Household gutters are normally subject to leaves, twigs, and other debris gathering inside them. This means they must continually be cleaned out in order for water to flow through them. A gutter cap is a device used to keep these items out of gutters, so they do not become clogged.
A gutter cap is a type of edging placed at the bottom of the roof, near the gutters. It has a sort of lip, which extends over the edge of the gutter slightly. The design of this product allows water to trickle down the cap and into the gutters, where it is diverted away from the house. Leaves and other debris usually blow away from the gutter rather than being drawn into it.
These items are mainly manufactured to look and feel like roofing shingles. They often even feature the same type of granules that household shingles have. A gutter cap can come in many different colors, but is usually a shade of brown, black, or gray, to match the most common brands and colors of shingles used.
The fact that a gutter cap looks and feels much like roofing material means that the product is not usually noticeable when placed on a home. It normally does not detract from the appearance of your roof or gutters. The design of your roof does not need to be altered in order to place this device on it.
A gutter cap should not be confused with a gutter guard, which is basically a screen placed over the top of the gutters themselves. While gutter guards do keep leaves and debris out of the gutters, they often hold these items on the top of the screen. This means they must eventually be cleaned to remove this material from the top. A gutter cap does not hold leaves and debris on the top of its surface.
There are types of gutter caps designed to hold heavy snow. Other types might be better suited for areas that have very hot summers. A more durable variety might be considered if one lives in an area with heavy annual rainfalls.
Gutter caps should be installed by a professional contractor who specializes in roofing. In other words, these products should generally not be installed by a homeowner. The contractor can usually explain the benefits of a gutter cap and provide samples of the material. Depending upon the size of the roof and the location of the home, adding a gutter cap can save a homeowner both time and money.