Can Gutter Guards Cause Leaks?

Discover how a leak in your gutter guards may affect your home.

Published May 26, 2022

Owning a home might be considered a significant milestone for many Americans. Therefore, when it comes to yearly maintenance, staying on top of patch-ups and upkeep can be beneficial to ensuring the value of your home remains high while avoiding unexpected costs of expensive repairs.

As you may already know, the gutter system on the exterior of your home functions by collecting water when it rains before it is diverted to downspouts that drain away from your property. Not only does this help protect your surrounding property from becoming a mess, but it also helps safeguard your home from water damage.

Over the years, gutter systems for your home have become more innovative and effective at helping protect your home, including features such as gutter guards. Gutter guards are responsible for preventing leaves, fallen debris, and twigs from entering your gutter system. However, if not cleaned throughout the year, your gutter system can still become prone to build-up –making your home vulnerable to damage. But can gutter guards cause leaks?

We’re going to answer this question and more throughout this post. Keep reading to learn more about the effectiveness of gutter guards for your home.

Can Gutter Guards Cause Leaks?

Before finding out whether gutter guards can cause leaks throughout your home, we will answer some frequently asked questions by diving deep into how they work and whether there are alternatives for gutter guards available.

What are gutter guards?

Gutter guards are an additional feature you can install on top of your gutter system. Their main job is to prevent twigs, leaves, and other debris from falling into an open-faced gutter system during stormy weather by acting as a shield. There are several types of gutter guards, including:

  • Screen guards that feature a plastic or wire grid-like design that slides underneath the edge of your shingles.
  • Micromesh guards feature a grid-like design to allow water to drain while preventing debris from falling into your system. These guards are also often installed under your shingles.
  • Brush gutter guards fit directly into your gutters and are made of metal bristles to help keep debris out.
  • Foam gutter guards fit in your gutter system and function by absorbing rainwater through its pores into the bottom of your system before it is directed to downspouts.

Do gutter guards really work?

While gutter guard attachments to your open-faced gutter system help provide protection against clogging throughout the year, there are some disadvantages. These include:

  • Potentially restricting water flow, especially during heavy rainfall, due to their design.
  • The inability to prevent all debris from falling into your gutter system, such as pine needles.
  • It may cause damage to your home if they are installed incorrectly as they can compromise the seal of your roof.
  • You may still need to clean out your gutter system throughout the year to remove the debris build-up.
  • They may cause ice dams to form during the winter months.

Do leaf guards work in heavy rain?

As mentioned, gutter guards are a secondary gutter system feature that may not be suitable for preventing all types of debris from collecting and clogging your gutters throughout the year. Hence, during heavy rainfall, your system’s ability to drain water quicker might be diminished.

If you are looking for an alternative to gutter guards, you may benefit from installing a LeafGuard® gutter system on your home. Here are some of the advantages of this innovative system.

  • Unlike gutter guard systems, LeafGuard® is made of a one-piece design that can help prevent many types of debris from falling into your gutters. Because of this, this system is proven to hold 32 inches of rainfall per hour which is three times the amount of the heaviest rain ever recorded in the United States.
  • LeafGuard® gutters are constructed with aluminum that is 20% thicker than industry standards and equipped with downspouts that are 30% larger than its competitors.
  • Using a liquid adhesion process, LeafGuard® gutters allow water that drains from your roof to adhere to the top of your system before gliding smoothly into the gutter channel below. This helps prevent dripping and shooting water over its edges.

Can gutter guards cause leaks?

As gutter guards do not prevent all debris from collecting in the channels of your gutter system, they may become prone to clogging if you do not maintain them consistently throughout the year. When clogging occurs, you might run the risk of water collecting and overflowing, leading to potential leaks throughout your home. Other damages that may occur as a result of leaking gutters include:

  • Staining on the sides of your home
  • The growth of mold, rust, and mildew
  • Erosion of your surrounding landscaping
  • Rotting of your home
  • Insect and pest infestations
  • Flooding and leaks in your basement
  • Leaking in the upper levels of your home

How can gutter guards cause water in the basement?

Gutter guards are a two-piece system that is not guaranteed to prevent all forms of debris from falling into the bottom of your system. Knowing this, over time your gutters may become clogged. When clogging occurs, rather than diverting water from your home, water can begin to collect before it leaks over the edges.

Therefore, if you have cracks in your pavement, water can seep into the cracks and travel further into your foundation and basement. Alternatively, if there is damage to the sides of your home, water can enter the basement through rotting wood, holes, and cracks.

Final Thoughts on Gutter Guard Leaks

As you can see, while gutter guards can help protect your home from water damage, if you do not maintain your system throughout the year, you can run the risk of leaks, which can cost you money in unexpected repairs. So, rather than worrying about whether your gutter system can adequately protect your home, a LeafGuard® gutter system may be a solution worth investing in.

To learn more about how you can benefit from a LeafGuard® gutter system, book a free consultation with the experts at Local Home Pro today!

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