10 THINGS..

10 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT GUTTER LEAF GUARDS

 

Are you in the process of deciding which gutter leaf guard to have installed?

While particular requirements will influence your decision, essentially it comes down to getting the most effective product professionally installed at a sensible price.

Please use this report as a source of information about gutter leaf guards to help you make your choice.

1. Range of Benefits

There are at least a dozen ordinary to very ordinary leaf guards on the market, starting with the tuck-in ‘dollar’ mesh optimistically sold by hardware stores.

Some of these guards are made of plastic and some are metal. You might call them the dirty dozen because all of them are far

better at collecting and retaining leaf debris than eliminating it.

Think of the modest plastic or metal leaf guards that merely sit in or on gutters as ‘half’ guards because they only go about half way to where they ideally should go.

Factory-formed, expanded metal guards that cover gutters up to the edge of the roof (but not all metal roofs – and certainly not tile or metal roof valleys) can be seen as ‘three quarter’ guards.

Being factory made, they don’t allow for normal roof profile ‘variations’ and fit imperfectly along the edge of the roof – leaving small gaps that need to be siliconed up later (but are more likely just left as-is to collect debris).

The Leafscreener system we promote is ‘full service’ because it is custom fitted over the gutter and above the roofline on all tile and metal roof gutters and valleys without exclusion and without gaps.

It is our opinion that only if you see leaves in your gutters as a non-issue would you seriously consider anything other than a ‘full service’ gutter leaf guard. And if that was the case, you probably wouldn’t be reading this.

2.Full Service Gutter Leaf Guards Vs The Rest

There are at least a dozen ordinary to very ordinary leaf guards on the market, starting with the tuck-in ‘dollar’ mesh optimistically sold by hardware stores.

Some of these guards are made of plastic and some are metal. You might call them the dirty dozenbecause all of

them are far better at collecting and retaining leaf debris than eliminating it.

Think of the modest plastic or metal leaf guards that merely sit in or on gutters as ‘half’ guards because they only go about half way to where they ideally should go.

Factory-formed, expanded metal guards that cover gutters up to the edge of the roof (but not all metal roofs – and certainly not tile or metal roof valleys) can be seen as ‘

three quarter’ guards.

Being factory made, they don’t allow for normal roof profile ‘variations’ and fit imperfectly along the edge of

the roof – leaving small gaps that need to be siliconed up later (but are more likely just left as-is to collect

debris).

The Leafscreener system we promote is ‘full service’ because it is custom fitted over the gutter and above the

roofline on all tile and metal roof gutters and valleys without exclusion and without gaps.

It is our opinion that only if you see leaves in your gutters as a non-issue would you seriously consider anything

other than a ‘full service’ gutter leaf guard. And if that was the case, you probably wouldn’t be reading this.

3.The Guttermesh Question – Plastic Vs Metal

The basis of all gutter leaf guards is their mesh component.

It is human nature to be attracted by a ‘downmarket’ version of most things andin seeking to obtain a bargaingutter leaf guard, people end up putting all kinds of stuff over their gutters

– including flyscreen and even gardenshade cloth.

These and other inferior materials (like ‘dollar’ mesh) only waste your time and money.

They deteriorate quickly, become unsightly and usually have to be removed after a year or two.

Of the serious, purpose-built gutter leaf guard meshes, the following fivetypes are regularly available:

A. HDPE Plastic (high density polyethylene chemically stabilised for UV exposure)

B.Powder coated aluminium wire (the new kid on the block)

C.Powder coated galvanised

steel wire (light cage mesh)

D. Expanded Colorbond steel mesh (hard grid)

E. Expanded aluminium mesh (soft grid)

Of these,only the first two – the HDPE mesh and powder coated aluminium mesh – can be successfully utilised as components of a ‘full service’ gutter leaf guard.

There are problems associated with the other three.

4.The Problems – And A Bit About Mesh Profiles

Galvanised steel wire mesh, while sturdy in appearance, is inclined to rust over time.

The raised profile of both the Colorbond steel and aluminium expanded metal meshes makes them impossible to be neatly worked

under the second tile on tile roofs.

This obtrusive profile also appears to increase the collection and retention of fine leaf debris on

all roofs –especially when the guard simply finishes at or under the roofline.

