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What Are the Pros and Cons of Gutter Guards?

February 4, 2024
Angela Stringfellow
Read Time
4 minutes

You’ve probably seen advertisements for gutter guards: they’re designed to keep debris like leaves, pine needles, and bird droppings from forming clogs inside your gutters. But can you really trust the ads?

We get it. You see ads all day long; surely not all these products can do what they claim. And with so many options, it can be difficult to determine what’s useful and what’s not.

Let’s take a look at how gutter guards work, the pros and cons of gutter guards, and some issues that people often ask about. Having the info you need will allow you to make the best decision for your home.

In this article:

How Do Gutter Guards Work?

First, it’s important to understand that there are different types of gutter guards and a number of factors to consider. They work in different ways, and they have different levels of reliability.

The most reliable gutter guards are mesh or micromesh gutter guards, which are made of a fine stainless steel micromesh that allows water to flow through while blocking debris from entering the gutters.

Micromesh gutter guards not only prevent leaves from entering your gutters, but they also block much smaller debris, including pine needles, shingle grit, and even pollen.

Screen gutter guards work in a similar way, but the perforated cover has larger holes. While larger pieces of debris will wash or blow away, smaller bits like shingle grit will tend to accumulate in the gutters, potentially causing clogs.

Surface tension gutter guards extend past the gutter’s edge, allowing debris to be deflected while rainwater can fall into the gutters. Unfortunately, these don’t always work well during heavy rainfall.

Foam and brush gutter guards both act as a barrier inside the gutter in an effort to keep debris out. These are sometimes used as temporary gutter guards, as they need to be replaced frequently.

The Pros of Gutter Guards

The advantages of gutter guards vary depending on the type. Here are some of the biggest benefits of gutter guards:

  • Clog prevention. The main pro of having gutter guards professionally installed is that you’ll have fewer clogs (or even none!) inside your gutters. This is because debris that would normally fill up the gutters over time (pine needles, leaves, twigs, shingle grit, etc.) is prevented from getting into the gutter in the first place.
  • Less maintenance. When you don’t have debris entering your gutters, you won’t need to clean out the gutters as often or, in some cases, at all.
  • Longer gutter lifespan. If the gutters aren’t getting clogged and stagnant water isn’t left sitting inside them, you’re less likely to experience rusting and other damage.
  • Less damage to the roof and foundation. If water isn’t allowed to sit or overflow, you’re less likely to have water seeping into your roof, walls, and foundation. This can help you avoid water damage from clogged gutters—and the high cost of water damage restoration.

Remember, this will depend on the type of gutter guards you choose. For example, if you choose foam gutter guards, you might find that twigs and leaves get caught in them, leading to clogs. In some cases, seeds can end up in the foam and begin sprouting.

Choose a proven solution to clogged gutters like this patented gutter protection system to take advantage of all the benefits of an effective gutter guard solution.

The Cons of Gutter Guards

As an educated consumer, you should also understand the potential disadvantages of gutter guards. Here they are:

  • Initial cost. Depending on the type of gutter guards you choose, your initial investment might be relatively large. However, this investment will pay off as you save money on home maintenance and add value to your home.
  • Ice dams. Ice dams can form on the edge of your roof if you’re in a cold climate with snowy winters. Certain types of gutter guards, such as surface tension or reverse curve gutter guards, can exacerbate the issue, resulting in damage to your roof. Remember that micromesh guards help prevent clogs from forming inside your gutters. This allows melting snow to flow through and divert away from your home rather than pool up and freeze at the edge of your roof.
  • Small debris accumulation. Depending on the type of gutter guards you choose, you still might get debris like pine needles and shingle grit in your gutters. This is more common with larger screens and metal perforations. Look for gutter guards that block the smallest debris—such as pollen—from entering your gutters.
  • Large debris accumulation. Installing brush or foam gutter guards can cause large debris to accumulate inside your gutters unless you remove the gutter guards to clean out your gutters frequently.

We recommend LeafFilter gutter protection to avoid the potential disadvantages of other types of gutter guards and take advantage of all the benefits of a proven, award-winning gutter protection system. Learn why over 1.2 million homeowners have trusted LeafFilter gutter guards to protect their homes, or call us today at 1-800-290-6106 for a free quote.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much do gutter guards cost?

The cost of gutter guards varies widely. Getting a free estimate from our professional team helps to clarify what the needs are for your home, based on its size and the surrounding debris-causing elements, such as overhanging trees.

Some additional factors that impact the cost of gutter guards include the linear feet of your gutters, the type and size of your current gutters, whether downspouts need to be replaced, and if there are areas of high debris that need more work. You can find more information on our estimate process page.

What kind of maintenance do gutter guards require?

With some types of gutter guards, you’ll need to clean out your gutters regularly. With micromesh gutter guards, you won’t need to worry about cleaning out your gutters again. Our award-winning, patented design blocks even the smallest debris—everything but water—from entering your gutters, preventing clogs from forming inside your gutters.

Are gutter guards really worth it?

Nobody wants to spend money on services they don’t need. We totally understand that! If you’re considering gutter guards, check out our reviews and see why tens of thousands of customers have already put their trust in us. Our patented gutter protection system is designed to keep your gutters clog-free for life, so you won’t have to worry about cleaning out your gutters again, saving you both time and money in the long run.

Is gutter guard installation available near me?

Of course! Gutter guards installers are available in all over the US. Here are locations near you.