Do Gutter Guards Actually Work?

The most common question we get is “Do gutter guards work?”. The answer to that question isn’t that desirable because it’s yes and no.

Gutter guards can be highly effective, but they can also be extremely problematic. This is because no gutter guard is perfect, that’s why when searching for gutter guards you find hundreds of options. Each design has its own pros and cons and extent of functionality.

I always tell clients not to look at gutter guards as a magic forcefield around the gutter but instead a tool that makes your gutters more manageable.

Will Gutter Guards Keep Debris From Building In My Rain Gutter?

In short, yes. Gutter guards will keep the majority of the large debris (leaves, sticks, nuts) out of your rain gutter.

On the contrary, most gutter guards will still allow small debris in (shingle grains, pine needles, small twigs, tree buds). Small debris builds slowly and shouldn’t cause issues on a year-to-year basis. It’s recommended to flush rain gutters with guards every 5 years to avoid issues.

Do Gutter Guards Work In Heavy Rain?

Most styles of gutter guards are very effective even in heavy rainstorms. If you experience issues it’s commonly due to incorrect install or your gutters and gutter guards need to be cleaned.

Do Gutters With Gutter Guards Still Need To Be Cleaned?

Yes, every gutter with gutter guards will eventually need to be cleaned. The type of guard and trees surrounding your home will determine the amount of time for gutters to collect debris. Also, take into consideration that homes with new roofs tend to lose many grains in the year following the install.

How Often Should Gutters Be Cleaned After Installing Gutter Guards?

We recommend cleaning gutters with guards installed on average once every 5 years. This cleaning should include flushing the gutters as well as cleaning the tops of the guards. Doing so will keep water flowing into your gutters and throughout your guttering system.


Gutter guards actually work but still require long term maintenance. Gutters with guards installed fill with debris 10x slower than gutters without guards. The amount of time between gutter maintenance will depend on the style of guard you have installed. For best results consult with a professional about the best gutter guard for you.

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