Gutter Guards Don't Work

We understand the attraction to the belief that you can install a system on your home that will “prevent gutter cleaning forever!”   Companies have tried to market everything imaginable to achieve this goal:  gutter guards, screens, helmets, covers, shields, shells, louvers, gloves, sponges, brushes, and even one company that created a gutter cleaning robot.

But do any of these systems actually work?

Simply put, every system we have ever tested has failed – it’s just a matter of time.  

Take a look at some pictures of gutters that Ned Stevens was hired to clean, but could not clean, due to gutter guards that promised the purchaser that they would “never have to clean their gutters again.”  Note that these pictures are black and white as they are completely authentic:  they are photos taken by our Ned Stevens crews on their mobile, hand-held computers, of actual gutters we were hired to clean.   

Why do these gutter guard systems fail?  The answer is simple:  debris always finds a way into the system.  Additionally, in heavy rains, the water will simply pour right over the top of the gutter.   Lastly, the guard used in the “in home demonstration” or depicted in photos or video on the website was not covered in the dust, dirt, mildew, roof grit, and debris that accumulate on your roof every single day. 

The result, unfortunately, is always the same:  the gutters will overflow, and your home and basement remain exposed to thousands of gallons of water pooling around your foundation.   Furthermore, the wood behind the gutter will begin to rot, the gutters themselves will go “off pitch” (meaning they will have lost their angle and they will actually hold water), and your “100% guaranteed” no-clog gutter guards will end up damaging your home.

We know it because we see it every single day.  

What should you do?  Just leave your gutters open and clean them on a regular schedule.   It saves you thousands of dollars and is the easiest and best solution for gutter maintenance.  Check out our service plans and learn some options we offer to save you money and make your life a little more simple:

Ned Stevens Service Plans

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Picture #1 – These are traditional “solid cover”, “bull-nose” type guards that are permanently fixed to the gutter.  This product comes with a “never clog” warranty “for life.”   However, what happens when it does clog?  The owner of this house had to call us, but we were unable to get our hands in the gutters to clean them.  As such, this homeowner was left with clogged gutters, a failed gutter system, and water collecting around their foundation.


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Picture #2- In desperate need of a cleaning, this customer called us to get on schedule.  When the crew got out to their home they were unable to do the cleaning because the guards were screwed into the gutters (as most are).  This family will have to rip off all their guards, all their gutters, and start all over again.  This product likewise comes with a “100% Guarantee” that the gutters will not clog. 


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Picture #3- Same story:  a promise of a lifetime guarantee for a product designed to fail.  Note the dirt and debris on top of the “guard” as well as the volume of small debris which always penetrates these systems.   The gutters on this house are pointless, and all rainwater now collects at the foundation of this house. 



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Picture #4-  Take a look at the lower left corner of this picture and you will see collapsed screens.  Screens last a short amount of time as they will bend, warp, and collapse.  Additionally, small debris will always get inside of screens and clog your gutters.  Relying on screens is extremely dangerous as they will certainly fail over time.



Picture #5- This picture shows a product similar to a gutter “sponge”.  Like the rest of gutter products, this product is supposed to let water through the “sponge” and into the gutter, but does not let debris into the gutter.  However, what happens when all the debris simply lays on top of the sponge?  Water will not even make its way into the gutter pictured here.



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Picture #6- This product is similar to a “waterfall” type cover that is supposed to “let water in, but keep debris out.”  You can see why this design fails immediately:  all the debris gets caught in the grooves that are meant for the water.  This product needs to be removed and discarded if the gutters are to be cleaned and functional.



Picture #7 – This is another type of cover that uses openings that assure customers that debris will never clog their gutters again.  However, clearly, the debris is now trapped in the grooves, and the water has nowhere to go but over the top of the gutter, right into the customer’s foundation.



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Picture #8 – This picture shows a gutter “brush” that is placed in the gutter, promising to keep debris out while letting water in.  Again, the problem is that debris, big and small, gets caught in the bristles of the brush, causing clogs.  Once the debris starts to accumulate, it does not stop.  The result is a gutter system that is guaranteed to fail.