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What is the Difference Between Gutter Screens and Gutter Guards?

Updated: Oct 20, 2023



We are frequently asked about the difference between gutter guards and gutter screens and what they do. In fact, these names are synonymous. The main functions of the gutter screen or guard is to protect the gutters from blockages, prevent birds or vermin getting into the roof space of a building and to keep tank water clean and clear for water harvesting. There are a variety of gutter mesh options available. LeafScreen gutter guard has been installed in New Zealand since 2001 and has been proven to be effective, durable and reliable over time.

What are Gutter Guards and Gutter Screens?

An externally fixed mesh layer designed to protect a gutter can be referred to as a gutter screen or a gutter guard. They can in fact be called by numerous other names too, including, gutter protection, leaf guard and leaf stopper to name a few.

LeafScreen has been effectively installing a Tapex polyethelene mesh in New Zealand since 2001. The mesh is professionally attached from the roof to the outer edge of the gutter. The installed mesh follows the angle of the roof to allow for water to run into the gutter while preventing larger leaf matter and other debris from entering the gutter pan.

Mesh may also be installed to prevent birds nesting or vermin getting into the roof space, or if they are harvesting water from the roof and they want to keep tank water clean and clear.

What types of gutter mesh are there?

There are a variety of gutter mesh options available. The main factors to consider are the purpose of the mesh, width of the mesh aperture, material, flexibility, and durability for the climatic conditions.

If the gutter mesh you require is for protection against leaf material getting into the gutter pan then you want a mesh that will block the majority of debris but still allows the rainwater to enter the gutter unimpeded. In this case, you may only need to protect certain gutters that are affected by surrounding trees or where the prevailing wind carries leaf matter.

The size or gap of the aperture in the mesh is vitally important. If the gaps are too small then rainwater may not pass through into the gutter pan, particularly in a heavy downpour. If the gaps are too large, the mesh will allow larger leaves and debris to fall through to the gutter pan. In either case, the mesh will not perform well, so it pays to ensure you install a mesh that has been proven to be effective.

If your purpose is to prevent birds or vermin from entering your roof space, then you will need a mesh that fits well to the roof and will not allow for gaps or entry points. In this case, covering all the gutters around the home with a flexible mesh that fits the contours of your roof is preferable.

When selecting a mesh type, the main options are a plastic or metal mesh. For the mesh to attach to your roof it needs a degree of flexibility to be able to successfully mould around your roof contours and for this reason, plastic mesh, like that used at LeafScreen is ideal.

Finally, it is important to consider the durability of the gutter mesh to be installed. Will the mesh maintain its colour over time? Is it a good investment? Could it become brittle and break in the harsh New Zealand climate? It is worth looking at how long the mesh has been used in New Zealand, some mesh varieties can offer long warranties, but unless they have been proven to outlast their warranty period as LeafScreen mesh has proven to do, it is hard to be certain.

Why LeafScreen Mesh?

Call them gutter guards, gutter screens, or by some other name. The gutter mesh that has been proven to be effective in New Zealand for well over 20 years is Tapex mesh by LeafScreen. The externally fixed gutter mesh is the perfect companion to an efficient gutter system. Keeping gutters clear from debris, preventing birds or vermin getting into the roof space and keeping tank water clean. LeafScreen mesh is multipurpose - durable, flexible and effective and therefore the best choice for gutter protection.

Start Today. Get a FREE, NO-OBLIGATION quote for a long-lasting gutter guard solution. Call us on 0800 53 23 53 or fill in the Contact Form>>

LeafScreen New Zealand provides gutter solutions across the upper to central North Island, including Northland, Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua, Taupo. And we can service the lower North Island - Wairarapa, Wellington areas.

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