So after years of ignoring the buildup of leaves in my gutters I decided to do something about them. I figured I’d been wasting too much rainwater and planned on diverting it to the garden and to the rainwater tank I bought off a friend. Getting someone to do it would have been ludicrously costly as no professional would get onto my roof as it’s a 45º pitch. Then there would be the issue of how to set up scaffolding on such a steep slope.
It took me most of a day to clear the decade of built up composting material that had created it’s own ecosystem in the gutters. I hate heights and given the not so less than ideal ladder setups I was forced to configure the whole clean-out was essentially a sphincter clenching, lamaze breathing process of me holding on for dear life and teasing out the old growth forests that had taken over.
The roots from the plants that were growing in there made for some difficulty where they entangled the internal gutter brackets, but at times also enabled me to remove large chunks of the gutter compost at a time.
There were hundreds of worms feeding in the rotting leaves. Each handful would bring out at least 5-6 of the fat little wrigley fellas. I kept everything and added it to my hugelkultur pile.
Now that the gutters were clean I wanted to ensure that I never had to get up there again. I spent days immersed, as I do, researching anti leaf systems for gutters and most sat in the gutter which meant there was always going to be gaps and crevices where the material could get trapped. I narrowed it down to a few systems that basically extend the roof surface to the edge of the gutter so that no grooves were there for the leaves to get trapped. The wind would then blow them off once dry. There were some really bad gutter protection systems out there that while they would stop leaves entering your donwpipes, they would require a lot of ongoing maintenance. The blue is the shape of the guard the red is where I thought the system would fail / accumulate debris.
I ended up going with Blue Mountain Gutter Mesh. Their system ticked the roof surface to gutter edge box and looked easy to install. I measured up the length I needed and contacted the company directly. I’m guessing they’re protecting their retailers because the quote I got back was a lot higher than getting it from Bunnings or Tradelink. In the end I paid around $13/m so all up my gutter mesh cost me just under $400- Given that some people on forums paid that much and more for a one off gutter cleaning fee, I was pretty happy.
The kit comes with a roll of mesh, a bag of saddles for my corrugated roof and a bag of tiny roofing screws to hold the saddles in place. When it came time to install, my existing roofing screws were in the way of the saddles despite following their how to measure instructions before purchasing. Maybe it was the added steepness of my roof but I had to do some modifications and fold back the lower edge. It all worked out in the end. They can colourmatch to colourbond roofs and also make a steel version. I chose aluminum to keep costs down.
Here’s a little video on how simple it is to install.
The gutter mesh has been there for over a year now and I’ve seen heaps of leaves land on it and they’re gone within a few days. I haven’t once had to get up there and the water is flowing extremely well to my garden and tank. The mesh is working wonders if using the minimal amount of muck in my first flush diverter is an indicator of effectiveness. If you have any trees near your house I highly recommend getting some form of mesh in the style like the one I have.