Are Leaf Guard Gutters Worth The Money? (Advantages & Disadvantages)

Last Updated on July 19, 2023 By Emma W. Thomas

Leaf guard gutters can be worth the money for many homeowners. These gutter systems have built-in features that prevent leaves, debris, and clogs, reducing the need for frequent cleaning and maintenance. While they may have a higher upfront cost compared to regular gutters, they save time and effort in the long run. Leaf guard gutters protect the home’s foundation and prevent water damage, potentially saving on costly repairs.

Are Leaf Guard Gutters Worth The Money?

Leaf guard gutters are a popular solution for homeowners looking to keep their gutters clean and free from debris. But are they worth the money? Let’s look at the facts and numbers to find a direct answer.

  1. Prevention of Clogs: Leaf guard gutters are designed to prevent debris such as leaves, twigs, and pine needles from entering the gutters. This significantly reduces the likelihood of clogs, which can lead to water damage, foundation issues, and costly repairs.
  2. Maintenance Reduction: With leaf guard gutters, you can save time and money on gutter maintenance. Cleaning gutters multiple times a year can be a labor-intensive task that often requires hiring professionals. Leaf guard gutters minimize the need for frequent cleaning, allowing you to spend your valuable time on other activities.
  3. Increased Gutter Lifespan: Regular gutters often accumulate debris and water, leading to corrosion, rust, and damage. Leaf guard gutters help to prolong the lifespan of your gutters by preventing these issues and reducing the need for repairs or replacement.
  4. Protection Against Pest Infestations: Clogged gutters can become the perfect breeding ground for pests such as mosquitoes, ants, or even birds. Leaf guard gutters act as a barrier, preventing pests from nesting and infesting your home, enhancing your comfort, and reducing the risk of damage caused by these unwanted visitors.

Now, let’s talk numbers. While the cost of leaf guard gutters may vary depending on various factors such as the size of your home, material quality, and installation complexity, they can range from $10 to $25 per linear foot. This means that for an average-sized home with 200 linear feet of gutters, the cost can range from $2,000 to $5,000.

Considering the potential costs of water damage, repairs, and regular maintenance associated with clogged gutters, leaf guard gutters can be a worthwhile investment. The upfront expense may seem high, but the long-term benefits, including the prevention of damage and the reduction in maintenance costs, outweigh the initial outlay.

What Is Good About Leaf Guard Gutters?

Leaf guard gutters offer several benefits that make them a popular and practical choice for many homeowners:

  1. Reduced Clogging: The primary advantage of leaf guard gutters is their ability to prevent leaves, debris, and twigs from entering and clogging the gutters. This helps maintain proper water flow, preventing overflow and potential water damage to the roof and foundation.
  2. Low Maintenance: With fewer leaves and debris accumulating in the gutters, the need for regular gutter cleaning is significantly reduced. This saves homeowners time, effort, and money on gutter maintenance and cleaning services.
  3. Prevents Pest Infestations: Clogged gutters can create a suitable environment for pests like mosquitoes, birds, and rodents. Leaf guard gutters eliminate standing water and debris, reducing the likelihood of pest infestations around the home.
  4. Protects Gutters and Downspouts: Leaf guard systems shield gutters and downspouts from potential damage caused by clogs and ice buildup during winter, extending the lifespan of the gutter system.
  5. Prevents Water Damage: Properly functioning leaf guard gutters direct rainwater away from the house, minimizing the risk of water seepage into the foundation or basement, which can lead to costly repairs.
  6. Increases Home Value: Leaf guard gutters can enhance the overall curb appeal and desirability of a home for potential buyers. The added benefit of low-maintenance gutter systems can make the property more attractive in the real estate market.
  7. Suitable for Various Climates: Leaf guard gutters are effective in various weather conditions, including heavy rainfall and snowfall, making them a practical choice for homeowners in diverse climates.

What Is Bad About Leaf Guard Gutters?

