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Should You DIY Gutter Guards?

January 27, 2024
Sarah Mason
Read Time
6 minutes

An overflowing or clogged gutter is nobody’s idea of a good time. Clogged gutters cause water overflow, resulting in water damage to your walls, roof, and foundation.

One way to prevent debris from entering in and clogging your gutters is to install gutter guards. However, if you’re like most homeowners, you’re probably wondering whether you can or should install your own DIY gutter guards.

In this article, we’ll take a look at what needs to be considered when choosing gutter guards and the pros and cons of installing them yourself.

In this article:

The Different Types of Gutter Guards

First, it can help to know your options. There are various types of gutter guards, and all options have different features. These features will determine how well they prevent debris from getting into your gutters, how easy or difficult they are to install, and how well they’ll stand up to the elements across all seasons throughout the year.

Screen and Mesh Gutter Guards

Screen and mesh are two different materials, but the main difference is the size of the holes. They’re both made of either plastic or metal woven in a way that leaves tiny spaces for water to flow through.

Screen gutter guards have larger holes, meaning tiny debris like grit and small pine needles can enter your gutters in addition to water. Mesh gutter guards have smaller holes, so they’re less likely to let in smaller debris.

Screening is easier to install, but it’s very lightweight and can become misshapen or even blow away in windy weather. Mesh gutter guards perform better, but tend to be more difficult to install.

Micro-mesh gutter guards are the best option. Micro-mesh gutter guards block even the smallest debris (such as pollen), allowing only water to get through.

Foam Gutter Guards

Foam gutter guards sit inside the gutter, with the intention to have water flowing through while debris gets caught. Oftentimes, however, the foam will end up deteriorating and can actually cause gutter clogs, rather than prevent them.

These types of gutter guards can also catch seeds. When they do, they essentially become potting material that allows seedlings to grow, which can cause damage to the gutters.

Foam gutter guards are easy to install, but they’re not an effective solution overall. If needed, they can serve as a temporary solution while you wait for a professional to install your mesh gutter guards.

Surface-tension Gutter Guards

These gutter guards consist of pieces of plastic or aluminum that mount inside the top of your gutters. They’re solid on top and have holes or slits on the sides that allow water to run into the gutter through the holes. Leaves, pine needles, and other debris flow right off the gutter guards and onto the ground.

These work quite well, but they’re not easy to install. Also, many of these will install right up against or under your shingles, so they could potentially cause some water damage to your roof if the water accumulates. We recommend professional gutter guard installation, especially if you’re considering gutter guards that are difficult to install.

Brush Gutter Guards

Brush gutter guards sit inside your gutter and collect debris rather than letting it block up your downspouts. They’re easy to install and inexpensive, so they are sometimes a popular DIY option.

Unfortunately, brush gutter guards require a high level of maintenance, as they tend to get clogged with debris pretty frequently. They’re also prone to degradation over time, so they will generally need to be replaced every couple of years—meaning ongoing replacement costs and the time it takes to install them.

Given the potential downsides of many types of gutters and the difficulty of installing them, it makes sense to turn to professionals. Choose a proven gutter protection system that is designed to keep your gutters clog-free for life while ensuring you don’t need to clean out your gutters again.

Check out the video below to learn more about the different types of gutter guards.

The Alternatives to Gutter Guards

The main alternative to installing gutter guards is to simply not install them at all. You’d need to then clean out your gutters at least twice a year. There are a few ways to approach the task of cleaning your gutters, such as:

  • Climbing a ladder and using a gutter scoop to manually remove debris
  • Using a leaf blower or shop vac to blow dry leaves and debris out of the gutters
  • Using a pressure washer or garden hose attachment to wash the dirt and grime out of the gutters
  • Hiring a professional to clean out your gutters

Even if you install gutter guards, you may need to clean out your gutters occasionally, depending on the type you are using. But if you choose to not install them at all, it’s a certainty that they’ll need to be cleaned seasonally, usually in the late spring and late fall. However, choosing professionally installed gutter guards means you’ll never have to worry about cleaning out your gutters again with our clog-free guarantee.

The Benefits of Installing Your Own Gutter Guards

Some of the advantages of installing gutter guards on your own are:

  • Initial savings without paying for labor
  • The ability to customize the guards as desired
  • The ability to install the guards when it’s most convenient for you
  • The sense of satisfaction if you enjoy working with your hands

The Drawbacks of Installing Your Own Gutter Guards

There are also disadvantages to installing your own gutter guards. These include:

  • A lack of skill or knowledge
  • A lack of the correct tools for the job
  • More costs incurred if adjustments are needed or damage occurs from improper fit and installation
  • Safety concerns when using ladders and other equipment
  • The amount of time it takes out of your weekend or time off
  • The potential for damaging your roof or home
  • Incorrectly installed guards can lead to water damage later

With all things considered like time, safety, money, and proper service, it makes sense to avoid these drawbacks and consider a gutter protection system that is installed by experienced local professionals.

Final Thoughts: Should You DIY Gutter Guards?

If you have a lot of DIY experience with similar projects, it’s possible to install gutter guards yourself. With that being said, there are some styles of gutter guards that are simpler to install than others. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how often to clean them to prevent clogs and other issues.

However, we always recommend professional gutter guard installation to ensure that they’re properly installed and will adequately protect your home.

Professionally installed gutter guards are more likely to last longer and prevent water damage to your roof, siding, and foundation. In fact, LeafFilter’s gutter guards are a permanent solution to clogged gutters. Backed by a transferable lifetime warranty, you can feel confident that LeafFilter’s performance and durability are superior.

To learn more, call us today at 1-800-290-6106 or visit for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it difficult to install gutter guards?

If you have the right tools and supplies, and if you’re skilled at other types of DIY projects, you may be able to install some types of gutter guards. However, professional gutter guard installation is always the best option, even for experienced DIY-ers, and it offers several benefits.

For example, professionally installed gutter guards eliminate the need to clean out your gutters. Because they’re a permanent solution to clogged gutters, you can enjoy the freedom and peace of mind by saving time and money that would have otherwise been spent on the recurring need to clean out your gutters.

Our full-service treatment includes repairing broken gutters and realigning your existing gutters to ensure that your new gutter protection performs the job effectively from day one. Not only will you receive full-service treatment, but you also receive a lifetime warranty that’s transferable to a new owner should you ever sell your home.

Why is gutter guard installation expensive?

When you hire a professional, you’re paying for their higher quality tools and materials in addition to their time and expertise. However, the gutter guards will likely come with a warranty, and they’ll be installed correctly without requiring you to risk your safety or give hours of your time away.

For instance, our gutter guards are backed by a lifetime warranty, and we offer reliable year-round installation provided by our team of experienced professionals located near you. By having gutter guards installed professionally, you won’t have to worry about the task of cleaning out your gutter guards – saving you both time and money in the long run.

With all factors included, the initial monetary expense of hiring professionals is higher than if you were to complete the job yourself, however, with safety and time in mind, what you save in these areas is priceless.

Can gutters get clogged with DIY gutter guards?

Yes, gutters can get clogged with DIY gutter guards. Foam inserts and brush gutter guards need to be cleaned regularly to prevent clogs. Mesh guards and surface-tension gutter guards tend not to get clogged, but they still might need attention periodically.

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