Ask the Engineer Which Is The Best Gutter Guard to Keep Gutters Clean and Free Flowing

The best gutter guard is necessary to keep your gutters clean and free flowing if you have heavy tree debris conditions.
By what criteria do you select the best gutter guard? Is price the answer? Usually not. The best gutter guard may not be the most expensive one.
There are four types of gutter covers available. Screening devices are the first type. Simply put they are inadequate. Primitive gutter screens pass sufficient debris to clog the gutter and the most recent micro mesh types, even though they may not let any debris into the gutter, lets debris stay on top of the gutter screen and keeps water out.
Fins or a rounded front nose used to collect water are the second type. Google "Niagara rain gutter cover leaf guards and gutter guards" for the basic design. You will find this basic design on over a dozen different gutter covers. You will find that one of them even has screen openings on its top. Another one has a trough below the fin with openings to screen keep out large debris. In heavy debris conditions you can be guaranteed that sufficient debris will stick to the fin or rounded nose and be guided into the gutter where it will either clog the trough that delivers the water to the gutter or the gutter itself.
The third type are the louvered leaf guards with louvers instead of one long fin or nose in the vertical direction. To see the basic design "Carefree Vinyl Gutter covers" which is also available in aluminum. Of all the designs we have looked at, it is the best chance in heavy debris conditions. It limits the size of the debris that can get into the gutter. However, more debris may get washed in from the lip of the gutter than you might wish and could clog the gutter.
The fourth type of gutter guard is the double row louvered leaf guards with two rows of louvers in the vertical surface. To see what it looks like, Google "Waterloov gutter guards". With two rows of louvers, no debris can wash in from the lip of the gutter and you can be confident that the gutter inside will never clog. Since 1989 this design has been used with great success on tens of thousands of homes.
Maintenance is always an issue with all types of gutter guards. With screens, they either have to be removed to clean the gutters inside or the tops have to be cleaned which often proves a big problem. The rounded nose or fin type (with or without the trough) have to be taken off the gutters, disconnected from the roof and then reinstalled whereas with the louvered products, they can usually be maintained by brushing with a telescopic pole and brush assembly. Removal of the gutter guards are never required with the double row design, however, with the single row design, it may be necessary to remove the gutter cover at the downspout.
In summary, the best gutter guard for heavy debris conditions is the double row louvered gutter cover which can easily be maintained with a telescopic pole and brush (as high as two floors) and never clogs inside.

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