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A Stainless Steel Gutter Screen Needs This Critical Feature

critical feature

Are you thinking about upgrading your gutters with a new gutter guard? We have some valuable information for you. 

As with most everything these days, you’ve got options. Gutter guard technology has taken manufacturers in different directions with gutter guard styles and materials. You can choose between gutter screens, mesh guards, and reverse curve guards. These options are made from materials including plastic, aluminum, and stainless steel. Gutter screens can go on all parts of your gutter system and, with the right fit, you should have the option for gutter downspout screens too. Of course, you are looking for the best fit for your home. We’re about to break down the best-rated gutter guards and how they’ll make your life so much easier, so keep reading!

The Best Gutter Screens on the Market

The stainless steel gutter screen has become the best-rated gutter guard design in the industry. What makes it so great? On its own, stainless steel is a durable, rust-proof material for gutter guards. MasterShield has upped the ante by being the first in the industry to incorporate pure copper threads into the stainless steel gutter screen. You can actually see the copper threads woven in. The inclusion of copper in the gutter screen keeps it free from organic life like moss, lichen, and algae. But these aren’t the only things you need to think about when searching for a gutter screen that will work well for years. 
We want to talk about three critical features that can inform your process. These practical gutter screen improvements ensure your gutter system is in tip-top working shape. 

First, a good gutter screen has to be able to pull water through the filter. Secondly, it has to continuously self-clean dirt, roof oils, pollen, and other debris. Lastly, it needs to be clog-free, without issues from roof oils or naturally occurring organisms. We’ve got the details about how gutter screens combine all of these qualities. Let us tell you more.

A Stainless Steel Gutter Screen Needs Touchpoints

You may have heard of some gutter guards that just don’t work. Sure, they may keep debris out of your gutters, but they also keep out water! What good is that? 
You might laugh at the thought, but the truth is that some gutter screens limit the amount of water that can flow into your gutter. You don’t need to worry about this, though, because now you know that you’re looking for a gutter screen with touchpoints. 
Touchpoints on the gutter screen create a surface area. This is what actually provides the opportunity for the water flowing from your roof over the gutter screen to flow down into the gutter. The strategic placement of these touchpoints is an essential part of the gutter screen function.
Generally speaking, a stainless steel gutter screen naturally wants to keep water flowing down along the roofline. The inclusion of copper threads does change this dynamic, and the custom weave of our MasterShield filter helps too. But the fundamental factor is the presence of touchpoints. Without plenty of touchpoints, water is more likely to just keep flowing over and off of your gutter screen and may never enter the gutter system at all. By itself, the filter acts as a solid surface, so touchpoints force the change in direction that makes these screens work.
Here’s an example. Let’s imagine you put a rock on the screen. The mere presence of the rock forces water to go around it. Touchpoints work the same way. By creating an impediment to the flow, they force this change in direction. When gutter screens have touchpoints in the filter, the water that flows across will be forced to react to them and fall down into the gutter.

MasterShield’s Enhanced Gutter Screen: Touchpoints

MasterShield enhances the effectiveness of our rain gutter screens with some specific design elements. It’s all part of our patented HydroVortex technology. First, we add distinct bends to the gutter filter to serve as touchpoints and start the process of redirecting water. Quantity matters, so we’ve added lots of them. 
Then, because water comes off the roof in a sheet, we make sure these bends go along the entire length of the product. If the bends are too sparse, you’re missing an opportunity to pull water through the surface of your gutter screen. Think about the bends or touchpoints like the tip of a pencil. The fine tip of a pencil has less surface area for the water to touch than, say, a yardstick on its side. The touchpoint doesn’t need to be wide. But the longer it is the more effective it will be at guiding water into the gutter.
For a gutter filter to work best, it needs lots of touchpoints. If you’re concerned about the quality of your current gutter screens, you can identify a touchpoint issue in your gutter screens by looking for the presence of two problematic characteristics: open gutter screens that sit flat over the gutter. Some builds use a more open gutter screen, often with just four or five touchpoints. You’ll know this problem because you will see more space in the filter. Presumably, systems like these have fewer touchpoints because it saves the manufacturers money. And then they have to make their product sit flat or at just a little angle over the gutter for it to work. That is not an ideal position for your gutters.
If you notice these issues with your gutter guard, consider making a change. Products with a higher number of touchpoints, like MasterShield’s eight full panel-length touchpoints, are much more effective. Each additional row adds an incremental benefit to the product’s ability to change the forward flow of water. The more long touchpoints you put under a stainless steel gutter screen, the more successful your rain gutter screens will be in keeping water moving into your gutters and through your gutter system. 

Self Cleaning Properties Beyond the Basics

Here’s another essential gutter screen quality. “Self-cleaning” is, of course, an appealing idea to bring up in any gutter conversation. As you can imagine, with the detailed features we’ve been discussing, cleaning these gutter screens seems nearly impossible. And who wants to add gutter cleaning to their already abundant list of weekend chores? 

