Do Gutter Guards Work on Steep Roofs?

Do Gutter Guards Work on Steep Roofs?

Gutter maintenance is crucial for protecting your home from water damage, and it becomes even more critical when you have a steep roof. Steep roofs can present unique challenges for gutter systems, leading many homeowners to wonder, Do gutter guards work on steep roofs? This blog will explore the effectiveness of gutter guards on steep roofs, the types of gutter guards available, and provide tips for selecting the best ones for your home.

Understanding the Challenges of Steep Roofs

Steep roofs, often found in regions with heavy snowfall or rainfall, are designed to allow water and snow to slide off quickly. While this design helps prevent water from pooling on the roof, it also means that water flows into the gutters at a much higher velocity. This rapid water flow can cause several issues:

  1. Overflowing Gutters: The high-speed flow of water can overwhelm standard gutters, causing them to overflow and potentially lead to water damage around the foundation of your home.
  2. Debris Buildup: Steep roofs can cause debris such as leaves, twigs, and pine needles to accumulate quickly in gutters, increasing the risk of blockages and water overflow.
  3. Increased Wear and Tear: The force of the water flowing off a steep roof can cause more wear and tear on the gutters, leading to a need for more frequent maintenance and repairs.

These challenges necessitate the use of effective gutter guards that can handle the increased water flow and prevent debris from clogging the system.

Do Gutter Guards Work on Steep Roofs?

Yes, gutter guards can work on steep roofs, but their effectiveness depends on the type and quality of the guard. The key is to choose a gutter guard system that can handle the higher velocity of water and prevent debris from entering the gutters. Here’s what to consider when assessing whether gutter guards will work on your steep roof:

  1. Material and Durability: Gutter guards for steep roofs need to be made from durable materials that can withstand the force of fast-flowing water. Stainless steel and aluminum are excellent choices because they are resistant to rust and can endure harsh weather conditions.
  2. Design: The design of the gutter guard plays a crucial role in its effectiveness. Look for guards that can filter out debris without impeding water flow. Mesh and micro-mesh designs are particularly effective as they provide a fine barrier against debris while allowing water to pass through efficiently, but sometimes the fast water shoots past the gutter.
  3. Installation: Proper installation is vital for ensuring that gutter guards work effectively on steep roofs. Misalignment or gaps can lead to water bypassing the guards and causing overflow. Professional installation is recommended to ensure the guards are correctly positioned and securely attached.

Types of Gutter Guards for Steep Roofs

There are several types of gutter guards available, each with its own set of advantages and drawbacks. Here are the most common types and their suitability for steep roofs:

Mesh Gutter Guards

Mesh gutter guards are one option for steep roofs. They consist of a fine mesh that covers the gutter, blocking debris while allowing water to flow through. The fine mesh design is particularly effective at filtering out small particles like pine needles and shingle grit, which are common on steep roofs. High-quality mesh guards made from stainless steel or aluminum are durable and can withstand the force of high-velocity water.  The problem with mesh is that when you try to keep all tiny debris out of the gutter,  you end up keeping the fast water out of the gutter also.

Micro-Mesh Gutter Guards

Micro-mesh gutter guards offer even finer filtration than standard mesh guards. They are designed to keep out even the smallest debris, including roof shingle granules and tiny seeds. Micro-mesh guards are highly effective at keeping debris out of the gutters, but for steep roofs they can not always ensure that the water enters the gutter.   Again,  when you try to keep all of the debris out of the gutter,  you will end up also keeping the fast water out of the gutter because often the rain water is hitting the gutter guard at such a high velocity, that the water does not have time to make it through the mesh into the gutter. 

Reverse Curve Gutter Guards

Reverse curve gutter guards are designed to direct water into the gutter while deflecting debris over the edge. They can work well on steep roofs, but their effectiveness depends on the specific design and installation. If not properly aligned, water can overshoot the gutter, especially on steep inclines.  The water is supposed to hug the reverse curve, but if it is coming at a high velocity, the water can release and miss the gutter.  The water releases from the reverse curve even easier once the nose of the curve gets dirty.

Foam Gutter Guards

Foam gutter guards fit inside the gutter and allow water to pass through the foam while blocking debris. While they can be effective, they may not be the best choice for steep roofs. The high-velocity water flow can cause foam guards to become saturated quickly, leading to potential overflow and increased maintenance.  The pores of foam guards are very tight and small, and they clog quickly.

