Welcome to my review of the Gutter Hedgehog, a simple filtration device designed to keep leaves and other large objects out of the roof guttering system.
The Gutter Hedgehog (available to buy from Amazon with free shipping) is a brush filter that sits snugly inside the roof guttering and is designed to keep out most of the leaves, moss and twigs etc that usually wash down the roof causing expensive blockages. These blockages often occur in the guttering but can sometimes happen in the underground drains that can be very costly to unblock/clear.
The Hedgehog can be fitted to any size guttering as it is manufactured in several sizes. It can be inserted as part of a new guttering installation or too old gutters that are many years old.
This product is manufactured with a wire core interwoven with UV resistant plastic bristles. In theory, large items of debris such as broad leaves are kept out of the rainwater system and simply blow away with the wind.
This Hedgehog filter is really easy to install, you just need a ladder, some snips to cut the cable and something to tie it to the guttering with, like a long cable tie. I know that recently the manufacturer started to sell specialist clips to secure it tightly in the gutter. If I am honest, I think you can save quite a bit of money by tying the Hedgehog to the gutter with some coated wire such as this 😉
It doesn’t clog up as easily as some other guards I have previously tested such as the foam inserts (See my photographs showing how utterly useless foam filters were) or flimsy mesh but the Hedgehog is sometimes visible from ground level and certainly from any overlooking windows.
Overall I like this product, but like all other gutter leaf guards I have tested it doesn’t keep out everything, for example pine needles will get caught in the brush and just block the flow of water into the guttering.
This product has many advantages over traditional gutter mesh, such as:
- Doesn’t collapse into the gutter like flimsy gutter mesh often does
- Really really easy to fit, you just need a ladder, some cutters and a bit of plastic coated wire to tie around the gutter to keep it in place
- Easy to remove should you ever need to
- Cost effective and cheaper than some gutter foam inserts and other complicated systems
Like all gutter filters there are some things to be aware of:
- Might be visible from ground level
- Won’t offer 100% protection against small particles like pine needles or fine roof moss
All gutter guards (see complete list here) require some form of maintenance and should only ever be seen as a product to reduce, not eliminate that maintenance.
When installing a filter it is essential that the product can be easy removed and re-fitted. A product that requires lots of tools and parts (bolts, screws etc) will result in higher maintenance and repair costs in the future should the gutter ever need a clear out.
Stick to simple, easy to install and maintain products.
The Hedgehog is still a fairly new product here in the U.K so time will tell if it’s to be a long term success. It has been sold in the United States for a longer period of time buy they have different gutter systems so a direct comparison isn’t possible.
I suspect that this Gutter Hedgehog will work very well if the homeowner first removes any moss from the roof, treats it with a moss killer to prevent early regrowth, trims back overhanging tree branches and uses the guard on a house that is not close to pine trees or other trees that produce small seeds or leaves.
The Problem With Roof Moss
With over 16 years experience in the roofing and guttering trade, I would like to think I know all about the problems that roof moss can cause to guttering system and underground drains.
When the roof moss dries in the summer it comes loose from the surface of the roof tile, rainwater then washes it down into the gutter. Here it breaks down into a sludge, it then reduces the flow rate of the water in the guttering system, or even worse combines with leaves and twigs to cause a blockage.
All gutter guards struggle with moss, they usually clog or allow the moss to pass through into the guttering. For this reason I always recommend having the roof moss removed before installing a new gutter guard.