Blocked gutters result in water overflowing and causing damage to your property. Unfortunately, most people don’t pay much attention to their gutters, failing to inspect and clean them regularly, and don’t realise they have a problem until it’s too late.
Gutter guards are designed to avoid these situations. They stop leaves, twigs, and other debris blocking your gutters and preventing water flow into the downpipes. They reduce the need to clean your gutters as frequently, although some basic maintenance is still necessary but tends to be much less messy and arduous.
Are brush gutter guards best?
There are various types of gutter guards available and all have their advantages and drawbacks. Brush gutter guards are one of the most popular types although they’re not the most suitable for every situation.
A brush gutter guard looks like a larger version of a bottle brush and has heavy-duty bristles. This type of guard is laid inside the gutter, stopping the largest debris from entering.
There are several advantages, such as:
- It’s easy to install and you can do it yourself, although you may prefer professional help if you’re not happy working at heights.
- The guards can be removed for cleaning, which is still advisable, although less frequent than when guards aren’t fitted.
- The bristles allow air to circulate and keep the gutters dry, helping to prevent rust in metal gutters.
- It’s one of the least expensive types of gutter guard.
These guards are not perfect, however, and do have some disadvantages over other types:
- All debris is not blocked by the gutter guards. Leaves and other small debris items can get caught in the bristles, necessitating periodic cleaning to remove them and prevent blockages.
- Some people have difficulty removing the brush guards for cleaning since complete lengths must be taken together.
Which should you choose
If you’re unsure if brush gutters guards are ideal, there are alternative types to consider. These have different characteristics as well as their own advantages and disadvantages:
- Foam gutter guards are lengths of polyether foam that fit inside the gutter and let water pass through while obstructing other debris. They’re relatively cheap and easy to install but can get clogged with dust and fine particles that are difficult to remove.
- Micro mesh gutter guards fit on top of the gutters and prevent leaves and other debris from penetrating, which will generally be blown off by wind, although they may need to be swept off occasionally. They’re particularly effective against pine needles that can penetrate or get stuck in other types.
- Screen gutter guards are made from coarse material and fit on the gutter, preventing large items from getting in. However, they don’t obstruct smaller debris and although they’re relatively cheap and easy to install, they can be damaged by wind and aren’t long-lasting.
- Reverse curve surface tension gutter guards allow water to flow over the top and into the gutter through a slot but prevent debris from falling in. Some debris can be washed into the gutter and the necessary cleaning may not be straightforward as the guards are relatively heavy and difficult to remove.
Choose carefully to get the best type. Micromesh and reverse curve guards are the best against pine needles, all types will work well in stopping leaves from getting through, and brush and foam types are the least visible.