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Do I Need Leaf Guards on My Gutters?

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The gutters on your home can get dirty and clogged with debris, such as leaves or mud. Some homeowners have installed leaf guards to help keep this debris out of the gutter system. While these types of guards can do a good job if they’re installed right, they don’t negate the need to have your gutters inspected at least once or twice a year.

There are a variety of leaf guards on the market, and as the old adage goes, you get what you pay for. Typically, the ones that work the best are also the ones that cost the most. Even the best, most expensive guards can’t keep everything out, however. Seeds, insects, and small pieces of dirt can still get into the gutter system. Some gutter guards are installed in such a way that they actually make the cleaning of this debris more difficult than it otherwise would be. 

Brush guards and foam guards get dirty over time. Debris often gets caught in the brushes of brush guards, causing a clog. While the guards are easy to lift and clean around, they require cleaning more frequently. With foam guards, the debris collects around the edges and underneath the foam. The foam can be raised up and cleaned in sections. Mesh guards are easy to lift and clean, and putting them back into position is relatively straightforward. Gutter covers are the most durable type of guard, but they’re also the most difficult to clean, as they are securely installed. To ensure the covers don’t get broken, it’s best to leave cleaning and maintenance of these to a professional.

Ultimately, leaf guards are kinds of a mixed bag. On the plus side, they do a relatively good job of keeping most debris out of the gutter system. On the negative side, however, the most effective guards are the most expensive, and in the end, they don’t keep all the debris out. Also, they don’t absolve you of the need to inspect the gutter system regularly to ensure there are no problems.

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