The Ultimate Spring Guide to Gutter Guards & Gutter Cleaning
Gutter Cleaning Tips & Tools For Spring
Gutters are one of the most important parts of a home; however, they could be one of the easiest forgotten. Don’t ignore your gutters, get a gutter guard today!
During the spring, trees drop leaves, seeds and other organic materials. These debris eventually builds up and clogs your gutters, if left unchecked. Clogged gutters also become the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects, creating a whole host of problems on its own.
This springs give your gutters the TLC that it needs. Installing a gutter guard keeps gutters functioning properly year round.
Don’t worry we have all the tips and tricks you need to ensure your gutters are kept clean and functioning properly.
You may not be aware of this but, more things fall in the spring than fall in the autumn.
What Is Spring Debris?
Spring debris consists of organic material like pollen, seed husked, seeds, oak tassels, and maple seeds/helicopters. Mix these materials with rain and you get a mulch like residue that clogs up your gutters and creates costly expenses for you and your home.
What’s worse: Spring Debris or Fall Leaves?
I’ll tell you the answer, spring debris no questions!
Leaves are light and flow with the wind. Spring debris, like the materials mentioned above, love to set up shop where they land. This mean that different types of seeds and pollen will stick on your roof like glue. Some homeowners think that the rain will do all the cleaning for them. Even with the assistance of rain, spring debris takes a really long time to naturally flow down your roof. What makes it worse, once it flows down your roof, it usually winds up in your gutters creating even bigger problems.
The accumulated debris builds up and stops the flow of water. Your malfunctioning gutters lead to several costly and time consuming damages.
Don’t neglect your gutters this spring.
Keep reading to find out how to deal with spring debris, step to clean your gutters and how gutter guards can make your life much easier.
Spring Gutter Problems
This is a list of common spring gutter problems that you and your gutters may be dealing with. Don’t worry, we will give you all the information you need to fix these problems and stop them from happening in the future.
Your Gutters Have Pulled from Your Home is this happening to your gutters? It’s probably because your gutters were installed using old school methods.
Your gutters were likely installed with spikes and ferrules nailed into the fascia. Through the numerous years of freezing and defrosting or baring the heavy weight of debris, the gutter has begun to pull away from the fascia board. Other times, this happens because the gutter installer did not use enough hangers to properly support the gutters.
No matter the reason, use the spring to upgrade your gutters and consider installing gutter guards. Don’t know what gutter guards are? Don’t worry, we’ll explain further below. Keep reading!
Tip: If you need to install new gutters, remember to not skimp on the hangers because these help keep your gutters strong and in place.
Water Damaged Caused by Clogged Gutters You may be very proactive about keeping their gutters clean but that doesn’t mean you’re immune to the possibility of clogged gutters.
Has this ever happened to you?
It hadn’t been that long since your last gutter cleaning, but you find water leaking into your house.
Why is that?
You may find that debris has clumped up over your downspout and is now preventing water from flowing down and work its way away from the house. Since the water can’t go down the downspout and properly drain away, it takes the path of least resistance, through the house. Many times water can flow behind a home’s siding as well.
This is because gutters don’t need that much debris to clog. Your gutters start collecting debris immediately after they are cleaned.
When water gets into the home, it only has destruction on its mind.
Protect your home people.
Don’t worry, keep reading and we will tell you how.
Pollen on a Gutter Guard Pollen builds up during dry springs due to the lack of rain that helps clean your roof and gutters. When this happens, some homeowners simply take their hose and spray the area. However, pollen gains a sponge-like consistency when it is wet with an insufficient amount of water.
Think about it this way.
If pollen was stuck on the windshield of your car, how much windshield washer fluid would you need to take all the gunk off?
You would need a sizable amount of washer fluid to get rid of all of it. If you decide to hose down your gutter guards, keep in mind that you will have to spray the guard for a while to get it all off.
We recommend going up on a ladder, if you physically can, and brushing off the pollen. You may find that brushing pollen off the gutter guard might be a better option to get rid than using the hose. Brushing off your gutter guard it much simpler and less time consuming than hosing them down.
Don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself? Just call a professional.
Note: All micro mesh gutter guards require some kind of maintenance; however, protected gutters makes gutter maintenance less frequent and simpler.
Dealing with Moss and Algae on Your Gutters
Have you seen organic life growing from your gutters and roof? Don’t fret, we got you covered.
Moss and algae growth is a prevalent spring time problem. We gave it its own section to give you all the knowledge you need to deal with it.
