Gutter guards are designed to make typical gutter maintenance easier and to extend the lives of gutter systems in general. There are numerous types of gutter guards available on the market, including traditional leaf guards as well as micro mesh gutter guards. Below, you can learn more about these two options so that you can make the best possible decisions for your (or your clients’ if you are a contractor) unique needs.
What Does a Gutter Guard Do?
A gutter guard is simply a cover that fits over or inside your gutter system to block debris without impeding the flow of water. They are beneficial for a number of reasons, including:
- Reduced gutter maintenance – Homeowners who install gutter guards do not have to clean their gutters as frequently, which saves them a great deal of time and money.
- Easier maintenance – Though cleaning isn’t required as frequently, it is still necessary. Because gutter guards do a great job of keeping out most debris, the cleaning process is much simpler and takes far less time.
- Extended gutter system life – When your gutters are no longer prone to clogs, which can cause water to back up in the system and create quite a bit of damage, they last longer, which means you won’t have to replace them as frequently.
The Anatomy of a Typical Leaf Guard
A typical leaf guard fits on top of the opening in your gutter and looks much like a screen. They install in a variety of ways, as well. Some must be screwed down, but others simply snap on, making installation a breeze. A few have hinges that make it incredibly easy for a homeowner to lift the guard out of the way for gutter cleaning. These gutter guards come in numerous colors, finishes, styles, and sizes, which means there’s an option for everyone’s aesthetic and functional needs.
How is a Micro Mesh Gutter Guard Different?
Whereas a traditional leaf guard looks and acts like a screen for debris, a micro-mesh gutter guard is a bit different. It looks much like a standard guard in many ways, but upon closer inspection, the holes designed to allow rainwater in are much, much smaller. While a standard leaf guard can stop leaves and other large debris, it often does not stop things such as pine needles, dirt, and even shingle stone from piling up inside the system. This is what makes a micro-mesh gutter guard different; its offset vertical slant lets rainwater in while keeping out virtually any debris.
Which Should You Choose?
For many homeowners, a standard leaf guard is an effective and economical option that will provide many of the benefits listed above. However, homeowners who are concerned about pine needles, shingle stone, and other small bits of debris that can pile up over time will fare better with a micro-mesh gutter guard. Though the micro mesh costs slightly more than its traditional counterpart, homeowners find that it is well worth the investment since it pays for itself in reduced maintenance and repair costs.
Understanding the differences between traditional gutter guards and micro-mesh gutter guards can help contractors and homeowners alike make better choices about their installations. In either case, the benefits are truly measurable. It saves homeowners time and money by reducing the frequency of gutter cleaning, making the cleaning process simpler, and extending the life of the gutter.