Gutters can quickly become one of the most annoying and dangerous items in your home, simply due to the maintenance and repair. A good, clean gutter can go unnoticed for years, operating as designed and keeping your roof and home free from water buildup.

Gutters provide proper drainage and trim for functional and design purposes. But once you start dealing with leaf buildup in fall and winter, you can start to feel the pain. It’s important that your gutters remain free and clear of debris, and buildup needs to be regularly removed to keep your roof safe.

Many homeowners invest in leaf guards to try to prevent this buildup and the grueling task of removing buildup. If you do end up with a mountain of leaves in your gutter, it can mean inching your ladder along the side of your home, climbing up and down to scrape out dead and congealed leaves from your gutter. Try not to fall!

Maybe leaf guards can help prevent this problem, but is it worth it? M&M Gutters can help you decide.

What is a Leaf Guard?

Leaf guards, also called gutter guards, gutter screens, or gutter covers, are insets that sit atop your gutter to prevent leaves and other debris from falling into your gutter from the air or traveling down the roof. There are two main styles – gutter guards and gutter screens.

A guard will sit atop your gutter and prevent things from entering the gutter (including water for the most part). A screen allows selective permeation, so water can get through but most sizes of debris are stopped by the screen which usually sits inside the gutter at the top.

Is a Leaf Guard Worth It?

Purchasing a leaf guard can be a significant expense and home upgrade, so it’s important to consider the factors that could make it worthwhile or a waste of money. Leaf guards have been shown to be relatively effective at keeping large leaves from entering your gutter.

However, smaller debris such as seed pods or tree needles can still find their way into the gutter. In fact, certain types of leaf guards are actually more difficult to clean than a standard gutter, and they still require maintenance. Simply installing a leaf guard does not mean you’re free from gutter maintenance forever, unfortunately.

Most homeowners will need to get their gutter professionally cleaned at least once a year, even if they own a leaf guard. If your home is two stories or higher, you should be hiring a professional regularly anyway, since that height is dangerous for an ambitious amateur to clean alone.

For many people looking to save money, it may actually be worth it to hire gutter professionals to come clean than to purchase the leaf guard and then have to clean it yourself.

However, a leaf guard still may be the right choice for you if you live in a heavily forested area or have lots of foliage or snow and ice in your yard. Our experts at M&M Gutters can help you determine exactly what your home needs for proper gutters and drainage.