MasterShield Gutter Guard Performance Update – Spring Season

The MasterShield Gutter Guards were installed in January and it’s now middle of June. The trees around my home blossomed in April and May, dropping large amounts of catkins, pollen, Tulip Poplar petals, seeds and some leaves on the roof and gutters. This Mastershield Gutter Guard performance update describes how the new gutter covers performed.

MasterShield Gutter Guard Performance

Overall, the Mastershield Gutter Guard has performed great this winter and spring (installed in January, it’s June as of this update):

  • It’s handled the heaviest rains.
    The roof rainwater runoff soaks through the stainless steel micro mesh within the first inch or so of gutter guard surface area.
  • Nearly all of the Mastershield gutter covers look like new with no buildup of debris.
    Twigs, leaves, seeds and shingle granules either tumble over or wash off the Mastershield Gutter Guards.

The next two photos were taken on June 14 the day after a heavy thunderstorms knocked down trees in my neighborhood, causing power outages and snapping off numerous twigs and leaves.

Mastershield Gutter Guards: June Update

Mastershield Gutter Guards: June Update

View of the garage and 2nd story gutter guards:

MasterShield Gutter Guards Performance: June Update

MasterShield Gutter Guards Performance: June Update

Roof Valley Gutter Guard Cleaning

The only issue I’ve had with the gutter guards has been at three particular locations below high-flow roof valleys to remove very fine catkin fuzz and asphalt buildup earlier this spring. The asphalt buildup is unique because my roof is less than 1 year old and the shingles are leaching tar and fiberglass strands. My local Mastershield installer happily honored my warranty call, explained the problem and cleaned the problem areas within a week.

New Roof Asphalt Leaching:
MasterShield describes the asphalt/tar issue in their article “New Roof Gutter Issues No One Will Mention, But Should“.

This photo was taken in January during a heavy rain, the Mastershield easily handles the high-flow run off below the roof valley:

Mastershield Gutter Guard and Roof Valley

Mastershield Gutter Guard and Roof Valley

Several months later in April, I noticed the rainwater was overshooting the Mastershield gutter guards above the back door. I got my ladder and took this photo which shows the problem: asphalt with embedded fiberglass strands is sticking to the stainless steel mesh at the high flow area below the roof valley:

MasterShield Gutter Guard: April Asphalt Buildup

MasterShield Gutter Guard: April Asphalt Buildup

A closer look at the asphalt buildup. If you look closely, the black asphalt build up looks stringy, that’s the shingle fiberglass strands:

Asphalt and Fiberglass Strand Buildup on the Gutter Guard Mesh

Asphalt and Fiberglass Strand Buildup on the Gutter Guard Mesh

Asphalt was buildup was also present at two other high flow roof valleys. Otherwise, the Mastershield Gutter Guards looked like new everywhere else. I called my local local Mastershield installer who cleaned the asphalt buildup. He explained what’s happening here:

  • I have a new roof that is less than 1 year old.
  • The shingle ends are cut along the roof valley, leaving a raw edge on the shingle (see the following photo).
  • Rain washes the asphalt (tar, oils) and fiberglass strands from the cut ends of the shingles (asphalt leaching), which get filtered by the stainless steel micro mesh of the gutter guard, causing the buildup.
  • He explained the asphalt buildup is cleaned by spraying on carburetor cleaner and wiping off the asphalt with a paper towel.
    The carburetor cleaner evaporates within seconds.
  • As the roof ages, the asphalt leaching will diminish.
  • Call MasterShield if it needs cleaning again at no charge.
Shingles Cut at the Roof Valley

Shingles Cut at the Roof Valley

I inspected the 1st and 2nd story gutters and the MasterShield Gutter Guards were clean everywhere else:

MasterShield Gutter Guard on the 2nd Story

MasterShield Gutter Guard on the 2nd Story

Cleaning Catkin Fuzz and Asphalt Buildup

By June the rain water was overshooting the gutter guards below the roof valley again. When I reinspected the gutter guards, I saw some asphalt buildup but the main culprit was something else; matted catkin fuzz and pollen:

MasterShield Gutter Guard June Update: Catkin Fuzz and Asphalt

MasterShield Gutter Guard June Update: Catkin Fuzz and Asphalt

I could have called my MasterShield dealer to have the gutter guards cleaned under the No Clog Warranty, but since I’m already on the ladder and know what to do, I cleaned it myself in a few minutes. First, the catkin fuzz was brushed off by brushing sideways across the stainless steel micro mesh. The fuzz came off easily:

Gutter Guards: Cleaning the Catkin Fuzz

Gutter Guards: Cleaning the Catkin Fuzz

My house is surrounded by oak and hickory trees that produce tremendous amounts of catkins (long stringy flowers) and huge amounts of pollen that coats everything in pale yellow dust. The catkin flowers have a fine fuzz (like a dandelion flower seed) that was filtered by the stainless steel gutter guard micro mesh.

Matted Oak Tree Catkin Fuzz

Matted Oak Tree Catkin Fuzz

This photo illustrates how the rain water is focused on this section of gutter guard below the roof valley:

Gutter Guard Asphalt Buildup Below the High Flow Roof Valley

Gutter Guard Asphalt Buildup Below the High Flow Roof Valley

The asphalt build up below the high-flow roof valley clearly has diminished as the roof ages compared to when it was cleaned in April (recall this photo was taken in June):

Gutter Guard Asphalt Buildup from New Shingles

Gutter Guard Asphalt Buildup from New Shingles

Carburetor cleaner (widely available at auto parts stores) is sprayed on the asphalt:

Cleaning Asphalt Buildup with Carburetor Cleaner

Cleaning Asphalt Buildup with Carburetor Cleaner

Then the asphalt is wiped off with a paper towel. The carburetor cleaner evaporates quickly and leaves no residue.

Cleaning Asphalt off Gutter Guards

Cleaning Asphalt off Gutter Guards

The MasterShield Gutter Guard is good as new:

MasterShield Gutter Guard after Cleaning the Asphalt and Catkin Fuzz

MasterShield Gutter Guard after Cleaning the Asphalt and Catkin Fuzz

My Little Giant Select Step 6 to 10 feet adjustable step ladder made the job easy:

Little Giant Select Step 6 to 10 Feet Adjustable Step Ladder 15109-001

Little Giant Select Step 6 to 10 Feet Adjustable Step Ladder 15109-001

My house in suburban Atlanta is surrounded by tall trees that shed a large amount of debris on the roof:

Tree Canopy

Tree Canopy

MasterShield Opinion Thus Far

MasterShield Gutter Guards have performed really well:

  • Handles heavy rainfall.
  • Large debris (sticks, leaves, seeds) tumble over or wash off the gutter guards.
  • Minor problem with fine matted catkin fuzz at the two high flow roof valleys on the rear of the house that receives majority of the tree droppings. The bunches of catkins strings themselves did not accumulate.
  • Some asphalt and fiberglass buildup at just three high flow roof valleys which is unique due to the new roof that will diminish over time.
  • MasterShield honored the No Clog Warranty and cleaned the gutter guards when called.

Continue reading for the Fall Season performance update.

Thanks for reading,

Bob Jackson

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