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Gutter Guards

We are confused about which gutter guard to use. .Like to hear from any one who has had success . We have a significant gum tree drops heaps of leaves ,twigs etc.
Bruce

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We have AquaGuard gutter guard on our house, carport and shed. We have many gum trees dropping leaves etc. It has been installed for at least 10 years and has been great. It is a fine metal mesh. The roofs are Colorbond. It is pretty robust. From time to time I get on the roof and use a leave blower to remove any leaf/twig buildup - you do still get some accumulation. I think if your gutters are not too high, you could probably just use a dustpan broom or similar to sweep the guards. If relevant, we’re in SA.

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We have three types installed around the property…

  • Gutter guard strips like this one.
  • A wire mesh that also goes into the gutter like this one.
  • A plastic mesh which goes into the gutter, like this one.

These are in the order of preference and possibly also cost.

The first one while cheap, it is difficult to keep in the gutter. Possums or birds can pull it out. due to its larger aperture size, it also lets through more finer leaf materials etc meaning that over time the gutter still fills up with organic sediment. If you have starlings/blackbirds/sparrows, this type of gutter guard doesn’t keep them out from occupying the eave/ceiling cavity.

The second one sits and stays in the gutter better, but like the first one, its larger aperture size still lets through considerable leaf materials etc/ If placed correctly, it is a better defence against blackbird/starling/sparrows. It is more difficult to remove for cleaning the gutter than the first one as it is more rigid and tends to stick better in the gutter.

The last one, while the most expensive is best at keeping our leaf materials and only the very small sized pieces go through. Even with this one, flushing of the gutter is required to remove and accumulated sediment, but this is a lot more infrequent that the first and second one. It is also rigid which can make removing it to flush the gutter more difficult…as it can be pop-riveted and screwed into the gutter/toe of the roof sheeting. If installed well (especially the gutter corners to ensure there is overlap and no gap, they tend to keep out the blackbird/starling/sparrows better. This type of guard also tends to self clean better than the first two…which either snag leaves, twigs etc or trap the leaves in the airspace above it in the gutter.

If I was to buy one and wanted a better long term, lower maintenance solution, I would install one like the third option. Hope this is food for thought.

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Welcome to the community @Bruce3.

There are so many different solutions.

It may assist others if you can share some roof details. Eg Tile or metal, corrugated or trim deck, roof pitch, gutter style, box or quad.

On a low pitch roof (EG tin garage) there is no such thing as self cleaning. See pic, although the type of pressed alloy mesh we installed is very resistant to twigs, pine needles and fine leaves. Never needed to flush the gutters in nearly 10 years since installing. Although I do need to broom the roof clear 2-3 times each year. Makes great mulch. Poinciana tree leaves and pine needles included.

The mesh has fine openings. These can face towards or away from the water flow. We installed under the sheets. The edges of the mesh did not need profiling and do not trap material against the roof sheeting. Important fir the low roof pitch. This and other options we’ve seen for low pitch roofs would be more effective if the gutters were installed with the outer lip lower than the line of the sheeting to improve the fall. It’s not how gutters are done. I have yet to find a plumber or code that clarifies.

We are still to decide on a solution for our steep 45 deg corrugated iron roofing with 6” quad gutters. There’s potentially 150m of gutter to mesh, fire rated to BAL 19. It looks to be cheaper to take out more of the nearby trees outside the 15m asset protection zone than installing leaf guards.

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I have a standard pitched concrete tile roof.
I have a plastic type of gutter guard which covers the gutter and first course of tiles. It is fastened to the outer edge of the gutter by screwing angle aluminium to the nose of the gutter over the plastic guard at the top. The other end is fitted by inserting several cm under the second course of tiles. Had it in two different properties for over 18 years with no problems. It really works coz I have a 27M tall oak tree in my yard which literally drops about 10 wheelie bins full of leaves every April and there is no problem.

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Hi Bruce3!
Our house had a plastic-type gutter guard mesh installed when we bought it. It was bent into shape and placed inside the gutter. The house is surrounded (and overhung) by gum trees which drop leaves and twigs, especially in windy/dry weather.
We found the mesh trapped twigs and leaves which were then very tedious to remove, and the gutter still needed to be flushed. Since it caused more of a fire hazard than it solved, we removed it, and now my other half walks over the roof 2-3 times a year (before and during fire season and late winter before spring rain) and simply scoops out any twigs/leaves which haven’t already blown out.
In short, we found the plastic mesh more of a problem than naked gutters. There are also roof-cleaning services who clean and check your gutters if you are not able/willing to do it yourself.

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We use the Blue Mountain range - aluminium mesh and saddles to to fasten it to the corrugated iron - they have an extensive range. What we have used has always been good quality and well manufactured. Too many options to discuss here but their website has lots of resources. https://bluemountainmesh.com.au/features/kits-and-componentry/

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Putting aluminium with steel can create a process that eats the steel and aluminium away, electrolysis. To avoid this spacers such as rubber or fibre washers should be placed between the two or a painted surface such that the bare metals do not touch.

Steel to steel is ok, aluminium to aluminium is ok but zinc on corrugated iron is reactive with aluminium and so paint or some separation by washers is useful so as to avoid/lessen the issue. Colourbond steel because of it’s coating should avoid the issue as well.

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Our builder has recommended Snug Extreme gutter guards. It is shaped silicone foam that fits inside the gutter. We haven’t tried it yet but are planning to get that.

Welcome to the community @Denise1.

It’s a good idea to try and find independent recommendations on a product where possible. EG neighbours who have the same product for years and are happy.

While leaves are likely to block up gutters and cause over flowing, the shaped foam might also reduce flow along the gutter. Hopefully the plumber doing the gutter and storm water down pipe design is made aware before construction. Increasing the number of down pipe connections or using a large gutter can compensate for the flow restriction. Depending on your roof and eves design overflowing gutters can cause considerable internal damage to a home. Ref Australian Plumbing Code AS/NZS 3500.

P.S.
Silicon foam rubber is UV resistant. It’s useful working life before breaking down into the environment may be an important consideration. There are numerous perforated metal gutter guards and metal mesh options that can be easily installed by the plumber when doing your roofing.

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Thanks @mark_m. I’ll follow this up. :slight_smile: