Adding a leaf guard to your gutters is a great way to prevent debris building up in your gutters and causing clogs. Making the decision to add some to your property is easy once you grasp the benefits, but it's never quite as easy to decide on the right type of leaf guard, and people often come down to either the basic mesh screen or a fancy reverse curve.
The mesh screen is easy enough to understand. Made from metal or plastic, it attaches over your gutters to prevent leaves, dirt and other detritus getting in. A reverse curve guard is different. The idea is that surface tension makes water stick to a curved ridge that flows back into the gutter, while leaves and other detritus flows straight off onto the ground below.
Sounds like a nice idea, but here are just four reasons why the simple mesh screen is still your best bet.
1. Mesh Leaf Guards Cope Better With Heavy Rainfall
One of the main problems with reverse curve gutters is that they don't work particularly well during periods of heavy rain. The surface tension idea does work, but it only allows a certain amount of water into your gutters; the rest simply splashes out. This means your gutters won't be working properly when you're most depending on them.
2. Mesh Leaf Guards Don't Harbour Pests
The reverse curve worked very well in theory, but people started noticing something when they were actually used in the real world. Since reverse curve guards are covered apart from a very small gap, they're incredibly attractive to certain pests, including bees and wasps. They love making nests in such spaces, which isn't a problem you'll find yourself facing with a mesh guard.
3. Mesh Leaf Guards Offer Easy Installation
Even if you're only a DIY rookie, you should still be able to fit a few mesh leaf guards by yourself, saving money on labour and getting the job done right away. The same isn't true with reverse grip guards. They generally need to be fitted by an authorized installer. Even worse, shingles need to be lifted to install reverse curve gutters, which could invalidate your roof's warranty.
4. Mesh Leaf Guards Are Easier to Remove for Cleaning
You can unscrew a mesh leaf guard to get at any detritus that does manage to get into your gutters, but that's impossible with a reverse curve gutter since they are sealed. If you ever need them serviced, you need to call in a professional.