While leaf guard gutters offer numerous advantages, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider:

  1. Higher Initial Cost: Leaf guard gutters generally have a higher upfront cost compared to standard gutters. The added technology and design features contribute to the increased expense of the system.
  2. Installation Challenges: Installing leaf guard gutters can be more complex and time-consuming than regular gutters. Improper installation may compromise their effectiveness, so professional installation is recommended.
  3. Not 100% Clog-Proof: While leaf guard gutters significantly reduce clogs, they may not be entirely clog-proof. In some cases, small debris or fine particles may still get through, requiring occasional maintenance.
  4. Maintenance Requirements: While leaf guard gutters reduce the frequency of cleaning, they may still require occasional maintenance to ensure optimal performance and prevent any clogs that may occur.
  5. Compatibility Issues: Leaf guard gutters may not be compatible with certain roofing materials or roof designs, making it necessary to carefully assess their suitability for your specific home.
  6. Ice and Snow Accumulation: In cold climates, ice, and snow can accumulate on top of the leaf guard, potentially affecting water flow and causing icicles to form.
  7. Limited Aesthetics: Some homeowners may find the appearance of leaf guard gutters less appealing compared to traditional gutters, as the additional guards can alter the gutter’s overall look.

What Types Of Leaf Gutter Guards Are There?

Guard gutters come in different types. Some include:

1. Bottlebrush Guards

The bottle brush guard is a cheap guard to use. It is made up of heavy-duty bristles. The bristles are then inserted in the gutter to prevent leaves and debris from collecting in there. However, leaves gather up behind the projecting bristles or get stuck themselves. Some Leaves get caught on or behind the bristles making the leaf guard gutters redundant.

2. Foam Gutter Guards

Foam Gutter Guards are made from a porous material. The material is inserted into the gutter. The foam allows water to flow through it, but other debris cannot. 

Foam gutters are a good solution but, they start to deteriorate after some years of use. They can begin to break in hot seasons due to long exposure to the sun and no moisture. Tiny particles go through the foam and settle at the bottom of the gutter and, it needs to be regularly cleaned. 

3. Perforated Metal Guards

The perforated Metal Guards are fitted under the shingles to cover the gutter. It effectively keeps leaves out, but other tiny objects may end up inside the channels. The small perforations might end up being blocked by small debris, leading to their blockage. When the tiny perforations are clogged, water cannot get into the gutter, and it might overflow into your house.

4. Reverse Curve Guards

The Reverse curve guard or reverse surface tension gutter is a guard that is designed to move rainwater down together with leaves and other debris. Since the reverse curve guards are fitted into the roof shingles, it might lead to the roof warranty being voided. However, clogs formed to make them ineffective.

5. Micro-mesh Gutter Guards

The micro-mesh Gutter guards come to solve the problems that perforated metal covers have. The micro-mesh gutter guard has very tiny holes. Only water can pass through, and the small debris cannot get caught. Therefore, they can easily roll off and not block the gutter guards. The mesh is made of stainless steel. It can live long without being affected by rust.

What Are Some Complaints By Consumers Who Use Leaf Guard Gutters?

Some complaints made by consumers who use leaf guard gutters include:

  1. High Cost: Many consumers find the initial cost of leaf guard gutters to be expensive compared to standard gutters. The investment may deter some homeowners, especially those on a tight budget.
  2. Installation Issues: Some customers have reported installation problems, such as improper fitting or gaps, which can lead to reduced effectiveness and necessitate additional adjustments or repairs.
  3. Partial Clogging: While leaf guard gutters are designed to reduce clogs, some users have experienced partial clogging, especially during heavy rain or with small debris that can still pass through the guards.
  4. Ice and Snow Accumulation: In colder climates, ice and snow may accumulate on top of the leaf guard, potentially causing water flow issues and icicle formation.
  5. Limited Design Options: Some consumers have expressed dissatisfaction with the limited design options for leaf guard gutters, as they may not match the aesthetics of their homes as well as traditional gutters.
  6. Compatibility Challenges: Leaf guard gutters may not be compatible with certain roofing materials or roof designs, causing complications during installation or requiring modifications.
  7. Maintenance Requirements: While leaf guard gutters reduce the need for frequent cleaning, they may still require occasional maintenance to keep them functioning optimally.
  8. Warranty and Customer Service Concerns: Some customers have expressed dissatisfaction with warranty coverage and the responsiveness of customer service when facing issues or seeking support.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Leaf Guard Gutters?

