Maple seeds, commonly known as “helicopters,” can pose a problem for gutters, causing clogging and blocking proper water flow. This article will explore different types of gutter guards and their effectiveness in preventing maple seeds from entering gutters. These include brush, slit, foam, reverse curve, aluminum screen, and micro-mesh gutter guards.
We will also discuss the cleaning process of gutters clogged with maple seeds, the cost, process, and benefits of professional installation of gutter guards, and common mistakes to avoid when selecting and installing gutter guards. By the end of this article, you’ll understand the options available for protecting your gutters from maple seeds and how to maintain them.
What Are Maple Seeds, And Why Do They Pose a Problem for Gutter Systems?
Maple seeds, also known as “helicopters,” are the winged seeds produced by maple trees. They are a common sight when they rain down on lawns, decks, roofs, and gutters in the spring. The seeds can become a nuisance, especially when they clog gutters and downspouts or germinate in garden beds.
Red, silver, and Norway maples often produce the most significant quantities of samaras. Heavy crops of samaras can make the upper portion of maple tree canopies look sparse, but this is usually temporary and won’t affect the tree’s long-term health. Maple seeds can be a problem for gutters because they block proper water flow in the rain gutter when wet and heavy.
It’s essential to have room for the water to flow, and proper gutter guards can help ensure that happens. With the right gutter guard, you can protect your gutters from maple seeds and ensure proper water flow.
Different Types of Gutter Guards and Their Effectiveness In Preventing Maple Seeds From Entering Gutters
Gutter guards come in different types, each with its pros and cons. The first type is brush gutter guards. They have bristles that fit inside the gutters and prevent leaves and debris from entering while allowing rainwater to pass through. The downside of brush gutter guards is that smaller debris, like pine needles and maple spinners, get stuck in the bristles, leading to clogging, which requires complete removal of the brush gutter guards for cleaning.
Slit gutter guards
The second type is perforated or split system gutter guards. They fit under shingles and cover gutters, keeping out leaves but not pods, seeds, or needles. Small debris can easily get stuck in the perforations, and water may overflow because it can’t pass through to the gutter underneath.
Foam Gutter Guards
The third type is foam gutter guards that consist of foam pieces that fit into gutters, preventing debris accumulation. However, seedlings and trees may take root in the foam and grow, clogs may form on top of the foam, and it may become a fire hazard. Cleaning these gutter guards is also challenging.
Reverse curve gutter guards, which are also referred to as surface tension gutter guards, function by redirecting rainwater downwards, resulting in debris dropping to the ground instead of accumulating in gutters. Professionals install these gutter guards, and while they come with warranties, they may void your roof’s warranty and affect your home’s curb appeal. They’re also costly, and clogs may form if debris accumulates in the opening, while wasps or bees may build nests in the gutters.
Screen gutter guards
Finally, aluminum screen gutter guards are easy to install, affordable, and allow you to choose whether to install them yourself or have them professionally installed. However, their large openings let in smaller debris, they may blow off gutters during windy conditions, and they’re susceptible to clogging.
Micro-mesh gutter guards
HomeCraft Gutter Protection is very effective for maple seeds since its raised mesh design sits high in the middle of the guard, holding debris like maple seeds above the rest of the gutter guard, allowing water to flow under it.
How to Clean Gutters That Have Been Clogged with Maple Seeds
Clogged gutters can cause severe damage to your home’s foundation, leading to flooding, mold, and rot. Regular gutter cleaning or installation of gutter guards can help prevent blockages caused by organic debris from trees and maple seeds. The frequency of gutter cleaning depends on the number and type of trees around your home, but it is recommended to check and clean them twice a year, during spring and fall.
To clean your gutters, you will need a ladder, a 3” paint scraper, a garden hose with a high-pressure nozzle, and gloves. Start at the downspout and remove debris by hand, a gutter scooper or leaf blower. Use a paint scraper to dislodge smaller debris from the bottom of the gutter. Wash out the gutters with a high-pressure hose and clear all debris from the downspout opening. Gutter cleaning may require professional assistance if you are unable to access or clean them yourself.
Professional Installation of Gutter Guards for Maple Seeds: Cost, Process, And Benefits
The cost of gutter guard installation varies depending on several factors, such as the type of gutter guard, the size of the gutters, and the condition of the roof. On average, professional installation of gutter guards can cost between $800 and $2,000 for 200 linear feet. High-end options that use high-quality materials, like micro-mesh and reverse-curve gutter guards, can cost between $2,000 and $5,000. Meanwhile, self-installing PVC or plastic gutter guards can cost $100 to $300.
The type of gutter guard required depends on the climate, existing gutter condition, gutter size, roof type, and the type of guard needed. There are different types of gutter guards, such as foam, brush, screen, micro-mesh, and reverse-curve. Homeowners should select a gutter guard based on the type of debris that accumulates in their gutters. Choosing a professional installation is key, as they will properly evaluate and install the appropriate gutter guard for your home.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Selecting and Installing Gutter Guards for Maple Seeds
If you’re planning to install gutter guards for maple seeds, it’s important to avoid some common mistakes that can compromise the integrity of your roof and gutter system.
- Avoid nailing into your roof, as this can create holes that can let in water and other elements. Instead, make sure your gutter protection is securely attached without damaging your roof.
