complicated and expensive to install that they are unattractive to the home owner.
Here is a brief overview of just a few of the popular protection products on the market today:
This type of product is possibly the oldest on the market today, unfortunately it fails predominantly in almost all conditions. Wet leaves and roof moss typically cause this flimsy mesh to collapse into the gutter rendering it useless.
Rigid foam can be inserted into the guttering, this allows water to run freely into the base of the gutter and is strong enough that it does not collapse under the weight of any debris. Will the foam itself become clogged with smaller debris such as pine needles and moss? If that is the case then how easy is it to remove the product, clean it and refit it?
Another product on the market today is a brush that is specifically designed to fit inside the gutter whatever it's size or profile. This product is extremely easy to install, even by DIY novices. No tools or adhesives are required during the installation process so removing the brush and giving it the occasional clean is not too difficult a task. The spikes of the brush work well at keeping out larger debris such as leaves and twigs. This product, just like the foam guard does have faults, neither of the products actually keep 100% of the debris out so it's really a case of how long until they become blocked and clogged.
When considering buying a guard it's always a good idea to search web forums and product review websites to get a better understanding of which product is best suited to the environment it will be used. Some guards are easy to install, others are not so the skills of the installer often become an important factor and will determine whether it works well or not. Choosing a specialist rather than a handyman is also sound advice.