Do Gutter Guards Work?… A Comprehensive Guide


Gutters play a crucial role in protecting your home from water damage. However, their maintenance often raises a pertinent question: Do gutter guards work? In the UK, homeowners are presented with various gutter guard options, including Gutter Brushes, Gutter Mesh, Plastic Gutter Guards, and Gutter Foam Inserts. This article, drawing on decades of combined experience in gutter maintenance, seeks to provide an expert opinion on the effectiveness of these gutter guards.

Are Gutter Guards Worth The Money

Why people install gutter guards?

People consider installing gutter guards primarily for their potential to reduce maintenance and enhance the effectiveness of gutter systems. Here’s why:

  1. Reduced Maintenance: The primary appeal of gutter guards is their promise to keep leaves, twigs, and other debris out of gutters, potentially reducing the frequency of gutter cleaning
  2. Prevent Blockages: By keeping debris out, gutter guards could prevent blockages that lead to water overflow, which can damage the roof, siding, foundation, and landscaping.
  3. Protect Against Damage: To help prevent rust and corrosion in metal gutters, thereby prolonging their lifespan and effectiveness.
  4. Prevent Water Damage: Properly functioning gutters are essential for directing water away from the home’s foundation. Gutter guards may assist in ensuring that gutters can effectively perform this role.
  5. Avoid Pest Infestations: Gutter guards could reduce the likelihood of pest infestations by keeping gutters clear of debris that might breed pests like mosquitoes.
  6. Safety and Convenience: For safety and convenience by reducing the need for frequent, potentially risky gutter cleanings.
  7. Improve Water Harvesting: For homes collecting rainwater, gutter guards can improve the quality of the collected water by keeping out debris.
  8. Aesthetic Appeal: Some gutter guards are designed to blend with the roofline, enhancing the home’s exterior.
  9. Prevent Freezing: In cold climates, gutter guards can help prevent ice dams by facilitating smoother water flow.
  10. Fire Protection: In areas prone to wildfires, gutter guards can act as a barrier to prevent embers from igniting dry leaves and debris in gutters.

Do I need gutter guards?

Is a Gutter Guard Right for Your Home? Will they effectively keep leaves, moss, and other materials from clogging your gutters, or will they cause more issues.?

With various gutter guard options on the market, each claiming to maintain clean gutters, it’s crucial to know whether they truly deliver. Sudell Gutter Cleaning offers seasoned insights and guidance on different gutter guard types.

Before deciding on gutter guards, ponder these four key aspects:

  1. The ease or difficulty of accessing your gutters.
  2. The simplicity or challenge of cleaning your gutters.
  3. The frequency at which your gutters need cleaning.
  4. The kind of debris typically found in your gutters.

Additionally, gutter guards could be especially advantageous in these scenarios:

  • Homes with 3 or 4 stories, where gutter access is risky.
  • Properties with conservatories or extensions, making gutter access challenging.
  • Proximity of trees to your home, especially overhanging branches.
  • Neighboring trees that might contribute to debris.
  • Presence of roof moss and lichen.
  • Roofs in poor condition, with loose pointing or eroding tiles and slates.
  • Limited availability for routine gutter maintenance.

Before purchasing, ensure the gutter guard aligns with your needs to avoid wasting time and money. Consider these factors when selecting a gutter guard:

  1. Your roof type – slate, tile, concrete, felt, etc.
  2. How your gutter aligns with the roofline.
  3. The dimensions of your gutters – depth, width, height.
  4. The material of your gutters, be it plastic, cast iron, wood, aluminium, or asbestos.

Understanding Gutter Debris

Contrary to popular belief, leaves are not the primary cause of gutter blockages. More often, gutters are clogged by denser materials that accumulate over time. These include:

  1. Moss: Thrives in damp environments, often found in gutters.
  2. Weeds and Plant Life: Can grow in any accumulated soil or debris.
  3. Roof Silt: Comes from eroded roof tiles, creating a bed for plant growth.
  4. Leaves: While not the biggest culprit, they contribute to blockages.
  5. Grass: Can find its way into gutters from nearby green areas.
  6. Roofing Mortar and Cracked Tiles: Pieces can fall into gutters.
  7. Foreign Objects: Items like tennis balls and toys can clog gutters.

Understanding these common materials is key to evaluating the effectiveness of gutter guards.

Hedgehog Gutter Brush

Types of Gutter Guards in the UK

Gutter guards come in various forms, each claiming to protect your gutters from debris: Each type has its own mechanism for keeping gutters clear, but do they work as advertised? See below.

The Reality of Gutter Blockages

Gutter blockages are often caused by denser materials like moss and plant life. These materials can grow through gutter guards, particularly in mesh grids or brushes. Plant life thrives in a composted mix of leaves and silt from eroded roof tiles, which can easily filter through guards. This creates a perfect environment for growth, especially since they’re regularly watered by rain.

Gutter guards plastic mesh not working

Efficacy of Gutter Guards

The effectiveness of gutter guards against different types of debris varies:

  • Against Moss and Plant Life: Gutter guards are often ineffective, as these can grow through or around the guards.
  • Against Leaves and Larger Debris: Guards can be somewhat effective, but leaves and moss can still accumulate on top of the guards, creating a shelf that impedes water flow.

In some cases, debris that lands on the gutter guard may blow or roll off, allowing water to drain. However, this is not always the case.

Plastic gutter guard mesh problems

Maintenance and Cost Analysis

Gutter guards are not maintenance-free. They require cleaning, and when gutters need attention, the added task of removing and reinstalling the guards comes into play. The cost of purchasing, installing, and maintaining gutter guards can be significant, and often they do not sufficiently slow down the debris accumulation to justify these costs.

Alternatives to Gutter Guards

An alternative to gutter guards is hiring a professional gutter cleaning service. They can clean gutters, unblock downpipes, check drains, and repair leaking joints, typically once to three times a year. This regular maintenance can often be more cost-effective and less labor-intensive than installing and maintaining gutter guards.

Gutter Cleaning Services


So, do gutter guards work? In conclusion, while gutter guards may offer some level of protection against debris, they are not a foolproof solution. No gutter guard is completely maintenance-free, nor can it fully prevent gutter blockages. In many cases, the cost, time, and maintenance involved in gutter guards do not outweigh their benefits. Regular professional gutter cleaning remains a more effective and economical solution for keeping your gutters functional and your home safe from water damage.

Do you need some advice about Gutter Guards?

If you require expert advice and inspections for your gutters, feel free to get in touch with us. Our skilled local teams throughout the UK are dedicated to assisting you in maintaining the safety and efficiency of your infrastructure. Contact us now for a complimentary consultation and discover how we can support you with your maintenance requirements. Ensuring your peace of mind and the health of your property is our foremost concern.

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