Well, the good news is that you can actually find gutter screens that not only keep themselves clean but also enhance the cleanliness of your whole gutter system. MasterShield gutter screens have a built-in solution. Here’s how it works. 

You already know that touchpoints change the direction of water flow. This change in direction also creates the energy that cleans the filter. Wherever your rain gutter screens have a touchpoint, there is potential for the filter to self-clean.

How about a real-life example? Imagine Niagara Falls. At a certain point, the flowing Niagara River becomes the crashing Niagara Falls. The river seems to run lazily up to that point, and the flow of water spreads over the whole width of the river. But at the falls’ edge — whoosh — everything changes. As the water changes direction, energy is created and the water drops.

What does this have to do with self-cleaning? We’re talking about energy here. And the edge of Niagara Falls hasn’t stayed constant over time. The energy at these falls has been sufficient power to slowly carve back the granite under the falls a little every year. Thankfully our gutter screens don’t take water through on such a scale. But they do pull water into the gutter fast, creating the necessary energy to promote self-cleaning. Every single change in direction for the flowing water creates an opportunity for the gutter screen to be self-cleaned. 


MasterShield’s Enhanced Gutter Screen: Self-Cleaning

All in all, the best gutter screens are self-cleaning gutter screens. Our gutter screens improve on the already established touchpoint system to strengthen the self-cleaning properties. MasterShield’s addition of pure copper to the stainless steel gutter screen is a huge enhancement. Copper helps prevent the ill effects oils and living organisms can have on gutter systems. Most roof shingles have oils that can leach down the roof and affect your gutter screens, the gutters themselves, and the aesthetics of your home exterior. Copper is a natural oil thinner and lessens this impact. Similarly, this metal prevents the growth of organisms like moss, lichen, and algae. The copper kills the spores of these organisms before they can start to grow on and clog the gutter screen or cause other damage.

With the inclusion of copper on top of our very effective HydroVortex technology, we’ve got some really good gutter screens to offer you. And there’s one more brilliant reason to go with MasterShield, so let’s get you started with the basics about gutters and roof pitch.

Pitch with the Roof for Optimal Performance

All of the benefits we’ve been talking about are best suited to a gutter screen that can be pitched along the slope of the roof. Otherwise, the gutter screen lies flat atop the gutter and creates a shelf where debris can gather. Though the debris may not be inside your gutters, buildup like that sure isn’t helping them work well! It also eliminates any opportunity for self-cleaning. 

For self-cleaning properties to work best in a stainless steel gutter screen, the gutter guard installation needs to be pitched like the roofline and remain in contact with the shingle leading into the gutter screen.

Since the water is able to enter the gutter screen, the touchpoints can do their job. This is where flowing the water onto a pitched product has lots of value. As water is naturally guided down over many locations on the stainless steel gutter screens, the touchpoints promote consistent cleansing. The pitch helps keep your gutter screen functioning at its best.

MasterShield’s Enhanced Gutter Screen: Pitched with the Roof

MasterShield’s gutter screens are uniquely designed to allow for this important installation feature. With the touchpoints and self-cleaning properties we’ve already discussed, we are able to install our gutter screens along the pitch of the roof. This makes it that much easier for us to adjust the angle according to your roof pitch. You end up with a highly functional and effective gutter screen! 

When a product sits flat, the water flowing off the roof tends to drop off the shingles like a small waterfall and hits only one part of the gutter screen. Touchpoints are somewhat ineffective when this happens, especially with regard to self-cleaning. If the filter does clean, it only happens at the one spot where the water hits. What’s more, flat filters are more likely to trap debris, keeping the gutter guard damp. They create a natural place for moss, lichen, and algae to grow as well. (Unfortunately, stainless steel on its own will not inhibit their growth.) 

Pitching along the roofline makes it less likely that debris will back up and sit in piles on the filter.  The pitched position also allows air to flow in a way that blows dry debris off your gutters and away from your home. It enhances the flow of water across the gutter screen and keeps those other properties — touchpoints and self-cleaning — working great. With all of these characteristics, you can be sure you’re getting a great product. 

Before You Buy

If you’re shopping for gutter screens and your local gutter crew makes a suggestion, take a serious look at these details. Ask if it’s a Higginbotham product with HydroVortex technology. Do you see the features we’ve been talking about like long touchpoints or copper strips? You know the questions to ask and what to look for. It’s worth your time to make sure you have a gutter screen that will work for your needs.

Anyone may promise their product will work like MasterShield, but you have the inside knowledge about why our gutter screens work so well. If you want top-notch performance from your stainless steel gutter guards, you can trust you’re making a quality decision with MasterShield.

Don’t settle for just any product. Get the built-in technology you need for your gutters and your home. Without it, it just won’t perform the way a stainless steel gutter screen should. Contact us today to get more information about the best gutter screens around.

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