Are Gutter Guards Any Good?

I’d like to answer this question with a resounding maybe. 

In 15 years of cleaning, every time I’ve been called to clean eavestroughs at a house with gutter guards, its been a disaster. But there is a bias there. The homes that had gutter guards that worked, didn’t need to call me. So what did these houses have wrong?




Four Gutter Guard Gaffs

That are the reason for my early hair loss

1. Terrible Gutter Guard Products

Cleaning gutters is a terrible chore. There are companies out there that have clued in that the promise of relieving homeowners of this chore is enough to skip folks’ critical thinking and go straight to their credit card.


There are so many gutter products out there that suck. And any that claim to be quick and easy to install are in that category. The materials for these products may cost less, but if they don’t do what they’re supposed to then they charge far too much.

2. Partial Installation

Do not give in to the temptation to have gutter guards installed “just in the worst spots.” I’ve seen both DIY and professionally installed gutter guard installs where parts of the trough farther from trees are uncovered. But stuff still blows into those troughs, and then it washes under the guards where now it can’t be cleaned without uninstalling the guards. Whole contiguous sections must be covered. No gaps allowed. Related to this is piping upper troughs that are not guarded into lower troughs that are. These places have downspouts that inject all the leaves from the second story right under the gutter guards of the first story.

3. Gutter Guards Installed on Troughs that Don't Work

Gutter guards cover up the troughs. They make it hard to get into the troughs. That’s the point: it’s hard for leaves to get into the troughs. It’s also hard to get hands and tools into the troughs, so it is essential that if the troughs need repairs, they have to be done before the gutter guards are installed. I have seen well installed gutter guards on back graded eavestrough systems where the bottom of the trough is rusting out because water is sitting in them all the time. A trough system with guards has to be graded properly because any little bit of water that pools, with guards also gets shaded so it doesn’t evaporate. The water just stays there and goes to work on the metal. 

4. Gutter Guards installed under Spruce Trees

Gutter guards under evergreen trees aren’t necessarily a bad idea, but they don’t live up to the promise of being maintenance free. What happens is, if everything is left to itself, needles will matt down on top of the guards and prevent water from getting in. Where broad leafs will blow away in a breeze, the sticky resin on evergreen needles glues it all together and they take some real power to move. Now, it’s much easier to clean needles off a good gutter guard than to scoop them out of the trough, but beware promises of “never clean your gutters again” if you have spruce trees over your home.

But Everything Can Go Right

Now, I encounter gutter guards that work. I’m always doing something else at these homes, cleaning windows or siding. I always ask whether they are working, and what product they have. And, when the answer to the first question is yes, the answer to the second question is Alu-Rex. So this is what I install. 

If you’re interested in relieving the annual chore of getting gutters cleaned, it’s possible Alu-Rex Gutter Clean gutter guards are a real solution. We precede every gutter guard installation with a full inspection of your troughs so you know exactly what condition they are in, and what it will take to get them battle ready before putting on their Alu-Rex armor.