Are Gutter Guards Worth It? Popular Types and Pros & Cons
Updated: Sep 17, 2021
If you have rain gutters in your home, you've probably heard about gutter guards that claim to stop or keep debris from getting into your gutters. Less debris would theoretically mean less need for regular gutter cleaning.
In this article we look at popular types of gutter guards and whether they are worth the investment.
Devices that keep gutters clean have many names - gutter guards, gutter screens, gutter covers, All of these work the same way by creating a physical barrier to keep debris from getting into your gutters.
Foam Gutter Inserts
Foam gutter inserts are not very effective in blocking organic material from getting through and contributing to clogs in the downspout, as they often warp and degrade in the sun, or become overgrown with algae. We are often asked to uninstall them for clients who tried them before turning to our professional services to resolve gutter and downspout maintenance. Even if water can get through, they still need to be cleaned off and require regular maintenance, which can add up over time.
What About Gutter Covers?
We’ve also cleaned gutters that have covers like LeafGuard installed, and see similar results. Even though they’re a more expensive option and come with a lifetime warranty, it’s easy for damp leaves to seal off drainage, or for pine needles, small debris, and algae to fill in the slits meant to allow water to drain effectively off of roofs. The companies that install them frequently close, voiding the warranties, which results in expensive removal costs when they stop working.
At Wilderland, we've worked with and around many different kinds of gutter covers and inserts, and have not been impressed with their effectiveness. They may work in drier climates with fewer trees, but our natural abundance of rain and organic matter falling from the sky in the Portland metro area means too much debris for gutter covers to be effective.
Scheduling regular maintenance is the best option for long term gutter and downspout care, and our work is all done with your satisfaction 100% guaranteed. In the long term, it’s more cost effective, efficient, and your best option for resting assured that your gutters and downspouts are set to handle the seasonal elements of the Pacific Northwest.