- Lifting shingles can damage your roof, which is something you want to avoid at all costs. Your gutter guards won’t be effective if the shingles are compromised, so make sure to install them without lifting or damaging the shingles.
- Ensure that the gutter guards are firmly attached. If they’re not properly attached, they can tear away from your roof during heavy rain or winds, leaving holes that can compromise the integrity of your roof.
- Make sure you get the right size of gutter guard for your home. One size doesn’t fit all, so choose the size that fits your gutter system to ensure maximum effectiveness.
- Don’t forget the downspouts. They’re an important component of the system and should be included in your installation plans.
- Avoid damaging the gutter when installing the gutter guards. Placing the ladder against the gutter can crimp it and pull portions away from the roof, compromising the integrity of the roof or gutter system.
- Choose the right kind of gutter guard. Some guards, like foam or brush guards, still require regular cleaning, while others may let small particles or seeds into the gutters. A fine mesh made of aluminium or polyethylene is the best option and won’t be an eyesore.
Follow these tips, and you’ll have a highly effective gutter protection system that will keep your home safe from maple seeds and other debris.
The Impact of Maple Seed Clogs On Gutter Systems, And How Gutter Guards Can Prevent Damage to Your Home
Gutters play an essential role in protecting your home by preventing water damage to your foundation, windows, siding, doors, and basement. Over time, rainwater can erode the soil in the foundation, making it less stable. Rainwater also causes damage to home fixtures like lights, shutters, and paint.
Maple seeds, twigs, and debris that accumulate in gutters can cause cracks and clogs, leading to water damage to the roof and interior of your home. Mosquitoes and other pests can breed in the water, causing a health risk to your family. Gutter guards, which are mesh or metal grates that overlap the top of the gutter, can help minimize the maintenance chores associated with gutters.
The guards catch debris, allowing water to flow freely and prevent clogs. Gutter guards also reduce the risk of injury, since homeowners no longer need to climb ladders to clean gutters. Finally, gutter guards help prevent flooding by ensuring that water flows through the gutter and out the downspout, instead of overflowing and causing damage to the foundation or basement.
Gutter guards are especially recommended for homeowners with extensive foliage around and near their home. With gutter guards, maintaining your gutter system is made more manageable, keeping your home safe and protected.
So, to prevent maple seed clogs in your gutters, there are two methods you can use: gutter guards and regular gutter cleaning.
Gutter guards work by covering your gutters with a mesh or other material that catches leaves and other debris while still allowing water to flow through. This reduces the amount of cleaning you’ll need to do in the long run, which can save you time and money. However, not all gutter guards are created equal, so it’s important to choose the right one based on the type of tree cover in your area.
Comparing The Pros and Cons of Gutter Guards Versus Regular Gutter Cleaning for Preventing Maple Seed Clogs
On the other hand, regular gutter cleaning involves physically removing debris from your gutters. You can hire a company to do this for you a few times a year, which usually costs around $75 to $100 per cleaning. However, be careful when choosing a contractor, because some may not do a good job and could leave you with clogs and overflow during the next rain. Also, if an uninsured contractor has an accident while cleaning your gutters, you could be held responsible for any damage.
So, there are six types of gutter protection devices you can find in the market. One of them is screening devices made of wire, metal, or plastic, which rely on gravity and need regular maintenance. However, they don’t really keep homeowners from having to climb ladders.
Then you have filters, brushes, and membranes that can be installed in existing gutters, but they are not more effective than screens.
A solid top with a rounded front nose and fin type with a trough are not good options if you live in a medium-to-high debris area because they won’t prevent clogs.
Lastly, there are rain dispersal and flipping types of gutters, but they require replacing regular gutters with fins or hinged gutters, which can be quite expensive.
Both gutter guards and regular gutter cleaning have their pros and cons for preventing maple seed clogs. It is crucial to do research before deciding which method to use. Choosing the wrong product or contractor could lead to flooding, mold, mildew, soil erosion, and other costly damages.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do maple seeds clog gutters, and what is the solution?
Maple seeds or “helicopters” can clog gutters when they become wet and heavy. To ensure proper water flow, it is essential to have room for the water to flow, and the right gutter guard can help ensure that. Homeowners can choose from different types of gutter guards like brush, slit, foam, reverse curve, screen, and micro-mesh, each with its pros and cons.
How often should gutters be cleaned if they are prone to clogging with maple seeds?
The frequency of gutter cleaning depends on the number and type of trees around the home. It is recommended to check and clean them twice a year, during spring and fall, to prevent blockages caused by organic debris from trees and maple seeds.
How much does it cost to install gutter guards for maple seeds professionally?
The cost of gutter guard installation varies depending on several factors such as the type of gutter guard, size of the gutters, and the condition of the roof. On average, professional installation of gutter guards can cost between $800 and $2,000 for 200 linear feet. High-end options using high-quality materials like micro-mesh and reverse-curve gutter guards can cost between $2,000 and $5,000. Self-installing PVC or plastic gutter guards can cost $100 to $300.
What are some common mistakes to avoid when selecting and installing gutter guards for maple seeds?
Homeowners should avoid nailing gutter guards to their roof, choosing the wrong type of gutter guard, not properly evaluating their gutters’ needs, and attempting to install the gutter guards themselves without proper knowledge or training. Choosing professional installation is key, as they will properly evaluate and install the appropriate gutter guard for the home.