Micro mesh filter
The most recent development in gutter protection, micro mesh filters actual use a filtering screen that differs from older methods primarily in its material used and physical strength. The mesh used is exceptionally fine, medical grade stainless steel. Despite being fine, it allows water to penetrate well. The fine mesh also creates a much smoother top surface than other filters such as the foam, helping debris more easily blow or rinse off. Additionally, the mesh is attached, in the best examples of this style, onto extruded aluminum, creating a very strong frame. These filters work well with a wide variety of debris.
The main shortcomings of micro-mesh systems involve some of those faced by other systems. While most debris typically blows or rinses off, there are areas where some may still remain, creating the need to sweep off the accumulated debris. Excessive amounts of fallen roof granules can sometimes be most troublesome, require brushing off. Also, certain roof locations (discussed below) can result in excessive amounts of rainwater flowing to a concentrated section of gutter, possibly resulting in overflow in heavier rains.
The Perfect Gutter Protection System
So, you might ask, which is the perfect system. Maybe several, maybe none. Very simply, if you approach the entire category of gutter protection with the expectation that you will never have to maintain anything above your gutter line again, there is a high likelihood that you will be disappointed. You will likely feel that the product or system did not deliver on its promises (or what you may have assumed were its promises based on unrealistically hopeful expectations.)
Tempering Expectations in Light of Real World Factors
To be pleased with the system you choose, you need to understand the difference between clogged gutters and overflowing gutters (clogged is an internal blockage inside the gutter that causes water to dam up and spill over, overflowing refers to water not entering the gutter due to issues with the screen, filter, or cover.) You additionally need to realize that both your roof and the top of your gutters (which in effect act as an extension of your roof top) still need to be periodically cleaned of debris. No system in the world can prevent debris from falling out of trees and if for no other reason than your roof’s sake, you need to keep it maintained otherwise moss and other issues will start.
Additionally, realize that some houses and roofs were designed with very little thought to the gutters. If they could find a place to fit gutters on, they were considered adequate. But in reality, many roofs are under-guttered. There are locations where too much roof field (the main area of a roof section) drains down into a relatively small amount of gutters. In heavier rains, even clean, open gutters might overflow in such spots simply from a lack of capacity. However, if gutter protection is installed on such a home, it may be easy to just assume the protection system is not working. Plus, certain systems might exacerbate the problem slightly, making them overflow in rains that are heavy, but not torrential.
Trouble spots are similar to inadequate gutter in that the end result can be more water than what is fair to expect the gutter to be able to handle. The most common trouble spots involve areas where upper roofs drop their rainwater onto a lower roof, forcing a small section of gutter to receive excessive water. Roof valleys are also problematic as they too direct a disproportionate amount of water (that is additionally traveling faster) to a small gutter section.
Finally, consider the type of debris in your yard (and your neighbor’s too – tree debris can travel much farther than most realize.) A landscape that exclusively has very large leafed deciduous trees might be able to get a way with a simple screen while ones with smaller debris might be best suited by a micro mesh filter. Some debris that is easily dealt with by one system might be problematic for another. Debris that tends to be extra thin, subject to forming a mat (such cottonwood seed clumps) can be more problematic for filters than screens or covers, while pine and fir needles can easily defeat simple screens and reverse curve covers.
Ultimately, if you tend to view gutter protection as a way to help considerably reduce one aspect of home maintenance while not being a perfect, end all solution, then you will likely be pleased with your decision.
Always make sure that gutter protection makes a good financial sense and provides adequate peace of mind. It is wise to compare how often you could pay for your gutters to be cleaned versus the cost of gutter protection. Certainly there are other reasons to have protection beyond just cost savings, but it makes sense to be familiar with the pay off period. Additionally, some house locations can benefit from a few less glamorous options, such as larger downspouts or downspout reducers coupled with a knee level downspout clean-out. While the gutters still will need regular cleaning, some of the frequency is reduced and the most common clog location is brought down to ground level.
If you need help sorting through all this information, we are here to help. We can help you decide whether you are best forgoing gutter protection all together or if it looks like a wise option for you, help determine which system is best for your particular needs. Finally, we will help you have real world expectations, so you are happy with your decision. Call us today – 503-590-9274.