Rain gutters and downspouts are found in almost every house. These structures are necessary to keep a building in good condition. Without rain gutters and downspouts, the rainwater can splash dirt on the walls and sidings, and may even enter the basement and erode the soil around the foundation. All these conditions are detrimental for the long life of the building. Rain gutters and downspouts facilitate collection and disposal of rainwater. The structures may not function effectively, in case of accumulation of waste materials. Such blockage can cause rainwater accumulation, which in turn, can lead to the damage of the roof and other parts of the house. Such conditions can be averted by using rain gutter guards.
What are Rain Gutter Guards?
Open rain gutters at the edges of the roof tops are locations where waste materials like leaves, seeds, flowers and other debris get accumulated. Such conditions defeat the very purpose of installing rain gutters. In order to prevent blockage of the gutter and the resultant rainwater accumulation, rain gutter guards were introduced. They are nothing other than coverings that fit over rain gutters. Gutter guards run through the entire length of the gutter. They are otherwise known as leaf guards, gutter covers, or gutter screens. These coverings have small perforations that allow free flow of water into the gutter, but prevent debris to enter. This prevents clogging of the gutter and the downspout. However, small particles may pass through the holes and enter the gutter. In the long run, these small particles can get accumulated, and cause blockage.
- Snap-in rain gutter guards do not require removal of the existing installations. This type can be fastened onto the gutter, and acts as a cover to prevent entry of leaves and other debris into the rain gutter.
- Solid covers have a solid top surface with no perforation. The top surface leads to a curved front part that ends in holes or vertical slits. Water hits the top portion and flows through the holes/slits, leaving behind leaves and other particles on the top. While the water enters the gutter through the holes, some small particles may also flow with it to the downspout. The large debris gradually falls off the roof.
- The third type is the screen or mesh, which is fixed to the open part of the gutter. This mesh prevents passage of large debris into the gutter.
- Gutter shingles are another option to protect the rain gutter and downspouts. Available in many shades, these products can gel with any roofing shingle. They provide a solid cover to the gutter, at the same time, the mesh gutter guard protects the gutter. These shingles with notched clips can be attached easily, to any pitch roof.
- Gutter foam is another product that is used for guarding rain gutters. This foam is porous enough to allow water and tiny particles to flow through it. According to the manufacturers, the chemicals in this foam prevents growth of algae and mold. It is also claimed that the foam is fire resistant.