Why Gutter Guards Are Bad

BY Mar, 28 2024
Category: Gutter Cleaning
Reading Time: 5 minutes
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Why Gutter Guards Are Bad

While gutter guards are commonly marketed as a remedy for debris buildup, their effectiveness can vary, and they come with their own set of drawbacks. Throughout this article, we will be addressing the reasons why gutter guards are bad and the pitfalls of relying solely on them to keep your gutters free of debris.

Despite their widespread use, gutter guards often fall short of expectations, leading to clogged gutters, water damage, and other issues. We will explore common complaints and limitations associated with gutter guards, including reduced water flow, debris accumulation on top of the guards, and the need for regular maintenance despite promises of hassle-free gutter protection.

We will also discuss how investing in professional gutter cleaning services or exploring alternative gutter protection systems may offer more effective long-term solutions for homeowners seeking to safeguard their gutters against debris buildup and damage.

Do Gutter Guards Work?

Do gutter guards actually live up to their promises of reducing gutter cleaning and saving money in the long term? Let’s delve into the effectiveness of gutter guards and whether they truly work as intended. Although, before we jump into that, it’s crucial to understand the significance of gutters for your home.

Importance of Gutters:

  • Gutters redirect rainwater away from your house to prevent soil erosion.
  • They safeguard your basement and foundation from water damage, which can lead to instability and costly repairs.

The Promise of Gutter Guards:

  • Gutter guards, also known as gutter screens, helmets, or covers, claim to prevent debris from entering your gutters.
  • Sellers tout them as a solution to reduce the need for frequent gutter cleaning and save money in the long run.

While gutter guards may seem like a convenient solution to minimize gutter maintenance, their effectiveness is a subject of debate. Stay tuned as we explore the pros and cons of gutter guards and whether they truly deliver on their promises.

Gutter Guards Require Maintenance

Contrary to popular belief, gutter guards are not entirely self-sufficient and still require regular maintenance to keep them functioning effectively. Despite claims of reducing gutter cleaning frequency, these leaf guards demand routine attention and can be challenging to clean. Let’s explore why maintaining gutter guards is essential and the complexities involved.

Read More: How to Choose a Color for Your Gutters

Misconceptions about Gutter Guards:

  • Despite promises of reduced gutter cleaning, gutter guards still require regular maintenance to remain effective.
  • They are not entirely self-sufficient and can become clogged with debris over time.

Complexity of Cleaning:

  • Removing and cleaning gutter guards can be a complicated process, varying in difficulty depending on the type of screens installed.
  • Some gutter guards may require professional assistance or specialized tools for thorough cleaning.

Time-Consuming Process:

  • Cleaning gutter guards can be time-consuming and labor-intensive, defeating the purpose of their installation.
  • Homeowners may find themselves spending more time on maintenance than anticipated, leading to frustration and dissatisfaction with their investment.

Do Not Perform Well

Do gutter guards work when installed correctly? Despite claims from advertisers, gutter guards may not live up to expectations in keeping gutters completely debris-free. While they can effectively prevent larger debris like leaves from entering the gutter, smaller items such as twigs and pine needles may still bypass the barrier.

Over time, the accumulation of these smaller debris can lead to blockages, impeding water flow through the gutter system. Let’s explore why gutter guards are bad and the challenges they present.

Limited Effectiveness:

  • Gutter guards may only provide partial protection against debris, allowing smaller items to slip through and cause blockages over time.
  • While they can buy some time between gutter cleanings, they do not entirely prevent blockages from occurring.

Obstructed View:

  • Gutter guards sit on top of the gutter, obstructing visibility and making it more challenging to spot blockages.
  • Discovering gutter congestion often requires manual inspection, necessitating the use of a ladder and increasing the risk of personal injury.

Excess Moss and Algae

Even if gutter guards manage to keep out most debris, any leaves that penetrate the guards and decompose in the gutters can lead to the growth of moss and algae. This unchecked growth can quickly spread across the gutters and eventually reach the roof, posing significant risks to your home’s integrity.

Moss, in particular, can cause extensive damage to the roof structure, potentially necessitating costly repairs or even a full roof replacement. Let’s delve into the implications of excess moss and algae growth in gutters and the potential consequences for your roof.