Moss The biggest problem with moss growth is that it retains water. Excess water decreases the life of your roof. This premature aging means your roof and gutters must be repaired or reinstalled sooner than expected; costing you time and money.
Moss growth is more than just a cosmetic issue; no one wants to see green plants growing on of their roof and gutters. It could impact your roof warranty if your roof is covered with moss. Moss and algae can shorten the life expectancy of your roof.
If you live in areas with high levels of humidity or heavy annual rainfall, you’re probably dealing with this or seen it one your neighbors’ gutters.
This happens mostly on north-facing portions of a roof, since this area tends to get lower amounts of direct sunlight. This area remains damp longer, giving algae and moss a chance to grow. Homes with greater amounts of overhanging trees or large amounts of shady areas, are more likely to get moss growth.
Note: Moss doesn’t discriminate against wood or asphalt roofs. If your roof doesn’t dry properly, it is likely to begin growing moss.
Algae You probably didn’t know this, but asphalt shingles, the material used in most American roofs, has microscopic amounts of limestone fillers which algae feeds on. Algae leave dark stains on your roof making your home look less attractive.
Areas with metal are helpful in stopping the spread of algae. When rainwater washes against the metal, the area becomes uninhabitable for spores and future algae growth.
Best thing to do for moss and algae growth is to get a professional to clean your roof. Don’t use toxic solutions like bleach; they will damage your shingles, erode your metal, and cause greater problems in the future.
Protect your gutters with a gutter guards like MasterShield as it’s the first and only one that has copper threads in its custom woven micromesh to kill moss spores that can live in the damp environment of the filter.
Bonus: Critters in the Gutters
Ever hear small noises coming from your gutters or see the top of a critter scurrying around your roof and gutters. If this sounds like you, you may have small animals nesting in your gutters.
This is a much more common occurrence than many homeowners think, and we are here to help you deal with them.
Your gutters and gutter guards should not be a home for animals like squirrels and birds.
Here’s how to deal with it.
Birds Your gutters make a great resting place for birds. It’s a place far from predators and the gutter’s shape provides a cozy place for birds to nest. It’s pretty easy to tell if your gutters have nesting birds because you’ll hear the constant chirps and small movements.
Gutters are not made to provide a home for birds, which means your gutter was not made to support the bird’s weight either. Nesting birds causes stress on your gutters and can lead to damages.
Birds can carry diseases, have unpleasant smells, and leave droppings all over your roof and gutters.
They are likely to cause clogs in your gutters which causes even more problems than just unwanted guests.
Tip 1: Consider installing a birdhouse that will direct birds to a location other than your gutters.
Tip 2: Use the spring to install a gutter guard. Birds can’t live in your gutters if they can’t get into your gutters. MasterShield gutter guard protects your gutters from resting critters as well as debris.
Tip 3: Still worried about the birds and your gutters, simply call a professional to help solve the problem.
Small Rodents These rodents include squirrels and chipmunks. Usually very skilled climbers, these small rodents can form small nests in your gutters using twigs and small branches.
If you have these small rodents living in your gutters, you might as well rename your gutters, Clog City.
These critters usually climb up overhanging tree limbs and make their way to your gutters. If this sounds like your home, consider trimming these branches.
We also recommend that you call a professional. Dealing with these wild rodents can be dangerous and shouldn’t be left in the hands of the inexperienced.
How Much Maintenance Do My Gutters Need?
To answer this question, you will have to consider a few factors.
Ask yourself these questions:
Do I have a lot of overhanging trees near my house?
How close are these trees to my roof and gutters?
What leaves and seeds do the trees near me drop throughout the year?
Trees aren’t the only factors that you should consider. Wind is a major element because it helps debris move down your roof. (Keep in mind however, this isn’t a fast process in general, but more on that later).
What is the wind pattern like in your area?
Do you get a lot of heavy wind or very little?
If you live in an area with little wind, you might have to clean your gutters more often. Homeowners with gutter guards might have to occasionally sweep off any debris that falls on your them to keep water flowing properly.
Generally, you want to have your gutters clean twice a year, if you don’t have a gutter guard. Based on your answers to the above questions, you might have to clean your gutters more often. Homes that have a gutter guard system should clean or do some type of maintenance at least once every two years. (Notice how gutter maintenance decreases by installing a gutter guard).
Gutter maintenance depends on several factors but it’s a necessary task for them to function properly.
