Homeowners know gutter maintenance is a never-ending battle, especially during the fall season. Leaves are detrimental to gutters primarily because when leaves accumulate, they impede the flow of water, which is the primary function of a gutter – to guide rainwater away from your home.
Clogged gutters and blocked gutters cause overflow, which can cause damage to the gutters, roof siding, windows, and foundations. The accumulation of leaves is also the ideal habitat for pests such as rodents, insects, and birds. Besides functional problems, an accumulation of leaves can make the gutters and, by extension, the house looks unkempt and neglected.
So, how can you protect your gutters from leaves?
- Regular Gutter Cleaning
- Trim Trees Back
- Leaf Blower Attachment
- Gutter Guards
- Gutter Brushes
- Gutter Foam
- Dowpipe Covers
- Gutter Slope Adjustments
- Regular Inspection
- Gutter Guard Systems
- Professional Maintenance Services
In this article, learn how to protect gutters from leaves with these 11 ways, including our highly efficient gutter guard kits, to keep your gutters leaf-free and ensure the longevity of your home.
Must Read: What is the best gutter guard in Australia?
1. Regular Gutter Cleaning
Don’t underestimate the power of elbow grease. Regularly cleaning your gutters, especially during leaf-falling seasons, prevents clogs and ensures water flows freely. Make it a routine to clean the gutters at least twice a year.
2. Trim Trees Back
Trees are a menace to gutters. Trim back any overhanging branches to reduce the number of leaves falling into your gutters. This small effort can save hours of cleaning time.
3. Leaf Blower Attachment
Other key benefits are that gutter covers drastically reduce the need for regular gutter cleaning and gutter maintenance. This can save time and effort, as gutter cleaning is an arduous and tedious task. Gutter and leaf guards prevent clogging, reducing the need for regular cleaning, and ensuring that gutters remain clear and functional.
It is essential to understand that a gutter guard does not eliminate cleaning and maintenance However, some gutter guards are better suited to reduce gutter maintenance and improve gutter water flow than others.
4. Install Gutter Guards
Most gutter guards offer protection against leaves and other debris and are easy to install. Gutter guard types vary, but all gutter guards act as a shield, preventing leaves from entering your gutters. Gutter guard types include gutter helmet types, gutter mesh, gutter covers, gutter screens, micro-mesh gutter guards and more.
Gutter guards come in various materials, including stainless steel mesh, zinculum steel, Bluescope steel, galvanised steel, aluminium and plastic. Most gutter guards will fit standard gutter sizes and suit most metal roof and tiled roof types.
5. Gutter Brushes
Also known as bottle brushes or brush gutter guards, these cylindrical wireframes with outward-facing bristles fit snugly inside your gutters; thus easy to install. The bristles catch leaves, preventing them from blocking the gutters while allowing water to flow effortlessly.
One of the primary issues with brush gutter guards, while they are effective at keeping out large debris such as leaves, they often allow smaller debris and silt to pass through or get trapped in the bristles. Over time, this accumulation of small debris can build up to a point where it impedes water flow. The debris trapped within the brush can become saturated with water, and this can cause the gutter to become heavy, possibly leading to sagging or damage. Additionally, the moist environment within the bristles can become a breeding ground for mould, mildew, and algae, which can cause additional issues.
Another significant concern with brush gutter guards is the maintenance and cleaning they require. While brush gutter guards are intended to reduce the need for regular gutter cleaning, they don’t eliminate it. The brushes can become clogged, and cleaning them can be tedious and time-consuming. Removing the brush gutter guards to clean out the debris trapped in the bristles and reinserting them can be more labour-intensive than cleaning the gutters without brushes. In addition, because the bristles are exposed to the elements, they can deteriorate over time and lose their effectiveness, requiring replacement.
6. Gutter Foam
This gutter guard solution involves inserting specially designed foam into the gutters that are easy to install and virtually invisible. The foam gutter guard permits water to pass through while keeping the leaves and debris out. It’s a gentle but effective addition to your gutter protection arsenal.
A foam gutter guard is a popular option for preventing leaves and debris from clogging gutters, but it does have downsides. Firstly, the foam can act as a filter, but over time, small particles and granules are embedded in the foam, causing water to pool and not drain effectively. The water saturation can render the foam ineffective and add weight to the gutters, potentially causing sagging or damage to the gutter system. Additionally, the moisture retained in the foam can become a breeding ground for mould, mildew, algae and insects such as mosquitoes.
Secondly, foam gutter guards typically require more frequent maintenance and replacement than other gutter guard systems. Although it is marketed as a low-maintenance option, the reality is that the foam can deteriorate relatively quickly due to exposure to the elements. In particular, UV rays from the sun can cause the foam to break down. As it begins to degrade, its effectiveness in keeping debris out of the gutters diminishes.
