Are Leaf Guards Worth it?

leaves in a gutter

What is leaf guard?

The gutters on your home are an important component that protects your roof and foundation. Unfortunately, they need a routine maintenance that includes cleaning them, and that is one job that homeowners detest doing. Some homeowners pay somebody to clean them and others forget about it, until they have a problem. With a leaf guard installed though, both types of homeowners can relax. 

The leaf guard style gutter system is a one-piece unit that has combined the typical gutter bottom with a unique top that is curved. This unique top deflects the debris that normally fills the gutter runs, clogging them up. 

Do gutters need leaf guards?

Gutters do not “need” leaf guards, but for the homeowner, they can be a helpful addition to your home. They keep debris, leaves, and limbs out of the gutter run, allowing the rain to flow easily to the downspouts. This protection helps you from having to clean the gutter runs by hand and water hose, freeing up more of your time to do the things you want to (nobody wants to clean gutters!). 

 Do gutter leaf guards really work?

Contractors and experts advise us that for foolproof protection of your gutter system, leaf  guards aren’t the answer, and there isn’t any anything that does either. So, if you’re planning on having leaf guards installed so that you’ll never have to clean your gutters again, don’t waste your money.

With that said, leaf guards will reduce how often you need to clean your gutters. Therefore, it is necessary to still inspect them once every three months to make sure the leaf guard is attached, the gutters are attached to the house, and the downspouts attached as they should be.  This will also give you the opportunity make sure they are clean, and water can flow through them.

Can I install leaf filter myself?

If you’re looking at having metal or plastic leaf guards, it is possible for a DIY project. You need to have a good later, safety gear, and not have a fear of heights. Many people don’t realize they have that fear until they’re twenty feet in the air, and that’s before they start working on the leaf guard installation. 

Another thought before you commit do doing your own leaf guard is the warranty aspect. You want to choose a leaf guard product that has a good warranty. That warranty may not be honored if the system isn’t installed by a certified professional. 

Do gutter guards cause problems?

There are several brands of gutter guards on the market today, all of claiming to be the best. The purpose of installing gutter guards is to minimize your chores around the house, right? What these gutter guard manufacturers aren’t telling you is that the debris and leaves that don’t get into the gutter run, get stuck on top of the guards. 

So, you may not be cleaning the gutters out, but you’ll be cleaning off the gutter guards. Recapping the downsides to having gutter guards installed: 

  • They are expensive
  • They all get blocked by the debris and leaves that they keep out of the gutters
  • Small stuff will still get in the gutters no matter which brand of gutter  guards you have installed
  • If you clean your own gutters, you’ll find these are in the way
  • If you have your gutters cleaned by a professional, you’ll pay a higher price for the gutter cleaning and inspection

As a homeowner, you should be, or having it done professionally, annual roof inspection and bi-annual roof cleaning. Since these activities still take place, why not have the gutters inspected, cleaned, and repaired while the roof inspection or roof cleaning is done? 

Why gutter guards are bad?

Gutter guards or leaf guards give homeowners a false peace of mind when it comes to preventing their gutters from getting blocked or clogged. Sometimes the sales pitch can make a homeowner think they will never again have to worry about gutter cleaning. 

  • This is not accurate, and an honest, professional roofer will advise their clients the real picture of having gutter guards installed. Yes, a gutter guard will keep 100% of big leaves and other debris out, but not the smaller leaves or pine needles. Smaller things can make it around, past, or through the gutter guards, and over time, your gutters will be filled and need cleaning. 
  • Think about your home’s appearance when the leaves and other debris get stuck on top of the gutter guard too. After it has piled up, your home begins to look old and worn, and the walk up isn’t as beautiful as it once was. 
  • Another issue to consider is the warranty of your roof. Some gutter guards can have a negative effect on the warranty if they aren’t installed properly. When gutter guards are attached by nails to the roof shingles, this can void the roof warranty. 
grates on gutters

Is Leaf Guard worth the money?

There are pros and cons of leaf guards being installed, and we’ve covered both. It is something that each homeowner needs to take their time when considering them. There are good things about them, blocking out the large debris and leaves, keeping small animals and critters out, but there are some negatives worth considering too. 

You can ask several roofing contractors for an opinion, but the best opinion would be the homeowner that has them installed now. Or even better, ask the homeowner that has had them removed. 

What is the difference between leaf guard vs gutter guard? A leaf guard is will replace your current gutter system. It is a one-piece, seamless system. A gutter guard is attached to our current gutter system, fastened to the roof under a row of shingles. Call 502-228-7717 today.