Any appliance or tool has advantages and disadvantages; the guard gutters are no different.

Advantages Of Leaf Guard Gutters.

The advantages of leaf guard gutters include:

1. Save Money And Time

Uncovered gutters will collect any debris that falls onto your roof, woe unto you if you have trees around your home. Leaf guard gutters hold all this debris and prevent it from getting into the channels. Leaf guard gutters ensure that you have free-flowing water and save you the time and money you would have spent cleaning the gutters. Cleaning leaf guard gutters does not take much time when compared to cleaning gutters without leaf guard gutters.

2. Gutter Guards Prevent Pest Infestation

Accumulated refuse and chaff make good habitat-building material for some insects, birds, bats, critters, and many other small animals to nest. Once leaf guard gutters are installed, the drain becomes uninhabitable. 

3. Improves The Home Value

Clean and well-hung gutters improve the attractiveness of a house. You cannot see roof guard gutters, but you will notice when a channel does not have a gutter guard. Potential home buyers and sellers have to take advantage and have this installed to be in a position to sell or buy the houses.

4. Gutter Guards Help In Preventing Fires

Homes near trees or bushes will be vulnerable to catching fire during the hot season. With leaves and debris getting caught in the gutter, they pose a threat to the house as they add to the risk of the house catching fire.

5. Home And Human Safety 

Gutter guards reduce the risk posed by cleaning gutters. The gutter guards need cleaning, too but not as often as open gutters. Climbing a ladder to clean the gutters is a hard task. If you are not a professional or have the right equipment, you will be exposed to risks. 

6. Gutter Guards Prevent Water From Getting Into Your House

A clogged gutter will not let water pass; the water will be stagnant and can start leaking into your home. Water leaking will happen during heavy rains and can cause serious damage to your house. Fixing water damage is expensive. 

When your gutter is clogged, water will start overflowing on the sides with all the debris. An overflowing drain is an ugly sight to see. It will set your house back in terms of design and its whole outlook.

7. Gutter Guards Help In Clean Water Collection

Gutters are installed to collect water. With leaf guard gutters, your water will be clean and free of debris. Direct this water to clean storage where you can use it later when it is clean and not contaminated by gunk and refuses that might be on your roof.

8. Prolong The Life Of Your Gutters

Gutter guards hold back all the debris from settling in the gutter. Without the trash in the channel, they can last longer since they will not be exposed to agents such as rust.

9. The Leaf Guard Gutters Reduce The Frequency And Difficulty Of Cleaning Gutters. 

With the leaf guards installed, you can cut your gutter cleaning frequency by year. Gutter guards can keep your gutter leaf and debris free for many years, depending on your location. However, you have to clean them at some point. Cleaning your gutters when they have guards installed is easy. There is no scooping dried-up mud with leaves and other refuse wedged inside the drain.

Disadvantages Of Leaf Guard Gutters

1. Installation Is Expensive

Leaf guard gutters are expensive to purchase and install. Most homeowners will choose to leave them open. Leaf guard gutters come at different prices, but the installation can be costly no matter the purchase price.

2. They Do Not Guard Against All The Debris

Some debris is bound to go through the leaf guard gutters and get trapped in your gutters. When they let some trash go through them, they are not living up to their function or needs.

3. They Are Heavy

Leaf guard gutters are usually heavy. When they are not properly installed, they can end up destroying your roof.

During winter, ice forms on the gutter guards, causing more strain on the gutters.

Final Word

Leaf guard gutters are important as they help prevent drains from getting blocked by leaves and other debris. However, installing lead guard gutters does not mean that you have completely gotten rid of the gutter clean-up duty. The channels still need to be cleaned, just not as much as they required when the leaf guards were not installed.