There have been many attempts over the years to create a better gutter guard. I am of the opinion that due to the nature of the task, with the constantly varying debris composition and the wide variety of roof applications to be matched with that a 100% perfect gutter guard will never be obtained. Gutter Guard Company in Gettysburg has some nice tips on this.
That being said, there are new systems on the market that has taken the field of gutter protection to its highest point yet. These systems employ a metal micro-mesh to stop the debris but not the water from going into the gutter. In several areas, these system establish the higher standards to date. Ultimately, the measure of a gutter protection system is its efficacy and these new innovations so far are garnering reports of new levels of effectiveness.
A few years ago I found out that the most prevalent style of gutter protection at that time, the curved cover over the top of the gutters that uses surface tension to roll the rain water around the cover and into the gutter, was actually first patented back in 1908! If you go to the US patent office’s website and search for patent # 891405 for an “Eaves Trough” invented by George Cassens, you will see something that looks quite similar to all of the surface tension gutter covers available today. There is certainly nothing new about that technology!
The newest, and in my opinion, best approach today on gutter protection act more as a filter that a cover. There is no diversion of the flow of rain water away from the top of the gutter. Rather, the water is allowed to flow straight through the micro-mesh filter. Now simple gutter screens employ much of the same methodology and they have been around for years. Simple screens have never done a particularly good job of protecting gutters primarily because of the materials used and their design.
Being a price point item, the are usually made of plastic, which warps easily. Whether made of plastic or metal (as some are), their other deficiency has been that their design has had to allow for too large of holes in the screening to allow the water to flow through. The large hole size has also allowed much if the smaller tree debris to get through them, thus defeating the purpose of the screen in the first place. Much of the design issue comes back to the materials used – they simply could not maintain water permeability if the hole size was reduced.
Starting with the materials, the latest technology in gutter guards employ unique materials previously used in different industries and applications. From the bottom up, some have thick vinyl and others anodized aluminum channel frames. The vinyl offers flexibility and the aluminum offers the unique combination of strength and light weight. Additionally, the aluminum channel frames (as thick as.1 inch) are anodized to add corrosion resistance.
On top of their frames, these new gutter guards have a stainless steel micro-mesh screen. There are various alloys used by different brands. One of the best appears to be Alloy 316 which is far superior to 302 or 304 alloys in that it’s molybdenum-bearing austenitic stainless steel is much more resistant to corrosion and pitting. It also possess other enhanced properties that provide higher creep, stress-to-rupture and tensile strength.