Understanding No-Maintenance gutter protection
Many gutter protection systems are promoted as being ‘No Maintenance’ and in a lot of situations they are, BUT this does not necessarily mean that your gutters are now maintenance free. In some cases you can have both and I will explain what is needed for this to happen.
First we have to look at the gutters that the protection is being fitted to. If you were to clean them out spotlessly, then fill them with water, does all the water drain away within a short period of time? Or do you find that you still have puddles sitting in them after an hour or two?
If there are no puddles then you are half way there to being maintenance free, but in the majority of cases in New Zealand this isn’t what happens. There are many reasons why this ponding of water occurs ranging from the gutters being installed with an incorrect or no fall on them to houses moving on the foundations and causing an incorrect fall or to simple things like beads of sealant used to seal joins and around droppers being left too high.
If you do have ponding of water, then you are most likely going to have to flush your gutters out at least once a year to remove the dirt and dust that will settle in these areas. A lot of this can and will be flushed away with the right type of gutter protection system fitted.
Products such as the bottle brush (hedgehog) or foam type systems need to be cleaned regularly and must be removed to do so as you can not flush your gutters with these in place. Screener type systems (ones that fit so as to create a slope from the upper edge to the outside of the gutters), will generally need less work than anything that fits in your gutter.
Screener systems come as either a generic or an advanced screener, with the later being its ability to capture 100% of rainwater. The difference between these two is that in a heavy downpour, the advanced screener will produce a greater flow of water through your gutters which increases the cleaning & flushing effect. Think of your kitchen sink with the cruds & suds in the bottom after you have done the dishes. If you turn your tap on lightly it doesn’t clean much but increase the pressure and it cleans more.
HDPE screener systems do not require any maintenance to the mesh itself i.e. you do not have to wash or clean the mesh, but if you low pitched roof, heavy leaf debris, or archgolas, parapet walls etc where debris can not blow away from then you may have to brush or blow these areas periodically.
With an advanced screener system you can have maintenance free gutter protection but it all starts with your gutters. Correct fall and nothing impeding the water flow is the first step. Fitting Kiwi Gutter Protection is the second.