The Great Gutter Guard Debate

There seems to be a divide among gutter professionals about whether gutter guards are worth the effort to install. There are a couple major questions when it comes to gutter guards; is it cost effective and does it save time in maintaining your property? Let’s take a look at the types of guards and some of the pros and cons of installing gutter guards.


Gutter guards are designed to prevent debris from clogging your gutters and downspouts. They come in a variety of shapes and designs. Here are the most common types:

Brush Guard – these guards resemble large pipe cleaners. They are very quickly installed and removed, and they are designed for larger debris. They aren’t great for smaller debris like pine needles and twigs.

Foam Guards – these guards are porous blocks that allow water to flow, but obstruct debris from getting through. Although their ease of installation and removal are attractive, they are prone to algae and moss growth and will eventually solidify and become useless, even causing blockages.

Reverse Curve Guards – these guards are a covering utilizing a curved shape to allow water to flow in the gutters, but prevent debris from getting in them. There are difficult to install, remove and maintain, and have a very distinct look that some homeowners may dislike.

Screen Guards – these are probably the most effective guards on the market. They are screens or meshes that cover the gutter and allow water to drain into the gutter, leaving debris out. They can be snapped on or mounted to your gutter system.

The great gutter guard debate


In the Pacific Northwest, with our long rainy season, gutter guards are gaining in popularity. Having properly functioning gutters is vital to maintaining your property and keeping it in tip top shape for years to come. Gutters that are functioning improperly can lead to water damage to your building and its foundation, as well as damaging your landscaping. There’s no way around it, regular maintenance is the only way to ensure that your gutters will continue to perform properly, but gutter guards can help in a number of ways:

  • Gutter guards can be fixed to your existing gutters
  • They prevent leaves and sticks and other debris from clogging your gutters and downspouts, doubling, tripling or even quadrupling time in between needed maintenance
  • They prevent birds, rodents, insects and other pests from nesting in your gutters. Pests can cause serious damage to your home if left unchecked
  • They can extend the life of your gutters by removing moisture carrying debris from degrading gutter material

It’s recommended to get unguarded gutters routinely cleaned twice a year, in spring and fall. Guards will increase the amount of time in between these cleanings, reducing it to once a year or even once every other year.

The great gutter guard debate


Gutter Guards aren’t a perfect solution to clogging debris. There are a couple things to think about when it comes to installing them. The first is that ice is a real enemy of gutter guards. Guards can actually increase the size of icicles. The second is that getting your gutters cleaned will be a mor intense job with guards installed, and the price of cleaning will reflect that. However, even with the increase in the price of maintenance, the reduction of needed cleanings will allow the guards to pay for themselves in a few years.

All things considered, gutter guards are a solid bet in the rainy Northwest. Depending on how many trees are on your property and how many feet of gutters your building has, gutter guards can save you on precious time as well as money in the long run. A worthwhile investment for any dedicated homeowner.

If you are interested in installing gutter guards on your property, SNUGS installs the highest of quality Ironwood Gutter Guards. These are highly effective screen guards that will keep your gutters performing through the changing seasons.

Snugs Pro Wash, Inc, dba SNUGS Services, has been providing high quality Pressure Washing Services in Portland, OR since 1995. Started as a residential pressure washing and roof cleaning service, SNUGS is now one of the leading exterior cleaning companies in the Northwest. From our humble beginnings as a man with a truck and a trailer we have grown to become a multi-million dollar company serving corporate customers, name brands, and mom and pop companies alike.

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