Do Gutter Guards Work?

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Gutter Guards, Screens, Covers...?


You must have gutters that keep getting full of debris.

If yes, then you are looking at gutter guards as a solution to your problem.

Guess what...?

They will kind of solve your problem but will create other problems that for most are not worth the price or hassle.

So Do Gutter Guards Work?

This article was written by a profession Gutter Cleaning Atlanta company (Guru Gutter Cleaning). After cleaning 1,000s of gutters and getting calls almost daily from people with gutter guards this is their professional opinion based on experience.

What's Wrong With Gutter Guards?

First off, there are many different brands, makes and designs out there.

Which one to choose?

None of them are created equal and all of them perform a little differently.

Overall, however, they don’t solve the problem of gutters getting clogged or dirty.

Words from the Pros:
Garret M. with Guru Gutter Cleaning located in Peachtree City, GA.

The problem with gutter guards, screens and covers is that they can't keep everything out.

Water carries dirt, granules from the roofing shingles, pine straw, and much more into the holes that are "supposed" to only allow water in them.

PLUS: The leafs, pine straw, sticks, debris, dirt, and moss can still collect on top of the gutter guards and screens.

We do gutter cleaning in Peachtree City GA and have to increase our prices to clean gutters that have gutter guards on them.


Because we have to uninstall all the gutter guards and then install them back (if the customer still wants them).

If they didn't have gutter guards or screens, we could simply clean them and be gone but it takes 3 to 4 times longer if they have gutter guards.

Visit our Resources section at the bottom of this article to read more about our professional contributors and visit their profiles.

The Truth About Gutter Guards

Since gutter guards have been introduced 1,000s and 1,000s of homes have them installed on them and guess what?

There isn’t really a gutter cover product that can be recommended 100% from an honest contractor. At least with the promise that you will never have to clean out your gutters.

This means…

That there are products that do keep debris out but when you take into account how much they cost, their maintenance cost, and other factors it really isn’t in the best interest of the home owner to get gutter guards.


Because they will get dirty and then cleaning them takes longer and is even more expensive.

Let’s talk about each of the different types of gutter guards and their benefits or negative factors.

Here’s A Quick Video From Guru Gutter Cleaning

Garret shot this video on one of his Gutter Cleaning jobs and shared it with us for this article. These are non-hinged gutter screens (Metal).

Plastic Gutter Covers

plastic-gutter-guardsPlastic gutter covers are probably the easiest to access and buy…

But you should avoid them.

They are cheap and inexpensive, very easy to install yourself and they even look like they might work.

But…they are plastic.

Why is that bad?

Because your roof gets hot. So hot that the plastic warps and then they lose their shape which then makes them unfunctional. When this happens they fall down inside the gutter and make them clog up even easier.

Another reason why these plastic gutters are bad is because if they are not installed perfectly smooth…(Meaning there are no gaps).

Then debris will get stuck in the gaps and holes and water can flow right over the very top of the gutters…which acts as if there wasn’t even a gutter on the house.

If you do buy and install plastic gutters, you will be calling a company to come out and remove them in the future.

Most Metal Gutter Guards / Covers

So here is the honest truth about most gutter guards…

The metal is flimsy and cheap and they still allow small debris to get into the gutter.

Also when they are installed the mesh gutter is screwed down to the gutter and the back of the gutter screen is slid underneath the shingle.

clogged-gutter-screenThis makes it impossible to clean the gutters while the gutter screens are still attached.

Why is that bad?

Because let’s say it cost you around $1,000 to have the gutter screens installed.

Most of that $1,000 is the cost of labor.

Which means that when the screens done’t keep your gutters clean a gutter cleaning company will have to come and remove them and re-install them and clean them.

Your cleaning bill is going to be as much as your installation bill.

Just get them cleaned regularly and you won’t have the hassle.

Better Metal Gutter Guards

metal-gutter-guard-work-or-notThere is a type of metal gutter guard that is very high end. This product is actually one type and is sold under many different brand names.

The better gutter guard doesn’t come in one piece and it is designed where it comes out past the farthest edge of the gutter.

This allows the debris to end up on the ground and not inside the gutter.

They do work…but they can also get debris in them.

So if they work…why do we not recommend them?

Because they don’t make financial sense.

The average size home has about 150 ft’ to 200 ft’ of gutters. Most gutter cleaning companies will charge anywhere from $100 – $200 to clean a 1 story house with this much gutter.

Now you know the price to clean gutters.

What is the price to install these expensive gutters on a house this big?

$3,400 – $5,500

That means if you cleaned your gutters at $200 and did it twice a year it would take 10 years to spend as much money as you would on expensive gutter guards.

Plus the gutter guards still require cleaning and blowing off.

Hinged Gutter Screens

hinged-gutter-screenHinged gutter screens are probably one of the best products out there as long as the screens are quality and not the cheapest on the market.

The reason these are good because the gutter cleaning company can still come and hinge the screens so they can clean them out without uninstalling them and reinstalling them again.

Over quality hinged gutter screens are fairly inexpensive, they are easy to install, they do keep out a good amount of debris and the best part about them is they don’t permanently close the gutter…

Gutter cleaning companies can easily clean them.


We would like to thank the Guru Gutter Cleaning team in Georgia for helping us with this article!

- Picture credit to Leaf Filter in Canada

- Picture credit to