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Gutter-Related Health & SafetyGuttersUncategorized

Want Cleaner Lakes and Rivers? Install Gutter Guards!

By November 5, 2012No Comments

Every person wants to do what he or she can to help out the environment. Even before being eco-friendly became de rigueur, Americans were very careful to protect their lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water. That meant refraining from littering on or around natural water sources, and disposing of oil or other toxic substances properly instead of simply pouring them into the sewers.

Now, there’s another way that homeowners can help keep their lakes and rivers clean: by installing gutter guards!

Gutter Guards are “Green”

Obviously, gutter guards can repel twigs, leaves, and pine needles so that gutters allow runoff water to flow freely through them instead of being blocked by clogged debris. But here’s something that might surprise you: keeping small amounts of leaves out of gutters is equally important, even if there isn’t enough debris to form a blockage. That’s because the flowing water can pick up these leaves and carry them through downspouts, down driveways and sidewalks, and into sewers — and ultimately deposit them into rivers and streams.

Here’s the problem: these leaves carry nutrients which act as pollutants in natural bodies of water. These nutrients help accelerate the growth of algae in water, which becomes apparent when the surfaces of rivers and lakes are covered with a greenish scum. The algae makes natural water sources much more unsightly and unclean.

With gutter guards, these leaves never make it to the sewers. They simply slide off the top of the gutter guards and onto the ground below, where they either pass their nutrients into the soil (where they can be used for plant growth) or remain on the earth until they can be gathered up by the homeowner and disposed of in an appropriate manner.

They Protect and Filter

But gutter guards possess even more environmentally-friendly qualities. Not only do they prevent the flow of leaves into gutters, but they also help “clean” the runoff water that does flow into sewers.

Roofs are incredibly dirty and unsanitary places. In addition to the dirt and animal waste that can be found on almost any roof, the degradation of shingles releases oil and tar particulates onto the surface. All of this detritus gets washed into open gutters during a rainstorm along with the runoff water. As a result, the water which eventually flows into the sewers is more polluted than the rainwater which falls directly to the ground.

Gutter guards serve as a “filter” for that filthy rooftop runoff water. Many of the large particulates are repelled away from the gutters and do not fall into the flowing water that exits through the downspouts. So this detritus does not get washed into sewers (and ultimately the lakes and rivers). Gutter guards filter this debris so well that they are often used in lieu of a “first flush” filtering system for rainwater harvesting processes.

So if you’re trying to help save the planet, consider having gutter guards installed on your home today. Not only do they free you up from cleaning out your gutters, but they also have a positive effect on the environment!