Risk of Growth:

  • Decomposing leaves trapped in gutters can create an ideal environment for moss and algae growth.
  • Once established, moss and algae can spread rapidly across the gutter system and onto the roof.

Damage to Roof:

  • Moss growth on the roof can lead to moisture retention, which accelerates roof deterioration and compromises its structural integrity.
  • Algae growth can cause unsightly staining on the roof surface and may indicate underlying moisture issues that need to be addressed.

Costly Repairs:

  • Repairing damage caused by moss and algae growth on the roof can be expensive and time-consuming.
  • In severe cases, extensive moss growth may necessitate a complete roof replacement to prevent further damage to the home.

Damage Your Roof

Installing gutter guards, screens, or helmets may seem like a solution to prevent debris buildup in your gutters, but they can inadvertently lead to damage to your roof. Let’s explore the potential risks and consequences associated with gutter guards and their impact on your roof’s structural integrity.

Increased Weight on Gutters:

  • Gutter guards add additional weight to your gutter system, which may exceed the capacity that your fascia can support.
  • Over time, the added tension from the weight of gutter guards can strain the fascia, leading to bending, warping, or detachment from the roof.

Hidden Debris Buildup:

  • Gutter guards obscure visibility, making it difficult to spot debris buildup within the gutters.
  • Without regular inspection and maintenance, debris can accumulate unnoticed, adding further weight to the gutter system and increasing the risk of damage to the roof.

Winter Considerations:

  • During the winter months, the weight of snow and ice combined with trapped debris in gutters can exacerbate the strain on the fascia and roof structure.
  • The added weight from gutter guards may contribute to snow and ice buildup, further compromising the integrity of the roof.

Not Winter-Friendly

While gutter guards may offer some benefits in other seasons, they do not work well throughout the winter season. Let’s explore the challenges associated with gutter guards during the winter months and the potential consequences for your gutter system and roof.

Ice Buildup and Weight:

  • Debris buildup in gutters can block water flow, leading to stagnant water that freezes in cold temperatures.
  • The accumulation of ice adds significant weight to the gutter system and puts strain on the fascia, potentially causing damage or detachment from the roof.

Overflow and Icicles:

  • In freezing temperatures, water overflow from blocked gutters can turn into icicles along the roof edge.
  • The weight of icicles adds additional pressure to the already strained fascia, increasing the risk of damage or detachment.

Preventive Measures:

  • Rather than relying on gutter guards during the winter, it’s advisable to invest in a professional gutter cleaning service in the fall.
  • A thorough gutter cleaning before winter helps prevent debris buildup and reduces the risk of ice formation and associated damage to the gutter system and roof.


After examining the shortcomings of gutter guards, it becomes apparent that they do not work well and are a bad investment. Despite promises of reduced maintenance and cost savings, the reality is often quite different. Let’s explore why gutter guards can be an expensive and impractical solution for homeowners.

Read More: What Are Gutter End Caps? Advantages and Disadvantages

Cost of Installation:

  • Gutter guards require upfront installation costs, which can be substantial depending on the type and size of your gutter system.
  • Professional installation may be necessary, adding to the overall expense.

Maintenance Expenses:

  • While gutter guards aim to reduce the need for regular cleaning, they still require periodic maintenance to remain effective.
  • The cost of cleaning and maintaining gutter guards can add up over time, potentially outweighing any initial cost savings.

Cumbersome Cleaning Procedures:

  • Cleaning gutter guards can be a cumbersome and time-consuming process, especially if debris has accumulated underneath the guards.
  • Homeowners may find themselves spending more time and effort on maintenance than anticipated, further increasing the overall expense.

Gutter Cleaning and Repair Services

The team at Ned Stevens takes pride in offering exceptional gutter cleaning and gutter repair services for homes. Our team of trained specialists is dedicated to ensuring that you receive top-notch service every time you choose us. Here’s what sets our gutter services apart:

  • Complete Professional Inspection
  • Fully Insured to Work on Ladders
  • Extensive Labor Training and Quality Control
  • Same Day Scheduling Available

We offer reputable gutter cleaning services in Lakewood, Colorado and are available to help you maintain your system. Contact our professionals to receive support with clogged gutters on your property.


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