The Leaves of Fall
It happens each year this time. They may be colorful and beautiful but the leaves come falling down, causing headaches for homeowners.
One headache is the obvious — having to rake them up and get rid of them … or let them blow into the neighbor’s yard.
The other headache is keeping them from clogging gutters, and even downspouts and drainage tiles.
In recent years, we have seen literally an explosion in the availability of various gutter protection products designed to keep leaves out of gutters. As a metal roofing manufacturer, we regularly have inquiries about what sort of gutter protection works with our products.
At Classic Metal Roofing Systems, we do not believe that the “perfect” gutter protection system has yet been invented. However, there are many good and helpful choices available.
Generally, we advise against most systems that are in some fashion integrated into the roof system. This is for several reasons. Some such systems may actually damage the roof system if they ever have to be removed. Other systems are very sensitive about the exact angle they must make between the roof and the front edge of the gutter. In some cases, the drip edge of the metal roof can alter this angle, affecting performance of the gutter protection. And, in other cases, the gutter protection must be trimmed in order to integrate into the metal roof and, in so doing, it becomes easier for the product to disengage or “pop out” in high winds or under the weight or ice and snow or wet leaves resting on top of it.
While it is not impossible to make one of these “roof-integrated” gutter protection systems work with metal roofing, doing so can be very problem-prone.
Therefore, we generally encourage the use of systems that stay in the interior of the gutter and do not connect to the roof. We encourage that gutters be located high enough to be behind the roof drip edge if at all possible, to encourage that transition of water from the roof to the gutter.
There are many such “internal” gutter protection products available. Again, the perfect one has not yet been invented and that is largely because they all must include some sort of holes for water to travel to get into the gutter. Any such hole can potentially catch a leaf stem or pine needle. And, if the holes are too small, they can even clog with dirt.
So, even though the perfect product may not be out there, helpful products are available and consumers who are tired of risking life and limb to clean out gutters (not to mention the mess!) are anxious for them.
If you’re interested in gutter protection for your metal roofed home, consult with your roofing manufacturer to see what they suggest.