Columbus Roofing: Article About Gutter Guards
With so many lush deciduous and pine trees throughout central Ohio neighborhoods, finding a gutter full of sprouted trees and other plants is not an uncommon situation. When the tree debris and new sprouts fill up the gutters, rain has nowhere to go but back up into the roof, increasing the risk of leaks. Houses that are situated close to lots of trees may benefit from covers to block the sticks, seeds and leaves from getting inside the gutter openings. Homeowners can install these devices themselves or use experienced Columbus roofing contractors to do it for them.
For small problem areas that are prone to leaf and other tree buildup, gutter sponges made of fire retardant foam or natural cellulose may be a good choice. These sponges allow water to soak through and drain into the downspouts. Any seeds, sticks and other solid items are left on the top of the sponge. However, the moisture within the sponge, along with any dirt and exposure to the sun, may make an ideal spot for seedlings to start growing. To avoid this, property owners can use a broad spectrum herbicide. Liquid herbicides can be found at most big box and home improvement stores. While wearing gloves and protective goggles, the homeowner can spray the sponges with the herbicide to stop any seeds from sprouting on or in the sponge.
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About every six months, a cellulose or foam sponge will need to be cleaned out to rid it of solids that have filtered into the pores. This can be done with a garden hose. These types of sponges usually last for 30 years, which is about the same as the lifespan of fiberglass, aluminum or stainless steel gutters.
Another type of sponge that can be used in a gutter is the pipe cleaner style. These sponges have long plastic spikes and can be made in a variety of colors to achieve a perfect match to copper, stainless steel or painted fiberglass gutter systems. This material costs more than a foam or cellulose sponge but also lasts longer. When it needs to be cleaned, the sections of foam spikes can be popped out one at a time and cleaned with a garden sprayer.
A long term and permanent solution to stop trees from growing in the gutters is to install gutter covers. These covers must be professionally installed and are more expensive than gutter sponges. They can be custom made to match the color and the style of the gutters.