Gutter Guards: Pros & Cons

Installing gutters on your home is a step in the right direction for protecting it and your landscape, but it doesn’t end there. To completely protect your investment from water damage and to save yourself some work, installing gutter guards is the next step. There are a variety of material and styles to choose from, some you can install yourself and others will need professional installation. This guide of pros and cons can help you decided on what’s right for your home.

Plastic Screens

Inexpensive and simple to install, a popular choice among the DIY crowd. Plastic screen will keep the bigger twigs and leaves out of the gutters, but they still allow small debris to pass through. Also, small debris tend to get stuck in the holes and clog the guard system. Regular cleaning is needed.

Wire Screen

Another choice that is inexpensive and simple to use for DIY installation project. The wire resembles chicken wire and will allow small debris to get inside of the gutters. Regular gutter cleaning will be needed.

Metal Reverse Curve

This is the style used by the big name gutter guard installers and you can choose between metal or plastic material. The reversed design consists of a rounded piece of metal or plastic placed over the gutters. The reversed curve draws water into the gutter while keeping debris out. Some smaller debris will make its way into the gutters and cleaning will still be needed.

Waterfall System

The waterfall system with a reverse curve creates a waterfall effect with the use of slots. The reverse curve draws the water in and the slots keep the water flowing downward. Gutter cleaning will still be needed from time to time.

Pipe Cleaners and Sponges

Designed to work differently than other types of gutter guards, pipe cleaners and sponges fit inside of the gutters and catch debris. Either choice must be removed and cleaned regularly. Inexpensive and easy to install, but labor intensive to clean.


Considered to be the cream of the crop, mirco-mesh keeps all debris from entering the gutters. Made from stainless steel with holes smaller than the tip of a needle, nothing but water gets past these gutter guards. Mirco-mesh gutter guards must be professionally installed and will be virtually invisible when installed correctly. Cleaning will not be needed.