Gutter Protection FAQ

Gutter guard products were created to eliminate the task of cleaning your gutter system and keeping them free of debris. Keeping your gutters free of debris will keep them working properly, which leads to preventing the damages caused by overflowing gutters. They can also lengthen the life of a gutter system by preventing the build up of debris, snow, and ice that can destroy the system faster. We get a lot of questions about gutter protection and we wanted to highlight a handful of them in hopes that it will answer some of the questions you may have.

mesh gutter guard
  1. What is the purpose of gutter protection? read more
  2. What should I do about pollen on mesh guards? read more
  3. Can pine needles get through mesh guards? read more
  4. How do I prevent roof grit buildup in gutters? read more
  5. How effective are gutter guards? read more
  6. What is the installation process of gutter guards? read more
  7. What are the different types of gutter guards? read more
  8. What are the best materials to use in a gutter guard? read more
  9. What is the upkeep involved for homes with gutter guards? read more
  10. Is the installation/maintenance process different for multi-family homes? read more
  11. Do gutter guards, protectors, and screens have the same function? read more
  12. How do gutter guards hold up during poor weather? read more
  13. When is the best time of year to install gutter guards? read more

-What is the purpose of gutter protection?

There are more to gutter guards than just putting something over your gutter’s opening. The gutter guards we use are a complete protection system. They are designed to keep everything out of your gutters from pests, such as, squirrels, snakes, spiders, mosquitoes, termites to the typical leaves, roof grit, snow and ice. Pests can not only get into you home, they can lead to inviting predators into the area including birds who nest in gutters. Keeping tree dirt out of the gutter system will prevent the growth of seeds and the impedance of the rain water draining.

By using a gutter guard through winter, snow is not able to build up inside the gutter, which would typically lead to damage of a gutter system and house. They prevent the ice from expanding inside the gutter causing pressure on the installation points and fascia as well as the downspout. The guards we install provide your gutter system with box-like strength often improving the life of an existing gutter protection system and farther adding to the performance of saving your gutter system in winter.
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-What should I do about pollen on mesh guards?

High pollen seasons can lead to some buildup of pollen on top of micro-mesh guards. Excessive buildup of pollen mixed with rain can form a sort of paste on top of the guard. This does not mean that your gutter guards are not working, but it does mean that they’ll need to be cleaned off. However, a regular mesh gutter guard design (instead of micro-mesh) can help to combat this pollen paste, as the slightly larger holes are just big enough to allow tiny particles like pollen to flow through the gutter. These tiny pollen particles will not clog your gutter, and will just flow through with the water.
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-Can pine needles get through mesh guards?

The answer to this question varies with the type of gutter guard you have installed. A micro-mesh gutter guard will keep the smallest of debris out of your gutter system including pine needles, pollen, and roof dirt. Whereas a mesh gutter guard has slightly bigger holes which can allow for some smaller debris to enter your system. If your home is located in an area that has a lot of pine needles or a ton of trees, you may want to consider a mesh gutter guard. With excessive tree shedding, the micro-mesh gutter guard design may require more maintenance due to buildup of these fine particles on top of the mesh. Most guards are designed to self-shed debris from their top, but if the accumulation is significant, it may not be able to keep up on its own.
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-How do I prevent roof grit buildup in gutters?

Anything fine enough to pass through any mesh gutter guard design will not clog your gutters and will simply be passed through with the water during rainfall. If roof grit is small enough to pass through your mesh guards, it will not buildup in your gutters. Larger roof grit will not be able to pass through the mesh and therefore is not a concern. This provides another layer of gutter protection.
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-How effective are gutter guards?

This question depends on the style of guard chosen. We have installed many of the common style of guards and found out that guards are not created equal. In our experience, mesh guards work the best. There is no such thing as a maintenance-free product, but with gutter guards, the maintenance of your gutters is greatly decreased. This answer is also dependent on realistic expectations. No product is 100% maintenance free, even if they claim to be. Understanding exactly what to expect from your guard can help to determine proper effectiveness of your specific guard product.
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-What is the installation process of gutter guards?

Installing guards differentiates with the style. Foam, wire and sponge guards just lay inside the gutter. Reverse curve or hooded guards require installing plastic support structures and then sliding the guard under the shingle before screwing the guard into the supports. Plastic guards snap on the lip and slide under the shingles. Mesh guards come in different styles. Some install by sliding under the shingles and then screwing into the gutter lip. Most mesh guards are screwed into the front lip of the gutter and directly into the fascia board, which is what gives your gutters the added strength.
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-What are the different types of gutter guards?

Reverse curve (hooded), one-piece (guard and gutter formed together), foam, sponge, brush, plastic, metal, mesh, and micro mesh. Some of the plastic, metal, and aluminum guards come in variable styles and designs.
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 -What are the best materials to use in a gutter guard?

Aluminum substrate (support) with a stainless steel micro mesh. Plastic will warp, fade, crack and bend through the seasons. Foam, sponge and brush guards create the most surface tension of all guards preventing their ability to shed debris. Aluminum is the best balance between strength and cost as well as durability.
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-What is the upkeep involved for homes with gutter guards?

With a complete micro mesh guard system, the upkeep is very minimal. We find that most homeowners never have to do maintenance on their gutter systems. If maintenance is necessary, it is as easy as blowing them off with a leaf blower or washing them off with a hose.
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-Is the installation/maintenance process different for multi-family homes?


Installation differences has nothing to do with being a multi-family home and depends on the roofline. If there are a lot of valleys or added roof structures where water volume is increased, we typically install miters to prevent water overflow. The miters will aid in preventing maintenance in heavy leaf build-up sections and heavy water runoff.
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-Do gutter guards, protectors, and screens have the same function?

The short answer is no, they don’t. Everything about the design and installation matters. If the holes in the mesh or screen are too small, then pollen can build up on the screen and eventually block out the water. When the mesh is glued and not hemmed to the substrate, it can pull away from the guard. If the substrate is not strong enough, it will flex during installation and make the guard pointless.

Some mesh guards are designed to install under the roof shingles. Depending on the pitch of the roof, getting the guard to work properly in this method can prove impossible. Sometimes the installation is so tight it causes the guard to flex causing the substrate to separate from the mesh. If the mesh and substrate do not touch, there is no way to syphon the water into the guard as the water will just gloss over the mesh holes and overshoot the guard. Mesh guards that lay on the gutter and attach to the fascia can prevent these issues. Our mesh guards interlock at the panels to prevent any chance of debris from entering between the guards and they consist of a strong aluminum.
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-How do gutter guards hold up during poor weather?

We analyze the roof and gutter system to determine if the gutter system itself will handle the worst of poor weather. It is necessary to use the right size guard and type of mesh to keep your gutters working in all types of rainfall. In the winter, mesh guards will keep your gutters strong under the extra weight of the ice and snow and keep ice dams from clogging your gutters.
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-When is the best time of year to install gutter guards?

We typically see an influx of guard requests in fall, but it is important to do it as soon as the snow fades to prevent the spring seeds and pollen as well as the pests such as nesting birds is super important through the tough rainy season. Even if you don’t feel there is a lot of debris, it only takes enough to block the downspout before your gutter system stops working.
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If you still have questions about gutter protection please don’t hesitate to head to our website or give us a call for a free estimate.

At The Brothers that just do Gutters, we are continually researching new products to make sure that we are always offering the best materials available on the market to our clients. Recently, when doing this research, we found a new-to-market gutter guard unlike any we’ve seen before. By combining some of the best qualities from guards already on the market with research on the biggest complaints and flaws of a number of industry leading guards, our current guard manufacturer was able to create a unique and extremely effective design and solution.