Is It Time To Change My Gutters?
Gutters do so much for your home and because of this, even the best gutters in the market have an expiration date.
Gutters definitely last many years, but they definitely don’t last forever.
So take a look at these tell-tale signs to see if your gutters need to be replaced.
Cracked or Leaking Gutters Gutters with holes in them are as effective as a bucket with a hole on the bottom. Most cracks are difficult to spot on dry days due to their small size. These small holes, however, become very prevalent during rain storms. Larger cracks are much more obvious.
No matter the size, cracks make your gutters ineffective. They also rot the parts of the roof around the gutter. This includes the fascia board, your siding, and the soffit.
The larger the cracks the more difficult it becomes to properly repair with sealants. If you have too many cracks or your cracks are too big, consider replacing your gutter system. The spring is the perfect time to make the change.
Interior Flooding When water can’t properly flow through your gutter system, it begins to pool and leak into your home. This leads to very expensive damages.
If you find water leaking into your house, or experiencing flooding of any kind, the first place to check is your gutters.
Call a professional and have them place a new gutter system on your home.
Your gutters should keep water away from your home interior. They can’t handle the job, it’s time to upgrade to newer model.
Sagging Gutters Are your gutters pulling away from your house? Oftentimes this happens due to excess weight from ice buildup during winter months or large amounts of debris piling up in your gutters. Other times it happens due to malfunctioning gutter supporters like your interior hangers. If you notice this, consider getting a new gutter system.
Using the spring to get a new gutter system, why not install a gutter guard? Keep reading to learn about gutter guards and how they make life easier.
Mildew Have you noticed mildew forming in your basement or in previously mildew-free areas? If so, your gutters might be the culprit.
When your gutters don’t flow down the downspout and away from your foundation, you are likely to find mildew buildup in your basement. If you see this happening in your basement, contact a gutter installer and replace your failing gutter system as soon as possible.
Rotting fascia, soffit, or trim Malfunctioning gutters allows water to seep into the wooded areas of your house and roof. Rooting wood, caused by failing gutters, can create structural damages which are expensive and difficult to repair.
Rusted Gutters Whether or not your gutters will rust is contingent on the material your gutters are made of. If you have aluminum or stainless steel gutters, you won’t have to deal with rusting. Gutters often have a rust resistant coating; however, when the paint chips away due to regular weathering, rust begins to develop on the exposed area. The rust is simple to remove using a wire brush, but only if the rust is spotted early. If too much rust has developed, consider replacing the section as soon as possible.
Peeling Paint Galvanized steel gutters have a special coating on them to help them last longer. If you notice peeling paint coming from other exterior parts of your home, such as your siding, it’s usually due to malfunctioning gutters.
Water is leaking into those areas causing the paint to peel or bubble. Problems with your exterior paint is an indicator that your gutters are not working correctly. If left unchecked, greater problems are likely to occur.
Tip: Installing a new gutter system, consider installing a gutter guard as well.
Read on to learn more about gutter guards later in this guide.
Chapter Two: Roof Safety in the Spring
When it comes to gutter cleaning and roof work, the most important thing is safety. Never sacrifice your safety for roof cleaning projects or other home maintenance activities.
We have everything you need to know on how to clean your gutters and remain safe while doing so. However, if you don’t feel comfortable in doing these things on your own, don’t hesitate to contact a professional to do the job for you.
Here is a list of things you should be aware of before stepping on a ladder. Ladder work can become dangerous very quickly, so take a look at these tips to make sure you are prepared before going up on a ladder.
Are You Capable Of Standing On The Ladder? Ladder safety is extremely important when it comes to working on your roof and/or gutters. Make sure you are physically able to go up and down your ladder.
Are you feeling physically well enough to stand up for more than a few minutes at a time? If you question your capabilities, please contact a professional to help do the work.
Check Weather Conditions Beforehand Working on a ladder can easily become a dangerous task. To minimize any chance of potential injury or harm, please ensure that weather conditions are suitable for roof or gutter work.
Don’t go up on your ladder if it’s snowy, rainy, windy, or extremely hot.
Make sure to stand your ladder in a place where the ladder can stand stable and sturdy on the ground.
Get a Ladder Stand-off What’s a ladder stand-off you ask? It’s a ladder accessory that grips to the house walls so your ladder doesn’t lean against your gutters. Leaning your ladder on your gutters will bend and damage them. We don’t want to do that.
