Screens- Metal or Plastic

Pros:

  • Cheap material cost, Readily available in stores

Cons:

  • Difficult to install properly and securely. Joints open up, water flows laterally bringing debris into gutter
  • Pine needles, seeds and small debris can penetrate the screen and lodge in the screen itself. Water and ice can build up under shingles.
  • Small debris gets through the screen into the gutter, then rain causes it to clump together and flow to clog the outlet tube.
  • Debris lays on top of the screen causing water to skip past the gutter.
  • Dirt and rusting screen can stain gutter face and home
  • Collapse under weight of ice, snow, fallen limbs, etc.
  • Frequently blow out during severe wind or weather
  • Difficult to access gutters for cleaning or maintenance. When maintenance is is required, must clean the pores of the screen itself from debris hung up in the screen as well as clean the gutters and somehow reinstall the screen.
  • Metal screens conduct thermally causing a 'first to freeze" area stopping water, causing ice jams and backups.

Gutter Cover/ Reverse Curve

Pros:

  • Can be effective against large leaves and debris.

Cons:

  • Reduces gutter opening, allowing water overflow in heavy rain. When the nose of the cover gets dirty , water does not hug the metal and releases too soon causing fast water to bypass gutter.
  • Small debris flows into gutters, builds up and causes a clog or requires complicated and difficult removal for cleaning.
  • Shingles must be lifted to install or service gutters = Roof Warranty problems
  • Decreases slope of roof at gutter, increasing chance of ice dams and backups. Thermal conductivity of metal creates "first to freee" area.
  • Difficult and expensive to remove system for any cleaning maintenance.
  • Limits who you can have perform maintenance , tools and skill required.
  • Shelter for Wasps, Birds and Rodents
  • Expensive - $20 - $35 per foot.

Foam / Sponge Filter

Pros:

  • Easy installation. Not visible from ground.

Cons:

  • Sponge foam resides down in the gutter therefore debris that sets on the foam is trapped within the gutter creating a leaf matt on the foam blocking water and causing water to skip past the gutter.
  • Cells become filled with roof shingle grit, pollen, dust, dirt and compost resulting in overflows.
  • Moisture retained attracts insects, including mosquitoes and ant colonies.
  • Cleaning is difficult or impossible to remove small debris from cells to get it to be able to flow again.
  • Common to see shrinkage, curling and crumbling of these products within a few years due to sunshine/UV deterioration. Knock of lower quality quality un-coated products exist in the market making it difficult to discern foam from bad.

Micro Mesh

Pros:

  • Blocks maximum amount of both large and small debris.

Cons:

  • Tiny micro mesh openings are too small for fast water and can be overcome during a heavy rain, resulting in significant run off. the micro mesh openings are smll to keep out debris but they also serve to keep the water out of the gutter and cause bypass. Dirt, dust, pollen, leaves and sap can build up on the screen over time blocking and reducing the volume of water that can flow through the mesh. Although it is resistant to organism growth, tainless steel gets dirty and then organisms, algae and moss grow on the dirt. In cold climates, Metal is a thermal conductor and therefore becomes the first to freeze, so metal screen openings close up fast with ice further keeping water out of the gutter and exacerbate ice backups and ice jams; wheras plastic is a "non-thermal-bridge" because it is not as conductive so plastic does not cause ice problems.
  • Expensive- Professional installation required $18 - $35/ft
  • Tiny openins in the mesh may keep debris out of the gutters but they also keep water out of the gutters, especially when the openings get dirty adn smaller.

GutterBrush Leaf Guard

Pros:

  • Easiest install and removal - No tools required
  • Effective barrier to most leaves and debris
  • No interference with roof or shingles
  • Use with existing gutters any roof or gutter type
  • Entire gutter channel remains open for heaviest rain
  • Prevents birds, insects and rodents nesting
  • Affordable - Approx $3.33/ ft DIY or $5 - $7.ft for professional installation
  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • In brand new gutters, GutterBrush can be installed filling the new gutter from the ground before mounting and hanging.
  • Improved Winter: Plastic bristles are notthermally conductive like metal and do not cause a "first-to-freeze" area; GutterBrush does not add to gutter icing in fact the presence of GutterBrush actually decreases icing in cold climates. Click here to learn about winter benefits

Cons:

  • Small debris (ie: pine needles, maple seeds) can work their way into the brush over time and may require occasional cleaning or maintenance. Usually this limited debris will not cause a clog, but can be shaken out of brush or "renewed: to optimal performacne
  • May be slightly visible with bristles intentionally crowning the top of the gutter in some circumstances.