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Gutter Guards, a Final Solution?

Updated: Jul 3

Leaf Guards for Rain Gutter

We're all familiar with the advertisements for leaf guards, promising that you'll never have to worry about your rain gutters again. However, there's often more to consider.

At Dovetail Rain Gutter in Belgrade, Montana, we've been installing leaf guards on both new and existing gutters for over three decades. Our experience has taught us that even the best leaf guards sometimes need a little maintenance.

Leaf Guard Maintenace?

Flat or horizontal leaf guards can occasionally gather leaves or seeds on their surface. Typically, once these leaves dry out, they are blown away, but there are instances when they may become lodged.

Recently, a customer requested that we inspect her rain gutter. Despite having a leaf guard installed, she noticed an accumulation of Maple Tree seeds, commonly referred to as helicopters or whirlybirds, on top of the leaf guards.

It appears that there was a significant seed production the spring before, resulting in an accumulation on top of the leaf guard.

We were able to easily brush them off, then we put in a call to a few different leaf guard manufacturers who told us gutter guards are guaranteed to keep leaves out of the gutter and that yes, sometimes will need to be brushed off.

Consider how often gutter cleaning was required before you had guards installed. Typically, it's advisable to clean gutters at least once every three months to manage debris accumulation. With gutter guards, the necessity drops to just once annually.

To decide on the best time for cleaning, consider the type of debris that usually clogs your gutters. If it's mainly leaves and tree debris falling in autumn, schedule a cleaning at the season's end. Conversely, if spring storms are the culprits for debris, arrange for a cleaning in early spring.

Additionally, it's important to inspect and clean the gutters whenever you notice signs of leaks or blockages, such as water spilling over the gutter's edge.

What about angled or helmet style leaf guards

These leaf guards can do a better job at preventing leaves from laying over the tops of them because they are angled but water may overshoot the gutter's edge during heavy rain, and they can allow leaves to enter the gutter. Installation often involves lifting the roof shingles to insert the gutter guard's back edge, which is challenging without damaging the shingles. Additionally, if debris bypasses the guard and enters the gutter, removing the guard for cleaning could further damage the shingles.

How often will leaf guards need to be brushed off or cleaned?

How the Type of Gutter Guard Affects How Often You Clean

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