Gutter screens, also called “leaf guards,” are fitted onto the gutter system to keep leaves and other larger debris from piling up and blocking the flow of rain water throughout the system. It sounds like a simple task. But when you think about the prospect of not having to clean out the gunk that usually collects in the gutters, it becomes very tempting. But do screens really work? Here, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about gutter screens.
How do gutter screens work?
To put it in simple terms, screens are supposed to be porous enough to let rainwater through but not too porous to let debris such as leaves and twigs into the gutter system. This way, water can be safely collected and drawn away from the house and into the drainage.
Does that mean having screens installed saves you from having to clean your gutter regularly?
Many homeowners install screens to save time and money that they would otherwise spend in cleaning the debris out of their gutters or hiring a professional to do the cleaning for them. After all, it is so much easier to just hose down or brush the debris over the screen than inside the gutter. Not only that, having screens installed will also save you from the hassle of keeping your downspouts clean as well.
Will installing gutter screens be costly?
The screens themselves may cost but will definitely not make a dent on your pocket, but you might have to hire an extra hand to help you with the installation process. Installing screens may look simple but it is far from simple. First off, it has to be fitted perfectly on to the gutter to serve its purpose. That doesn't mean you have to hire a professional to help you. A friend or a family member can do the job just as well.
Will the cost of the investment be worth it?
The screens could cost you a considerably amount of money, but this is something that you would rather spend on than, say, repairs to your damaged home or the priceless task of cleaning gutters. Remember that when you fail to maintain and regularly clean gutters, they will eventually fail and cause damage to the house. And the cost on you will be so much more.
Do the screens keep out all sorts of debris?
Screens will filter out the larger debris like twigs and leaves but may understandably allow the smaller ones to fall through.
Are gutter screens totally maintenance-free?
Not really, but it greatly reduces the hassle of cleaning your gutters because the bulk of the debris is collected on top of the screen. You only need to brush or sweep them off to prevent the roof from rotting. The smaller debris that falls through the slits or slots can be hosed down to the downspout.
I am still trying to decide, what factors should I consider?
There are certain questions that you should ask yourself. First, how much or how little, and what type of debris piles up on your roof or gutter? Second, what do you think is the perfect system that will work for you? Third, how much are you willing to spend to protect your gutter system?
Which is cheaper: Gutter screens or covers?
Screens definitely beat covers in the game of cost. But it would be a different story if we consider efficiency.
How do you install gutter screens?
It is quite easy to install screens, especially if you have an extra hand helping you out. You simply take the flexible screen and position one edge under the roof’s shingle and the other over the gutter. You will find that the screen can be attached easily onto the gutter. Most gutters will have pre-fabricated slots that can accommodate screen fittings.
Do gutter screens have disadvantages?
Yes, screens come with downsides, too. The major problem with screens is that debris is still collected over it, although it does not fall through the gutter itself. This could pose as a problem, especially if you live in a house surrounded by trees because the debris can block the water from seeping through the gutter system itself. This can happen during storms and heavy rains.
Instead of Screens, Try Mesh.
A good alternative to screens is mesh. Leafblaster is made from stainless steel surgical grade mesh. It cost a little more than screens but it comes with a guarantee it will work. To learn more click here.