Gutters do a fantastic job of collecting rainwater and channeling it away from a home's foundation. Unfortunately, water isn't all they collect. Gutters are collection points for all sorts of debris. Enter a simple device known as the gutter screen.
Gutter screens are essentially rain gutter coverings that allow water to pass through while keeping things like leaves and twigs out.They have been around for a couple of decades. However, only within the last few years have they become extremely popular for both new builds and existing homes.
How much do you know about gutter screens? If your knowledge is limited, no worries. They are pretty simple in concept. As long as they are installed correctly, they do a very good job. All of that notwithstanding,there are some basic things you should know.
Right off the bat, you should know that local communities are starting to mandate gutter screens for all new builds and re-roof jobs.Here in California, mandates are the result of some of the more recent fireseasons that have been especially devastating.
The thinking is that gutter covers prevent leaves and other debris from collecting in the gutters, drying out, and becoming fuel for airborne sparks that ultimately end up passing fire from one house to the next.
Just like there are different styles of gutters and downspouts, gutter screens come in different styles too. It is important that you match the style of your screen with that of your gutter. Why? Because different styles of gutters collect and channel water with different results.If your screen doesn't match your gutter, you might end up hindering waterflow.
You also need a screen capable of handling the amount of rainfall your area normally sees. Here in the Livermore area, we do not see a lot of torrential downpours. So gutter screens here can be a little finer,almost like a fine mesh if need be. But a house on the Gulf Coast would need a different kind of screen to accommodate their torrential downpours.
Gutter screens are a simple product in concept. Furthermore,they are fairly simple to install compared to some other more complex DIY projects. However, there is a right way to install gutter screens. This implies there is also a wrong way.
A certain amount of rain will roll over the top of a gutter screen rather than pass through it. That is to be expected. An experienced installer knows how to overcome that particular problem. But if gutter screens are not installed properly, you could wind up with a situation in which most of the water flows over the top. That's not what you want. You want most of the rainto flow through the screen.
The one thing you probably knew about gutter screens before reading this post is that they reduce the need for you to clean your gutters.Without screens, you are up on a ladder at least once a year scooping out all that debris. You may have to do it twice a year if your house is surrounded by a lot of trees.
The whole point of gutter screens is to eliminate the need to clean by keeping debris out of your gutters. Having said that, it is not wise to install gutter screens and then never think about the gutters again.You should still inspect your gutters at least once every year.