A Quick Guide to Roofing Gutter Guards

A clean and functional gutter system is essential for the integrity and health of your roof and home. Most roofs are designed to carry water off and down to the ground to prevent stagnant water from causing rot and mold growth. Your gutters are designed to carry that water well away from your homes' foundation to keep the same issues from developing at ground level. Over time, though, sticks, leaves, and other debris can build up in your gutter systems, causing the water to back up and overflow. Like guards and filters, gutter protection systems are designed to keep the worst of the debris out and make the regular cleaning that your gutters need much less of a headache. Let's go over the benefits of installing a gutter protection system, some common concerns that homeowners have, and what your options are. 

What are Gutter Guards?

The rain gutters installed on your home serve a critical purpose – they redirect the water that runs off of your roof away from the buildings' foundation, preventing both short-term disasters like flooded basements and long-term structural damage. To do their job, gutters have to be free of debris that could block running water and cause overflow."¯ 

Gutter guards, also known as leaf filters or gutter covers, are accessories that attach to your homes' gutter system to filter debris and block animals from clogging or interfering with the flow of water from the roof to the ground away from your home. They play a crucial role in extending the life of your gutter system and saving an incredible amount of time and money on gutter maintenance.

Benefits of Gutter Guards for Your Roof

For many roofing experts, gutter guards are considered an essential part of a roofing system. They're low maintenance, can be added to most existing gutters, and make a critical difference in your homes' drainage system. Aside from the obvious benefit of preventing debris buildup, gutter guards can prevent rust, ice dams, animal nesting, and even lower fire risk for your home. They also make regular gutter maintenance a much easier process, saving time and effort from the moment they're installed. 

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Colorado condominium roofing maintenance program

Better Drainage for Your Roofing

If water is allowed to build up or pool on your roof, potential disaster is not far behind. Standing water can lead to leaks, mold, structural damage, and, in the worst case, roof collapse. Gutter systems are designed to make sure that water flows off of your roof, through the downspouts, and away from the foundation of your building, and for them to work correctly, they must be as free of debris as possible. The fewer obstructions present, the more efficient the water flow will be.

Keeping Debris Out of Your Gutters

Another main benefit of gutter guards, and arguably the most important one, is their ability to keep leaves and other debris out of your gutter system. Debris like leaves and pine needles can create clogs that jam up your gutter systems' ability to drain rainwater effectively. Gutter guards are designed to keep these kinds of debris from piling up and causing these problems. Having clean gutters that are free of debris can help keep rust and mold at bay by preventing water from pooling in specific areas and eliminating the damage that damp leaves can cause simply by sitting directly on your gutters. 

Less Maintenance for Your Roofing and Gutters

Every homeowner knows that gutter maintenance is a hassle. Dragging a hose and a ladder around each side of your home and fighting damp, nasty clumps of matted-up leaves isn't most peoples' idea of a fun Saturday. To add insult to injury, if you live in an area with lots of trees and grass, some roofing experts recommend cleaning out your homes' gutters every three months! Save yourself the trouble and let gutter guards do most of the work. While you'll still have to clamber up a ladder occasionally, gutter guards significantly reduce the amount of maintenance your roof and gutters need by catching most of the debris that would otherwise end up clogging the works."¯ 

Common Concerns with Roofing Gutter Guards

When considering upgrades or improvements to your home, it's common to have questions and concerns about some of the potential downsides that might come with your investment. There are several common misconceptions about gutter guards and their effectiveness. Many have to do with areas that get excessive amounts of heavy rainfall or regularly get exposed to belowfreezing temperatures."¯

Do Gutter Guards Work in Heavy Rain?

There are several kinds of gutter guards, and most are more than capable of handling heavy rain as long as they have been maintained and kept clean. Just like your gutters on their own, excessive amounts of leaves and other debris can cause clogs that heavy amounts of water will have difficulty passing through, so keep them clean, especially in the Spring and Fall. 

Do Gutter Guards Cause Ice Dams?

