How the Different Gutter Protection Systems Work


A basic question that homeowners face when installing gutters is whether to use an open gutter or one with a guard. A gutter guard is designed to stop leaves, debris and other materials from falling into the gutter and preventing the free flow of water. A primary consideration in going for a gutter guard is the added costs to the gutters.

Short and Long Term Benefits of Gutter Protection System

The extra expense in the initial installation of gutter guards is offset by its short and long term benefits. Cleaning gutters can be hazardous to your health as when you slip off the ladder or roof and sustain injuries. The reduction of maintenance work and expenses brought by an effective gutter protection system justifies its added cost.

Types of Gutter Protection System

  1. Gutter Guards. Broadly speaking, devices used to cover gutters and protect them from being clogged by dirt and debris are commonly referred to as gutter guards, gutter covers and gutter hoods. While the designs and functions may vary, their objectives are the same to maintain the functionality of gutters to drain water into the downspout. These devices —are add-on systems that are put on top of gutters to deflect leaves and debris from entering and accumulating in the gutter and are attached through the use of nails or screws.
  2. Gutter Screens. Another type of gutter protection system are the gutter screens, which are made of different materials including plastic, steel and aluminum. They are placed on top of gutters to ensure the free flow of water by preventing debris from getting into the gutter. This gutter protection design is also called a mesh gutter guard because the sheets placed on top of the gutter is filled with holes, the sizes of which vary, that sift out debris but allow water to fall in.
  3. Gutter Inserts. While gutter guards and hoods are put on top of gutters, gutter inserts are placed in the gutter itself to repel leaves and debris while allowing the flow of rainwater to pass through the material. Gutter inserts are usually made of foam or rounded plastic bristles that do not affect the free flow of water in the gutter. Among the gutter protection systems, gutter inserts are considered the least effective.
  4. Built-In Gutter Guards. Gutters with built-in guards are also available. These come pre-manufactured in one piece with a curved design that allows rainwater to travel down and enter the gutter while keeping leaves and debris out. This type is also called a reverse curve gutter guard.