3 Types And Styles Of Gutter Guard Material, And What Each Can Do

Gutter guards offer several benefits to homeowners, the most favorable of which are never having to clean gutters again and preventing squirrels from dropping their winter supply of tree nuts into your gutters. However, most homeowners do not realize that there is more than one type of gutter guard material and more than one style. Here are those types of materials and styles, what each can do.

Foam Inserts

Foam inserts as gutter guards tend to be shaped in triangular forms, with the long slant of the triangle shape inserted downward into the gutter. This material is the cheapest of three, but it is also easy to wash and easiest to install. It will still prevent the squirrels from depositing tree nuts, and it prevents the accumulation of leaves and rotting debris. Because they are foam, they also allow the free movement of water through their porous material, letting water move down through the gutters and out of the downspouts. 

There are two drawbacks to choosing foam gutter guards. They collect dust, small particles of dirt, sand, and pollen in their pores, which means they may need a regular cleaning. Secondly, they do not last nearly as long as other materials, and ice can severely damage them.

Metal Mesh Guards

There are a number of sub-styles of metal gutter guards available, but the design principle is all the same. They snap on or snap into the gutters, and there are several small holes where the water can drip through. Some are stainless steel, so they cannot rust. Others are aluminum, which also does not rust. They will last longer than the foam, and they will not collect dirt, dust, or pollen because such things cannot stick to the metal. They will cost you more than the foam.

Full Cover Vinyl Guards

These gutter guards are the most expensive, but they are also the most effective. Tinted to match the color of the siding on your home, they install seamlessly and look as though they were meant to be on your home all along. The vinyl is extremely durable, and the full cover style blocks out everything but rain.

Nothing else gets through these gutter guards but rain and melting ice/snow. Additionally, they almost never need repairing or replacing when they are installed by a professional roofer or gutter installation company. As an added bonus, they can increase the resale value of your home and add that certain desirable quality of less work to the home maintenance the next owner would have to do.