All considerably less than ideal.

On the other hand, HDPE mesh is tried and true. It has been Leafscreener’s primary mesh since the inception of the Leafscreener system some twenty years ago, comes in a range of colours and is on thousands of houses Australia-wide.

Its secret lies in its relatively smooth profile assisting the movement of leaf debris across its surface while the diamond shape aperture pattern breaks up and captures rain run-off without it ‘sheeting’ over the gutter.

Powder coated aluminium wire mesh is a relatively recent addition to the meshes. Its zero flammability makes it ideal for use where meeting the Australian Standard for new construction in ‘Bushfire Prone’ areas is a local council requirement.

Leafscreener installs it exactly the same way as HDPE mesh.

5. So What About Maintenance?

All the lower-end DIY meshes and ‘half’ guards will need some form of maintenance.

Some el cheapos (like ‘dollar’ mesh) can ultimately require more maintenance than they are worth and you will find you are better off just getting rid of them!

But a properly installed ‘full service’ guard should be pretty much maintenance-free.

This will ultimately depend on the tree/roof/gutter/weather variants in each in each case, but an experienced Leafscreener person can make an accurate assessment before installation.

6. And What About The Installer?

DIY is not really an option with ‘full service’ gutter leaf guards. For a classy job you need an experienced installer who commands all the little tricks of the trade.

In addition, for job security, your chosen contractor should carry a current gutter leaf guard licence and the man on the roof – the installer – must always

have liability insurance.

And remember – it may be a truism, but the best installers require adequate compensation.

7. Do I Need Council Approval To Install My Gutter Leaf Guard?

 No.  But councils now require that gutter leaf guard mesh utilised in new construction in designated ‘Bushfire Prone’ areas meets the Australian Standard for non-flammability.

8. How Long Should My Gutter Leaf Guard Last?

 For a long, long time – barring human intervention or an Act of God.

With the exception of the rarely used and rust-prone galvanised steel mesh, leaf guard materials are chosen for their imperviousness to weather. Components made of Colorbond steel, aluminium or HDPE (as well as roofing tek screws and silicone) are rated to last 20 + years.

With a modicum of attention, your installation should comfortably meet and even exceed that.

9. The Bottom Line – Cost.

 With gutter leaf guards (as with most things) the old saying holds true – you get what you pay for.

Prices range from inexpensive for virtually worthless ‘dollar’ mesh to the overkill of some factory ‘customised’ leave gutter guards that reach $40 and even $50 per linear metre.

However, a good quality ‘full service’ guard can be supplied and fitted for around $20 – $30 per linear metre depending on the components selected and the complexity of the job.

Ultimately, the exact price of the installation will need to be determined by a quote in situ – which a reputable contractor will be happy to do free of charge.

10. The Wrap Up.

So far we’ve been as objective as we can about gutter leaf guards and avoided banging our own drum. But if  you’ve grasped the gist of this report and your gutter leaf guard needs are serious, you are probably now leaning  (or should be) towards purchasing a ‘full service ’ gutter leaf guard supplied and fitted by a licensed, insured professional.

And the best – the winner of the 1991 Australian Design Award and still the most honoured ‘full service’ gutter leaf guard – is Leafscreener.

We invite residents in the Sydney area to contact us directly on

0404 062 020

For additional information or a quote.

Customer Reviews

In the huge storm that we had (after Leafscreening) the usual leak onto the front verandah just never happened.  Even the continual rain all Friday night and most of Saturday never caused one drip.  So we are really pleased in more ways than one that we chose you and....

The Mayos

They (Leafscreener personnel) quickly fixed the problem.  I have found Leafscreener most efficient in keeping leaves and other materials from entering the gutters and blocking them.  I can thoroughly recommend the product and the installation team.   (Mr) R. A. Durham Pymble....

(Mr) R. A. Durham

Since ‘Leafscreener’ was installed, the leaves just blow off and are no longer a problem .   (Mrs) Barbara Hooper Carlingford....

(Mrs) Barbara Hooper

I would like to tell you how well it blends with our house colours, and above all, doing the job it is supposed to do.  We are already into the ‘Bushfire’ season, but because of the Leafscreener there is one less job to do in order to prepare our....

(Mr) F. Fonseca

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