|The perforated metal leaf-guards that got installed with the gutters originally got zip-screwed into place at the outer lip of the K-section, and while the guards seem to work reasonably well there is not a gutter-screen product made that will never have to be opened up at some point for cleanout underneath. With trees overhead and seasonal pollen and dust flying around, fine organic muck will simply accumulate no matter what the design tries to take into account. After realizing that a year and a half in there was already a bit of muck buildup on the bottom of the gutters, I needed to get in there to check on things and maybe give everything a quick cleanout. Rather than have to mess with a bunch of [steel, thus galvanically mismatched] sheet-metal screws and trying to re-thread old holes every time I went to pull the guards, I wanted to see if some sort of quick-release retaining clips could be fitted instead.|
|I went topside with a thin strip of coil metal I could basically bend by hand and formed a reasonable model, and used it as a bending guide. The bend and cut locations got linearized onto a piece of paper and thence duplicated to a bunch of 1-inch strips cut from my few leftover bits of roofing panel, in the hope that the .032 aluminum would make a reasonably sturdy clip even if it's not all that springy.|
|The strips were cut with the usual score-n-bend method, which actually wasn't so easy when only snapping off an inch of material.|
|I'd need about 30 clips all told, so I had a bit of work to do...|
|But it went reasonably quickly. Not the most precision or uniform operation ever, but close enough to the shape I needed.|
Here's how they go on. The Z-bend of the guard piece is acute and deep
enough to put its lower angle pretty optimally opposite the lower face
of the gutter lip, such that a pinch across the two holds the gutter
guard down pretty nicely. The lower part of the clip is the grab-tab
for removing, and sits safely *out* of the way of any snow sliding over
the edge. Downward and outward pressure on the clips from above would
basically make the whole system grip more tightly.
The guards all got the inner bend flattened out a little, so the rear edge rests more firmly against the drip-edge and closes that little gap off better against insects, squirrels, etc that might mess with it.
|On the rear run I pulled out the experimental "sponge" type filter after a year and a half in place. They were sort of disgustingly permeated with organic goo but not completely choked, and the gutter underneath them was about as crapped up as under the normal perforated guards. Since the guards with the upgrade to clips are so much easier to remove and clean underneath, I declared the "gutter sponge" experiment over and flung the two pieces off the roof.|
But in the same year and a half, the gutter actually hadn't accumulated
that much stuff inside. I ran a sponge down the whole length for a
clean sweep and got a couple of inches in a bucket for the whole run,
that's it after two falls and two springs, and it was less than a quarter-inch
deep all along. That would seem to put the nominal really-needs-it cleanout
interval at something over two or three years, which isn't bad considering
the amount of stuff that lands on the roof. And the next experiment would
be to see if the right answer for clearing all the top surfaces is a quick
pass with a
portable leaf blower
instead of trying to mess with brushes.
At some point later I might experiment with micro-mesh screens, but the smaller the holes in a system the more readily they "heal over" from fine pollen accumulation.