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Are Gutter Guards a Waste of Money?

January 17, 2024
Angela Stringfellow
Read Time
6 minutes

You’re cleaning out your gutters for the umpteenth time. Or maybe you haven’t gotten around to cleaning them out yet, but you’ve noticed water spilling over the edges.

Maybe I should get some gutter guards, you think.

But would that really solve the problem? Or are gutter guards a waste of money? In this post, we’ll give you all the information you need to decide for yourself whether gutter guards are a worthwhile addition to your home.

In this article:

What Are Gutter Guards?

Gutter guards are devices placed either inside or on top of your existing gutters. They’re designed to keep debris out of your gutters that can build up and cause clogs.

Quality gutter guards keep water flowing easily through your gutters, preventing water damage that can be caused by clogs and warding off mold, mildew, and pests. Some gutter guards also help reduce or even eliminate the need for regularly cleaning out your gutters.

If you’re considering investing in gutter guards, you know how nerve-wracking it can be to make a big decision concerning your home. This is especially true when  you’re making a financial investment, and you may hesitate for fear of making the wrong choice.

You do your research, but the amount of information available is overwhelming. Plus, it can be difficult to determine whether what you’re reading is coming from a reliable source. Below, we’ll discuss whether gutter guards are a smart investment for your home and what to look for when choosing a quality gutter protection system that’s worth the investment.

Are Some Gutter Guards a Waste of Money?

When you first start looking at gutter guards, you may find the cheaper options attractive. They cost less, and you can usually install them yourself. As an added bonus, you can have the whole job done in a weekend—and who doesn’t want to solve their gutter problems quickly?

However, if you choose the wrong type of gutter guards, or if they’re installed incorrectly, you could be wasting your money or even costing yourself more in long-term home maintenance expenses.

Cheaper options, such as foam and brush gutter guards, have low up-front costs and are easy to install. They may work for a short time to keep large debris out.

Smaller debris, however, can still accumulate either on the top of the foam or in the bristles of the brushes. That means you’ll need to regularly clean out your gutters.

In addition, the cleaning process will be more time-consuming, as you’ll have to remove the gutter guards and clean them off before cleaning out the gutters themselves.

Without frequent cleaning, these types of gutter guards are more vulnerable to clogs and will be unsuitable in areas of heavy rains or high winds.

Screen guards work a little more successfully . They have holes that allow water to flow through while stopping large debris like leaves from getting into your gutters. They’re usually more expensive than brush and foam guards, but you can still install them yourself.

However, they’re not ideal in windy climates, as they may be blown out, and they don’t block small debris, so you’ll still have to regularly clean out your gutters.

If you’re hoping your gutter guards will save you time and money in the long run, these three options—foam, brush, and screen—are probably not the best options for you.

Quality Gutter Guards Are Worth the Money

If you spend a little more on your gutter guards, you will likely get better protection.

Mesh gutter guards, for instance, are similar to gutter screens but with smaller holes. They catch more debris and may help reduce the number of gutter cleanings you need to perform per year.

They also last longer than brush, foam, or basic screen guards. Very small debris, however, like dirt, pollen, and pine needles, can still get through. And they still require at least annual cleaning.

Micro-mesh gutter guards are similar, except the holes in the mesh are even smaller. This makes them even more effective at keeping smaller debris out of your gutters. If you have a lot of pine needles, pollen, and dirt clogging your gutters, micro-mesh gutter guards are the best option.

Surface tension gutter guards—the last major type—have a curved edge that helps direct rainwater into the gutter while deflecting debris away. They have a solid metal or plastic cover that creates a sort of “roof” over your existing gutters.

Surface tension guards work well and last a long time, but they are more expensive. It’s also worth noting that some must be inserted under your shingles, which can be problematic for several reasons, which we’ll discuss below.