With a standoff, you get the best of both worlds, the ability to easily reach your roof and gutters while avoiding any damages to your gutters. They also help keep the ladder stable, making climbing and standing more comfortable.
Wear The Right Attire Make sure you have sturdy and dry shoes to minimize slips and falls on a ladder.
If you use a hose to help rinse out your gutters, be careful to not spray yourself or your ladder with water. A wet ladder or wet feet makes chances of slips extremely probable. Better to be on the side of caution than risk potential injury.
Plan Before Climbing The best thing to do when working on ladders is to plan ahead.
What tools will you need once you are up there? For gutter cleaning tools you will probably need a bucket, garbage bag, hose, scoop, and sturdy gloves.
Make sure that you have everything you need so you can get the job done in as few trips as possible. This minimizes chances of falls and makes the job go a lot smoother.
Have A Spotter Help You You shouldn’t go up on your roof without having someone on the ground spotting you. Most times it is helpful to have a person there to help stabilize the ladder, especially when you are ascending and descending the ladder.
Elderly and Gutters
Now that spring is here you probably want to go out and begin sprucing up your house and fixing whatever issues the winter may have caused. Along with spring cleaning comes spring safety and it’s important to keep our older homeowners in mind.
If you or your loved one is of elderly age, please make sure safety and physical capabilities are first priority when dealing with spring cleaning. Yard work and home cleaning can be great for our older adults, but never sacrifice their well-being for something like gutter cleaning and yard work. It’s best to hire a professional than to risk a dangerous and possibly lethal fall from a ladder.
Tip: If you are concerned about your elderly loved ones doing their own yard work, consider having an open conversation about it and work together to plan what steps need to be taken to get the best outcome.
Ask questions like
“What things need to be done to maintain the yard or house?”
“Are you willing to allow professionals to do some of the work?”
“How comfortable do you feel about doing somethings own your own?”
Having an open conversation will allow you to access the circumstances and see what jobs they can/want to do and what jobs would be best to leave in the hands of professionals.
Yard work isn’t always a bad thing for elderly loved ones. Moving around can be healthy for the heart and body, but as we have already discussed, safety of the utmost importance.
Chapter Three: Spring Cleaning, Tips and Tricks to Cleaning Gutters
Early spring is the best time to conduct a good scrub down for your gutters. Get out your buckets and ladders, if you are physically able to, and clean out your gutters from all that winter debris.
Proper cleaning will allow water to flow properly and stop it from pooling around the home’s foundation or penetrating through basement walls. This can cause mold growth and lead to costly problems. Water that completely bypasses the gutters and isn’t captured but your gutter system, lands on the house and splashes onto the side. This causes problems to your siding and can lead to other costly damages.
To make your life easier, we have the step by step details on how to clean your gutters listed below.
Cleaning Your Gutters, Step by Step
To make your life easier, we have the step by step details on how to clean your gutters listed below
Step 1: Prepare before getting up on you ladder.
Above you will see proper ladder safety tips to ensure you stay safe while cleaning your gutters. Read that section first. Make sure that you have all the tools that you will need while you’re up there.
Necessary tools include…
Sturdy, waterproof gardening gloves to protect your hands
Safety glasses to protect your eyes
Gutter scoop to help scoop out gunk
Bucket to collect gutter waste
Garden hose to rinse out gutter after gunk is scooped out
Tip: Consider attaching your bucket to a rope which you can lower down to the person spotting you when you need the bucket cleaned out. You could scoop and dump anything from your gutters onto a tarp below. Keep in mind that dropping debris from high places is not precise and you may get waste on your house, creating more work for yourself.
Step 2: Set up the ladder properly by placing it on stable, sturdy ground.
Start at the end with the downspout to avoid pushing any of the gunk down the downspout and accidentally clogging it.
Step 3: Ascend the ladder with caution.
Step 4: Start by cleaning larger debris first. Make sure to clean out your downspout strainer at this time as well. Once you are finish with that, clean out the smaller debris. Using a scoop or trowel would be helpful to use, but the sad reality is that, at some moments, you’re better off just sticking your hand in. That is why we recommend using sturdy waterproof gloves.
Tip: Notice any mold, mildew or algae forming inside your gutters? Make sure to scrub it out to stop it from spreading. We recommend using a toilet brush to do this, to make your job easier and avoid getting sick.
Safety Note: Never stretch to reach another part of your gutter. Work your way down the ladder and re-position the ladder so you are better able to reach the new area.
