March 16, 2021 4 min read

How do you choose a gutter guard for your flat rubber membrane roof's gutter?    Everyone asks " What is the best rated gutter guard and what's the best gutter guard company?  But flat roof gutter leaf guards are different!   It seems like they only make standard gutter guards, for residential shingle roofs.  If you have ever had a roof leak from a flat roof, you've likely learned an expensive lesson, and also that you should avoid flat roof problems at all costs!  Run away from flat roof issues fast, because low sloped roof problems are tricky and extremely unforgiving!  

When I first began my roofing career in the late 1970's in New England, the flat roofs of choice were thick, durable and practically bullet proof.  Times have changed.  Back then you didn't have people searching for a flat roof gutter guard or a gutter guard for their built-up tar and gravel roof, but nowadays everyone expects to be able to find the perfect magical smart screen for their single ply rubber membrane roof gutter.  Flat roofs have changed; roof membranes are now thin, fragile and easy to puncture.  You wouldn't want to try to attach some sharp gutter screen or gutter cover to your membrane roof edge only to find that your efforts of trimming. fitting, wiring, screwing and custom attachment have caused holes or slices in the roof membrane.   Gutter guard installation is not important enough to justify even the slightest risk of causing a flat roof leak and the frustrations and headaches that follow. People with flat roofs want to know their gutter leaf guard options.

Flat roofs, also known in the industry as "low sloped roofs",  fall into the category of single ply membranes and built up roofs (BUR); either way the roof's perimeter edge is comprised of either an aluminum, copper or galvanized sheet metal drip edge or the membrane roofing is folded over the edge and a termination bar is applied with screws. Regardless of which type of perimeter edge your roof has, standard gutter guard installation is complicated.  The real issue is not necessarily just whether or not you want to perform all of that labor to trim, fasten, fit and wire the screen or cover while putting leaf guards on your gutters, or even whether you are willing to risk causing a leak because the gutter screen is sharp and needs fastener holes where the rubber membrane could be easily punctured.  The relevant  issue is the fact that tree leaves and debris fall and lay flat on the leaf guard making a sticky flat mat that actually causes the rain water to run over the gutter guard, so at some point (possibly soon) you will have to reverse course and take that entire gutter guard contraption completely apart in order to clean it and keep it from clogging and pouring over the edge of the gutter.   All gutter guards require maintenance and each time you take them apart and try to put them back together for expected gutter cleaning maintenance,  you spend lots of time and aggravation while further adding to the risk that your gutter guard causes problems, namely a flat roof leak.

Single Ply roof problems are serious issues, which is why most quality roofing contractors couldn't be bothered with installing gutter guards.  They especially do not want to install a leaf guard that connects to the roof.  It is hard enough keeping low sloped commercial roofs from leaking, without even mentioning the addition of a complicated leaf clog protection accessory attachment at the flat roof's perimeter edge.  When you consider not just the ease of initial installation without the need for tools or fasteners, but also the fact that at some point GutterBrush is so easy to remove, renew and reinstall, GutterBrush is the gutter guard of choice for flat roofs.  Fill the entire gutter with 3 foot sections of GutterBrush by simply sliding them one after another under the gutter's crossbar hidden hangers.  The bristles spring back up into place creating a raised bristle profile so that any leaves and debris that fall onto the gutter will rest up higher than the edge of the gutter so that the wind can blow it clean.   GutterBrush provides an easy on gutter guard for year round leaf clog protection for flat roofs, and in cold weather climates it does not freeze first like metal gutter guards.  To learn how to measure your gutter for a gutter guard, click here   .   

To see flat roof gutter guards, click here.

In short, the best gutter guard for flat rubber roofs and membrane roofs is one that will not cause you any roof problems, is fast and easy to install with no tools, holes or fasteners and is also fast and easy to remove, renew and reinstall. GutterBrush is all that, and it lasts over 15 years, without adding any roof leak risk.   For flat rubber roof gutter guard, keep it simple and check out all five sizes of GutterBrush at .

Alex O'Hanley
Alex O'Hanley

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