Do Gutter Guards Work On Steep Roofs?

Dec 10, 2023

When dealing with the elements, the type of roof you have can significantly affect how well your gutter system functions. For homeowners with steep roofs, the question often arises: do gutter guards work on steep roofs? This article aims to shed light on this topic.

Understanding Gutter Guards and Steep Roofs

Gutter guards, also known as gutter protection, are designed to prevent debris from clogging your gutter system, allowing water to flow freely. Steep roofs come with their own unique set of challenges. The increased incline can result in water rushing down at high speeds, which could potentially overwhelm standard gutter guards.

Do Gutter Guards Work on Steep Roofs?

The short answer is yes, gutter guards do work on steep roofs, but their effectiveness can depend heavily on the type of guards you use and the specific characteristics of your roof. Not all gutter guards are created equal, and some may perform better under these conditions than others.

Choosing the Right Gutter Guards for Steep Roofs

When it comes to steep roofs, professionals often recommend using gutter guards that can handle high water volumes. These typically include slotted or perforated guards made from metal or plastic, which can withstand heavy downpours without becoming overwhelmed. Mesh- or screen-style gutter guards can also be effective, as they allow water to flow through while preventing debris from entering the gutter.


Before deciding on gutter guards for your steep roof, it’s essential to consider the type of debris you’re dealing with. If your property is surrounded by tall trees, for instance, you might need guards designed to keep out leaves and twigs rather than smaller debris. You should also consider the material of your guards, as some materials may be prone to rusting or degrading over time.

In conclusion, gutter guards do work on steep roofs, but their effectiveness can vary based on several factors. By understanding your specific needs and consulting with a professional, you can find a solution that best fits your situation.

Types of Gutter Guards

The type of gutter guards you choose can significantly impact their functionality and longevity. There are different types of gutter guards available in the market. Each has its distinct features, advantages, and potential drawbacks. They also vary in their installation procedures and costs. Here, we will explore some of the common types of gutter guards.

Mesh Gutter Guards

Mesh gutter guards are one of the most popular choices. These guards are made from a metal sheet filled with tiny holes. They are designed to be installed on top of your gutters, preventing debris from entering while allowing water to flow through. The small holes in mesh gutter guards make them highly effective at keeping out even the smallest particles.

Reverse Curve Gutter Guards

As the name suggests, reverse curve gutter guards have a slightly curved edge that facilitates water movement into your gutters while deflecting debris. They are designed to use the force of gravity and surface tension to pull water down into the gutter while pushing leaves and other debris off the roof.

Bottle Brush Gutter Guards

Bottle brush gutter guards have bristles that face upward to catch debris while allowing water to flow into the gutters. They are quite easy to install and remove for cleaning, but they may not be as effective at preventing smaller particles from entering your gutters.

Foam Gutter Guards

Foam gutter guards are made from a porous foam material that allows water to pass through while preventing debris from entering your gutters. They fit directly into your gutter and are relatively easy to install. However, they may require more frequent cleaning compared to other types of gutter guards.

Screen Gutter Guards

Screen gutter guards are made from metal or plastic screens that fit on top of your gutters. They are designed to filter out debris while allowing water to flow through. Screen gutter guards are relatively inexpensive and easy to install but may not be as durable as other types.

When selecting gutter guards, it’s crucial to consider factors such as your climate, the type and amount of debris that typically falls on your roof, and your budget. Remember, no type of gutter guard can completely eliminate the need for regular gutter cleaning, but a good-quality gutter guard can significantly reduce the frequency and difficulty of the task.

Installation of Gutter Guards

Gutter guards are essential components that play a significant role in home maintenance. They prevent water damage by directing the flow of water away from your home’s foundation. Installation of gutter guards is a process that requires careful consideration and precise execution, especially on steep roofs.

Professional VS DIY Installation

There are two main ways to install gutter guards: professional installation and DIY (Do It Yourself). Professional installation ensures that the gutter guards are correctly installed and functioning as they should. However, it can be quite costly. DIY installation, on the other hand, can be more affordable, but it requires a certain level of skill and understanding of the installation process.

