Types of Gutter Guards

The principle of the reverse curve technology is that surface tension will guide water into the gutter by following the curve and allow the debris to continue past the water opening, avoiding the gutter entrapment. This does not always happen as increased velocities in heavy rainfalls causes the water to bypass the opening and over run very easily.

When the rainfalls are minimal, the product principle will work, but any small debris (pine needles, shingle grit, seed pods, etc.) will wash around with the water and enter the gutter anyway. Large leaves and twigs usually will not be captured, so there is minimal protection achieved. Additionally, the aperture (opening) can and will get clogged and will require periodic cleanings annually. The size of the aperture required to execute this technology yields access to wasps, birds, rodents and other creatures to infiltrate the system and create further clogging scenarios. Most of these systems are made of aluminum sheet of varying gauges, but all are lightweight, unreinforced and prone to damage. All reverse curve products require roof/shingle interaction and the obtrusive nature of this type of product makes them an eyesore to the home’s aesthetic value.

The principle of the perforated/louvered technology is that water will pass through the openings, but the debris will not. In order to make this technology perform effectively, the openings need to be of a fairly large size to pass the water quickly, but doing so will allow debris equal to or less than the aperture size to pass through to the gutter. This is predominantly overcome by reducing the holes/louvers to sizes of a smaller nature, but reducing open area causes overflow because the water will not dissipate faster than it is introduced from the roof supply. Increasing the amount of “small” openings would help dissipate water more rapidly, but doing so is not conducive to the manufacturing techniques available, so it cannot be accomplished. Most manufacturers of this technology overcome this condition by making the guard into a “tray” style (below top of gutter plane), which captures the water in a specific depth and utilizes “head of water” pressure to force the water through the inadequate quantity of small size openings. This type of design creates a literal trough that ultimately collects debris and traps it, analogous to an open gutter itself; defeating entirely the purpose of putting gutter protection on in the first place.

Without debris in the mix, these types of products WILL overflow in moderate to heavy rainfalls as the open area percentages are negligible and the dissipation capabilities cannot keep up with the water supply from the roof. With the introduction of debris in the “trough” blocking the openings, these products will then fail in even small rainfalls and they will require continual and ongoing cleanings.

Large opening products are obviously ineffective due to the large amounts of debris that enter the gutter system. These type systems will require constant removal of the guard to access the gutters for cleaning, so there is no real reason to install them.

The principle of the micro-mesh technology is that the “screening” offers large open area counts with microscopic openings, maximizing the water dissipation capabilities. While this is a correct design assumption, the bulk of these products fail to include the necessary designs to make them effective in doing so. Obviously, the micro-mesh eliminates the chance of anything but water getting into the gutter, so gutters will not clog if no debris is present.

In an effort to augment the debris shedding, all of the micro-mesh products employ a “slope” to execute. This is usually accomplished by installing the product under the shingle so the slope of the roof is parallel to the product face or at a slight acute angle to it. This method usually fails for a few reasons. These products do not take into consideration the water velocities coming off of the roof and without deceleration of those velocities, the water will not have time to “redirect” into a vertical plane so it can pass through the screen effectively, thus yielding over flow. The second reason for failure is the mesh sizing. While the open areas may be greater than that of the perforated styles, the aperture sizing is critical to eliminate the potential for microscopic organic and inorganic debris to bridge the gaps and clog. The bulk of the micro-mesh manufacturers use mesh sizing that does not take into consideration the micron sizing of pollens, dust, and other pollutants and thereby renders their filtering abilities ineffective over the long haul. Coupling no water deceleration with incorrect sized mesh is a recipe for failure and this will ultimately lead to overflow of all water. While no large debris cleaning is necessary because of the slope, improperly sized mesh will require continual and ongoing cleanings.

Additionally, some micro-mesh products employ the use of plastic as their core structure which will ultimately meet its rapid demise through extended UV exposure; regardless of any “additives” they claim to add to the formulation.

The pictures above show a sampling of the “gimmick” products available on the market today and the images speak for themselves as to how ineffective and literally ridiculous these products actually are.

Sponge or foam type products are prone to rapid deterioration due to UV exposure and the “open cell” design lends itself quite well to a home for debris to hide and for mildew/mold to grow. Additionally, they compress easily under any kind of load and create a “trough” for debris to collect on top once the compression has taken place.

Brush products allow water to pass through easily, but it also allows debris smaller than a big leaf to collect quite well inside the bristles and openings between the bristles. These brushes are also susceptible to deterioration as they are manufactured with plastic bristles. Simplistic installation does NOT mean effective protection.

Plastic tube products are going to deteriorate. Their entire design premise creates LARGE cavities at the radiuses for shingle grit and ALL debris to collect and compact which will render it completely ineffective in short order.
Plastic screening has no support whatsoever and will collapse under the slightest of loads and the openings are so large that debris will still enter the gutter system, requiring periodic cleanings. There is also no protection from UV devastation.

Tunnel products have the distinction of allowing debris to fall through the first level down to the second level, so you won’t be able to see the second level clogging inside the gutter. Once clogged, the top layer needs to be removed so you can access the bottom level to clean it out. This concept makes little sense.
Vertical bar products take their design from sewer grates. Most debris goes through sewer grates, so not much more needs to be said here.

Rhino Gutter Guard brands are the finest quality products available today. Years and years of research and real world experience have gone into the creation of these products and each style has unique features and benefits that just make sense.

We manufacture all of our products in the USA and we remain “better than competitive” in comparison to the overseas suppliers through innovation, automation (labor reduction), lean initiatives, and state of the art high speed machinery, which we design and build “in house”.

RHINO products employ high tech quality control procedures that allow us to boast of an unprecedented defect ratio, unmatched in any industry. The micro-mesh products we offer are defined by our patent pending process of “hemming” our mesh around the substrate BEFORE roll forming the shape. This process allows us to be the ONLY manufacturer that can claim that their mesh is in constant contact with the substrate due to the lateral tension achieved, further augmenting water dissipation qualities.

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