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Can gutter guards cause leaks?

Posted on November 18, 2022
By Aussie Gutter Protection

Quality gutter guards prevent water damage, reduce gutter cleaning and improve water flow, but what happens when it doesn’t?

So, can gutter guards cause leaks? Yes. Poorly designed gutter guards or gutter guards installed incorrectly can cause gutter and roof leaks. However, using a quality gutter guard with a professional installation team ensures your gutter guard will not cause leaks. 

Let’s look at a few circumstances where gutter guards cause a gutter system or roof leak. 

Leaky Gutter Guard Designs

gutter mesh micro-mesh ember guard

There are various circumstances where gutter guards can cause roof leaks and damage the gutter systems. Usually, it comes down to faults in the gutter guard design. 

Gutter guards work by keeping debris, leaves and twigs out of the gutters and downpipes. There are several gutter guard types, including:

  • Screen guards, also known as mesh panelsare plastic or metal wire grid-like design that slides inside or above the gutters.
  • Integrated mesh system, also known as leaf guards or micromesh, features a two-piece system that includes gutter mesh and fixtures to provide comprehensive gutter protection that is available for all roof types. 
  • Brush gutter guards are made of metal bristles inserted directly into your gutters to prevent debris and leaves from building up.
  • Foam gutter guards or foam inserts sit directly into the gutter, which filters water through its foam barrier. 
  • Reverse curve gutter guards are gutter guard systems where the curve of the guard encourages leaves and debris out of the gutters. 

These gutter guards have select advantages and disadvantages, but some design disadvantages cause leaks and damage to the gutter and roof. Ensure that you choose the right gutter guard for your roof type and required solution. 

Get quality gutter guard system for your home. 

Brush gutter guards

Brush Gutter Guards

The most significant disadvantage of brush gutter guards is clogging, especially under trees that lose debris, such as pine needles. Like all gutter guards, ongoing maintenance to keep the gutters clean is essential; however, brush guards require more cleaning than others. If they continue to clog, it causes water pooling problems and weight issues can damage the gutters. 

Foam inserts

Foam Gutter Guard

Foam inserts act like a sponge and soak up water while filtering debris. During heavy rain, water will sit inside the foam, causing the guards to overflow onto the roof edge or over the side into the foundation. The additional weight under these soaked foam inserts can cause damage to the gutters, including rust, corrosion and bends.


The guards’ porous nature also makes smaller leaves, twigs and seeds fall in and get lodged, causing more harm than good. When plants and seeds are dropped in, the moist nature of the foam provides the perfect habitat for seedlings and mould to sprout and spread.

Mesh Panels

mesh panels or gutter screen

Most mesh panels are not fixed to the gutter edge or roof. These gutter guards can cause damage to the roof, fascia boards and gutters during strong winds and storms. Any damage will likely cause a roof leak or gutter leak.

Get quality gutter guard system for your home. 

Damage caused by installation

leaf guard installation melbourne

Another issue with other gutter protection systems involves installation. Gutter guard systems, such as leaf guard and vinyl guard, require gutter system and roof installation. In tiled roof installation, secure the guard under the second row of tiles using caulking. Incorrect installation can cause tile damage, cracks and holes, resulting in roof leaks.

The installation requires screws with saddles and trims in metal roof gutter guard installation. DIY installation of gutter guard system saddles, trims and roof may cause leaks if incorrectly installed. Installing gutter guards with a professional installation team reduces the risk of roof and gutter system damage.

Gutter guard Clogging

A major cause of roof leakage is clogged gutters, including gutter guards. Many gutter guard manufacturers tell customers their products never need maintenance or gutter cleaning. That’s misleading, as a gutter guard reduces maintenance but does not prevent gutter cleaning from protecting your home. 

While most Melbourne homes are invulnerable to snow or ice dams, frost and other exaggerated ice problems cause build-ups on the gutter guards and clogged areas. These issues lead to water leaks and highlight the importance of regular gutter guard maintenance and cleaning. 

Completed Gutter Guard Installation

Sagging Gutter Guard Systems

Both gutter protection systems, integrated mesh systems and reverse curve gutter systems, can only succeed if the gutter guard is installed correctly. Sagging causes other debris and leaves to sit on the gutter guard, causing deterioration and leaks. Since water follows the path of least resistance, sagging gutters can lead to water damage in the house foundation or wood rot. Clogged sags and lulls will also cause rainwater pools that add weight to the gutter guard rendering them useless.

Sagging occurs when the gutter guards span larger spaces, such as box gutters and parapets, which are more common in modern architecture. Commercial-grade gutter guard systems, such as ScreenTech’s TuffMesh range, span across more significant gaps like box gutters and parapets.

The commercial-grade gutter mesh is more robust with an increased thickness, allowing it to span across 750mm gaps without sagging. Aussie Gutter Protection innovated and installed bracing techniques that work with commercial-grade gutter guards. For more professional installation, speak to a gutter guard installer.

View our commercial-grade gutter guard range

Gutter Guard Cracks, Holes & Gaps

Holes, gaps, and cracks cause rust in gutters, downspouts and gutter guards. Holes and gaps occur with improper installation and uncoated products. Ensuring that your gutter guard system is fixed with high-quality saddles and trims or uses waterproof sealant will prevent leaks and protect the gutter guard.

If you neglect the gutter guards’ fasteners, rainwater can pool or flow into unwanted areas building rust. When rust-induced holes and cracks appear, it will undoubtedly cause significant dampness to your roof spaces and homes. A good quality gutter guard product will come with a minimum 10-year manufacturing warranty. Always look for gutter guard installation companies with product warranties and workmanship guarantees.

Do you need a quality gutter guard?

At Aussie Gutter Protection, we commit to supplying only the best products, tailored solutions and high-quality workmanship – no one in the industry can compete with our results.
Speak with us today about getting a professionally installed gutter guard.

Get quality gutter guard system for your home. 

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