Gutter Guards and Half-Round Gutters

Half-round gutters, often constructed of copper, add an elegant, European-style look to any structure. They were the primary gutter type in the US up through the 1940s, making them a perfect, authentic touch for historic homes. Still, while aesthetically appealing, half round gutters present their own set of challenges when it comes to finding compatible gutter guards.

Half Round Gutter Guards Are Important

Just like any other type of gutter, a half-round gutter is susceptible to clogging if it is not properly cleaned or covered. If you don’t want to be constantly cleaning your half-round gutters, gutter guards are a necessity.

The problem presented by half-round gutters is that their gutter guard options are more limited than other types.  Finding a half-round gutter guard that’s able to keep out finer more troublesome types of debris like shingle grit and pine needles can be difficult.

Gutter Guards That Won’t Work With Half-Round Gutters

Most gutter guards are constructed to fit one specific gutter type, with the vast majority being designed for the common K-style gutter. These K-style gutter guards are fitted into place by being clipped to a gutter’s back edge. This installation method won’t work with a half-round gutter. The distance across a half-round gutter’s opening won’t be the same as that of a K-style gutter anyway.

Other gutter guards rest on the gutter’s internal hangers. These types of guards also won’t work because most half-round gutters don’t have internal hangers for them to sit on.

Finally, special sponge- style guards for half-round gutters do exist but they aren’t the most effective option available. While shaped to fit in half-round gutters, these systems typically rely on being installed under the hangers to keep the guard stationary. Without hangers, half-round gutters don’t have any way of ensuring these types of guards remain in place and functional.

Even if you find a way to secure them firmly in a half-round gutter, these systems tend not to be very effective. They may be able to keep debris out for awhile, but over time they tend to be healed over by oils and tree debris, preventing them from effectively absorbing water.

Gutter Guards That Will

The best option for half-round gutters is to get a properly sized and shaped gutter guard that is installed under the shingle and then attaches to the front lip of the gutter. Gutter guards with these properties offer more installation versatility.

There are a few things to consider when selecting half-round gutter guards of this type. Make sure the portion of the guard that slips under the shingle is long enough to accommodate the angle of the shingles as they slope down to the gutter and downspout. Installing a gutter guard on a flat plane will create a shelf that traps debris. Any effective gutter guard needs to match the incline of the roof so debris is shed naturally.

You also need to find a guard that is permeable but still able to keep even very small solid debris out of the gutter. In this regard, a gutter guard utilizing micromesh is your best option. Micromesh will allow water to pass into the gutter uninhibited but is fine enough to prevent even the thinnest, smallest types of debris and pests, like pine needles and insects, from entering.

Peter Bruzzini is a gutter and gutter guard expert who loves sharing his knowledge with the blogosphere.

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