Gutter guards, or leaf guards, are essential for any home to ensure rainwater is adequately drained away from the roof and foundation. Without installing gutter guards, gutters get clogged with debris, causing water to overflow and potentially causing damage to your home. Gutter mesh is one of the most popular gutter guard types, but they also have its pros and cons.
This article will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of mesh gutter guards and compare them to other gutter guard options.
What are Mesh Gutter Guards?
Gutter mesh is made of a fine mesh or screen material placed over the gutter to prevent debris from entering. The mesh apertures allow water to flow through, blocking leaves, twigs, and other debris from entering the gutter system. Mesh gutter guard types include micro mesh gutter guards, mesh panels and screen gutter guards. They are typically made of aluminium, steel, or plastic.
Mesh Gutter Guards Pros and Cons
|Easy to Install||Not maintenance free|
|Effective against debris||Some are less effective ib heavy rain|
|Available in various materials||Unsuitable for some gutter types|
|Allows rainwater to pass through||Some mesh types are less durable|
|Reduce gutter maintenance|
Mesh Gutter Guards Pros
Mesh gutter guards are affordable types of gutter guards. They are more affordable than other gutter guard options like a reverse curve or foam gutter guards, making them popular for homeowners on a budget. You can purchase them as part of a DIY gutter guard solution or install them by a professional.
Easy to Install
Mesh gutter guards are easy to install. They are an excellent DIY gutter guard option; many homeowners install them without needing professional installation. They can be cut to fit any gutter length and work with any roofing system. Some mesh guards snap in place over the top of the gutter, while others are secured with saddles and clips as part of the gutter protection system.
Effective Against Debris
Mesh gutter guards prevent blocked gutters caused by leaves, twigs, and other debris entering the gutter system. They prevent clogs, reduce the need for frequent gutter cleaning, and reduce maintenance. Some mesh types will filter smaller debris, such as pine needles, jacaranda, and maple tree leaf litter, while other mesh panels and the screen is more effective against large debris. Ensure you choose a mesh with the correct hole size for the best gutter protection.
Available in Different Materials
Mesh gutter guards come in aluminium, steel, and plastic materials. Each material has advantages and disadvantages, and homeowners can choose the one that best suits their needs and budget.
Aluminium is the most common gutter guard material made from lightweight metal and is durable when powder-coated. Plastic mesh gutter guards are effective for coastal installations and where metal gutter guards are unsuitable against galvanised steel. Stainless steel is the least durable material. However, COLORBOND® steel gutter guards provide a bespoke ember guard solution for homes with extreme bushfire risk.
Allows Rainwater to Pass Through
Mesh Gutter Guards Cons
Although mesh gutter guards are effective at preventing debris from entering the gutter system, they can still become clogged over time. Fine particles like sand and silt can accumulate on the mesh, reducing water flow and requiring cleaning. Gutter covers, screens and mesh panels often create a flat surface on the gutters, which causes build-ups and clogs.
Not Maintenance Free
While mesh gutter guards reduce the need for frequent gutter cleaning, they still require occasional maintenance. Leaves and debris can accumulate on the mesh, requiring cleaning to ensure water flows freely. No gutter guard eliminates the need for cleaning, but micro mesh gutter guards offer a more comprehensive solution than other mesh guards.
Some are Unsuitable in Heavy Rain
Mesh gutter guards may not be as effective in heavy rain as they can become overwhelmed and clogged. This is especially true for ember guard mesh with tiny holes. Homeowners in heavy rainfall should consider micro mesh gutter guards with directional holes and water troughs to ensure heavy water flows do not cause a blocked gutter.
Some Meshes are Unsuitable for Some Gutter Types
Mesh gutter guards may be unsuitable for all gutter system types and roof systems, especially bullnose and box gutters. The mesh can become distorted or sag across wide gaps and may not protect against debris effectively. For more complex gutter types, we recommend a micro mesh gutter guard installed by professionals to prevent sags.
Some Mesh Types are Less Durable
Mesh gutter guards are made from various materials. Plastic and stainless steel DIY gutter guards are the least durable materials. Stainless steel DIY gutter guards corrode faster than power-coated aluminium micro mesh gutter guards. Plastic and stainless steel screens may become damaged by falling tree coverage or heavy debris, requiring frequent replacement.