Steps in Installing Gutter Guards

Here are the general steps involved in installing gutter guards:

  1. Clean the Gutters: Before installing the guards, ensure you clean the gutters. Remove all debris such as leaves, twigs, and dirt. This step is crucial to ensure the effective operation of the gutter guards.
  2. Measure the Gutters: Measure your gutters to determine the length of the gutter guards needed. Always factor in a small extra to accommodate any mistakes in measurement.
  3. Fit the Guards: Depending on the type of gutter guard you have, the installation process may vary. Some need to be slid under the shingles, while others clip onto the front edge of the gutter. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. Secure the Guards: Once fitted, secure the guards into place. Some types of guards require screws, while others simply snap into place.

Considerations for Steep Roofs

While the general installation process remains the same, installing gutter guards on steep roofs can pose additional challenges. It’s important to ensure you have the right safety equipment, including a sturdy ladder and safety harness. It may also be beneficial to consider professional installation to ensure the job is done safely and correctly.

Regardless of the type of roof you have, gutter guard installation is a worthwhile investment. It saves time and effort in cleaning and maintaining your gutters, and more importantly, it provides an added layer of protection to your home.

Benefits of Gutter Guards

The installation of gutter guards has several benefits that make them a worthwhile investment for homeowners. Especially in regions that experience heavy rainfall, having gutter guards can save you time, money, and the risk of potential damage to your home.

Prevent Clogs and Blockages

One of the main advantages of gutter guards is their ability to prevent clogs and blockages in your gutter system. They prevent leaves, twigs, dirt, and other debris from entering your gutters, reducing the likelihood of blockages that can lead to water overflow.

Reduce Maintenance

With gutter guards installed, the frequency and intensity of gutter cleaning are significantly reduced. Gutter guards prevent the build-up of debris, meaning you no longer need to spend hours on a ladder cleaning out your gutters several times a year. This not only saves you time but can also reduce the risk of injury from falling.

Extend Gutter Lifespan

Gutter guards can extend the lifespan of your gutters by preventing rust and corrosion. When leaves and debris sit in your gutters, they can trap moisture, which can eventually lead to rust. By keeping your gutters clear, gutter guards help to prevent this problem, potentially saving you money in the long run on gutter replacement costs.

Prevent Pest Infestations

Gutter guards can also prevent pests, such as rodents and insects, from making a home in your gutters. By keeping debris out, gutter guards remove the ideal environment for pests to nest, helping to keep your home pest-free.

Prevent Water Damage

Finally, by ensuring that water flows freely through your gutters and downspouts, gutter guards can prevent water damage to your home. Overflowing gutters can lead to water damage to your home’s siding, foundation, and landscaping, but gutter guards can help prevent this problem.

In conclusion, gutter guards offer numerous benefits, from reducing maintenance requirements to preventing potential damage to your home. They are a worthwhile investment for homeowners, particularly those in regions experiencing heavy rainfall or with houses surrounded by trees.

Disadvantages of Gutter Guards

While gutter guards are a popular solution to prevent leaves and debris from clogging gutters, they also come with a few downsides that are worth considering. Let’s look at some of these disadvantages.

Cost of Installation

One of the main disadvantages of gutter guards is the cost. The upfront investment is far more expansive than the cost of regular gutter cleaning services. Depending on the type, quality, and the professional installation fees, the cost of gutter guards can be significant.

Difficulty in Cleaning

Despite the common belief, gutter guards do not eliminate the need for gutter cleaning. Debris can still accumulate over the guards and small particles can still get through the guards, leading to a need for periodic cleaning. Unfortunately, cleaning gutters with guards installed can be more challenging and time-consuming than cleaning open gutters.

Not Fully Effective

While gutter guards can prevent larger debris like leaves and twigs from entering the gutters, they are not fully effective against smaller debris like pine needles and seeds. These smaller particles can still slip through the guards and accumulate in the gutter over time.

Incompatibility with Certain Roof Types

Not all gutter guard systems work effectively with all types of roofs. For instance, roofs with a steep incline, often referred to as steep roofs, might still have issues even with gutter guards installed due to the speed at which water runs off the roof.

Potential Damage to Roof Warranty

In some cases, the installation of gutter guards may void the warranty of your roof. It’s essential to check with your roofing manufacturer or professional roofing contractor before moving ahead with the installation.

In conclusion, while gutter guards can offer some level of gutter protection, they also come with certain drawbacks. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons before deciding to install them.

