Conventional, open-style rain gutters that do nothing to keep leaves and debris out, and are an obsolete design. Not only does the use of such rain gutters mean having to put up with the hassle of constant cleaning, it also means putting oneself in harm’s way on a regular basis. Having to often get up on a tall ladder results in thousands of injuries among homeowners each year.
There are alternatives, but consumers have been slow to pick up on them. Lack of awareness of the way clog-free gutters work, has been one important reason why. While manufacturers have introduced different approaches to keeping gutters clog-free, consumers have had no real way of knowing which ones really work.
Here is a quick rundown of the different clog-free designs available, and how they compare.
The mesh cover approach
Rain gutters that use this design come covered with a grate with small openings to let the water through. Leaves and other large debris are kept out. While this approach works for some time, sand, dust and small particles of debris do get through, forming a thick layer of sediment before long. Mesh-covered gutters aren’t a bad design; they just don’t promise a fully maintenance-free experience.
The insert design
Rain gutters with foam or brush inserts work better than mesh covered gutters. They take up all the room in the gutter, making it impossible for large pieces of debris to settle inside. These approaches do not keep fine particles of debris from building up, however. With foam inserts, the buildup tends to occur on the surface, making it impossible for rainwater to sink in after a while.
The surface tension design
Surface tension rain gutters come with solid covers on top, and are successful at keeping out all kinds of debris, whether fine or coarse. Water running off the roof gets into the gutter through a slit on the side of the gutter. The curved shape of the cover guides the water into the slit.
This type of design completely eliminates the need for maintenance, and it is a highly successful one. It tends to work for everything up to moderately heavy rain. When torrential rains occur, some runoff does tend to get away. In every other case, though, it does work reliably.
So do clog-free drains work?
The simple answer is, they do. It’s important to understand, however, that you need to make the right choice. There are many options, and you need to find the right technology.