Step 5: Once all debris is cleared out, take your hose and spray your gutters to flush out any remaining bits of debris in your gutters.
When spraying the hose be sure to start at the end opposite of the downspout.
Step 6: Check you downspout is working fine and is clog free.
If you see that the water you are spraying from your hose is not properly flowing out of the downspout, you probably have a clog in your downspout.
Don’t worry, we have the steps to clean it out.
Unclogging a Downspout, Step by Step
Step 1: If your downspout leads to an underground drainage system, make sure to remove the bottom part of the downspout to unclog it. If not proceed to the following step.
Step 2: Oftentimes you’ll have to loosen a few of the straps that attach the downspout to the house.
Step 3: Tap on the downspout. Any area that sounds solid or dull means that there is some debris lodged in it. You want your downspout to sound hollow when tapped, which means there’s nothing stuck in it.
Step 4: Using the water pressure from the hose nozzle, spray water up from the bottom part of the downspout. This will help loosen and un-lodge the debris. If this doesn’t work you may have to use a plumber’s snake to fix the problem.
Step 5: Once you think your downspout is clear, drop a pebble from the top opening and make sure that it drops smoothly and comes out the other end.
Step 6: Clean up your work by tightening the straps again and putting on the bottom parts for downspouts that drain into underground systems.
Bonus Tip: Inspect your Roof Line
Since you are already up on a ladder and have clear view of your roof line, why not check it out and make sure that it still in good conditions.
Tip 1: Check you fascia board.
Take a screwdriver and press on your fascia board with the dull end.
How does it feel? If it’s spongy or soft, you probably have wood rot and you should contact a professional to get it repaired and avoid damages.
Tip 2: Check your shingles.
Are they cracking or already broken? Do they look bloated or worn out? Are there any craters or places with shingle grit? If so, consider getting them repaired as soon as possible.
Want to minimize the frequency of your gutter cleaning, get a gutter guard. Gutter guards keep your gutters clog free and require less frequent maintenance checks. Take advantage of the warm spring weather and get a gutter guard between March and June.
Chapter Four: Gutter Guard & the Spring
What Are Gutter Guards?
Gutter guards are covers that go over your gutters to prevent debris from clogging your gutters. A well designed gutter guards allow water to free flow through while preventing other materials from getting inside.
Although protected gutters require less maintenance than unprotected gutters, they still require some kind of work to keep them functioning correctly. Your guards are subject to many of the same problems as the rest of your roof. This means that your guards can also have debris sitting on top of it, blocking water from flowing inside. We recommend that you glance at your gutters every once in a while and if you see debris piling up, take a ladder and brush it off.
Gutter guards make life much easier, but remember, there is no gutter guard that is completely maintenance free.
Maintaining Gutter Guards
The sad truth is that all gutter guards require some kind of maintenance. Any company that tells you that you’ll never have to touch your gutter guards, again are simply lying to you. But we can say that gutter guards require less frequent maintenance and prevent major headaches.
The holes in MasterShield micro mesh gutter guard are so small that only a single strand of hair can get inside. However, that doesn’t mean that things can pile up on top of your gutter guard.
Does your gutter guard have excess amounts of organic life, tree sap, or other types of spring debris? Are their fir needles, plant seeds, or pollen? Do you feel like it’s functioning properly?
If the answer is “Yes” to these questions, than do some simple spot cleaning on your gutter guard. Simply brushing off the debris from the top of the gutter guard will have it working like new.
This usually only takes a few minutes to do and then are things go back to normal.
If you don’t feel comfortable doing this on your own? Don’t worry, feel free to call your local installer and they would gladly help you get this done.
Why Gutter Cleaning is Not a Better Option
Homeowners are often fooled to think that gutter cleaning cost will be low and cost effective. Here is why you should head in a different direction and install gutter guards.
False Advertisements A good gutter cleaning company typically charges a lot more money than they advertise. That flat rate fee ends up increasing significantly based on several factors. These factors include: the height of your gutters, size of your house, and level of accumulated debris.
The real kicker is that you don’t only pay this price once; you pay this a couple times a year in hopes your gutters continue functioning properly.
Although gutter cleanings seem cheaper, they actually end up costing significantly more in the long run.
This cost quickly adds up, but this can be avoided by investing in gutter guards which end up paying for itself in not time.
