Tired of getting on a ladder a couple times a year to clean out your gutters? Well, imagine not having to clean your gutters again! That’s the promise that most gutter guard providers make.

old man cleaning gutters

For those who aren’t familiar, a gutter cover or guard is a piece of hardware that forms a filter over gutters, which keeps out debris to prevent clogging.

Gutter guards not only save you from having to go up on a ladder to clean out leaves and debris, but they also protect your roof against mold and rot by making sure that gutters move rainwater from the roof to the ground without issue.

You’d be surprised, or maybe not, to find certain gutter maintenance specialists advising against gutter guards.

They believe that a clog-free system based on these “hassle-free-gutter-protection” designs is pure fantasy that can quickly become a nightmare. The point homeowners begin trusting them to the extent that they never clean or check them.

There’s a ton of contradictory information making the rounds from homeowners and specialists alike, so what’s the reality? A quick Google search on the subject can bring up more questions than answers.  There is just a great deal of information out there!

One key to consider is that not all gutter guards are created equal. There are several varieties of gutter guards with unique designs that are supposed to collect and channel rainwater away from your home, however, many of them are simply ineffective.

Some fail to keep out the likes of seed pods, pine needles, flower buds, and other debris.

How do you know what works and what doesn’t?

Take a look at our breakdown of different gutter guards and see if they could be a valuable asset to your home:

The 4 Main Types of Gutter Guards

gutter cleaner tool sponge

1) Foam Gutter Guards

Foam gutter guards are easy to install. The basic idea of this design is to block the gutter before it gets choked by leaves, twigs, and other unwanted junk. The material they use for protecting the gutter resembles a sponge-like block or foam.

The wedges are usually triangular, available in strips up to 8’ long and 5” wide. Rainwater should pass through it while debris and other materials remain on top of the foam inserts.

Foam gutter guards can raise serious concerns, though. For example, once the foam collects enough debris, it can become blocked, causing water to pass over it and onto the land/ground. Also, if any organic matter gets mixed with water, moss and algae can grow on your gutters, resulting in an unsightly mess.

Trapped plant life can also add to the weight of your gutters, causing them to sag and pull away from your property.

Expect to take off the wedges to wash them with an environmental friendly algaecide every year.

gutter cleaner tool

2) Brush Covers

Brush or reverse curve gutter guards are essentially big pipe cleaners with several brush-like bristles that keep debris and leaves out of a gutter. Similar to foam inserts, gutter brushes occupy the gutters. The intent is to allow the water to flow freely through the gutter downspout, away from your home.

Modern varieties of these guards are manufactured of a twisted wire or a steel rod featuring bristles. When bristles face upright, large and small debris get stuck on top of the guard.

Unfortunately, brush gutter guards still pose problems.

The curved sections of these guards can accumulate debris over time. Also, they can promote the growth of large icicles during the colder months.

Seasonally, homeowners will have to shake the bristles to free accumulated debris. The bristles on most reverse curved gutter guards or nylon or other similar plastic, so they’re prone to shedding microplastics, and might even deteriorate.

gutter guards

3) Micro Mesh or Flat Surface Filters Gutter Guards

One of the more popular types of gutter guards is the micro mesh model. These are typically installed by a professional and feature a mesh filter to keep out small debris and leaves.

Most varieties consist of holes smaller than the size of a sewing needle and a metal screen that fits over the gutter to keep junk out. The allows rainwater to enter the gutter uninterrupted even when debris is present at the top of the mesh.

All that being said, the smaller holes of micro mesh gutter guards can easily get blocked, especially by big, wet leaves, so they’re best to use in dry weather. Also, some micro mesh types require installation under a homeowner’s first row of shingles. This can cause water-related problems and may even avoid the warranty of your roof.

gutter covers

4) Solid Cover Guards

Solid cover guards like Gorilla Guards and others are designed to allow the flow of rainwater into the gutter based on the principle of water adhesion.

The water enters through small holes or slots present on the vertical side or underneath the front lip of the gutter. Leaves, twigs and other large debris are swept over the edge of the gutter to the ground.

The premise behind the solid shape of these covers is that rainwater adheres to the surface of the guard and flows around its nose, following the surface of the front cover into a slot that’s near the front edge of the gutter.

After large remains have fallen over, any small debris just flows out the downspout and through the gutter.

Which Gutter Guard is Best for Your Home?

Before coming to any conclusion, know that there is no such thing as a perfect gutter guard. And no matter what variety you buy, they’ll still require occasional attention.

Still, that’s far superior to the two or more trips up and down the ladder many homeowners take to clean unguarded gutters.

One more thing:

A great gutter cover without proven support from the company installing the product can lead to a much-reduced product life and return on investment.

In the end, it comes down to – your tree cover, your roof and gutter configuration, the warranty, your preferences, the quality of the materials used, what you understand about gutter guards, and your budget.

Check Out Chimneys Plus' Gorilla Guard Gutter Covers

Our aim at Chimneys Plus is to combine quality, well-hung gutters with superior gutter guards that are made using the best materials and commitment to our promise. That is why we offer solid gutters guards called Gorilla Guard.

gutter covers diagram detailed

You can install Gorilla Guards on both existing and new gutters. They’re made from high-quality 0.027” thick aluminum and fastened with Gorilla Grip Clips (tempered stainless steel). Gorilla Gutter Guards are adaptable to any roof type and will not avoid the warranty of your roof.

Additionally, the Gorilla Guard system includes both a warranty on our performance as well as on its materials to ensure your gutters stay in optimal shape. You can even transfer this warranty to a new owner, which help protect the investment you’ve made in your gutter system and your home.

When we install the Gorilla Guards system on your home we clean the entire gutter system to ensure its effectiveness and we also clean out all the downspouts. We have decades of tried and true commitment to honor warranties and taking care of homeowners’ concerns.

If you are interested in getting Gutter Guards on your home contact us by dialing (919) 967-7979 or by sending an email at [email protected].

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