Do micro mesh gutter guards work?
When homeowners begin to research gutter guards they often come across micro-mesh gutter guards. These systems are a cover system that sits on top of the gutter. This cover will have either slits or holes in them to allow water to flow through. The idea is that water is allowed to enter the gutter but other debris is prevented from entering the gutter channel.
These are often considered higher-end and more expensive gutter guard options. The more expensive options are often made of aluminum or stainless steel.
Some of the mid-range metal options are available for DIY installation. The top-of-the-line metal options are not available to consumers to buy directly. This often forces these options to be professionally installed.
However, there are cheaper plastic DIY versions available. So how do these systems perform in the real world? Our gutter cleaners have seen it all and are happy to share our experiences.
What's good about micromesh gutter guards?
The metal micro mesh systems with perforated holes is often a rugged system. Most micro mesh gutter guards do a good job of keeping debris out of the gutters and downspouts.
The manufacturers of these gutter guards are making them more DIY friendly each year. Many of these systems can be installed by homeowners who can safely work at heights.
Micro mesh gutter guards often outperform gutter helmets in heavy rain. If the micro mesh has big enough openings, it lets water flow easily into the gutter system.
What are the problems with micro mesh gutter guards?
The issue with micro mesh gutter guards is the same problem all gutter filtering systems suffer from. Just like your car engine filter, these filters will eventually clog. Leaves and pine needles gather on the guard, preventing them from entering the gutter channel. Once they do this the micro mesh system becomes clogged preventing water from entering the home's gutter system.
Like with many of these filtering covers it's intended that the rain will flush the gutter guard clean. In the real world, this doesn't happen as they intended.
During drier periods debris begins to stick together and collect on top of the mesh gutter guard. As it continues to collect and dry it becomes an immovable mass that the rain can bust loose. In this condition, the clogged gutter filter prevents anything from entering the rain gutters, including rain.
The longer the debris sits the more it builds up and the heavier it gets. The metal micro mesh systems outdo the cheaper plastic ones in this situation. The plastic mesh systems can collapse into the gutter due to the weight. This often damages the gutter guard and makes a major mess to clean out of the gutters.
Until the micro mesh becomes clogged they often allow dirt and shingle granules to collect in the gutter channel.
Cleaning micro mesh gutter guards.
Unfortunately, micro mesh gutter guards don't eliminate the need for gutter cleaning. It is good to clean them at least twice a year. They should however be checked much more frequently during fall and periods of heavy storms.
When cleaning, you usually have to take them out to remove small particles that went through the mesh. This is a good time to shake off the leaves that are collected on top of the filter.
Micro mesh systems often plug up with pine needles. The way the pine needles imbed themselves in the mesh makes them difficult to remove. Leaf blowers and pressure washers can damage the mesh. Therefore, experts generally recommend cleaning it manually or with a gentle brush.
After cleaning the homeowner will need to have to install gutter guards again. This creates a lot of additional labor for the homeowner. If hiring a gutter cleaning service all this extra work results in a higher cost of gutter cleaning.
When reinstalling the gutter guards, it is common to find damage on these guards. As the guards expand and contract with the temperature it fatigues clips and mounting points. This eventually leads to cracks and breaks. Once this happens it is difficult to properly reinstall these guards.
Here is the opinion of our gutter cleaner service.
We liked the idea of stainless steel micro mesh gutter guards. Many of these high-end options are very well made.
We are always looking for a quality product to make cleaning gutters easier for us and our clients. However, we haven't seen any of these products reduce the need for gutter cleanings. All they really do is make gutters harder to clean or require more frequent cleaning.
If they kept debris from entering the gutters and didn't require frequent cleaning we would love to sell these systems. To maintain our reputation and customer satisfaction, we do not sell anything that we do not believe will benefit our clients. We haven't currently found any micro mesh systems that are effective gutter protection.