Cleaning out the gutters is undoubtedly one of the most despised household chores. A combination of their precarious height, the time and effort it takes to climb up and down the ladder repeatedly, and the disgusting sludge that you need to remove makes it easy to see why. Despite the hassle, having functional gutters are a major benefit to a home, as they keep standing water off a roof, direct runoff away from basements, and keep sand, dirt, and debris runoff off your decks and sidewalks. Because of this, many products have been introduced to help reduce the effort of keeping gutters clean. One of the newest, easiest, and most affordable is a reticulated foam gutter insert.
Unlike other spongy open-cell foams, reticulated foam is non-absorbent and allows water to drain and pass directly through its form, effectively acting as a sieve. Large debris is trapped on top of the foam, while water drains through the pores and through the gutter. To ease the flow of water, these forms are profile cut into a triangular shape, so the top of the gutter is fully protected, but inside, the material tapers back so there is an open channel for easy flow of water.
Foam gutter guards are more affordable than most alternatives and rarely require maintenance. Any debris collected remains at the top of the gutter, so simply brushing away debris is all that’s needed, something that can easily be done from the ground with a long-handled broom. They are also very easy to install because of the material’s flexibility. Sold in packs of 3, 4, or 5 foam feet sections, they simply flex into the gutter and stay in place. If you encounter dreaded gutter cleaning multiple times a year, consider gutter guards and stay off the ladder and in your comfort zone.