Many homes in the US have nearby pine trees, and they’re great for the most part. They provide welcome shade for your home and act as windbreaks. The leaves and sap smell great, the sound of the wind passing through the branches is soothing, and the trees become the homes of scrub jays and other birds. But they also require you to find the best gutter guards for pine needles.
The Need for Gutter Guards
The problem with pine trees is that they have pine needles that fall in clumps on your gutters. These pine needs can block the flow of water in your gutter, which in turn can lead to more serious problems such as eroded landscapes and damaged walkways. Also, these pine needles make it more difficult for you to clean your gutter.
With the best gutter guards, you can keep these pine needles out of your gutters. The problem is that not all gutter guards are suited for this purpose. These gutter guards may keep out large twigs and leaves from blocking your gutter, but they may let pine needles in.
With the right gutter guard, you can keep your landscape from eroding. You can also protect your foundation from damage. You can avoid mildew and mold problems, and also reduce the chance of flooding your basement.
Factors to Consider While Choosing Best Gutter Guards for Pine Needles
So what factors should you consider for your gutter guard if you have pine trees around your home? It’s not just about the price:
- The size of gaps. Obviously, you can’t just block your gutter with some solid piece of material since that will render the gutter useless. This means you need some sort of screen for your gutter, which should have openings large enough to let the water into the gutter as intended.
However, you need smaller openings for your gutter guard so that the pine needles can’t get through. These small openings should also be small enough to block other small leaves, shingle grit, and other types of debris out of your gutter.
- Type of material. The material used for the gutter guard also matters for several reasons. You need to make sure that it is tough enough so that debris doesn’t cause it to sag. That can cause debris to collect on the guard and keep the water out of the gutter. Also, the collected debris makes it harder and more time-consuming for you to clean your gutter.
Also, some materials are sticky for debris such as leaves that can block the openings of the gutter guard to keep out the water. Some types of debris such as dirt and grit can also get stuck in the gutter guard holes so they will block the water from getting into the gutter.
Often the best material for gutter guards is stainless steel. It’s not as weak or as sticky as plastic, and it shouldn’t rust or have problems with UV rays. They should last long and work longer and more effectively.
- Installation method. Of course, it makes sense for you to pick a gutter guard that’s easy to put up. Also, this makes your job of cleaning the roof gutter easier for you. Often you have to remove the gutter guard to clean the gutter properly, so it’ll help if this isn’t too complicated a process.
But you need to make sure that the installation method doesn’t cause you more problems.
One typical installation method requires you to set it up under the first row of your shingles. The problem with this is that often this means you’re voiding your roof warranty. Most of the time, shingle warranties include warnings about voiding the warranty when you disrupt or damage your roof. You may find that installing under the first row of shingles qualifies as a disruption.
Installing under the first row of shingles may also end up with an extremely steep slope. This then can lead to water runoff issues.
- You may want to read customer reviews of various gutter guard products so you can get a sense of how long the gutter guard will last. You may also want to check the time period of the warranty. Obviously, a lifetime warranty is best. You should also check if the warranty is transferable so that it will still be in effect if you sell your home.
Types of Gutter Guards to Choose From
Here are some of your most common gutter guard options.
- Screen gutter covers. These have holes that let the water in but keep the debris out, depending on the size of the holes. Most of the time, the holes are still large enough to let some debris in. Also, you’ll need to remove these things first before you can clean your gutter.
- These can last for a long while, and you can just put it on top of your current gutter. The mesh material often features really small openings that keep pine needles and even other smaller debris out of the gutter. However, these can be more expensive, and some installation methods may void the warranty of your roof.
- Reverse curve. These gutter guards offer a lengthy hole that spans the entire length of your gutter. The goal is for the water to follow the curve of the gutter guard into the gutter. It then has a subtle drip edge that diverts the leaves and other debris.
Many of these things may still come with too-large holes that let debris in. In some cases, they’re not made to just be installed on top of your existing gutters. They’re designed with their own gutter so you’ll have to replace your current gutters.
- These are made of plastic, and they’re designed to be placed directly into your gutter. They’re quite easy to install as well.
However, in general, these foam gutter guards don’t come with a warranty. They can also trap debris such as leaves and seed. They also tend to trap moisture inside the gutter, which in turn leads to mildew and mold issues.
- Brush inserts. This is meant to be placed inside the gutter like a huge pipe cleaner. The water gets in the gutter and the material keeps the debris out. But the debris may get stuck on top of the brush insert so you’ll need to climb up often to shake the debris off the brush insert.
Hopefully, with the best gutter guards for pine needles and other debris, you can have your gutter working perfectly and you lessen your cleanup duties as well.