To assess whether or not gutter guards cause problems, it is important to understand the various types of gutter guards and their pros and cons.
Brush Gutter Guards
Brush gutter guards are made up of bristles resembling giant pipe cleaners that fit inside your gutters. The bristles on these guards are in an upright position, which causes leaves and other debris to stay on top of them while also allowing rain water to move through your gutters.
- They can be installed effortlessly.
- Smaller debris, like maple spinners and pine needles, can get caught in the bristles.
- These can get clogged very easily.
- In order to clean out your gutters and remove smaller debris, you have to take these guards out completely.
These can end up being more of a hassle than not having guards. It may be in your best interest to avoid brush gutter guards.
Foam Gutter Guards
Foam gutter guards are foam pieces that fit inside your gutters. Having these guards in place stops debris from building up in your gutters.
- Foam gutter guards are reasonably priced and easy to install.
- It’s possible for seedlings and trees to grow inside foam guards, which can cause damage.
- Clogs can easily form on top of these guards as debris builds up on them.
- Some of these guards can be fire hazards.
- You have to take these guards out to clean your gutters, then reinstall them afterward, which requires more effort than not having any gutter protection.
Foam gutter guards might be cheap, but they are not worth the cost or the extra time needed to maintain them.
Reverse Curve or Surface Tension Gutter Guards
Reverse curve or surface tension gutter guards are designed to move rainwater down. They also cause leaves and other debris to drop down to the ground rather than collecting in your gutters. This style is fashioned after the original LeafGuard Gutter System’s patented design. They work but are not as durable as the LeafGuard seamless one-piece design.
- Most are professionally installed. Some also have a warranty, which offers peace of mind.
- These guards are better options than foam or brush guards.
- They can lower your home’s curb appeal, since they are noticeable from the ground.
- The cost of installation can add up, since some companies also make you buy new gutters.
- They don’t work as effectively as they should. Clogs can form when debris builds up in the opening. You might also have a pest problem if bees or wasps get through the opening and build nests in your gutters.
- They often are installed in connection with the roof or under shingles which can void roof warranties and also allow for water intrusion to bypass the roof drip edge.
Reverse curve or surface tension gutter guards should be avoided. They are only a short-term solution, not a long-term one.
These are screens with large openings or holes that fit onto the top of your gutters. You can install them on your own or have them installed professionally.
- Screens are fairly easy to install yourself.
- They are an affordable option.
- The large openings or holes in these make it possible for debris to get through.
- They can blow off your gutters during storms or heavy wind.
- They can become clogged unless you take them out and clean your gutters. Removing covers to clean gutters can expose you to cuts in handling the exposed metal edges.
These might be a suitable option if you need an affordable solution, but keep in mind you will have to remove them and clean your gutters at least once a year.
Micro mesh gutter guards have tiny holes that are barely visible to the naked eye. These guards, which are typically made of stainless steel, allow water through while keeping debris out.
- They don’t allow anything to enter the gutter.
- Most of the time, they are backed by a warranty.
- They are professionally installed.
- It may be difficult to find a quality system.
- They cost more than DIY solutions.
- High volumes of water can flow across the screens and not enter the gutters.
- They do require regular maintenance to prevent the micro mesh from clogging with pollen, dust, road dust, etc. over time.
Micro mesh gutter guards are your best bet to protect your gutters if you decide to go that route.
All in all, add-on gutter covers do cause problems. LeafGuard Gutters offer a permanent solution with no drawbacks, that look great too! People love their LeafGuard Gutters for how they look, because they never have to clean gutters again, and for the great people who install them. Read their comments here. Compare LeafGuard Gutters to the other options and you’ll feel satisfied knowing you got the best value available. Seamless gutters with downspouts to complete the system that will never clog.