If you’re like most people, you don’t pay much attention to the water that runs off your roof when it rains… that is – until there’s an obvious problem of some kind.
When listening to the news, the weather report might include something like “We’ve received about an inch of rain in the Baltimore area over the last 24 hours…” which may not sound like much. In fact it’s easy to picture an inch of rain as just a small puddle somewhere… an insignificant amount.
But it might surprise you to know that a single inch of rain requires your roof, and your gutter and downspout system to handle hundreds and hundreds of gallons of water, if not more?
Doesn’t that make an inch of rainfall seems like a lot more?
Let’s take a look at how to calculate just how much water our roofs and run-off systems actually have to deal with. It’s a simple calculation where you multiply the square feet of your roof surface by 0.6 gallons for each inch of rain.
So, if your roof surface is 1,000 square feet, and it rains just 1 inch, your run-off system will have to deal with about 600 gallons of water (1,000 X .06 X 1 = 600 gallons).
For a roof of 2,500 square feet, (2,500 X .06 X 1) = 1,500 gallons of water run-off.
And that’s based on just an inch of rain…
The annual average rainfall in the Baltimore area is about 44 inches.
Using the same equation, in our area, a 1,000 square foot roof has to handle 26,400 gallons a year (the equivalent of one average, in-ground, backyard swimming pool), and a 2,500 sq. ft. roof, 66.000 gallons More than two larger, in-ground, backyard pools). That’s a lot of water to deal with.
So if your gutters and downspouts have become clogged, the volume of rainwater may exceed their capacity to handle it, in which case they’ll over-flow, causing water damage to your home, which generally result in major repairs. Problems including foundation damage, basement leaks, rotting fascia boards, soffits and window frames, mold, mildew, and insect infestation.
What causes clogged gutters?
Organic materials, like leaves, pine needles, nuts & seeds (acorns, etc.) will collect in your gutters, absorb water, collect dirt, and as it begins to decompose, forms a more and more solid, heavy mass along the full length of your gutter system. This impedes the free flow of runoff water, and over time, the weight can cause your gutters to sag, resulting in leaks.
How to prevent this gutter-clogging build-up…
The obvious answer is to prevent those organic materials from collecting in your gutter in the first place. And there is no shortage of options to do that… in fact the choices can be mind-boggling.
Over the last decade, there have been a myriad of new gutter ‘capping’ products, ranging from plastic to aluminum extrusions with drain slots or patterns stamped into them, which are installed on top of your gutters, and need to be nailed or screwed onto your roof deck (which risks voiding your roof/shingle warranty, and may even affect your homeowners insurance coverage). And they can be seen from the ground.
Because they only cap the gutter, insects and animals can still get under them. The damp environment is a perfect breeding ground for mosquitos… and many homeowners have reported finding healthy frogs living in their gutters, 15-20 feet above ground.
These gutter caps often can’t handle the run-off from a heavy rainfall, so the excess is forced to flow over them, and down the outside of your home, and/or eroding your lawn and gardens below.
Further, inherent in their design, most of these cap-style gutter products will cause ice build-up in winter, eventually resulting in ice dams, which, in turn may result in serious leakage problems.
A recent development is the use of foam inserts or fiber products (like a furnace filter) to block the gutter from debris. Most of them have had significant challenges, like sun damage destroying the material, the material becoming compressed, restricting the free flow of rainwater, become blocked with ice, damming the water, causing it to back-up under the shingles, much like the cap-style products.
A recent development in foam-based, gutter inserts…
Comprised of an open-cell, polyurethane foam insert, Leaf Defier-XL(R) is specially shaped and cut to fit into your gutter, snugly and securely, totally out-of-sight from the ground.
Leaves and debris that might have once clogged your gutters now slide off the foam surface, or just dry up and blow away… so, your gutters stay clean and clear of clogs.
It withstands heat, ice, torrential rains… and is easy on your wallet…
Even during the heaviest rains, Leaf Defier-XL’s(R) open-cell technology lets rainwater run-off flow freely through at volumes up to 28 inches of rainfall an hour – nearly 3 times the national standard – the highest flow through capacity of any other gutter product. That means no overflows, no damage, no hassles… no kidding!
Because of its black color, Leaf Defier-XL(R) absorbs sunlight, helping inhibit ice build-up in winter… so, there’s virtually no chance of the ice damming and roof leakage problems common with most other gutter products.
The Leaf Defier-XL’s(R) patent-pending open-celled, polyurethane material is factory-treated with a biocide and a fungicide to inhibit mold, mildew, fungus, algae and moss growth. And it also features the ‘extreme defiance,’ built in UV stabilizer to prevent the sun damage inherent in most other foam-based and all plastic products.
Combining the biocide, fungicide and UV stabilizer, Leaf Defier-XL(R) offers you an unheard of in the industry, 25 year, no-clog warranty.
And because Leaf Defier-XL(R) is quick to install, and requires no clips, nails, screws, etc. it typically costs 50%, even 60%… or even less than other types of gutter products.
Well worth a serious look.
Full Dimension Group, Inc.
Green Industry Consultant
Leaf Defier-XL(R) installation is now available from TLC Incorporated.
Call TODAY for your FREE, no-obligation review of your gutter system, and Leaf Defier-XL(R) recommendation.
410.721.2342 / 301.261.6731