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Do Gutter Leaf Guards Really Work?

Cleaning out gutters is an unpleasant but necessary job. If you don’t do it, you risk water damage to your roof and the foundation of your home. Gutter guards are designed to minimize the need for this chore while helping to reduce the risk of clogs. But do they actually work? Here’s what you should know.

What Are They?

Gutter guards are essentially caps or covers with drainage holes that fit over the top (or within) a home’s gutters. The small holes are designed to filter away leaves and debris while allowing water to flow freely through the gutter and out the downspout.

When properly installed, these guards can offer big benefits. That said, they won’t work miracles, especially if you have a lot of trees in and around your yard.

Do They Actually Work?

If you have large shedding trees around your home and are tired of having to clean your gutters every fall, gutter guards can offer big benefits. That said, homeowners shouldn’t install these guards with the intention of never having to clean or maintain their gutters or downspouts again.

While it won’t make your gutters magically impervious, however, a properly installed gutter guard can provide some nice protection against clogging. Installing a gutter guard can also reduce the number of times you will have to clean out your gutters. Much of this will depend on the number and location of trees in your yard.

Different Types of Gutter Guards


Although there are a wide variety of different gutter guards available; they all tend to fit into one of the following categories:

Reverse curve: A reverse curve design is made to direct water downward through the gutter via a small slit, while also encouraging leaves to fall harmlessly to the ground.

Bottle brush: These gutter guards resemble those pokey bristles sometimes used to keep birds from landing on statues. The bristles point upright to help catch leaves and debris, so water is able to flow freely into the downspout.

Non-gutter cover: These actually replace your home’s gutters with thin louvers designed to divert rain off the roof.

Mesh: Mesh guards are essentially sheets with tiny holes that shield the gutter and attach to the shingles on your roof. Smaller holes are much better than larger holes because they don’t typically clog as easily. Smaller holes also sift out debris while still allowing water to flow freely down into the gutter.

Foam type: This style of gutter guard is actually made from a plastic that inserts directly inside the gutter to help block debris from falling from the roof into the gutter.

Nylon: Nylon gutter guards work quite well in the winter to prevent ice and snow accumulation. You can also get them to fit within your gutter without having to affix them to the shingles.

What’s the Best Option?

When it comes to choosing the best gutter guards for your home, much depends on your unique situation and budget. At Sonners Contracting, we offer a number of gutter clutter prevention options that can help you protect your home. Whatever option you choose, it’s very important to take steps to keep your gutters free of debris. If you don’t, water will collect and put extra weight on the fascia and the gutter system, increasing the risk of damage. What’s more, during the winter, this trapped water will turn to ice and create barriers that impede water flow. This could lead to serious water damage to your roof, fascia and soffits.

When water collects near the base of your home, it could also lead to structural damage to your foundation. This is because the water will cause the soil to expand and then contract as it dries out, leading to gaps beneath concrete slabs that cause your foundation to sink or crack.

For these reasons, it’s important to take steps to keep your gutters clean. Sonners Contracting can evaluate your gutter system and provide a number of gutter clutter prevention options. We can also thoroughly clean your gutters, repair any potential issues and install new gutters if needed. Contact our team to learn more.

Be sure to visit our Seasonal Services page for details on special rates for gutter cleaning from Sonners.