Are They Doing A Good Job? Here are important questions to ask yourself about your gutter cleaners. How well are they cleaning your gutters? Are they just blowing off debris from your roof or are they sticking their hand and taking out all the muck in your gutters. Did they clean out the downspouts? Often times, gutter cleaners forget to wash out the debris from the downspouts and have to be called back to fix a mistake they left. Will they clean up everything that lands on the ground? Do they use a hose to wash your gutters clean?
Will They Rope You Into a Contract? Many homes need about 2-3 gutter cleanings a year, more if the home has heavy tree coverage. In this case, a contract isn’t necessarily a bad option. However, a gutter guard doesn’t require a contract. You install them once and don’t have to worry about them. Gutter guards require some maintenance while preserving the integrity of your gutters.
Keep reading so you can find out how a gutter guard can make your life much better.
The Cost of Gutter Guards
Gutter guards offer peace of mind and prevent costly home and gutter repairs costs by malfunctioning gutters. Although gutter guards seem like a more expensive, the following information will show you that installing gutter guards can actually save you money in the long run.
Gutter Guards Are Affordable A gutter guard installation is one of the cheapest home improvement projects in the industry. Having a gutter guard installed in your house usually costs less than your average paint job or roofing project.
The best product to get is our micro-mesh gutter guard by Alex Higginbotham which will give you the biggest bang for your buck.
The MasterShield gutter guard won’t clog, has a lifetime warranty, and will keep your gutter functioning correctly with minimal maintenance.
The Difference between Gutter Guards and Gutter Cleaning Comparing the cost of a gutter guard to the cost of gutter cleaning is like comparing apples to oranges.
Installing gutter guards on your house is an investment while gutter cleaning is a recurring expense. Gutter guards become part of your house and work with your roof.
With standard gutter cleanings, you are likely to begin collecting debris virtually immediately after you have your gutters cleaned. You might find yourself dealing with a clogged gutter merely two weeks after getting it cleaned. Homeowners often question whether their gutter cleaning was worth the cost. With a gutter guard, you know that your gutters will remain working normally with significantly less upkeep.
Avoiding Expensive Water Damage No one wants to deal with the headache of costly water damages. Unkempt gutters can lead to flooded basements, landscaping issues, or even wood rot and termite infestation.
What’s the best way to avoid these costly repairs?
Install a MasterShield gutter guard.
It’s important to know that gutters with gutter guards still need to be cleaned, but this is less frequent than unprotected gutters.
Gutter guard protected gutters should be cleaned at least once every two years, and more frequently if there is heavy tree coverage near your home.
Chapter Five: A Gutter Guard for Backyard Trees
Oak Tree or maple seed, we got a gutter guard for your backyard trees.
Keep reading to find out exactly how to solve you gutter guard issues based on the type of tree you have.
Best Gutter Guards for Oak Trees
Every homeowner with oak trees in their backyard knows how messy they can become every spring. Oak trees drop tons of husks and seed buds that completely cover your yard and roof. Depending on your location you might refer to these oak tree husks as oak tassels or catkin.
No matter what you call them, we have the information to make sure you have the knowledge to handle this type of spring debris.
Keep reading to learn more.
Oak tree tassels are only about half-inch in size. Despite its small size, they fall in such large quantities that they can quickly coat your house. This becomes especially true with gutters, which easily hold hundreds of oak tassels and, if left unchecked can become clogged.
Have a gutter guard? What kind?
Some gutter guards don’t stand a chance against oak tassels because they have slits or large openings where the tassels can easily slip through. Gutter covers with slits, spaces or openings of any size are still not small enough to prevent oak husks from getting in.
The problem only gets worse when it rains because these husks get soft and easier to slip through the small spaces. Once water hits them, the husks are able to flow with the water and get through slots and perforations of most covers. This leads to clogged gutters and makes gutter cleaning and repair more difficult since the gutter cover must be removed to get the debris out of the gutter.
As time passes, these oak tassels grow and build up eventually releasing pollen which only adds to the spring debris on your roof and gutters and gutter guards.
The best type of gutter guard that would work with this type of debris have micro mesh filters which can’t be penetrated by those pesky oak tassels. Get the self-cleaning patented Higginbotham technology which only the MasterShield gutter guard can give you with its micro mesh filter system.
Now you could try to let Mother Nature rid your roof of these tree droppings, but be aware that it will take a LONGGGG time for this to happen.
Above you will see an image of oak tassels on a roof. These tassels fell in early May but the image was taken in mid-June. Over a month has passed by and this spring debris has yet to work its way down the roof.
