Restoring Your Classic Chevy

Types Of Covers That Keep Leaves Out Of Your Gutters

by Neil Craig

If you dread digging wet clumps of leaves out of your gutters every year, then you may want to have covers installed. These fit on top of the gutters so leaves can't get inside, but rain is still able to fall through. Gutter covers also keep birds and animals out of the troughs so they can't build nests in them during dry spells. There are different types of gutter covers you can buy. Here is a look at some of them and how they differ.

Vinyl Mesh Screens

Vinyl mesh screens snap right on your gutters. These have fairly large openings so water has no problem falling through. This type of cover is good if your yard has trees with broad leaves. If you have pine trees, the pine needles might slip through the mesh, so if your trees give off small needles or seeds, you may want to choose a different type of cover. While these screens keep out most of the leaves and other debris, some smaller matter works its way inside. You'll still have to clean the gutters, although the job won't be as messy. In order to clean the gutters, you can just pull out the screens and then snap them back in place.

Sponge Or Brush Inserts

This type of gutter cover actually fits inside the trough. A spongy material or a row of brushes fills the gutters so leaves can't fit inside. However, rain isn't blocked, so the gutters work as intended. These inserts keep your gutters clean, but the inserts themselves can become embedded with rotting organic matter. You may even see plants growing out of the sponge since it holds onto moisture. If you go with this type of cover, you'll need to clean them when you do routine gutter maintenance so they continue to work properly.

Rounded Slot Covers

Rounded gutter covers are made from solid plastic that has a slot along the top. The round shape routes water towards the slot so it can fall into the troughs to drain away. The solid plastic keeps leaves from falling inside the gutters, and since it is a curved shape, the leaves naturally fall away rather than sit on top of the covers. These gutter covers work well with most types of trees, although some small seeds and needles may find their way inside the troughs.

Micro-Mesh Gutter Covers

Micro-mesh covers work like filters for the troughs. They are made from screen material with holes so tiny the surface appears solid. Rain falls through the screen easily, but solid particles can't fit through. This is the ideal cover if you have a lot of pine trees or plants that produce tiny seeds. These keep the inside of your gutters clean, but the tops can get clogged if a seed takes root on the screen. For that reason, you'll need to wash off the covers when you do yearly gutter maintenance to keep them free from debris.

Gutter covers come in all price ranges and they vary in how difficult they are to install, which could be a consideration if you plan to put them on yourself. Besides considering your budget, you want to think about the size of debris that lands in your gutters. You want a cover with holes the right size to keep out granules if you have an asphalt roof, needles if you have pine trees, fluff and seeds if you have cottonwood trees, as well as deciduous leaves and small animals. Remember, you'll still need to clean your gutters occasionally to keep the troughs and covers clean, but the job will be a lot easier if the troughs aren't packed full of leaves. Contact a company like Gutter Magician NKY to learn more.