Gutter Guards: How They Protect Your Home Gutters From Clogs

by | Oct 22, 2022 | Gutters

Featured image of how gutter guards protect your home gutters from clogs

Did you know that dirt, leaves, and other debris can clog your home’s gutters if they’re not protected? Thankfully, gutter guards prevent this from happening. They keep your gutters clean and clear, preventing clogs and ensuring that water flows freely through them to avoid expensive damage to your roof, house, and landscaping.

But what are gutter guards, how do they work, and how do you install them in your house? Keep reading to find out.

What Are Gutter Guards?

Gutter guards — also called gutter covers and helmets — are installed on gutters to keep leaves, twigs, and other debris from clogging them. While they don’t eliminate the need to clean your gutters, they reduce the cleaning frequency in half. 

Gutter guards indirectly prevent water damage to your property by keeping your gutters free from pollutants that cause rust and corrosion, which is the No.1 culprit for gutter leaks. Gutter guards come in various materials, including plastic, metal, and nylon.

How Do Gutter Guards Work?

As mentioned earlier, gutter guards work by protecting your gutters from outside elements that cause clogs (twigs, leaves, feathers, fruits, etc.). They are installed over the top of your gutters and usually extend out a few inches from the roof’s edge. Such a position prevents debris from getting into the gutter system and clogging them.

While gutter guards do a great job of preventing debris, you shouldn’t think of them as a solution to no longer maintaining your gutters. Clean-ups are still crucial as the guards cannot prevent grime or leave particles that can still accumulate over time. 

Types of Gutter Guards

Infographic image of the types of gutter guards


Screen gutter guards are the most common type. They are plastic or metal and contain tiny pores that allow water through while keeping leaves and other debris out. Screens are affordable and don’t require retrofitting. Still, they need a little cleaning occasionally because debris can clog the pores over time, making it hard for water to filter into the gutters efficiently.


Nylon, metal, or plastic with small holes that allow water to pass through make up mesh gutter guards. And although they are more expensive than screens, they’re easier to maintain. Mesh gutter guards are also more durable than screens and are less likely to become clogged with debris.


Brush gutter guards are made of bristles that block pinecones, leaves, and debris from clogging your gutters. But while the overall concept is excellent, debris clogs the bristles over time, so you must clean them regularly. Brush gutter guards can also be more challenging to install than other types and may not look as elegant as the other two above. 

Gutter Guard Installation

  1. Measure your gutters and cut the gutter guards to size.
  2. Clean your gutters to remove dirt, debris, or leaves.
  3. Install the gutter guards over the gutters, starting at the bottom and working your way up (ensure they extend out a few inches from the edge of the roof).
  4. Secure the gutter guards with screws, saddle, or nails.
  5. Repeat the process for the other gutters in your home.

Can I Do It Myself?

Yes, but we don’t recommend it. Gutter installation is tricky and, if done incorrectly, can cause more harm than good (small dents can cause the debris to pool and damage the guard too soon). It’s always best to leave it to the professionals to avoid problems. The last thing you want is having to replace your gutter or guards due to a poor installation attempt. 

Do You Still Have to Clean Gutters with Gutter Guards?

Yes. While gutter guards do an excellent job of keeping leaves and debris out of your gutters, they don’t eliminate the need for cleaning altogether. Over time, dirt, dust, and other particles can build up on the gutter guards and, if not cleaned, can hinder proper drainage and cause clogs. The goal, above all else, is to avoid costly repairs by preventing clogs from happening altogether. 

Do Gutter Guards Work in Heavy Rain?

Absolutely. Gutter guards are designed to keep water flowing freely through your gutters, even in heavy rainstorms. Keeping leaves and other debris out of your gutters allows water to flow through quickly and easily, preventing clogs and ensuring that your gutters do their job properly.

Grand Haven Gutter Experts

Look no further than Shepherd Shoreline for all Grand Haven gutter needs. Our team of experts can help you choose the right gutter guards for your home and budget, and we’ll even install them for you. Contact us at (231) 780-2847 for a free estimate today.

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Address: 2788 McCracken Street, Norton Shores, MI 49441

Phone: (231) 780-2847

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