Metal roofing is becoming an increasingly popular choice for new construction projects. While not as traditionally common as the asphalt variety, metal roofs are gaining traction in the roofing market. The reason being their highly durable and economic attributes. These roofs can effectively shed inclement weather like snow and ice. They also last far longer than their asphalt counterparts and are seen as more environmentally friendly. 

What to Look for When Choosing Gutter Guards

Once you've decided to upgrade your gutter system with professionally installed gutter guards, there are a few more choices to make and options to consider. Depending on your local weather and climate, some guard styles may be a better fit for your homes' needs. Every type of gutter guard has its pros and cons, so it's essential to determine which one will best suit your home. 

Types of Gutter Guards

Gutter guards come in many different types and designs, each with benefits and uses for different situations. Some are better suited to heavily forested areas, and others are made to handle frequent heavy rainfall. Which type you decide to install will primarily be based on your homes' location, common weather patterns in your area, and your budget."¯ 


Gutter screens are relatively simple guards that consist of a mesh grid or screen that blocks leaves, sticks, and other larger types of debris from entering the gutter. They're typically constructed of aluminum, plastic, or vinyl and install quickly anefficiently under your roof's bottom row of shingles. They're among the most affordable and convenient options, but they have their downsides. Because they're only held in place by your roof's bottom row of shingling, extreme weather and wind can loosen the screen or tear it away completely.


Micro-mesh gutter guards follow a similar design idea as gutter screens; the main difference is the size of the holes in the mesh. As the name implies, micro-mesh guards are screens with much smaller filter holes than standard gutter screens and effectively keep smaller particles like sand and dirt out while allowing rainwater through. These mesh guards are made from various materials, from more affordable plastic or aluminum to heavy-duty stainless steel for extra durability.

Reverse Curve

Reverse curve gutter guards, sometimes referred to as surface tension gutter guards, use a form of trickery to keep debris out of your gutter. These guards are designed to take advantage of surface tension to keep water flowing into your gutter while keeping debris out entirely. Typically made from lightweight metal like aluminum or plastic, these guards are designed to last and eliminate much of the regular cleaning needed by other guards. However, they tend to be more costly than screen guards and typically need to be installed by a professional to be at thcorrect angle to work correctly."¯

Foam Guards

Foam guards are, simply put, big blocks of foam that sit inside of your gutter trough. The foam absorbs water and passes it through to the gutter while blocking out most kinds of debris. If you live in a climate that gets an above-average amount of rain, though, the foam can get saturated and begin to rot or grow mold. These guards are not designed for longevity and need to be cleaned or replaced more often than other styles."¯ 

Brush Guards

The trade name for brush guards is "pipe cleaners," and it's easy to see why. These guards slide directly into your gutter, allowing the bristles to catch larger pieces of debris while still allowing water to run through. They are another cheaper option and great for the DIYer, as all you need to do to install this type of guard is cut it to length and slide it into the gutter. These guards tend to require more regular cleaning than others, but the design makes cleaning a relatively quick and easy process.

shingle roof with PRQ Exteriors Crew Van
shingle roof with PRQ Exteriors Crew Van
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Having a Professional Install Your Gutter Guards

Although it's possible to install some types of gutter protection systems on your own, PRQ Exteriors"¯always recommends a professional touch when it comes to anything involving the protection of your roof and, by extension, your home. Ensuring the proper fit and installation is a job often best left to the experts, especially where roof warranties are concerned. At"¯PRQ,"¯we install gutter guards and covers from all top manufacturers customized to fit your needs and your home."¯ 

PRQ Exteriors Denver, Colorado Roofing Contractor
PRQ exteriors commercial residential roofing Denver

Regular roofing inspections are an essential part of maintaining a healthy roof year after year. Whether you're concerned about your roof after a major storm, just need a check-in, or want to talk about some options for installing new gutter guards to make life a little easier and provide more peace of mind, contact the roofing experts at"¯PRQ Exteriors"¯for a complimentary roofing evaluation and free estimate today!"¯ 

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