Gutter covers keep water in your gutters and debris out. They come in a variety of different forms. Gutter covers are one form of protection that is typically a solid cover over the gutter with a small opening at the edge to allow water in. They can handle large amounts of rainwater, providing the free flow of water to the gutters downspouts. Gutter covers may also be called gutter filters.
Gutter covers are typically a metal–based product or vinyl that come in a wide range of color choices to match the color your home. Typically more than a dozen different colors are offered. Aluminum is the most popular material used. Most gutter covers require screwing into the gutter lip only. No screws are needed in the roof or fascia. Gutter covers will fit over your existing rain gutters.
Gutter cover panels typically interlock and slide under the first row of the roof's shingles. The covers typically come in 4–6 foot panels, which lock together. This makes replacing a damaged section, perhaps caused by a falling tree limb, much easier and less expensive. Gutter covers are designed to handle significant wind speeds and heavy rainfall without damage. Since gutter covers are solid metal on top as opposed to gutters screens, which are mesh, there is no accumulation of debris on top of the gutter cover.
Gutter covers tend to be the sturdiest of the gutter protection systems. They are thicker than gutter screens, and animals cannot chew through it. Also, quality gutter covers will not warp of suffer color fade over time. Despite their sturdiness, gutter covers can be low profile, and are designed and styled to enhance the appearance of your home.
Some gutter covers use the principle of surface tension to route water into the gutter and keep leaves, twigs, seeds, and debris out. With this hood style of cover, rainwater follows the curved edge of the cover and enters the gutter through a small gap. Surface tension pulls water and keeps debris out, sliding harmlessly off the roof. This is in contrast to gutter screens, in which debris can become trapped in the mesh.
Most companies that sell gutter covers provide professional installation as part of the cost. They may clean and make minor repairs to your gutters as part of the installation. Some companies guarantee the performance of their gutter covers offering to clean gutters for free in the event the gutters become clogged. Do it yourself installation is not recommended with gutter covers as it can void the gutter covers' warranty.