Gutter Guards - What's Available
Is your house equipped with rain gutters made of copper? If so, congratulations—in many ways, copper may be the ultimate material for rain gutters. It is stronger than aluminum, has a beautiful finish when new, withstands the effects of weather well, does not deteriorate under the attack of UV rays from the sun, and gradually develops a beautiful green or gray patina over a period of years. In addition, copper rain gutters can last for 75 to 100 years or more.
Even though you might have beautiful copper rain troughs adorning your house, by itself copper does nothing to avert the major bane of all rain gutter owners: cleaning out the gutters. The wind and rain carry all kinds of stuff into rain gutters. Every spring there are tree blossoms, to be followed in the fall by leaves, nuts, and seeds, sometimes accompanied by twigs, dirt, and bird nests. This collection of things may attract various kinds of insects. The debris may then block the gutters and downspouts, resulting in water overflowing the gutters, dripping down the walls, and eroding your yard. If you are really unlucky, the water may find its way into your basement.
To avoid these problems you probably need to clean out the rain gutters several times a year—unless you install a gutter protection system to keep all that debris out of your rain gutters in the first place.
There are many different kinds of gutter protection systems available today including gutter guards, gutter covers, gutter screens, and gutter filters. All of them are intended to let the water drain into the rain gutter while keeping the debris out. Adding gutter protection will eliminate the need for cleaning out the gutters up to four times a year and avoid the other kinds of damage that might occur.
In selecting a gutter protection system, most people will choose a product made of the same material as the rain gutters. The usual materials are galvanized steel, aluminum, and copper. Because the majority of home gutter systems are not made from copper, some of the gutter protection systems are not available in copper, but there is still a wide selection from which to choose.
GutterSupply.com illustrates 15 different types and styles of gutter protection systems. Pictures of the different types and styles are provided. Clicking on any product name or photo will give you information that is more detailed. Six of these products are available in copper.
If you favor a screen-type unit, there are three different products from which to choose. If you have half-round gutters, the Half-Round Hinged Gutter Screen is available to fit 5-inch or 6-inch gutters. The screens come in 3-foot sections. The individual sections are easily fastened to the gutter with stainless steel clips, resulting in low installation labor cost
A gutter screen will prevent all except rather fine material from passing into the rain gutter. However, some small bits of material may get stuck in the screen openings. Occasional cleaning may still be required, but at very infrequent intervals.
If your gutters are of the K-style design, your choice is either a K-Style Hinged Gutter Screen or K-Style Drop-In Gutter Screen. These units also come in 3-foot sections. Both types are available to fit either 5-inch or 6-inch K-style gutters.
There is also a style of gutter cover in copper material. This is the Gutter Shingle Gutter Cover. This style is installed underneath the bottom course of shingles on the roof. The covers are 3 feet in length.
Two styles of gutter guards are available from most companies. These include the Leaf Out Gutter Guard and the GuttaGard brand. The Leaf Out Gutter Guard comes in 4-foot lengths and is available to fit either 5-inch or 6-inch gutters. The GuttaGard brand also comes in 4-foot sections and is currently available only in a 6-inch gutter size.
Although not constructed of copper, another option for use with copper rain gutters is the FilterFlow Gutter Filter. This is open cell foam shaped to fit the inside of the rain gutter and is available for both half-round and K-style rain gutters. The top of the foam material is level with the top of the gutter and is not visible from the ground. The foam is particularly effective in preventing virtually all foreign material from entering the rain gutter. The leaves and other debris will come to rest on top of the foam and be washed off by rain or blown off by wind. The manufacturer really believes in its product. The filter comes with a 20 year No-Clog Guarantee.