by Megan Macpherson
How often do you need to clean out your gutters? Every month? Especially in autumn, gutters clogged with leaves are ineffective, and can cause damage to your home if water leaks back into your roof. If you install gutter guards, you may never have to clean out your gutters again.
There are several different products on the market at the moment which all fit onto a gutter to prevent leaves from falling into them, but allow water to pass through into the gutter. Gutter guards also prevent dry leaves from getting into your roof if caught on fire, and therefore are useful in bush fire prone areas of Australia.
All Clear Leafguards are made from colorbond steel, and have a slight W shape with holes punched into the top all the way along the guard. The W shape prevents leaves from sitting flat on the gutter guard, so they can blow off easily when they dry. They fit all gutters including the box type, and are pest-proof and fire resistant.
Another type of gutter guard is by GumLeaf, and has two varieties, depending on the type of roof you have. One is for a corrugated iron roof, and another for tiles. The one for corrugated iron is machine scalloped to fit into the corrugations. It is bolted down on every second corrugation and then sealed with silicon on the top edges. The guard for tiles has a step system that is custom folded to fit under the first tile. The guard looks like mesh, with eye shaped holes that allow water to pass through. The steel mesh is expanded not perforated, and treated after the expansion process, then electroplated, powder coated then coloured, making it corrosion resistant.
The gutter guard by Gutta-Arma is similar to the Gum Leaf variety, but also has an option for flat roofs, such as trim deck, clip lock or patio roofs. Developed in the Blue Mountains of NSW, the Gutta-Arma is made from louvered steel and is fire and vermin proof.
A different gutter guard system is by Easyflow and they have two product types. One is a gutter guard that fits under the roof tile and is a shallow dish, with four raised leaf filters per metre. The filters are perforated steel caps over a hole in the gutter guard. They are raised above the level that the leaves will sit, so that the water can still pass through into the gutter and not be blocked by the leaves. The other product is a whole gutter system, which incorporates the aforementioned gutter guard top, except it forms part of an encased gutter. Inside this casing is a PVC channel, into which the water flows from the raised filters on the gutter casing. The PVC channels have adjustable brackets which enables the water to be directed to PVC down pipes. The use of PVC eliminates the problem of rust, and the adjustable brackets eliminate the problem of incorrect water fall by forcing the water to flow to the down pipes as opposed to staying in the gutter or flowing back into the eaves.
Gutter guards are a great idea for people that have problems with rust, flooding, or cleaning out gutters. Simple gutter guards can be as cheap as $15 per metre, while an extensive gutter system will be more expensive. Shop around and get quotes specific to your home. Homes situation in bush fire prone areas should consider gutter guards, as dry leaves sitting in gutters are a fire hazard.