If you live in an area that experiences heavy rain most of the time, you should have a pretty strong gutter system installed to protect your property.
These systems are lifesavers until they start exhibiting some concerning signs, such as overflowing. This is especially noticeable during downpours.
Gutter guards appear to be a viable solution on the market for saving your drainage system. Yet, do gutter guards work in heavy rain?
Continue reading to learn more about these guards and the root cause of your gutters overflowing!
To begin with, if your gutters are always overflowing during downpours, you should never ignore this. It’s a common problem, but that doesn’t make it any less dangerous.
If you don’t deal with overflowing gutters, you could face a slew of issues. Starting with the erosion of your landscape and progressing to structural damage.
To help you get to the bottom of this, we’ve compiled a list of the three leading causes why gutters can’t handle heavy rain:
Clogged gutters are the most common and dreaded gutter problem.
Several factors can contribute to a serious blockage in your gutter system, preventing water from flowing freely to the downspout.
This obstruction could be caused by leaf accumulation, sludge buildup, or nests built by birds, wasps, etc.
Regardless of how it forms, the end result is the same: water pouring out of gutters during heavy rains.
A clogged gutter is usually easy to spot. Aside from overflowing, you’ll notice insects swarming around it and even plants sprouting inside.
Another tell-tale sign is if your gutters are sagging, which could be caused by the excess weight of water and debris.
Moving on to the second possible cause, which is having an incompatible gutter size installed on your roof.
There are multiple factors to consider when determining the proper gutter size for your home. One of these factors is your roof measurements.
In general, wider roof surfaces require larger gutter sizes to handle the increased amount of runoff. Therefore, installing a small gutter on a large roof can easily result in overflow during rain.
Not only that but the maximum rainfall intensity in your region should also be taken into account.
You’ll need to confirm that information with the U.S. Weather Bureau to select a suitable gutter size. As the intensity of the rainfall increases, so should the size of the gutter you install.
A critical step in the installation process is adding a specific tilt to the gutters. This is referred to as a gutter pitch or a slope.
Simply put, it refers to the amount or angle at which the gutters slope downward along the roofline and toward the downspout.
Generally speaking, gutters should slant ½ inch every 10 feet, and gutters longer than 40 feet may require a different setup.
In any case, there won’t be proper drainage without the gutter slope. This minor tilt is what allows water to flow smoothly in its path rather than stand still.
If you notice water pooling in your gutters even when they’re not clogged, this could indicate that your gutters have an improperly measured slope.
Because clogging is a major cause of runoff diverting from its intended route, you’ll want to look into ways to avoid it.
Installing gutter guards is a well-known method for preventing those infamous gutter blockages. They should withstand heavy rain if you choose a high-quality type.
Gutter guards are available in a variety of styles, the most common of which are mesh screens, foam inserts, brushes, and helmets.
All types operate on the same basic principle of filtering debris and only passing water.
In the long run, this prevents the formation of obstructions in your gutter system, which can save you a lot of time and money.
You see, you won’t have to clean the gutters as frequently, and you’ll save money that would have been spent on damage brought on by clogging.
Even better, the next time your area experiences a downpour, your clear gutters will be ready to handle it. That is, of course, assuming they don’t have any of the other two issues mentioned above.
You may be thinking about buying a gutter guard now that you know how useful it can be. To help you narrow down your options, we’ve listed three of the best types for you to consider:
Hands down, one of the best ways to protect your gutter is to install a micro-mesh guard. There are standard mesh guards, which are excellent, and micro-mesh guards, which are far superior.
Because the micro-mesh screens’ holes are super small, no debris can pass through them. The only drawback worth mentioning to this guard type is that it’s quite expensive.
Installing brush gutter guards is a breeze. They can be described simply as bristle brushes that go into your gutters.
They work by keeping debris on their surface while water seeps through the bristles of the brush.
These guards are typically made of UV-resistant materials, so you won’t have to worry about the sun damaging them.
One disadvantage of installing this type is that it must be cleaned regularly because it easily becomes clogged.
The foam gutter guard is the most basic and least expensive option on our list. This type requires no installation; simply insert a triangular piece of foam into your gutter.
Because of the porous nature of its material, this guard absorbs runoff while keeping any waste laying on it.
However, because it’s difficult to thoroughly clean foam, it needs to be replaced frequently. It may also be unable to withstand the force of heavy rain.
To recap, do gutter guards work in heavy rain? Yes, but it’s mainly dependent on the type and quality.
If you’re looking for a long-term solution for reducing the impact of downpours, micro-mesh gutter guards are your best bet.
If you’re looking for something more affordable, we recommend going with standard mesh screens or brush guards.
Whereas, if it doesn’t rain much where you live then a foam guard will do the trick.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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