Do Gutter Covers or Gutter Guards Collect all the Water?
Manufacturers of all gutter guards claim that there’s no overshoot, yet in reality, there is and it’s because or the design of the downward curved surface. Even gutter screens don’t collect all the water and overshoot. And that sounds impossible because they have fairly large openings in the top flat surface. Why?
Because at a high velocity, water films over the openings and simply skips off the gutter screen onto the ground.
But gutter guards, gutter covers and leaf guards (they are the same) have a downward curved front surface for the water to adhere. However, there are many different designs of curvatures.
Generally there are three types of curved surfaces.
1. A tight curved surface.
2. A curved surface composed of two or three bent angles.
3. A large smooth curved radius.
The characteristics of the radius determine the amount of water that a gutter cover can collect. The smaller the radius, the less water the gutter cover can collect. The larger and smoother the radius, the more water the leaf guard can handle.
A small tight radius on a gutter cover will result in the water over shooting the gutter. A tight radius would be approximately 1/8″. To clarify, a sharp 90 degree bend would have no radius, i.e. a radius of zero.
Some gutter covers, rather than having a continuous radius have a series of bends to change the direction of the water. Instead of one 90 degree bend they might use three 30 degree bends. Instead of a smooth radius to change the direction of the water, several bends are used. The result is two basic problems:
First, heavy rain fall will simply shear off at that point overshooting the gutter.
Secondly, if there is a slope of more than 20 degrees on the top solid portion of the gutter cover, then again when the heavy rain flow hits the bends in the front downward leading surface it overshoots the gutter. Consider this; the ideal shape is an infinite number of bends to form a 3/8” radius continuous bend.
One of the few products that have a continuous bend is the Waterloov® Gutter Protector by R. K. Industries in Neptune, NJ. 07753.
Overshoot is eliminated because the continuous bend catches all the water. Because of the continuous bend the top portion of the gutter cover can be at any angle without causing overshoot. The Waterloov® Gutter Protection System is the only system that can be installed on gutters that are significantly lower than the roof edge where the angle of the gutter cover may be sixty degrees or more.
The only gutter cover company that manufactures a high capacity version is the Waterloov Gutter Protection System in which the radius bend is 5/8″ vs. 3/8″ for the standard cover. The high capacity version is used mainly for industrial or residential roofs with rafters longer than 35 or 40 feet.
With the distinct advantage of a smooth curved radius in the Waterloov® Gutter Protector design, one would wonder why anyone would ever select anything else.
Richard Kuhns B.S.Ch.E. President and CEO of R.K. Industries manufacturer of the Waterloov® Gutter Protection System.