How to Get Better Performance From Leaf Guards – Slope Them Like Your Roof

Part of our MasterShield Features Series on Leaf Guards.

We like to think of MasterShield as the “missing link” in the evolution of leaf guards. It’s a bit of a play on words, but there are some serious reasons we think this way.

You probably haven’t realized this, but there’s this open gap between roof shingles and the gutter lip. If you drew an imaginary line from one to the other, it would form the long, angled side of a right triangle. That open gap is the reason that you get nasty debris in your gutters.

Since any debris rolling down your roof can get into this space, for years leaf guards have been the way people have been tried to find ways to make the gap smaller. They were trying to solve the problem of the missing link.

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No one believed you could take the openings in leaf guards smaller than about the size of your standard window screen. No one believed it, that is, until inventor Alex Higginbotham came along and, single-handedly changed the leaf guard industry through his innovation: micro mesh gutter protection. Micro mesh looks solid to the eye but allows volumes of water through it. Result? Higginbotham’s concept allows the gap to be completely covered.

MasterShield is the latest generation of Higginbotham’s micro mesh technology. It’s been improved upon and developed from over a decade of research and development to advance its original form. It is the first version of Higginbotham’s technology that contains new features to allow it to be pitched with the roof and still take volumes of water. This creates the link from roof shingle edge to gutter lip. And with this “missing link” problem solved, MasterShield could do something that no other micro mesh leaf guards before it could do: efficiently self clean of debris better than his technology could in the past.

MasterShield: The Leaf Guards that Maximize Airflow to Clean from Debris

Gutter Guard Pitched With the RoofWhat’s the importance of airflow? Well, a combination of airflow and roof pitch is what helps the tree debris that falls on your roof to roll down it. Continue to mirror the pitch and the debris reacts as if nothing has changed – as if there’s no gutter there at all. Airflow is used efficiently and effectively to keep the leaf guards as maintenance free as possible.

Are you looking for a visual image to relate to this? Picture a luxury vehicle TV commercial where they put a car in an air tunnel with a thin stream of smoke to show you how aerodynamic the car is. Now imagine a roof in the air tunnel with the same smoke going down it. Imagine, also, the leaf guard at the roof’s end is pitched and becomes what looks identical to an extension of the last shingle. What do you imagine that stream of smoke would look like if the leaf guards were pitched like this?

If you guessed “straight over the system, no differently than it went over the roof shingles,” you’d be right. This airflow would obviously be the most effective at keeping the roof and system debris free. And, as we mentioned, one major issue Alex Higginbotham solved with MasterShield was how to maintain this pitch while still taking in volumes of water, something he wasn’t able to overcome before.

MasterShield doesn’t create nooks where air movement can’t occur. And a nook can easily occur if the shingles float over the leaf guards. If you do create nooks, debris has a harder time shedding, particularly in Spring when budding trees drop lots of small debris that can clog your gutters. Nooks also create the possibility that the “diving board” effect can take place, something that Alex doesn’t like to see occurring with his products. (We’ll have to hold off on explaining this one, it’s a topic for a different post). Alex also does a great job explaining what he doesn’t like happening in this flat gutter guard video.

One important caveat about airflow: it generally doesn’t happen the way you’d like it to in roof valleys. If you have areas on your house where you notice debris tends to get in and sit no matter how windy it gets, its because it isn’t getting the same airflow that a roof would typically get. And if debris will sit on your roof without blowing away, the same thing will happen on the leaf guards sitting just below.

So next time you see a MasterShield system pitched along the roof line, think about how this unusual advancement serves to keep you from maintaining your gutter guard as much as you might have had to do in the past. Missing link problem? Solved.

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MasterShield manufactures gutter guards and gutter heaters for your exterior home improvement needs.
Our innovative microfiltration technology saves homeowners time, effort and money from cleaning out, repairing and replacing unprotected gutters.
83 2nd Ave
Paterson, NJ 07514