Gutter Guards for Pine Needles
There are many types of gutter guards that can be used to keep pine needles out of your gutters. If pine needles are the only type of debris you are dealing with in your gutters, it is recommended that you use specific type of gutter guard system. You want to be sure that you do not have other types of debris because pine needle gutter guards do have some downsides. Pine needles can fall horizontally or vertically and are sharp and pointed when they fall vertically which allows them to go through almost any hole. Over time, gutter guards with any kind of a hole or open space will become clogged.
Different Types of Gutter Guards for Pine Needles
You may see a broad spread steel style screen or a perforated metal. Sometimes you will see a solid top gutter with an open front. These types of gutter guards will limit the amount of pine needles that get into the gutter but not with 100 percent efficiency.
The open mesh guard is probably the least effective due to the size of the holes in the guard. Steel accumulates thousands of pine needles resulting in you having to pick them out one by one to clean the gutter guards. The perforated gutter guard will keep out 90 percent of the pine needles. Eventually, some of the small one eighth inch or smaller diameter holes drilled in the periphery will collect some pine needles. The few pine needles that get stuck will stand up straight in the holes.
Sometimes this can cause other pine needles to come down and hold against the ones that are sitting vertically in the gutter guard holes.
Pine Needle Gutter Guard Maintenance
It takes a long time for pine needle gutter guards to clog but when they do, you are probably better off removing the gutter guards to get all the pine needles out. There are some exceptions where there is a two-part cut or a solid gutter system where you can remove the top. Even so, the gutter topper must be removed for the gutter to be cleaned out. Many times, the gutter toppers are adhered to the shingles. It can be more costly to remove and reinstall than it was to originally install the system to begin with.
Best Gutter Guards for Pine Needles
The best type of gutter guard for pine needles is a micro screen. Micro screens have zero tolerance and do not allow pine needles in. The mesh is essentially like a medical grade steel or stainless screen that keeps out all tiny debris. Vertically falling pine needles will not puncture this material. They fall on top and then rain washes them away.
Most gutter guard design concepts have some type of open hole. These open holes allow the pine needles to stand upright in those gutters and an upright standing pine needle begins to catch other pine needles and consequently causes them to fail.
Why Micro Screen Guards Don't Work With Other Types of Debris
Over time, micro screen gutter guards experience a different type of clogging where, mildew, dust and dirt in the air build up on your roof before washing off from rain storms. The residue from these substances wash into the pores of the micro mesh. It usually takes around 3 or 4 years for this type of clogging to occur depending on the environment and climate.
When this happens, water and debris will not go into your gutters. They will flow over the side as if you do not have a gutter system. When this happens it simply means that it is time for some maintenance. In order to clean the pores of a micro mesh gutter screen, you need a pressure washer. There may be some areas where you don’t need as much water pressure but to do the job right you will need a pressure washer.
The micro mesh gutter guards are not the best overall gutter guard, but they are the best for pine needles. It is typically good to use a specific gutter guard for pine needles if that is the only type of debris you have to deal with. You will have a more difficult maintenance every three to four years, having to pressure wash the top of the micro screen guard.