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There are many styles and designs of Gutter Filters but all have one thing in common, they are inefficient. A gutter filter is supposed to keep debris from clogging the downspout and let water drain out the leader pipe.

Most Gutter guards and Gutter filters sold at Home Depot or Lowes are not as good as advertised. Most of the gutter guards will let the water spill over the gutter or some will even let debris and leave collect inside the gutter. once debris gets inside the gutter, and they will, it becomes a huge headache to clean.

The purpose of a gutter is to remove water that flows from a roof in a controlled manner and then let the water get disbursed away from the building foundation. If water falls directly to the foundation, it could undermine the integrity of the building and or allow water to leak into basements.

A Gutter Filter is to prevent the downspout from clogging with leaves and other debris that could cause the water to overflow the gutter. Most gutter filters fail due to design flaws. The most common gutter filter is one you can buy at Home Depot and it is designed to fit inside the spout. This Universal Aluminum Leaf Strainer has small holes and therefore will clog very fast with small debris after any rain.

Aluminum Leaf Strainer from Home Depot

Aluminum Leaf Strainer


Then there is the sponge type of leaf filter also from Home Depot called GUTTERSTUFF. The problem with this filter is that fine debris will get stuck inside the sponge and ultimately enhance the growth of moss and algae. This is the worst type of leave filter to have in your gutter.

Gutterstuff from Home Depot

Gutterstuff


The Lock-in Gutter Guard is another type of filter that is installed on top of the gutter. These types of gutter guards are usually not easy to maintain. For some reason, debris manages to get into the gutter underneath the gutter guard and eventually clogs the spout. When this happens, the guard has to be removed to access the debris, meaning that it must be unscrewed or the shingles have to be lifted up to remove it. This is time-consuming and normally no one sees the problem for a long time.

Lock-in Gutter Guard - Home depot

Lock-in Gutter Guard


The Z-Gutter Filter is a game-changer. The low-profile filter lies almost flat in the gutter. This filter is 1 inch from the bottom and has 1-inch square holes big enough to allow small debris through that will wash down the water spout. The leave and debris will accumulate on top of the filter while the water seeps down to the bottom below the filter. This allows the water to free-flow while the debris is collected on top.

Z-Gutter Leave Filter from https://bergstromm.com/product/z-gutter-leaf-filter/

Z-Gutter Filter

As seen in the image above, the low profile of the filter. When debris collect on top of the filter, water will still be able to seep through the debris and flow to the spout as seen in the image below.

Z-Gutter Filter from https://bergstromm.com/product/z-gutter-leaf-filter/

Z-Gutter Filter


Summary

Most leaf filters and gutter guards bought at Home Depot and Lowes have small holes that get clogged with fine debris preventing water to flow down the gutter or out the water spout.

The best leaf filter is one that allows the water to flow while preventing debris to clog the spout, and Z-Gutter Filter is one such filter.

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