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Do gutter brush gutter guards work?

Do gutter brush gutter guards work?


If you have spent any time researching gutter guards you will eventually see the gutter brush system. Gutter brushes fall into the gutter insert category. They still function as a filtering system like the micro mesh gutter guard systems. They are intended to prevent clogged gutters and downspouts.


Homeowners often hope it will reduce the need for a gutter cleaner service. That the guards will protect the home’s gutters and ensure the gutter system performs properly. But does gutter brush keep the rain gutters clean and reduce the need to flush the gutters?


What’s good about gutter brush gutter guards?


One of the most appealing features of gutter brushes is their ease of installation. Many homeowners that have the experience to work safely from heights often install these as DIY gutter guards. However, if a homeowner doesn’t already own a ladder then they may be better off leaving installation to a professional.


Quality commercial ladders come with many additional safety features. These ladders are often very expensive. If a homeowner doesn’t have a good ladder, they might choose to hire a gutter cleaning company instead of buying one.


The gutter brush system is one of the best gutter guards for preventing animals from nesting in gutters. Once installed the bristles disturb birds and squirrels deterring them from hanging out around your gutters. Like any gutter insert it can reduce the chances of wasps or bees from attempting to nest within the gutter channel.


A neat thing about the gutter brush is they can be ordered in custom sizes. If you have large non-standard guttering these can be ordered in a size specific to your needs.


What’s bad about gutter brush gutter guards?


Like most gutter guards these tend to collect debris on top of the gutter guard. Once debris collects on top of the guard the water begins to run over the front or back of the gutter. This diverts water towards your foundation or your roof and fascia.


The issue with debris collecting on top of the gutter guard means they aren’t maintenance-free. In fact, they really don’t reduce maintenance at all. They will need to be inspected just as frequently as open gutters.


Debris can collect in open gutters without immediately clogging them. This is because there is enough space at the bottom to hold some debris while still flowing water. Water can still flow even with this layer of leaves and pine needles, so they don’t need to be cleaned out as often.


The main issue with open gutters is ensuring the downspout doesn’t clog between cleanings. A downspout protector goes a long way to solving this issue.


Gutter brushes often perform like the bristles of a household broom. These bristles grab and hold onto debris.


The idea is that rainwater will wash debris off and the gutter guard will be self-cleaning. However, this often isn’t what happens. While some debris does wash off it is not enough to prevent the need for frequent cleaning.


Gutter guards can be classified into two systems. Gutter covers and gutter filters. Gutter brushes are a filtering system.


Just like with your HVAC filter or engine filters, they eventually clog. When they do clog they are very difficult to get clean. They need to be completely removed to do a proper cleaning.


A leaf blower won’t easily break loose the debris from the bristles. The most effective method we have found is to use a pressure washer.


The pressure washer breaks the leaves and debris apart and washes it away. The debris only comes out of these gutter brushes easily when the debris can be broken into tiny pieces. The homeowner will need to install the gutter guard back in place after each cleaning. If hiring a professional to clean the gutters this adds a lot to the cost of the gutter cleaning.


Because gutter brushes clog with leaves so quickly, this makes for a tedious and frequent maintenance task.


Another issue with debris collecting on top of the guard is it holds moisture against the home. This leaf debris often rests on or against the shingles. These leaves hold moisture leading to rot and mold growth.


What do professional gutter cleaning services think of gutter brush gutter guards?


It’s been our personal experience that gutter brushes are more work to maintain than an open gutter channel. They will need to be cleaned just as often as an open gutter channel. When they are cleaned it takes twice as long to complete the job.


Gutter brushes do a good job of keeping downspouts clean. However, installing downspout guards can accomplish this without all the problems that come with gutter brushes.


Therefore we always suggest to our clients to avoid gutter brushes and spend the money on quality downspout protectors instead. A good downspout protector will help extend the amount of time homeowners can wait between cleanings.

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