Any veteran homeowner knows that it is important to keep track of the seasons, fall and winter particularly. You remind yourself of the seasons, because one of the largest extra costs new homeowners rarely expect to deal with is that of roof repair. Roof problems are usually attributed to gutter problems. Leaves and debris clogging a traditional gutter in fall, can become the greatest nightmare when the snow piles up in winter. The biggest known catastrophes are roof cave ins, tilting, roof warping, and erosion from downpour, around the foundation and other important areas.
Do it yourselfers may have installed downspout additives, already. These come in a variety of types: a dripper flipper, a splash box, a flexible elbow, a strainer, a cap, or a wedge. Some choose to use a combination of products to ease though the seasons, while others may even make their own devices. It is important to keep your particular home set-up in mind, as well as your budget. While some products like the flipper or elbow redirect water flow and a splash box will help ease the foundation erosion at the point of exit, a simple wedge downspout screen will work wonders for the lazy and overactive alike; with or without a contractor for installation.
A wedge downspout screen sits on the corner of the gutter and downspout; this is known as the roof valley. The wedge works to either push debris up and away from the downspouts entry point, or as a catching mesh system. The ultimate purpose is to prevent clogging by using the force of the rushing water as leverage. When a storm hits you, want your downspouts to be clear of debris; allowing easy flow-through and passage for water unhindered.
Now for the negative, a wedge downspout screen only works on debris cleanup, not for winter ice that may build up. A wedge downspout screen is best used in combination with heater cables or a heated cap, on a standard gutter guard. If you are looking into a company to complete you gutter installation for you, make sure they have spoken to you about the dangers of ice cycle build up, and don't allow then to get away with the "everything will work out." motto. This is your home, receive a full damages guarantee, or look elsewhere.
There is nothing to fear come Mother Nature's seasonal whims. Put in a little bit of research and effort, along with a new wedge downspout screen. Make this year a time of peace and gutter ease, without having to break the bank.