The thing with debris, once your roof starts collecting some, it collects more and more. They can sit on your gutter guards too. The sad truth is that spring debris doesn’t magically disappear on the roof, it need to be occasionally clean off.
Again, if you decide to do nothing, the debris will SLOWLY work its way down, maybe with the help of a big rainstorm but in normal rain storms, not much will happen. You could try to let the wind take care of the issue, but the wind tends to pick up mostly in November and not much in the spring or summer.
The best thing to do this spring is to brush off these tassels from the gutter guard to keep your gutter guard functioning properly.
Best Gutter Covers for Maple Seeds
During the spring, maple helicopters attack your home like a raging snow storm. Whether you refer to them as maple seeds or helicopter whirligigs, these bad boys definitely know how to move swirl around.
Their size and maneuverability allows them to easily travel around your backyard and roof. However, the concave shape of your gutters make them perfect resting place for the helicopter leaves.
Got a gutter guard? You’re not safe from these flying machines either.
If you have a solid cover gutter guards or guards with wider perforated holes are forced to deal with these seeds getting stuck in the holes or slipping in through the large openings. This can cause homeowners a lot of problems since clogs form and water can’t properly flow through the gutter system.
The best thing to do this spring is get a MasterShield gutter guard with our micro mesh screen.
Even the smallest helicopter leaf is not small enough to penetrate our filter.
MasterShield micro mesh filter prevents maple seeds from ever getting into your gutters and damaging the integrity of your gutters. Anything thicker than a strand of hair will not be able to penetrate this gutter guard.
It is important to note that no matter the type of gutter guard you have, maple helicopters can still pile up on your gutter guard and prevent water from getting inside your gutters in the first place. Gutter guards that have the same pitch of as your roof, like MasterShield, are able to shed maple seeds more efficiently with the help of wind.
With a MasterShield gutter guard you won’t have to deal with the headaches of maple seed clogging up your gutters.
Gutter Guards for Sweet Gum Trees
Sweet gum trees look great in your backyards, but their seeds are a complete nightmare for your gutters.
Sweet gum trees are native to the Southeast through Central Florida area. However, it’s common to see them in northern states as well, and even as far west a California. They are decently large in size and produce wonderful and colorful leaves. But beauty is not the only thing that drops from sweet gum trees.
Every year, around the springtime, sweet gum trees release their flower buds; gulf ball sized seeds with many small spikes. Walking outside your door and stepping on these can be really painful. Not only do these trees make walking around the outside of your house annoying, it also creates problems in your gutters.
These seeds easily pile up in you gutters, causing clogs and other gutter problems. Mix in these seeds with other spring debris and large amounts of sap, and you have a huge mess on your hands.
Now, can gutter guards stop sweet gum balls from falling off the tree?
Of course not.
But don’t worry we can still help you. Micro mesh gutter guards like MasterShield can never be infiltrated by prickly sweet gum balls. Only things as thin as a strand of hair can get inside our gutter guard. With a micro mesh gutter guard you won’t have to deal with annoying sweet gum balls crowding your gutters.
But wait there’s more!
We have a couple bonus tips for you:
Tip 1: Due to the excess amount of sap that comes from sweet gum trees, in general, we recommend spraying your roof with the hose if your house is under a sweet gum tree since it is likely to get covered in tree sap. It’s fairly simple. If your house is not too high, this can even be done from the ground.
Tip 2: When cleaning up the balls, be sure to wear sturdy shoes and a rake to help clean them up. Consider using a paper bag to put all the balls since they are likely to point through plastic bags.
Gutter Guards for Fir Trees
Fir needles are light and travel with the wind. Although they travel with the wind, they are prone to blanket the roofs nearby. Needles sit on people’s roof until the wind pushes them down, towards the gutters.
Unprotected gutters make the perfect place to collect these needles. If you don’t have a gutter guard, get one to avoid dealing with this problem.
Homeowners with this type of tree should plan to have their gutters cleaned as frequently as every 6-8 weeks during the spring. This is because fir trees require constant upkeep and shed tons of fir needles, bark dust, and pine cones. All these things wreak havoc on your gutters.
Consider having a gutter guard which is pitched at an angle that allows debris to fall from towards the ground. A gutter guard that has the same pitch as your roof would be your best bet. Our MasterShield leaf guard is designed specifically for situations like this.
Tip 1: Be aware the needle production cycle. Fir needs are more prevalent during the fall but they also become a huge issue during drought conditions in the spring and summer as well. This overabundance than causes greater issues during summer thunder showers. We’ll talk about this more in our next tip.
