Hydrophilic, Nano-Machined Rain Routing System to Prevent Debris Buildup in Rain Gutters

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A common problem faced by homeowners is debris buildup in roof rain gutters. Addressing this issue requires manual removal of the debris which can be hazardous given the elevation that the work is done on a ladder. Screens and water jets are effective to some degree but eventually buildup of debris requires manual intervention.
To prevent debris buildup, the proposed system employs a hydrophilic material and a reverse angle that routes water around an overhang (which prevents debris from landing in the rain gutter) and delivers the water into the rain gutter. The hydrophilic material used takes advantage of adhesion property of water so it clings to the material as it traverses the reverse angle of the overhang above the existing rain gutter.

The hydrophilic material can be nano-machined to increase the surface area the water clings to. Water dams are part of the system to regulate the flow rate of water sent to the overhang region. No modification of the existing roof or rain gutters is required. The cross-section shown illustrates the components of the proposed system:

• Hydrophilic, nano machined material
• Water dams to regulate water flow rate
• Overhang to prevent debris in rain gutter and routes water into rain gutter
• Existing roof / rain gutter

As water clings to the hydrophilic, nano machined surface of the reverse angle overhang any accompanying debris falls away from the rain gutter while the water is routed to into the rain gutter.

The proposed system is easily fabricated using available hydrophilic materials and nano machining technology. It is an inexpensive and easily installed system that can prevent debris buildup in rain gutters and the hazardous manual requirement of cleaniing.


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