Best tips for cleaning gutters with gutter guards

Sacramento CA Plastic gutter guards

Learn about the importance of cleaning gutters with gutter guards. Even gutters with guards can allow enough dirt and debris to clog downspouts over time.

This plastic gutter guard has a screen with holes larger than a cheese grater.

If you’re a homeowner in the Sacramento area, you may be familiar with gutter guards. Gutter guards are a screen or mesh that usually cover the entire length of a gutter.

Some guards have holes the size of those on a cheese grater, while others like the LeafBlaster Pro have a fine stainless steel mesh. Either way, their function is to “guard” the gutter from debris and leaves, which can clog downspouts.

While gutter guards can be a worthwhile investment, they’re not all the same and not always effective against debris can can clog your gutters and downspouts.

Not all gutter guards are equal

Gutters underneath a plastic gutter guard.
This was found underneath a plastic gutter guard.

Some homes have gutter guards that are only effective in keeping larger debris, such as twigs and large leaves out of the gutter. However, these guards can still allow smaller debris and dirt to collect inside the gutter.

Plastic gutter guards with large holes can let enough dirt in to clog the downspouts. We discovered one gutter in the Sacramento area which had accumulated two inches of dirt, enough to spout plants.

Worse than that, the downspouts had become clogged as well, leaving the homeowner at risk of possible gutter and roof damage. However, we were able to clean the gutters and clear the downspouts, helping the homeowner avoid expensive repairs.

If you’ve got gutter guards with large holes, you may consider upgrading to a gutter guard with a finer mesh designed to block out debris. However, even with the best gutter guards on the market, that won’t keep you from needing your gutters cleaned on a regular basis.

Why cleaning gutters with gutter guards matter

Professional-grade gutter guards are far more effective in shielding your gutters from dirt and debris. Unfortunately, some gutter guards are advertised like this:

“Stop cleaning gutters! No more gutter cleaning!”

Actual quote from a popular brand of gutter guards

“No more gutter cleaning”? Ever?

These claims may be misleading, making homeowners think they’re never have to get their gutters cleaned again. While gutter guards do protect your gutters from debris from entering your gutters, they don’t remove it from your roof, which over time can damage your home. This is why we recommend annual roof and gutter cleaning to prevent debris from piling up on your roof.

Annual cleaning gutters with gutter guards

By having gutters with guards cleaned on an annual basis, you can prevent debris from piling up and deteriorating on your roof.

At Sierra Vista Maintenance, our Gutter Cleaning Service starts with removing loose debris and leaves from your roof so it doesn’t end up in your gutters. We then hand scoop and air blast your gutters and downspouts clear of any dirt or debris.

If you have gutter guards installed, we unscrew or remove a portion of the gutter guard, and then remove debris with a telescopic gutter scoop. After the gutter is cleaned, we carefully screw or reattach the gutter guard back in its place.

Why cleaning gutters with gutter guards can cost more

We often ask customers if they have gutter guards installed when providing estimates. We have to charge more to clean gutters with gutter guards because of time it takes to carefully detach and reattach the guards.

An alternative to gutter guards

If you’ve been interested in having gutter guards installed, but the installation price seems outside your budget, downspout screens can be an affordable alternative.

The Gutter Stick is specifically engineered for keeping water flowing through gutters between seasonal gutter cleaning, regardless of what nature throws at it.

Unlike strainers, the Gutter Stick has optimized perforation, so even in gutters clogged to the top with leaves and debris, water continues to go through the downspout.

3 Ways to Prevent Clogged Gutters

3 Ways to Prevent Clogged Gutters

Get our FREE guide and start learning how to prevent clogged gutters, preserve your home and protect your family.