Beware of Gutter Guards Installed Under Shingles

Try to avoid  gutter guards that require you (or a professional installer) to install them under the first row of shingles. You have to lift the shingles to do this, which can break the roof’s water barrier. That means that your roof will then become vulnerable to water damage.

Installing these types of guards can void your roof warranty. Check your policy—if it has verbiage warning against disturbing the shingles after installation, you could lose insurance protection by installing these types of gutter guards.

This type of installation can also cause severe water runoff over your gutters. It depends on the slope of your roof, but if the gutter guards create too steep an angle, the water may slide right over them and down onto the ground, which can lead to water damage.

LeafFilter Incorporates Mesh and Pitch to Offer the Best Protection

If you’re looking for a quality guard and a return on your investment, LeafFilter offers the best long-term, worry-free solution.

It combines the benefits of a micro-mesh guard with the angled pitch of a surface tension guard. The fine mesh keeps out even small pieces of shingle grit and pollen, while the pitch allows the gutter guard to shed debris without hindering the flow of water to the drain. .

The system is completely sealed and durable, made of a sturdy  uPVC material that doesn’t warp or deteriorate over time. In addition, our gutter guards won’t impact your roof or shingles at all, so you won’t have to worry about making any additional adjustments or changes.

Is It Worth It To Pay For Professional Installation?

When considering whether gutter guards may be worth the money, don’t forget to think about installation costs.

Higher-quality gutter guards—such as mesh, micro-mesh, and surface tension—are more difficult to install and should be handled by a professional. This increases the odds that the gutters will be worth the money in the long run for a couple of reasons.

First, professionally installed gutter guards are usually high-performing and built with durable materials. They will last longer and offer a better return on your investment in terms of protecting your home from water damage caused by clogged gutters and saving you the time and expense of frequent gutter cleanings.

Our gutter guards are professionally installed by a team of expertly trained local professionals, so you won’t have to worry about finding the time to do it yourself. You can also rest easy knowing that your gutter guards are properly installed and performing as they should.

Second, professional installers often offer a warranty on the gutter guards they install. Warranties vary depending on the company but usually safeguard the quality of workmanship, the materials, and the performance for a certain amount of time.

Make sure you understand the warranty’s coverage and exclusions. For example, are you covered if the gutters become blocked?

Fortunately, our gutter guards come with an industry-leading limited lifetime transferable warranty, guaranteeing your gutters are effective and functioning properly through every season for many years to come.

Are Gutter Guards Worth the Money for You?

If you don’t want to have to frequently clean out your gutters or deal with the water damage clogged gutters can cause, purchasing quality gutter guards will likely be worth the money for you. The right gutter guards can reduce home maintenance costs while helping prevent different  types of damage, including damage from water, mold, and pests.

Remember that the wrong gutter guards will be less effective and may cost you more long-term. Choose the best gutter guard for your needs and make sure they’re installed correctly, so that you’re happy with your decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it better not to have gutter guards?

Without gutter guards, your gutters are likely to become clogged, which can lead to extensive water damage to your home. Gutters should be cleaned out at least twice a year, sometimes more, depending on the number of trees around your home and the amount of debris that enters your gutters.

Do gutter guards actually work?

Some gutter guards will keep out only large debris like falling leaves. They won’t work as well at blocking smaller debris like dirt, sand, shingle grit, pollen, and pine needles. Some gutter guards require frequent cleaning for them to remain effective. Quality gutter guards will help protect your home and reduce cleaning requirements at the same time.

Will gutter guards void my roof warranty?

If you purchase the type of gutter guards that have to be installed under your shingles, they may void your roof warranty. Some roof warranties have verbiage that states the shingles must not be disturbed after installation.

Choose professionally installed gutter guards that can be installed without disturbing your shingles.

Do I need gutter guards if I don’t have trees?

Though gutter guards help block falling leaves, they’re not the only type of debris that can accumulate and lead to clogs inside your gutters. Quality gutter guards also help keep out pests, dirt, sand, shingle grit, and other types of debris.