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Lisa Fears asked:

Nov 13, 2015
I just got leaf filter gutter guards, steel mesh, 2 months ago. Now that it's fall there are leaves piled up on top, stuck with rain, etc. What to do?
I was told maintenence free. Will they fall off eventually or will the snowy winter affect them?
Nov 13, 2015

We hear this question from a lot of homeowners, and unfortunately there is no such thing as a maintenance free guard product. Although having guards can significantly decrease the maintenance, as you will no longer need to clean the interior of your gutter system, (with the right guards) but you will still need to brush off the top of the guards to remove the leaves and debris that will inevitably pile on top of the guard. In some cases patience is key. With rain, the falling leaves can get hung up on the guards but as they dry out, most of the time they will blow off on their own. If a contractor is stating that their product is maintenance free, they should have this information clearly spelled out somewhere in their terms and conditions and explain what exactly it means. We have a bunch of free information on guards (we use Rhino) on our blog, as well as some red flags to be aware of when dealing with contractors. See below.

Here of some direct links to relevant articles:

What to expect from guards in winter

Gutter guards in Spring and Summer

Red Flags to be aware of before signing a contract

Gutter guard FAQ's

Many homeowners are looking for a miracle product that will free them from ever having to clean their gutters again.Some companies are actually claiming they have this miracle product! There are some good gutter cover designs; however, every gutter guard system we have tested (and we have tested a lot of them!) has pluses and minuses.

You may have seen a demonstration at a local home show or in the mall. They look great… the water rolls around the edge of the gutter cover and into the gutter; but do they work in the real world?To some degree yes, but none of them are perfect and none of them will prevent you from ever having to clean your gutters again!

There are over 70 gutter protection products in the U.S. and over 150 companies selling these systems. Every company says that they are the best and that you will never have to clean your gutters again…. if a representative from any gutter guard company in the world makes such a claim, RUN FAST!

There is no such thing as a maintenance free gutter guard!!!!

I REPEAT - There is no such thing as a maintenance free gutter guard!!!!

REGARDLESS of what the manufacturer claims; ALL Gutter Guards will require annual maintenance.

Most of the gutter guards do a fair job of preventing full sized leaves from entering your gutters. That is a simple task. However, many of the gutter cover products fail to stop tiny tree flower buds, seed pods and evergreen needles from entering or clogging the gutters.And none of them are maintenance free… every gutter guard system will require cleaning regardless of their claims!!!

Gutter Cleaning may be a cheaper and better solution…

Gutter guards are not cheap! Depending on the type of gutter guard they run anywhere from $8 to $20 per lineal foot installed. An average house may have 100 feet of gutter; some houses have even more. Most homes’ gutter systems can be cleaned by a professional in an hour or so… you can do the math!

Gutter cleaning, as you well know, is not just a fall activity. Many trees shed debris throughout the seasons.Over time, clogged gutters can do serious damage to a home.Usually, fascia, eaves, and foundation areas suffer first.Paint peels and insects invade.In some cases, rainwater can enter an exterior wall through eaves.Prolonged exposure to a clogged gutter system will also render rafter end and roof sheathing vulnerable to rot.Repairs become expensive.It is not uncommon for some homes to need cleaning four times a year. 

I REPEAT - There is no such thing as a maintenance free gutter guard!!!!

Tim Brown JR of RGS Exteriors PRO answered:

Oct 25, 2016

I know many of the people responding here and they are all great companies. 

One thing I would add is that wire mesh covers are terrible. They actaully can cause damage to roofs. If they get any ice weight on them they can curl and lift the leading edge of the shinges. You want a cover that can be installed and attached to front and back of gutter or front of gutter and under shingles. 

Unfortunetly you need ot spend the money on a cover but you do get what you pay for. Email me or call anytime and I am happy to talk and answer any questions. all info is on site

Shannon Alberts answered:

Nov 13, 2015

Was the product sold to you as "maintenance free"? If so, request service. If not, the maintenance of cleaning off the tops is your responsibility I believe. I would suggest not ignoring it. A few problems can arise, especially if you are in a snowy climate.

Corey Sherman answered:

Dec 28, 2019

Introducing the World's first and only FLIPPING Gutter Guard Prtoection system - a solution that revolutionize the home improvement industry - 

UnclutterGutter™ FLIPS Leaves & Debris AWAY!

Stay Outof the Gutter Stay OFF the Ladder

Patented design keeps leaves and debris from collecting inside and on top of gutters, prevents clogs and permits rainwater to flow freely - engineered so most leaves and debris roll off. Whatever little remains suspended may be simply flipped away making maintenance safe and ladders unnecessary.

Roan Cornay answered:

Jun 7, 2020

Having worked as a sales rep for Leaf Filter myself, let me say that I feel your pain. You have to get up there and clean them off or wait for a strong wind which is not likely to remove all debris up there. You can of course opt to call them up and demand that they take care of it since you do have a lifetime guarantee. I quit Leaf Filter as a salesman because I eventually realized that the company grossly overprices their product and makes claims that, in the real world, are simply not true. Leaf Filter wants to charge customers $30 a foot for their gutter protection while you can actually get something equally as good if not better for less that $3 a foot!  Here's an example:

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