The Pros and Cons of Various Gutter Guards for a Residential Home

If you're like most homeowners, you probably hate cleaning out your home's gutters, which is why it might be time to invest in some high-quality gutter guards. As the name implies, these pieces guard the gutters from a build-up of leaves, twigs, mud and silt, bird droppings and other debris that can cause clogs to form. This debris can also cause the gutters to hold water rather than drain it away, and the weight of that standing water can pull gutters away from the house. To avoid all this mess and potential damage, note a few pros and cons of various gutter protection options you might invest in for your home so you can protect those gutters as much as possible.

Reverse curve

Reverse curve gutter guards are clipped to the roof eave or edge of the roof, and they curve forward, over the gutters. This curve allows leaves and other debris to keep sliding off the roof, while water will run down the guard and into the gutter. The advantage of reverse curve gutter guards is that they look like a part of the roof, creating a very cohesive, attractive appearance. However, in stronger storms, they may not allow enough water to reach the gutters themselves, as the water may roll off the roof with the leaves and debris.


Screens can be easily cut and fit into place, so they're a quick DIY installation job. They also block small sediment and debris from getting into the gutters so the gutters stay as clean as possible.

One drawback to screens is that leaves and other debris may tend to simply sit on their surface, blocking the gutters, so water might not fall into the gutters themselves; it instead may fall over the side of the home. You may need to hose down the screens after every strong storm to keep them clear.


Foam gutter guards are made of a durable yet porous material that allows water to flow through, while blocking solid materials. The foam is often cut at an angle so that it covers a side of the gutters, allowing leaves to slide down over the surface of the foam, while water drips through to the other side. Other types of foam may be cut to fit snugly in the top of the gutters so that leaves and debris are blocked. As with screens, foam guards are an easy DIY installation job, but they may also need to be rinsed clean of any debris that collects on their surface.