Must Read: How to install gutter guards on a metal roof
7. Downpipe Covers
Some gutter guards prevent birds from accessing and nesting in existing gutters and your roof space with a physical barrier. A gutter guard reduces the risk of damage to the home and the birds. This can help to ensure that the gutter system remains functional from bird material potentially blocking it while also reducing the risk of damage to the home with unsightly stains and bird damage. Preventing birds from nesting in your gutters also improves your family’s health, reducing bird lice and related diseases.
Pest controllers can install leaf guards and gutter protection systems with a surface that discourages birds from perching and resting on the guard. It is important to note that there are better solutions than a gutter guard that will keep the bird off your roof permanently. However, it can be highly effective when combined with other bird-preventative measures.
Must Read: What mesh should I buy?
8. Gutter Slope Adjustment
Roof pitch is everything. A home’s gutter slope, also known as the pitch, is essential for ensuring optimal water flow and making all the difference in leaf management. The optimal angle ensures that water carries leaves with it rather than settling in the gutters. However, there are instances where the gutter slope can be wrong, resulting from various factors.
Firstly, improper installation is a common cause of an incorrect gutter slope. Water will only drain effectively if the gutters are installed level or with an adequate slope. Conversely, if the slope is too steep, it can cause water to rush too quickly to the downspouts, potentially causing overflow or splashing.
Another scenario in which the gutter slope can be wrong is when the house settles over time. As the house ages, it can shift and settle in its foundation. This settling can sometimes affect the alignment of the gutters, throwing off the initial slope that was established when the gutters were installed. As a result, even if the gutters were correctly sloped initially, changes in the house’s structure can create issues with the gutter’s pitch.
Furthermore, damage or wear to the gutter system can affect the slope. For example, if a section of the gutter becomes weighed down by debris or the hardware holding it in place becomes loose or corroded, it can cause the gutter to sag. This sagging can create areas where water pools rather than flowing towards the downspouts.
If an issue with the slope is identified, it may be necessary to adjust the gutter’s pitch or seek professional assistance for a thorough inspection and repair.
9. Regular Inspection
Being vigilant and monitoring your gutters, especially after storms or high winds, is essential. Regular inspections allow you to spot and clear blockages before they become more significant. This proactive approach saves time and money in the long run.
10. Gutter Guard System
The best gutter guards homeowners can invest in our comprehensive gutter protection system that blocks leaves and debris. Unlike other gutter guards, these systems are designed for ultimate performance and long-lasting protection for all roof types and gutter sizes, including box gutters. These systems use the roof pitch to create a more permeant barrier from the gutter edge to the roof that encourages unwanted debris to fall to the ground.
Our gutter guard kits are the superheroes of gutter protection. Made from high-quality materials, these guards act as a shield, preventing leaves from entering your gutters. Our gutter guard system kits are compatible with all the major roof types, including Trimdek®, Klip-Lok®, corrugated and tiled roofs. The gutter mesh kits have various widths to ensure a custom fit for wider gutters and valleys.
Our kits come with easy installation instructions, making it a breeze to protect your home from water damage and keep leaves out of your gutters. For protection from smaller debris, such as pine needles, we offer ember guard kits that secure the gutter edge and tuck into the first row of tiles or clip onto the corrugations on the metal roof.
What comes in a gutter guard/ ember guard kit:
- Gutter mesh
- Klip-Lok®, Trimdek®, Corrugated saddles/clips
- Gutter trims
- Roof screws
11. Professional Regular Maintenance Service
Even the best defence needs a check-up. Sometimes it’s best to call in the experts. Professional gutter maintenance services have the expertise and tools to ensure your gutters are in top shape. Consider scheduling regular professional check-ups as part of your gutter maintenance routine. You can also find professional gutter guard installers to install gutter guards on your property. Professional help is recommended for more bespoke solutions like bird proofing, ember guard and modern roof types.
Protecting and maintaining your home’s gutter system is paramount for preserving your property’s structural integrity. From preventing water damage to sidestepping costly repairs, an efficient gutter system is an unsung hero. However, as we’ve explored, various factors like leaves, improper slopes, and wear and tear can hamper its effectiveness. This is where our gutter guard kits come into play as a saviour. With high-grade materials and easy installation, our gutter guard kits protect your gutters from debris and significantly reduce maintenance efforts. Don’t let clogged gutters erode the value and safety of your home.
Take action today and invest in protection that lasts. Visit our store now to explore the range of gutter guard kits we offer and make the smart choice for your home. Give your gutter cover that it deserves with our time-of-the-line gutter guard kits.
At Aussie DIY Solutions, we offer a wide range of gutter guards to suit every possible DIY budget. We provide gutter guard kits & ember guard kits for corrugated, tiled, trimdek® and Klip-Lok® roofs and kits for box gutters and roof valleys.
We also provide solar panel mesh for solar panel protection from birds.