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Gutter Guard

What is a Gutter Guard?

I often have people ask me about using Gutter Guards to eliminate runoff debris that collects in a rain barrel or rainwater harvesting system. What I have told them is that I am no expert on gutter protection but what I suspect is that they are only good for filtering large debris like leaves, twigs and branches. My suspicion was correct; I pried up a gutter guard on a friend’s garage and took a look. I found no clogged leaves or debris; rather, I found what I refer to as “gutter goop”, a thick sludge of microorganisms that took to living a healthy life in the dark, moist environment of the covered gutter.

Gutter guards come in all different shapes but ALL do the same thing. A gutter guard or cover goes over an existing gutter to prevent leaves and other debris from falling in and clogging the downspout tube. In the event a downspout tube were to become clogged, drainage from a rooftop could back up and run down the side of a house and into windows or soak the earth close to a foundation contributing to a leaky basement.

Gutter Guard Installation – Safety

Note: If you are planning on installing a gutter guard be aware that one of the most common accidents that happens to the “do it yourself” homeowner involves the ladder. If a ladder is set on soft ground and you climb it to secure a gutter guard, it can tip and you could fall, so please be careful.

In conclusion, gutter guards do exactly what the manufacturers of these devices claim they do; they prevent your gutter from clogging and will allow water to run freely through the downspout to the ground or whatever harvesting system you may have in place. As I said before, a gutter guard will not remove the microorganisms that stagnate rainwater and should only be used as one part of a complete solution to filter rainwater.

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Posted in Diversion by Administrator on July 26, 2005.

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