Leaf guards do an important job. They keep tree debris in the form of leaves, blossoms, and twigs from clogging your gutter. Choosing the best gutter protector should be easy, but it’s not. They can all be made to look good and they are all advertised to be the best leaf guard. As a homeowner, it makes the most sense for you to do some investigation. While they all advertise to be the best gutter guards, the design of each of them is different.

The first design of gutter protectors is that of a screen device. Gutter screens were invented in the early part of the 1900. The the primitive earlier designs have openings that are large which allow debris into the gutter of sufficient quantity to clog the gutters. The bottom line is that cleaning the gutter screen is a bigger issue than just cleaning gutters. Another variation of gutter screens are foam inserts, or surgical steel fine mesh. Debris accumulates on top of everyone of these type of gutter screens to the point where rain water is blocked from getting into the gutter.

Later on more sophisticated gutter cover designs were invented. Go to Google and search for “Niagara gutter guard” to find a sample of of the early design of solid top gutter guards. This type of gutter guard has a rounded front nose. Water sticks to the nose and falls into the gutter. Recent hybrids of this design have perforations in the top to catch the rain water. That’s right, it sticks to the cover and goes into the gutter. If the gutter protector also has sieve openings on the top, those perforations clog. As a potential owner of this type of system, you might want to know how it is maintained or cleaned. Well, it can’t be done from the ground. Either you are at the mercy of the gutter contractor to service them, or you have to go up a ladder and clean them yourself.

The problem with the single fin type of gutter protector design is that it allows all sizes of debris to flow into the gutter. leaf guard. The nose type of leaf guard is sold both as a cover and gutter as one complete piece.

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What would you do to improve this design? If you Google “Care Free solid top gutter protector” you’ll find the next improvement. The next generation either has one row of openings (with louvers in each aperture guiding water into the gutter) like shown on the Care Free gutter or it has a trough with sieve openings to limit the size of the debris. While this type of leaf guard is an improvement, under heavy debris conditions it will not keep out enough debris. Blossoms and small leaves that wash onto the face of the gutter cover can still wash into the gutter. While it’s less debris and smaller than in the previous design, in heavy debris conditions, someone has to go up a ladder to remove the gutter guards and clean the gutter. An additional complication is that some of these leaf guards are fastened to the roofing.

Can there be a maintenance free leaf guard? What would the best leaf guards look like? How can the single row louvered leaf guard system or the trough gutter cover system be improved? Please google “Waterloov gutter guards” and see another design. Observe that there are two rows of openings. In each opening is a louver which causes the rain water to go into the gutter. Of all possible variations, it is the best gutter cover recommended by Consumer Reports for two reasons.

The first reason is that nothing larger than three fourths of an inch can ever get through this gutter cover and the second reason is that nothing can be washed in from the lip of the gutter.

After twenty two years in practice, this design never clogs inside. Is maintenance an issue? What would happen to require maintenance? Because of the two rows of louvers in the best gutter protector design, the gutter guard never needs to be removed for cleaning the gutter. Yet, blossoms can still clog the openings in the face of the gutter protector. Because it’s visible from the ground on the double row louvered design, it can be easily brushed with a telescopic pole and brush from the ground by the homeowner.

How much does the best gutter protector cost? The irony is that in some areas of the country the first solid top design type (Niagara) and the second (Care-Free) are often a few dollars more than the double row louvered system. So while the best gutter guard system is actually worth two or three times as much as the other gutter guard systems, it’s comparably priced.

Article Source: sooperarticles.com/home-improvement-articles/ask-engineer-how-choose-best-gutter-guards-535134.html

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Richard Kuhns B.S.Ch.E. engineer and inventor of the waterloov.com”>best

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