Informational Guide

Are Gutter Guards Worth It?

Gutter guards are used to protect your gutters from debris & buildup. Many people swear by these accessories but are gutter guards worth it?

by Josh Mitchell

Gutter guards are often touted as a way to protect your gutters from debris and buildup. Many people swear by these accessories that they are really useful. But are gutter guards worth it?

We put together this guide on the pros and cons of gutter guards and whether they are worth it or not.  

Gutter guards basically just provide a shield to keep leaves, sticks, and other debris out of your gutters. Debris can clog your gutters and lead to water backup and damage. 

Water damage to your roof or walls can cost thousands to repair, so gutter guards are often touted as a way to prevent your gutters from sustaining unnecessary damage.  

There are a few major types of gutter guards that work differently. 

  • Brush guard
    Brush guards are bristled wires that can keep birds and insects out. But they are not very good at keeping sticks and leaves out. 
  • Foam guards
    Foam gutter guards are made from foam that filters out while trapping dirt and other large debris like sticks and leaves. Foam guards are cheap and easy to install, but they are not very durable. 
  • Mesh guards
    Mesh guards have a metal mesh that covers the gutter and filters out most debris while letting water through. Mesh guards are flexible and can be screwed or adhered into place. 
  • Perforated guards
    Perforated gutter guards are made out of a flat metal sheet with holes drilled in it. These kinds of guards work well and keep most debris out. 
How Do Gutter Guards Work

Are Gutter Guards Worth It or a Waste of Money? 

Advantages of Gutter Guards 

  • Save time & money
    Gutters are easy to install and can be a quick fix instead of a big workaround or work job. Gutter guards are cheap to buy and highly versatile, so you can install them on basically any gutter system. 
  • Avoid mice and insect infestations
    Gutter guards can also keep insects, mice, and other critters out of your gutters. Insects come to feed on decaying plant matter, and birds like to make nests in gutters, which can cause blockages. Gutter guards keep the animals and debris out. 
  • Helps alleviate ice dams and gutter freezing
    Gutter guards can also prevent blockages that lead to standing water and ice dams. If water gets trapped due to clogged drains, then it can freeze and cause roof damage. Ice dams can also lead to permanent wall damage. 
  • Fire protection
    Gutters clogged with plant matter can ignite in very hot conditions or make an existing flame much worse. Gutter guards keep flammable materials from getting stuck in your gutters and reduce any potential fire hazards that might occur near the roof of your home.
  • Improve resale value of home
    Most new home buyers will appreciate never having to clean out the gutters again. Gutter guards can improve the home resale value by providing protection against long-term damages that clogged gutters can cause. Gutter guards can generate an 83% return on investment in the resale of your home’s value. 
  • Prevent premature rust and corrosion
    Gutter guards keep standing water out of clogged pipes, which can cause rust and damage your gutters. Gutters are often made of aluminum and other metals that will rust if left in contact with water. Gutter guards make sure no water gets trapped by debris and causes rust spots. 
  • Improves gutter water flow
    Gutter guards also improve drain water flow by keeping blockages out. Continual water flow reduces the risk of overflowing, which can cause structural damage to your home. Clogged gutters cause water back up, which damages our roof, walls, and siding.

Disadvantages of Gutter Guards 

  • Can lead to water bypass
     If there is heavy water flow, gutter guards can prevent that water from going into your drains. As a body of water moves quickly, it moves like a single unit, so it cannot seep into the holes in the guards and go down the drain system. 
  • Adds weight and strain to the gutter system
    Gutter guards can also add unnecessary strain to your gutter system. Gutters are not designed to hold any substantial weight, so if your guards are too heavy, they can pull them off the walls when stressed. They can also cause gutters to bend. 
  • Can be expensive
    Gutter guards are usually pretty cheap, but some models can get pretty expensive, especially if you have a large house and an extensive gutter system to fix. Gutter guards cost anywhere between $0.50 to $10 per foot, depending on the kind of guard and material used. 
Are Gutter Guards Worth It Or A Waste Of Money? Pros & Cons

Common Mistakes When Installing Gutter Guards 

  • Nailing on the roof
    Nailing through the roof instead of the wall or other side of the gutter can damage the shingles and make them fall off. 
  • Lifting the shingles
    Lifting the shingles can break the seal integrity of your roof, leading to water damage. 
  • Getting the wrong size
    If the guards are too small, you can bend your gutters if you try to stretch them over the other side. 
  • Forgetting the downspouts
    A lot of homeowners forget to put screens over the downspouts, so this can still get covered with debris.
  • Damaging the gutters
    Screwing the gutters in too hard can cause the metal to crack or fracture. 

People also Ask (FAQs)

Are gutter splash guards necessary? 

Gutter splash guards or rain guards might be necessary if you live in a place that has heavy rainfall during the year.  

Should you knock down icicles from gutters? 

You can knock off small icicles, but we do not recommend knocking off large icicles. Large icicles can fall and hurt you. Instead, find quality gutter guards made for cold weather climates.

How do I keep my gutters from freezing in the winter? 

The best way to keep your gutters from freezing in the winter is to make sure your roof is adequately ventilated and that it is properly insulated.  


Conclusion

Gutter guards have several advantages, but they also have a few disadvantages. However, for most homeowners, gutter guards are worth the purchase and can save your time and money on your home.  

Josh enjoys researching, testing and diving into home improvement & DIY products. He has a passion for tools, learning new skills and fixing the everyday problems that arise around the house.

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