Homeowners everywhere are constantly trying to find ways to avoid the periodic cleaning of their gutters. Climbing onto the roof and risking your safety on the ladder is just one of the many ways that gutter cleaning is an inconvenient and dangerous DIY project.
Gutter guard companies, especially those that offer micro mesh gutters, try to leverage this feeling when promoting their products.
Micro mesh gutters are often a stainless steel product with a “micro mesh” netting that acts as a filter for your gutters. They are advertised as compatible with many roof types and easy to install. The intent of the micro mesh product is to act as a filter, allowing water to trickle through the mesh and drain out, while the leaves and debris get caught in the micro mesh. Ideally, this helps prevent the clogging of the gutters, which ultimately means less time on gutter cleaning and wondering if you have a clog.
However, micro mesh gutters are not all they are cracked up to be. Keep an eye out for the four key problems that micro mesh gutter guards create for your home.
Different Types of Gutter Guards
As you read this article, keep in mind that there are two types of gutter guards, the flat style, and the slanted style
- The flat style sits flush atop the gutter.
- The slanted style tucks under the shingle at a right angle, providing a downward sloping angle.
There are issues with both products, some that are unique, and some that overlap. This article will identify which style we are discussing with each section.
Problem #1: Gutter Guards Either Clog or Overcorrect
If you think gutter guards are going to eliminate the need to clean your gutters completely, think again. Despite the promise of gutter guards, they aren’t bulletproof when it comes to keeping your gutters clean and worry-free.
- The flat style inherently collects more debris, because the gutter guard is not set on any angle. This makes it harder for the wind to blow, and for gravity to pull the debris off.
- The tuck style can create counterproductive issues, in which the slant causes the water to miss the gutter completely. This overcorrection diminishes the core function of gutters, which is ultimately to transfer the water down the gutter and away from your foundation.
Problem #2: Micro Mesh Weight Issues
Keep in mind that “micro meshes,” as their name suggests, are very thin. In an instance where the debris piling up becomes too much for the gutter guard, it can collapse the system and compromise the gutter.
Should the debris collapse through the gutter guard, then you haven’t done anything to help your original problem.
In fact, you’ve actually made your problem worse because now you’re trying to clean your gutters through your damaged or collapsed micro mesh.
Problem #3: Variables
Although this isn’t necessarily an issue with the micro mesh gutter guard itself, it is something you should keep in mind if you’re considering adding these to your house. Unintended consequences of installing a micro mesh gutter guard can include:
- A rodent, or another animal, eating through your mesh.
- A bird landing on the micro mesh, and damaging it.
- A rock accidentally getting kicked or thrown onto your roof, damaging the micro mesh.
The lack of confidence in the durability of this product is cause for concern. Remember that your gutter guards are exposed to the elements, and vulnerable to damage.
Problem #4: Material Matters
Earlier in this article, we mentioned that micro mesh gutters are primarily stainless steel. While that’s true, it does not mean gutter guards are exclusively stainless steel. Some of them can be plastic as well.
The issue with plastic gutter guards is that they don’t fit the gutter as well as stainless steel, and can conflict with the asphalt, oils, and dirt that come off the roof. This can lead to the expedited decay of the plastic gutter guards or a very dirty and sludgy gutter.
If you are adamant about getting gutter guards, plastic is not the way to go. The durability of stainless steel micro mesh gutters alone makes them superior to plastic, though we recommend avoiding gutter guards completely.
Lastly, you should consider the cost of gutter guards, and whether or not they really save you more money in the long run. Gutter Guards can cost upwards of $6,000 for the typical home, and on average, it will take 17 years for you to recoup your investment for the original cost of the gutter guards, against the average cost of a gutter cleaning service. This assumes you experience no major issues with the gutter guards, don’t move, and don’t change your mind in that 17 year span.
At the end of the day, gutter guards aren’t worth the hassle. Between how delicate they are, environmental variables that can damage them, and the poor return on investment, we recommend staying away from utilizing gutter guards. Using a professional gutter cleaning service is a safer, more economical, and vastly more reliable way to keep your gutter system in check.
If you still aren’t convinced, call us at (888) 616-3307. Our professionals offer reputable gutter cleaning services in Tacoma, WA and other areas. We are happy to provide a free quote for alternatives to micro mesh gutter guards that will be sure to keep your gutters clean. You can also request a free quote online to learn more about gutter cleaning and gutter guards.