Mesh Gutter Guard Types
Micro-Mesh Gutter Guards
Micro-mesh gutter guards have tiny holes with a small diameter that prevent debris from entering your clogged gutter. Micro mesh gutter guard is typically installed as part of a gutter protection system installed onto the gutter edge with trim and secured to a metal roof with saddles/clips or tucked under the second row of tiles. Micro-mesh guards include various Colorbond® and tile colour choices for superior aesthetics. They are manufactured in powder-coated aluminium, steel and poly materials.
Micro mesh guards are ideal for homes with heavy tree coverage. They are the most effective gutter guards and provide other solution types, including ember guard, bird proofing and water tank protection. Micro-mesh guards are also more expensive than other mesh gutter guards; however, they usually come with product warranties of up to 25 years and workmanship warranties for professional installations.
Mesh panels have quickly become popular for homeowners because of their relatively low cost and protection coverage. They are large sheets of mesh that cover the entire gutter system. The mesh panel has rows of perforated holes with large enough spaces to drain water but small enough to block the debris. Mesh panels can handle heavy debris but are only sometimes permanently secured to the guttering system. As they do not secure themselves permanently to the gutter or roof system, they can be dangerous in areas prone to strong winds and bad weather. Unlike micro-mesh gutter guards, they have shorter product warranties.
Gutter screens are made of a plastic or metal grid with small holes either placed over the gutter edge or snapped into place with the gutters. They are easy to install and effective at preventing larger debris from entering the gutter system. They are also prone to clogging and require frequent cleaning.
The most common gutter covers are made of nylon, polyethylene, and metal. The screen is easily installed over the gutter. A metal mesh screen helps catch the debris in the gutter and helps protect against damage by ensuring the wires are not exposed. Unlike micro-mesh gutter guards, gutter screens have shorter product warranties.
Comparison of Gutter Guards
|Integrated Mesh Gutter Guard||Brush Gutter Guard||Mesh Panels or Flat Panels||Foam Inserts||Vinyl Guard|
|Strengthens Gutter Systems|
|Bird and Pest Proofing|
Mesh vs. Reverse Curve Gutter Guards
Reverse curve guards use surface tension from the designed downward curve to direct water into the existing gutters while preventing debris from entering. They are effective at preventing clogs in heavy rain and require less maintenance than other DIY gutter guards, but they are also more expensive and require professional installation.
The reverse curve gutter guard is a complex system, but the vinyl material makes it unsuitable for bushfire protection, bird proofing and rainwater harvesting for home and drinking water consumption.
Mesh vs. Foam Gutter Guards
Foam guards are polyurethane foam that fits inside the gutter to block debris. Foam inserts are easy to install and effective at preventing clogs, but they may not be as durable as mesh gutter guards and can become clogged over time.
The material is also susceptible to mould and fungus growth and can attract pests such as mosquitos and other insects. These gutter guards are considered fire hazards and are unstable for bushfire protection. Foam inserts are easy to replace compared to micro mesh gutter guards.
Mesh vs. Brush Gutter Guards
Brush gutter guards use a series of heavy-duty bristles that prevent debris from entering the gutter. They are easy to install for a DIY project and effective at preventing larger debris from entering. However, they are less effective against small debris entering the gutter.
You place a brush gutter guard inside the gutters. The product requires more replacement than others removed without damage. These gutter guards are considered fire hazards and are unsuitable for bushfire protection. Foam inserts are easy to replace compared to a gutter guard system.
Is gutter mesh worth it?
Mesh gutter guards are an affordable and effective option for preventing debris from entering the gutter system and reducing the need for frequent cleaning. However, they also have their drawbacks, including the need for occasional maintenance and the potential for clogging in heavy rain. Homeowners should consider factors like their budget, the type of debris in their area, and the shape of their gutters when choosing between mesh guards and other gutter guards. Ultimately, the right choice will depend on each homeowner’s specific needs and preferences.
Aussie Gutter Protection is a leading professional gutter company, working with high-quality materials; products GutterMesh, TuffMesh, SteelMesh and SolarMesh; installation methods for leaf guard, bird proofing, rainwater harvesting, bushfire prevention and protection for solar panels. AGP offers professional installation at affordable pricing to keep your gutters clean and ensure rainwater flows freely. Get a free consultation that brings you one step closer to ridding yourself of clogged gutters.