Not only gutters fall victim to the mass of leaves, but also downpipes: These are vertically installed pipes that are used to channel rainwater away from the roof. In both cases, the water can no longer drain properly and often finds another way downwards - usually along the facade. The clogged pipes promote moisture damage to the house. To prevent this, you can (have) mount a special leaf guard on your gutters and downpipes. In the following we present different variants for domestic use.
This leaf guard made of high-quality polypropylene is recommended for older zinc gutters. According to the manufacturer, it is stable and yet flexible, so that it can be easily clamped into the channel and fixed with special clips. Alternatively, you can also use leaf protection elements made of thermoplastic material: the curved grid should be robust and dimensionally stable, unbreakable and weather-resistant. It can also be tailored individually. Both versions are available in different sizes.
For gutters made of plastic or metal (size NW 100 to NW 150, also for box-shaped ones) leaf guard strips made of polyethylene can alternatively be used for protection. These are attached to the gutter bead using an integrated clip system and keep small branches and large leaves out. This model is available in three different colors: black, brown and gray. Each element is one meter long, so you should measure in advance how many leaf catcher strips you need for your gutters.
Another variant is the leaf protection net, also called leaf protection mat depending on the manufacturer. It is usually made of weather-resistant plastic (polyethylene) and is attached to the gutter with special clamping rods. The net is significantly more flexible than leaf guards or strips, so the meshes can carry less load. The advantage here is that you get a whole roll that you can cut (and trim) individually. However, pay attention to the width of the nets.
Not only gutters, but also the downpipes can become clogged with too many leaves and coarse dirt. To prevent this, there is a special pipe protection: This is a kind of leaf sieve made of plastic that is simply clamped into the downpipe opening. This should ensure that rainwater runs off even in autumn. It is important for you to know that downpipe protection is available in different sizes and designs. Pay attention to the specified dimensions of the respective manufacturer.
Before you decide on a leaf guard for the gutter, you should keep the following three criteria in mind:
Measure the width of your gutter first before ordering a leaf guard. In particular, the width of the tubes is important for optimal protection against leaves and other organic waste. For a gutter brush, on the other hand, the diameter of a gutter is by far the most important factor.
The material As mentioned at the beginning, a leaf guard is usually made of plastic - or metal (e.g. zinc, stainless steel, copper). In this case it can happen that certain metals do not "get along". In other words, unfavorable combinations of different metals can promote contact corrosion.
The mesh sizeEach leaf guard has a certain mesh size. This one turns out bigger and sometimes smaller. For this reason, you should think carefully in advance about what kind of leaves you are dealing with in autumn - to be more precise: which leaves should the protective grille ideally keep out of the gutter?
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