Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Micro Mesh Filters Can add to Gutter Clog Problems

By Tony Iannelli
Inventor of Gutter Topper and founder and owner, Gutter Covers International

Throughout my decades in the gutter guard business, I have seen competitors introduce product after product and then try to position them as the ultimate solution to gutter clogs and gutter protection. But at GutterTopper, my years in the gutter business have taught me a key lesson -- there is no one size fits all solution. That’s why we have developed an entire line of gutter protection products, each designed for a specific gutter protection need depending on where you live and the gutter clogging conditions you face.

The current “flavor of the month” in gutter protection is the so-called micro-mesh gutter filter. This filter sits on top of your gutter and seals your gutter while water is supposed to keep flowing through the micro holes in the product, and nothing else enters your gutters. Sounds great, so what could possible go wrong with that?

Micro Mesh Filters Can Lead to Gutter Waterfalls

The answer is plenty can go wrong -- and does go wrong -- with that. First of all, the micro-mesh screen is a filter, and like all filters, it needs to be cleaned regularly to perform properly. The design of the product is flawed because it can hold and trap debris, tree sap, pollen, asphalt shingle grit, etc. on top. And no matter how "micro" the holes are, if the product is covered by debris, water can’t flow into the holes.

So where does the water go? It goes over the gutter. So you now have replaced a gutter clog with a waterfall that can drown your landscaping, and even worse, create a strain on your home’s foundation that leads to basement leaks, and even worse problem.

Micro Holes Can Easily Freeze in the Winter

But there is an even worse problem that can happen in the winter, since water acts differently in the winter. Water becomes denser as it reaches the freezing point – and dense water does not t flow well through micro holes. And guess what happens to the holes when water freezes on top? That’s right, the water freezes the fine holes, as well, and that’s the end of water flowing into your gutters.  And that’s a big problem in the winter that leads to ice dams and dangerous icicles collecting on your gutters.
Freezing micro mesh filters can lead to ice dams and dangerous icicles forming.
At Gutter Topper, we identified this problem and introduced a product specifically to address it – Hott Topper. Hott Topper generates heat that melts the snow and ice before it turns into icicles and then lets the melted water go into your gutters and downspout.

No One Size Fits All Solutions to Gutter Clogs -- You Need Choices

As I mentioned, there simply is no one size fits all solution to gutter clogs. You need an expert to analyze your specific problems and then recommend the right product to address that problems. For example, the same product may not perform well for a problem with fir tree needles as it does for pine tree needle clogs because the needles are so different. And that’s why we have a product for each one of those needs.

Before you invest in the latest fad of micro mesh filters, just ask yourself a simple question: Are you really saving money and ending your gutter clog problems if you have to continually get up on the roof and clean the filters? Please contact your local Gutter Topper Retailer for the right answer to your specific gutter protection needs.

As a general contractor and craftsman, Tony Iannelli saw the damage caused by clogged gutters, and he knew he could invent a solution in his workshop. That invention was Gutter Topper, which then led to his company, Gutter Covers International, developing a series of gutter protection products. Since then, millions of feet of Tony's gutter protection products have been installed in over 200 markets across the USA, Canada and Europe. 


  1. Tony, you make a strong case pointing out some of the flaws in micro-filter products. Here is another one that I regularly see happening to these products. We have squirrels in Minnesota and they like to roam on the rooftop & gutters. Before winter they hoard food for later use and are constantly digging with their sharp nails. I have seen where they ripped the micro-filter to shreds, destroying it. Debris then gets easily caught in the mesh rendering it useless!
    Mark Bj

  2. Mark, thanks for your comment. The micro mesh filters are definitely not the solution they claim to be! We continue to hear about the problems with them. Thanks again for reading!

  3. Tony you are correct. I have run into many of these same situations as customers who had originally purchased and installed Micro Mesh type systems called and asked me remedy their plight. I have several good pictures that shows how the debris creates the bridge and allows rain water to flow over the the front of the gutter. I have also witnessed what Mark stated above with squirrels chewing through the mesh and then using it to build their nest. Unfortunately, the pictures I took of the nest were too dark to show the results. In the past two years I have had to replace close 1,000 feet on of this type of product in order to resolve the additional problems that were caused by the bridging effect.

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