5 Gutter Guard Styles

by Jayden Fisher

Gutter guards can help prevent clogged gutters and issues with roof drain. There are several different styles of guards to choose from.

1. Screens

Screens are the most common type of gutter guard. They come in fine metal mesh or perforated metal or vinyl sheets. Generally, metal is preferred over vinyl because it is less prone to breakage and weathering. Fine screens can become clogged with debris, so they must be swept off more often than perforated screens. Perforated screens may let some small debris through, but if swept periodically, they aren't prone to clogging.

2. Foam Insert

A foam insert consists of a long foam tube that is placed in the gutter. The foam is slightly larger than the gutter's depth, so the idea is that debris will wash over the side of the gutter while the foam absorbs moisture into the gutter and routes the water to the downspouts. Foam inserts don't last as long as other guards. They also aren't suitable for areas with heavy rainfall as they do increase the chances of a gutter overflow.

3. Brush Style

Brush-style inserts are similar to foam, except it is a long bottle brush that goes in the gutter. These keep out fine particles, such as shingle gravel and twigs, but they aren't suitable if you have a lot of leaves fall onto your roof or into your gutters. They can be used in areas with heavier rainfall, and they are especially useful if you have issues with birds or squirrels leaving items in the gutters.

4. Flip Inserts

Flips inserts are a solid or perforated metal screen insert that is hinged on the outer side. When debris builds up on the insert, the weight causes it to flip on the hinge so that the leaves and other detritus are dumped to the ground. They are also called self-cleaning gutter guards. These can work very well, but you may want to avoid installing them along walkways or in other areas where they could flip their contents on someone walking below.

5. Reverse Curve

A reverse curve gutter guard is installed along the drip edge of the roof, as opposed to over the gutters themselves. It's a curved piece of material that increases the length of the shingles and adds a curve into the gutter trough at the outer edge. Rainwater follows the curve and goes into the gutter while debris is directed over the outer gutter lip and to the ground.

Contact a gutter service to learn more about gutter guard installation options in your area.