Gutter Guards - Do They Work and Are They Worth The Money?

That is a good question and as an independent roofing contractor based near London, I hear it often from my customers.

Gutter protection products on the market today are no different from any other type of product. You will find some are high quality while others are useless, locating the best product for your home will depend on what type of "debris" your gutters are subjected to. Do they suffer from excessive roof moss? What about pine needles? Did you know there is a great product on sale now that works very well at keeping moss out of the gutters but becomes blocked with pine needles?

How do you know which product is best for your property? Read on for an overview of gutter guards, these comments will reflect gutter products in both the United Kingdom and the United States:

Gutter Mesh - the flimsy type that sits atop of the guttering

In my opinion this type of guard is the worst performing of any product, although one of the cheapest it just doesn't stand the test of time. Here is what I have observed over the past few years:

  • Becomes brittle as a result of direct sunlight
  • Edges curl up as a result of direct sunlight
  • Almost always collapses into the gutter as a result of heavy wet moss atop
  • Blows off in the wind

I have never recommended this product to a customer of mine and I doubt I ever will.

Foam Inserts

These products are inserted into the gutter and reduce the gutter capacity by a mere 3%, they are great at keeping out leaves and moss, even heavy items such as tennis balls are no match for the sturdy foam. This is the next generation of protection products for your roof-line and are so much better than traditional mesh.

Gutter Foam Insert

(The photo above is of me pouring water through the product)


  • Cost effective
  • Easy to install - no need to adjust the gutter or use specialist tools
  • Can be purchased on-line and delivered to your door
  • I never seen this guard collapse into the gutter


  • Moss build up on the surface of the product will cause clogging and a "scrape" over the top edge will be required every now and again.

I generally advise my customers to consider having the moss removed from the roof before installing a guard, it reduces the load on the product so it can continue doing what it it does best - keeping leaves and other debris out of the gutter.

Gutter Brush

This is another product that works extremely well at keeping out one type of debris but fails miserably with another. The brush is made from plastic bristles that are woven around a metal wire or core.

Here is my opinion:

  • Reasonably priced
  • Very easy to install - fits all gutter sizes
  • Great at keeping out big leaves, even large clumps of moss
  • Performs poorly with pine needles
  • Can be seen from street level

The biggest issue I have with this product is it's appearance, it is visible from ground level, the bristles do protrude from the guttering.

I hope you found my review of these popular roof gutter guards helpful! I will create some more content here when I have the time.