Once fir needles become wet, they are likely to stick on to whatever surface they get attached to. They essentially glued on needles can create potential clogs for leaf guards with slits, louvers, perforations or anything big enough for the needles to slip in.
You will have to clean out fir needles from valleys, as well. Whether you have a gutter guard or not, this area will still become infested with fir needles so be aware that this area will have to clean no matter what.
Tip 2: If you live in the Pacific Northwest, where the climate is constantly wet, get a strip of copper attached above the leaf guard to prevent potential algae and moss growth. The copper strip will kill spores that wash onto the leaf guard and minimize the algae and moss growth.
Beware of reverse curve leaf guards.
Fir needles are light and follow the flow of rainwater. If you have a reverse curve leaf guard, the small size of the needle will easily flow into your gutters and often times can create clogs and require frequent gutter cleanings.
Completely avoid leaf or guards that lie flat on your gutters! Flat surfaces make fir needle buildup extremely likely and eventually creates a wet and dense mess that the wind will not be able to blow away.
Often times, fir needles cause “nooks” on flat pitched leaf guards. Debris will build up under the shingles in areas where the shingles extend over the leaf guard. Once the needles become wet, they basically stick to the surface. With time, moisture pulls onto your roof shingles and eventually lead to dry rot along the roofline and potentially damage paint
MasterShield is the best product for your issue. Our product is pitched with your existing roof line, making it a self-cleaning gutter guard. The micro mesh filter prevents anything thicker than 50 microns, the thickness of a strand of hair, of getting through. The only thing getting into your gutters is water. The product only gets better with our comprehensive warranty.
MasterShield is the gutter guard for you.
Gutter Guards for Pine Trees
Pine trees add great beauty to your home and backyard but those pesky pine needles can be a huge pain.
Pine needles easily clump up and fill your unprotected gutters. Cleaning up hundreds of pine needles mixed with other organic material stuck in your gutters is quite the annoying task.
Take note people: pine needles are not likely to be blown off your roof once they are up there, especially if you have a low pitched roof.
In that case, they are pretty much stuck. The main way for these needles to get off your roof is through rainwater but this takes a very long time to do, longer than you would expect.
Roofs with unprotected gutters can expect pine needles to eventually build up and clog the gutters.
The best thing to do is get a micro mesh gutter guard. The proper gutter guard not only protects your gutters from pine needles but tons of other organic materials which can wreak havoc on your gutters.
Pine needles are very thin but they aren’t thin enough to pass the micro mesh filter on a MasterShield gutter guard.
Beware of gutter guards that lay flat on your gutters; we can’t stress this enough. This type of gutter cover will cause pine needles and other small debris to sit and clump together on top of your gutters, inhibiting proper water flow and potentially causing many costly problems.
Gutter guards with a reverse curve, or a large screen filter, prove to be ineffective when it comes to debris like pine needles since the long and needle-like shape of the seed easily slips through the openings and lead to clogs and gutter malfunctions.
Micro mesh gutter guards that are pitched with the roof line act as your personal roof security guards that prevent any obnoxious tree debris from getting into your gutters.
Cottonwood trees tend to offer the best shade to those who happen to sit under them. But anyone who know about cottonwood trees know that they can grow to be very tall and massive trees. Despite their grand size and immense beauty, their seeds can be a real nightmare.
Every year, primarily between January and March, female cottonwood trees release cotton-like seeds which quickly cover homeowner’s roofs.
The cotton-like seeds, seed hairs, and sap-filled buds seem to have only one goal in mind, to mess with your gutters.
These fluffy hairs and tree seeds cling to the other debris on your roof and create a water resistant blanket over your gutters. This causes rainwater to overflow on the sides of your gutters and fall down into your home’s foundation.
The best thing to do is get MasterShield stainless steel micro mesh gutter guards. Since this guard is pitched with your roof, spring debris and leaves will not build up, unlike other gutter systems.
With our gutter guard, you won’t have to worry about cottonwood seeds or other spring debris clogging up your gutters.
If seeds begin to pile on top of your gutter guard, don’t worry. Simply brush off the area and your cottonwood problem is solved.
And there you have it!
Everything you need to know to make sure your gutters are able to prepare your gutters for the spring.
Be sure to look at our other guides to make sure your gutters are functioning in the winter, fall and summer as well.
These are great resources to learn more about proper gutter and gutter guard maintenance.