Gutter Guards: Everything You Need to Know

Often known as gutter screens, gutter covers and gutter helmets, gutter guard systems are relatively inexpensive DIY products that you can find at home improvement stores or you can have them professionally installed for a more expensive price. Read on to find out what these systems are designed to do as well as some of the most common designs.

What Do Gutter Guards Do?

Gutter guard systems are designed to help reduce the overall chance of your home becoming damaged due to clogged gutters and reduce the frequency and need of gutter maintenance and cleaning. Of course, it is important to understand that no gutter guard will completely eliminate the need to maintain or clean your gutters or the hazard of water damage. There are numerous types of gutter guard designs, and some designs seem to be better than others in regards to reducing the frequency of clogged gutters.

Common Gutter Guard Designs

Gutter Screens

There are several different types of gutter screens, including snap-on, hinged and roll-out. They are usually available in metal or plastic and typically lay directly on top of the home’s guttering system. Gutter screens are inexpensive, easy to install and the openings in them allow rain to flow through while blocking debris.

The primary issue with gutter screens is that the ends of each section are not sealed. Therefore, there are gaps where debris could potentially enter. It also leaves space where small animals, such as birds, squirrels, etc. to squeeze underneath the screen and nest inside the gutters. Once debris enters or an animal builds a nest inside the gutter, a clog can occur because the screen will keep it from blowing out. Debris can also get trapped in the openings in the screen. Lastly, these particularly guard systems can be unattractive to the eye.

Bottle Brush Guards

This particular type of gutter guards lay directly in the hone’s guttering. One great thing about this type of guard is that it cannot be seen. However, it has a host of problems. It can deter large leaves and debris, but it often traps smaller debris. Also, when you try to clean the brushes, they must be completely removed from the gutters and shaken, which scatters debris everywhere.

Foam Inserts

This type of gutter guard is made out of foam and is designed so that it fills almost the entire gutter channel. Essentially, it is designed so that only water enters the gutter and no debris since the foam is blocking the channel. Unfortunately, according to many homeowners, after about a year, the foam starts to degrade and pieces of the foam are found in the gutter. Another issue is that the foam insert isn’t able to absorb the water at a fast enough pace, especially when a moderate to heavy rainstorm comes through. The excess water simply runs over the gutter and you end up with drainage and landscaping issues.

Gutter Helmet

These gutter guards are typically installed professionally and are designed so that water flows into the gutters and debris falls off of the “helmet”. The guards are attached permanently to the room and/or fascia and sometimes even underneath the roof’s bottom row of shingles. The main issue with these guards is that the opening for the water to flow into the gutter is still large enough for small debris to enter – sometimes even small birds can make their way inside and build nests. Due to the fact that it is a permanent and fixed system, you can’t remove the helmet and clean it without taking the entire system out and risking gutter damage and/or roof damage.

Why Gutter Rx Should Be Considered

Gutter Rx is a gutter guard system that stands the test of time and holds up where the aforementioned guards cannot. Here are some features and benefits about Gutter Rx:

  • It covers the gutter channel in its entirely where there are no openings for debris or animals.
  • It is constructed of aluminum, so it will never deteriorate or rust.
  • It attaches to the front of the gutter and the fascia, which means it is extremely secure.
  • It is pierced like a colander, which allows plenty of water flow, but the holes are incredibly small (so no maple seeds).
  • It has a stair-stepped surface, which helps debris blow away.
  • It fits flush with the gutter, which means it is not visible from the ground.
  • It has a 20-year, no clog guarantee.


If you currently have a gutter guard system, it is important to know that your gutters need to be inspected on a regular basis to ensure that they’re operating properly. In fact, this is true whether you have covered gutters or not. Gutters can become damaged from falling tree limbs, winter snow and ice, and diligent animals, and you often won’t know that damage has occurred until there is water damage. We offer gutter inspection, cleaning and installation services.

If you currently have a gutter guard system in place that is not performing the way that you feel that it should and you’re tired of messing with it or you would like to inquire about the installation of a gutter guard system on your home, give us a call at Magnolia Group and we’ll discuss your options.