5 Types of Leaf Protection for Gutters

A rain gutter full of leaves.
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Gutters need to be protected from leaves and debris in order to work correctly. Otherwise, you will find yourself with clogged gutters that overflow onto your deck, porch, or driveway. Fortunately, there are leaf guards for this purpose, coming in many materials. This article describes the five most common types of leaf guards.

Mesh or Screen

gutter screen

Mesh or screen leaf guards simply snap onto the gutter. Any type of tiny debris small enough to get through it will easily flow down the downspout. This is one of the cheapest ways to protect your gutters from leaves and big debris that can clog them. You will need to remember to clean the screens occasionally to keep things flowing.

Solid Cover

Solid covers are just what they sound like. They fit and work really well. With one of these over your gutter, all leaves and other debris will go right off the side. You will hardly have to clean your gutters at all.

Gutter Guard Installed Under Shingles

Another option is gutter guards installed under your house shingles. These are a little more expensive, but they are more durable than most of your other options. The only downside to these is that there is some basic maintenance necessary. You just have to check your gutters from time to time.

Guards That Lay on Shingles

gutter on a home

These gutter guards lay flat on top of the gutters and shingles. They can be hinged or locked on so that they do not shift. These will keep all debris out while allowing in water. These guards are one of the hardest ones to install, but they just flip open, making cleaning them out a breeze.

Gutter Filters

Gutter filters are a great option for protecting your gutters from leaves and other debris. These filters are made of a foam-like material. When they are installed over the gutter, only water can enter. Leaves will flow over the top or dry up and blow away without clogging anything.


Gutter guards are a great investment and will save you a lot of time. This is especially true if you have trees around your home. Significant debris accumulation can even result in having to replace your gutters. The good news is that most gutter guard systems can easily be installed without professional help.