How to Clean Gutters with Guards Installed

Cleaning gutters is a necessary maintenance task for all homeowners. However, if you have gutter guards installed, the process may slightly differ. This is because the guards are designed to reduce the amount of debris in your gutters, but they don’t eliminate the need for cleaning completely. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to clean gutters with guards installed:


Before you start, make sure you have the right tools at hand. This includes a ladder, a bucket for collecting debris, a garden hose, and possibly a gutter scoop. Remember to always prioritize safety when working at heights.

Remove the Guards

Start by carefully removing the gutter guards. Most of them are easy to detach, but the method will vary depending on the type of guard you have. Some may just slide out, others might be screwed or clipped in. Be careful not to damage the guards or the gutters in the process.

Clean the Gutters

Once the guards are removed, you can now clean the gutters. Use your hands or a gutter scoop to remove the larger debris, and deposit them into the bucket. After you’ve removed as much solid debris as possible, flush the gutters using a garden hose. This will help clear out smaller debris and dirt.

Reinstall the Guards

After you’ve thoroughly cleaned the gutters, reinstall the gutter guards. Make sure they’re properly secured to prevent them from falling off or moving around in strong winds.

Maintain Regularly

Despite having gutter guards, it’s still crucial to check and clean your gutters occasionally. The frequency will depend on your environment. For instance, if you have many trees around your home, you might need to clean them more regularly.

By following these steps, you can effectively clean gutters with guards installed and keep your home’s drainage system functioning optimally.

How to Remove Gutter Guards

Removing gutter guards can be a necessary task when conducting maintenance or replacing the guards. Here’s a simple guide on how to accomplish this task.

Tools Needed

Before you start, make sure you have the following tools on hand:

  • A ladder
  • Safety gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • A plastic putty knife

Steps to Remove Gutter Guards

  1. Set Up Your Ladder: Ensure the ladder is stable before you climb. It’s safer if someone holds the ladder for you.
  2. Wear Safety Gear: Put on your gloves and goggles. This helps protect against dirt and debris.
  3. Start at the End of the Gutter: Starting at the end of the gutter, gently lift the edge of the gutter guard.
  4. Use the Putty Knife: If the guard is too tight, use the plastic putty knife to gently pry it up. Be careful not to damage the gutter or the roof.
  5. Continue Along the Gutter: Continue this process along the length of the gutter, gradually removing the entire guard.

Note: This process may vary slightly depending on the type of gutter guard installed. Some may require unscrewing before removal.

After Removal

Once the gutter guards are removed, it’s a good time to clean out any trapped debris. Ensure the gutters are in good condition. If necessary, replace the guards with new ones that offer better gutter protection, especially for steep roofs.

Remember, safety is paramount. If you’re not comfortable removing the gutter guards yourself, consider hiring a professional to do the job.

When to Use Gutter Guards

Gutter guards are a vital component of any home’s rainwater management system. They serve a crucial function in preventing leaves, debris, and pests from accumulating in and clogging up your gutters. But, when is the appropriate time to use gutter guards?

Firstly, if your residence is surrounded by trees, particularly those that shed leaves more frequently, gutter guards can be a massive time-saver. Instead of having to perform regular gutter cleaning, you can install gutter guards to minimize the accumulation of leaves and debris.

Secondly, if your area is prone to harsh weather conditions, gutter guards can offer superior protection to your gutters. They can prevent snow and ice from blocking your gutters during winter, reducing the risk of ice dams that can cause significant damage to your roofing system. Moreover, gutter guards can improve water flow during heavy downpours, preventing water from overflowing and damaging your home’s foundation.

Gutter guards are also beneficial for homes with steep roofs. They work effectively irrespective of your roof’s slope, ensuring that water is directed away from your home.

Lastly, consider investing in gutter guards if you are concerned about safety. Gutter cleaning can be a risky task, particularly for multi-story homes. By installing gutter guards, you eliminate the need for frequent gutter cleaning, reducing the risk of accidents.

In conclusion, the appropriate time to use gutter guards is closely tied to your specific living conditions and needs. Whether you’re looking to save time, protect your home from weather damage, or ensure your safety, gutter guards can be a worthwhile investment.

Big G Roofing