Gutters, Gutter Guards And The Pitch Of Your Roof

The pitch of your roof can present serious challenges to your gutters and gutter guards. Here are a few roof pitch-related problems and how they can be addressed.

Low Pitched Roofs And Gutter Guards      

Low pitched roofs are especially susceptible to amassing debris. Their relatively flat plain acts like a shelf, collecting debris and making it difficult for natural forces, like wind, to shed it. Leaves and twigs can sit on a low pitched roof for long periods of time, building up and presenting a host of problems for your gutters, gutter guards and home as a whole.

A typical gutter guard isn’t going to improve your low pitched roof’s ability to rid itself of debris more effectively or quickly.  Typical gutter guard systems are installed on an even flatter plain. Combine it with a low pitched roof and debris is even more likely sit on your gutter guard.

Roof Valleys

Roofs on the extreme opposite end of the spectrum can create problems for your gutter and gutter guards too. Many larger, modern homes feature steeper roofs that create wide and deep roof valleys. These valleys serve as a vessel for collecting debris.

To make matters works, airflow is restricted in valleys, making wind an unsuitable self cleaning option.

When debris sits in these valleys for long periods of time it can cause water to overflow leaf guards in places where a home has an inside corner. If you have a roof with many particularly deep valleys, frequent and thorough cleanings are a must.  Check your roof often to make sure debris isn’t building up and clean regularly too ensure it doesn’t amass in the future.

Gutter Guards And Tall Walls

Tall walls present a similar airflow problem, preventing wind from cleaning debris off your roof for you. Tall walls occur when a gutter run ends particularly close to one of your home’s exterior walls. It’s easy to determine if tall walls present a challenge to your home and its gutters.

Look for places where a first floor gutter ends near a second story wall. One common place for this to be the case is the point where a one story garage is attached to the side of a two story home. Often, you’ll see debris splashed into your siding, which can lead to especially damaging water issues.

Gutter Guards That Are Up To The Challenge

While there’s not a gutter guard on the market that will completely alleviate your roof’s pitch-related problems, there are systems out there that can help your gutters and gutter guards avoid some common problems.

Investing in a high-quality, micromesh gutter guard system that is matched to the pitch of your roof is one way.  Traditional gutter guard systems are more sensitive to roof pitch because they are rarely installed to match the pitch of the roof itself. Instead, they are installed on a flatter plain which naturally acts like a shelf for any debris the roof does manage to shed.

Higher quality micromesh gutter guards however are installed to match the pitch of the roof so there is no barrier preventing debris from sliding off the roof.

Their micromesh covers are better than the solid metal alternative because they are fine enough to keep even the smallest debris out, but permeable enough to allow water in. The larger water collection surface area of their covers allows water in even if some debris has gathered on them. This helps prevents gutter overflows and blockages, and in turn, leads to an overall safer and healthier home.

Peter Bruzzini is a home improvement and roofing supply expert who enjoys sharing his knowledge with the blogosphere.

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