As you allergy sufferers may already know, pollen 2018 is here, and with a vengeance. If you are a regular consumer of our blog posts, you may recall an article last season on the increased pollen count and how it will affect your gutter guards. At the time that this article was written, we were primarily installing micro-mesh gutter guards, but pollen effects the performance of all gutter guards. In this specific article, we listed several ways to combat the “pollen paste” buildup created by the high amount of pollen spring 2017 saw. Our suggestions to combat the build-up referenced maintenance methods like;
- A telescopic water tool.
- Using a brush.
- Giving us a call!
You can find more information on micro-mesh gutter guard pollen maintenance HERE.
Following spring 2017, and after conducting further research, we decided that a mesh gutter guard would be better suited for our area than a micro-mesh guard is, primarily because of this pollen buildup.
We also found out that we were not alone in seeing this problem because it wasn’t just micro-mesh guards that were dealing with “pollen paste”.
Some issues with other guard designs:
- Reverse curve guard – Many reverse curve guards also failed when the pollen clung to the front lip of the guard. It caused the water to start overshooting, rather than maintaining the viscosity grip on the guard lip. Additionally, (when discussing regular debris buildup) since this guard is designed to let water flow naturally into your gutter through the cutout at the end of the guard, any debris that builds up on top of this guard flows with the water into your gutter. So, while it’s not staying on top (so it may seem like it’s doing the job), it is actually allowing the debris to enter your gutter, essentially defeating the purpose of having a guard.
- Foam guard – The foam guard acts as a sponge absorbing most of the water and allowing the pollen and debris to heavily cake onto it. This essentially creates a barrier, clogging your gutter.
So, let’s talk about what the difference is between a micro-mesh guard and a mesh guard. Micro is a very fine mesh screen that lays on top of a wider grate (pictured below to the left), whereas, regular mesh is a less fine single screen, which helps to allow pesky, tiny particles (like pollen) to flow through the guard (pictured below to the right). These tiny particles are not large enough to clog or effect your gutter system’s functionality, so allowing them to enter your gutter is not only ok, but it prevents the annoying potential maintenance of clearing pollen from the top of your micro-mesh guard.
Many clients fear mesh guards for this very reason. They are fearful that debris will lay on top of the mesh and create more maintenance than before. While in some cases, debris can lay on top of a mesh guard, most commonly, it will all brush off on its own naturally. Also, it is important to remember that the main goal of guards is to protect the interior of your gutter from clogs, and to eliminate the need for interior cleanings. While no gutter guard is maintenance free, mesh guards will significantly decrease your gutter maintenance, and eliminate the need for yearly interior cleanings, which can also save you money!
If you have a micro-mesh gutter guard installed, find comfort in the fact that you have a great protection system. This product is great at keeping debris out of your gutter, while still allowing the water to flow through your gutter properly; it may just require some maintenance in certain areas during high pollen seasons.
Through our extensive years of research and trial we have proven that a mesh guard is the most effective in protecting the inside of your gutter. What is great about the product that we install (ONE Gutter Guard), is that the chassis remains the same but the screen can be interchangeable. That means that we are still installing the same guard product, just with a more-effective and less-maintenance-required screen. There is no “perfect” solution in the guard industry, and that is the reason that One Guard manufactured interchangeable mesh inserts. Their new-to-market guard released in 2016, was the first guard to offer mesh sizes.
Now, let’s discuss some statistics for pollen 2018 –
- Last year’s pollen season was labeled as “the worst ever”, until now.
- Each year pollen seems to increase, as well as the number of people with allergies.
- One key factor is global warming, which is linked to higher concentrations of pollen in the air, and increased length in allergy seasons.
- As an example, increased average temperatures are leading to a longer ragweed pollen season.
- Increased rainfall can also be directly linked to a higher count of pollen.
- Because winter lingered this season in the Midwest and the Northeast, the onset of our spring allergy season was delayed a little, but not lessened in severity.
- Pollen is released in response to environmental factors like; temperature, precipitation, and sunlight.
- Grains of pollen range in size from 9 microns-200 microns.
- High concentrations of pollen in the air can trigger allergic reaction that spread for miles, even indoors.
- Research indicates that pollen counts of all varieties will double by 2040.
Since 1999 at The Brothers that just do Gutters, we’ve made it a part of our business model to always be researching the best products on the market, and making any adjustments to product lists we feel necessary. These decisions are based on client needs, research, and testing. We take pride in the fact that we never settle for “good enough”. If we’ve installed a micro-mesh guard for you in the past understand that this is still a great product and we are happy to assist in any maintenance practices required caused by the pollen 2018 count (and future years to come). If you are interested in making the change to our mesh screen, contact us for your free estimate today! Now’s the time to prepare your gutters for this year’s pollen!