Informational Guide

Do Gutter Guards Really Work?

Do gutter guards really work? This guide will help explain how gutter guards work and whether they actually have an impact.

by Josh Mitchell

Gutters are essential to help protect your home and remove rainwater from your roof as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

Gutters can take some upkeep, but gutter guards are designed to help protect them and limit the amount of time you’ll have to spend keeping them clean. 

So do gutter guards really work? And are they worth the investment? This guide will help explain how gutter guards work and whether they actually have an impact.   

Gutter guards are designed to prevent your gutters from becoming clogged with debris. There’s a few different types of gutter guard which all do the same thing, but use slightly different techniques.  

Two of the most affordable and effective gutter guards are brush and foam. Brush guards are the most common and are made up of bristles that slide right into your gutter. Brush guards help keep any leaves or debris from the gutter itself, and you can slide them right out when they need to be changed. 

Foam gutter guards are also common and work similarly, fitting right into your gutter and keeping debris out. More expensive gutter guards include micro mesh and screen guards. These fit on top of a gutter and have holes that allow water to pass through but no debris. This helps prevent blockages that might stop water from flowing from your roof to the drains. 

Gutter guards aren’t overly complicated; they just seek to put a shield over your gutter and help keep leaves, sticks, and other debris out while still allowing the rainwater to flow freely.  

How Do Gutter Guards Work

Do Gutter Guards Work During Heavy Rain?  

Heavy rain puts an extra strain on your gutter guards because there are higher volumes of water to deal with. This is when you need your gutters the most, but unfortunately, some gutter guards just won’t work when conditions get too wet.  

Surface tension gutter guards work really well in heavy rain. These are sloped and force water through the gutters, so in heavy rain conditions, they become more effective. Unfortunately, foam based gutter guards don’t work as well in heavy rain because they only allow a small trickle of water through at a time. This can lead to flooding in heavy rain conditions. This is the same for most mesh or screen gutter guards too.  

Often, heavy rain and stormy conditions will bring increased amounts of debris as well as more rain. A well-designed gutter guard can help prevent overflowing because they stop debris blocking your gutter when they need to be working most effectively. 

Look for specialist gutter guards with wide spouts, troughs, and holes to drain water just as quickly as it comes in. To find a suitable gutter guard, you should look for models that advertise themselves as working year-round because they should accommodate wetter conditions.   

Do Gutter Guards Work

Do Gutter Guards Keep The Pine Needles Out?

Pine trees are lovely to look at and smell, but pine needles can be a real pain, especially for your gutters. Each pine needle on its own is manageable, but with enough numbers, they will clog your gutters right up. 

When wet, they are very difficult to remove, and because they’re sharp, it can actually be a little tricky to get rid of them without injuring yourself. The weight of the pine needles is also a concern because, in large enough numbers, they can damage your gutters and even cause them to become disconnected from your roof.  

It’s crucial to keep pine needs out of your gutter as much as possible, but not all gutter guards will work effectively against them. Mesh and screen gutter guards often won’t keep them out because of the size of the holes, but foam gutter guards will help capture them all.

You can also get specialized micro-mesh gutter guards with smaller holes that won’t allow any pine needles in. If you have pine trees nearby and know it might be an issue, then it's worth exploring these solutions 

Do Gutter Guards Keep The Pine Needles Out

Do Gutter Guards Really Work On Steep Roofs?  

If you have a steep roof, then water will flow more quickly into your gutters, so you need them to be able to handle a higher volume of water. 

Gutter guards are actually more important in these situations because you need your gutters to work unimpeded, and you don't want debris clogging them up.  

For a steep roof, you need a gutter guard which can deal with high volumes of water. Foam or brush guards aren’t suitable, but a gutter guard with larger drainage holes will work well. If you have a steep roof, then look for gutter guards that work all year round. 

Do Gutter Guards Work On Metal Roofs?  

Metal roofs tend to increase the speed of water flow down into your gutters. Gutter guards are a useful asset in this case because they help prevent any debris from blocking the flow, but you will need a sturdier gutter guard to handle the fast flow of water. 

Cover or screen gutter guards work well if you have a metal roof, but bear in mind that if you have a wider gutter to handle the water flow, then you’ll also need a wider gutter guard.   

Do Gutter Guards Work On Metal Roofs

People also Ask (FAQs)

Do gutter guards ever cause problems? 

Gutter guards can impact the overall appearance of your home, and if you get the wrong model, they can stand out in a pretty bad way. Sometimes with gutter guards, the debris will gather at the top, so you will still need to clean them out regularly.  

Do reverse curve gutter guards work? 

Yes. Reverse gutter guards work by angling your roof so that debris slides right off and the water goes into your drain. This makes them effective in areas with a lot of rain. 

How often do gutters with gutter guards need to be cleaned? 

Even gutters with gutter guards need to be cleaned. You should aim to do this at least every year, and after any storms which may have blocked or damaged them.  

Are gutter guards hard to install? 

The majority of gutter guards are easy to install and will slide into the gutter or snap in. Some gutter guards need to be screwed in, but they still aren't too complicated. Make sure you follow the instructions and use a safe, sturdy ladder.  

Can you clean gutters without removing gutter guards? 

Most gutter guards will need to be removed before you can clean the gutter. Some gutter guards, like Leaf Filter gutter guards, can be cleaned by spraying water through a flap in the gutter guard, meaning you don’t need to remove it.  


Having clean gutters is one of the best ways to help protect your home. Gutter guards really do work by keeping debris out of your gutters, helping keep them in good condition for longer, and reducing how often you need to clean them.

There’s a lot of different gutter guards available, and you must find one that's suitable for your home. Hopefully, this article has given you some valuable information to help you find the right one for you. 

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.