Gutter Guards – Everything You Need To Know Before You Invest In Them

By Patrick Juma, Oct 01, 2018

Wondering whether installing gutter guards is worth it?

Want to know the pros and cons of gutter guards?

In this article ,you will discover insights that will help you make the best decision for your home.

Above. - ALL CLEAN Gutters

I see the frustration in some of our customers when their gutters clog and overflow every time it rains. Usually they are in a dilemma of whether to keep the trees near their houses ,which they really love and the frustration of clogging gutters caused by the falling leaves .

After much deliberation , some customers decide to continue with the regular cleaning. On the other hand, some customers decide to install guards on the gutters round their house or partially on the problem parts only.

Are Gutter Guards A Permanent Solution?

Professionals seem to agree that gutter guards do not make your gutters maintenance free. Over time ,the debris rot and disintegrate ,seeping in through the gutters. However gutter guards prolong the gutter cleaning interval. I would also strongly recommend gutter guards if you have many squirrels in your neighbourhood because at times ,they store the pine cones in your gutters. This literally stops rain water or melting snow or ice from flowing.

Above. - Before and After showing pine cones clogging your gutter and clean gutter respectively.
Window Washing in Progress
Above. - The culprit in action

Types Of Gutter Guards

When you decide to install guards ,you need to know which type will work best for your gutters. Typically many homes have the K-Gutter style ,which has reinforced rim, flat bottom, square angles and depths of either 5’ or 6 in.

Following are the most common types of gutter guards:

1) The Screens
2) The Surface tension
3) The Fine mesh.

We will explore their different features, how they function, and Installation methods.


Screen photo
Above. - A Screen
They are the most common type of gutter guard and are simple to install. Screens function well in areas where large leaves are the main problem because the openings allow seeds and pine needles through. The other challenge with screens is that they get entangled with the debris .


  1. Keeps large leaves out
  2. Installation is easy
  3. Affordable
  4. Widely available
  5. Works with most roof types


  1. Metal version tend to rot and may stain your home
  2. Plastic versions will eventually be damaged by weather
  3. Easily blown out in strong winds
  4. Will get clogged with seeds and needles
  5. Cause debris dams
  6. Screens and gutters will need occasional maintenance cleaning
  7. Difficult to clean
  8. Squirrels can access and store pine cones in gutters(plastic versions)

Surface Tension

Surface-tension gutter guards work best on sloppy roofs.

Surface-tension gutter guards
Above. - Surface-tension gutter guards

Rain water trickles down the roof and reaches the surface tension gutter guard cover. The water then slips smoothly through the tiny gap in the gutter guard while the debris such as leaves and twigs are directed over the edge.

These gutter guards work very well with large debris and leaves. Sometimes small debris gets in but it is usually washed out the downspouts easily.


  1. Keeps away branches and strong enough to resist heavy snow, ice and strong winds
  2. Keeps out the large debris
  3. They are available in multiple colours to match gutters
  4. Needs little or maintenance free if properly installed
  5. Durable
  6. Easy to clean


  1. Pricey
  2. Not as available :May have to order online or from a contractor
  3. More difficult to install: Gutters may need to be rehung to accommodate them
  4. More visible from the ground
  5. Water can shoot over the guards in a heavy downpour
  6. May not be an option on wood , slate, tile or steel roofs

Fine Mesh

The fine mesh gutter guards do an excellent job in keeping out even small debris while they allow water to pass through.

Fine Mesh
Above. - Fine Mesh


  1. Keeps everything out of the gutters
  2. Good quality versions hold up branches, snow and ice
  3. Relatively easy to install
  4. Can be installed in a variety of roof types
  5. Easy to clean
  6. Durable
  7. It is a sound investment
  8. Keeps squirrels from using gutters as pine cone store


  1. May need occasional maintenance
  2. Limited colour choices

Form Filters

Form filters guards are designed to fit inside your gutters. The idea is to block all debris from entering. They contain porous holes to allow only water to sip through.

Form Filters
Above. - Form Filters


  1. Easy to install
  2. Inexpensive
Gutters Collage
Above. - Seeds sprouting on the form


  1. Tend to get jammed with seeds and needles. Seeds sprout and grow in the form
  2. They do not last long and will need replacement once every two years.


You are now well informed about the various types of gutter guards and are able to a make smart decision. Despite the different types of gutter guards, remember that there is no perfect gutter protection. All still need some maintenance and cleaning. When you need professional gutter cleaning in Edmonton and surrounding towns, contact us

About the author
Patrick Juma

Patrick Juma, The founder & CEO of ALL CLEAN Property Services. You can find him on Linkedin.

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