Brush Gutter Guards

Brush gutter guards consist of cylindrical brushes that sit inside the gutter, blocking debris while allowing water to flow. These guards can handle lots of debris but  most importantly they accept fast water from steep roofs better than any other gutter guard.   Many other gutter guards become a ramp that sends the water past the gutter, but GutterBrush is different.   Fast water hits the GutterBrush bristles and they direct the water into the gutter, and these guards accept fast water from steep roofs better than any other gutter guard.  

Advantages of Gutter Guards on Steep Roofs

Installing gutter guards on steep roofs offers several benefits:

  1. Reduced Maintenance: Gutter guards significantly reduce the frequency of gutter cleaning by preventing debris from entering the gutters. This is particularly beneficial for steep roofs, where accessing gutters can be more challenging and dangerous.
  2. Preventing Water Damage: By ensuring that gutters remain unclogged, gutter guards help prevent water overflow, which can lead to damage to the roof, walls, and foundation of your home.
  3. Improved Gutter Lifespan: Gutter guards protect the gutters from the wear and tear caused by debris accumulation and high-velocity water flow, extending their lifespan.
  4. Enhanced Safety: Climbing ladders to clean gutters on a steep roof can be hazardous. Gutter guards minimize the need for frequent cleaning, improving safety for homeowners.
  5. Pest Prevention: Gutter guards help deter pests such as birds, rodents, and insects from nesting in the gutters, reducing the risk of infestations.

Selecting the Best Gutter Guard for Steep Roofs

When choosing gutter guards for your steep roof, consider the following factors to ensure you select the best option:

Material Quality

Opt for gutter guards made from durable materials like stainless steel or aluminum or high quality UV protected plastic. These materials are resistant to rust and can withstand the force of fast-flowing water, ensuring long-term protection for your gutters.

Design and Filtration

If you have a steep roof, choose a gutter guard that will accept fast rain water.  The water comes off of a steep roof faster, and therefore linear and restrictive covers and screens often will act like a ramp sending the water to overshoot the gutter.

Professional Installation

Ensure the gutter guards are professionally installed to prevent misalignment and gaps. Proper installation is crucial for maximizing the effectiveness of the guards, especially on steep roofs where water flow is more intense.

Maintenance Requirements

Consider the maintenance needs of the gutter guards. Some types, like mesh and micro-mesh guards, say they require minimal maintenance because the debris can not enter the gutter, but unfortunately the top of the mesh may need to be cleaned off frequently to keep the water from overshooting the gutter. Sure you do not have to clean inside the gutter, but there is no value to a gutter guard if it is going to send the water past the gutter.   Foam gutter guards have tight pores that are difficult to clean and they clog early.  GutterBrush is the best gutter guard for accepting fast water because the bristles draw the water into the gutter.  GutterBrush may need maintenance at some point, but maintenance is easy because nothing is fastened and it accepts fast rain water better than any other gutter guard.

Customer Reviews

Read customer reviews and ratings to gauge the performance of different gutter guards in real-world conditions. Look for feedback from homeowners with steep roofs to get a better idea of how well the guards perform in similar situations.

Installing Gutter Guards on Steep Roofs: Tips and Best Practices

Proper installation of gutter guards on steep roofs is essential for ensuring their effectiveness. Here are some tips and best practices to keep in mind:

Clean the Gutters First

Before installing gutter guards, make sure your gutters are clean and free of existing debris. This provides a clean slate and ensures the guards can function optimally from the start.

Use the Right Tools

Ensure you have the necessary tools and equipment for the installation. This may include a ladder, gloves, a screwdriver, and any specific tools recommended by the gutter guard manufacturer.

Follow Manufacturer Instructions

Carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installing the gutter guards. Each type of guard may have specific installation requirements, and adhering to these instructions is crucial for achieving the best results.

Secure the Guards Properly

Make sure the gutter guards are securely attached to prevent them from shifting or becoming dislodged during heavy rainfall. Properly secured guards will be more effective at managing the high-velocity water flow from steep roofs.  GutterBrush is self fitting and securely installed requiring absolutely no fastening accepts the fast water better than any other gutter guard, and needs no fastening so there is less that can go wrong.  

Inspect After Installation

After installing the gutter guards, inspect them to ensure they are correctly positioned and securely attached. Check for any gaps or misalignments that could allow debris to enter the gutters.

Maintaining Gutter Guards on Steep Roofs

Even with the best gutter guards, some maintenance is necessary to ensure they continue to perform effectively. Here are some maintenance tips to keep in mind:

Regular Inspections

Conduct regular inspections, especially after heavy storms or during the fall when leaves and debris are more likely to accumulate. Check for any buildup on top of the guards or any that have slipped through.  Watch during the rain to see that all is flowing properly.


Depending on the type of gutter guard, you might need to clean them periodically. Mesh and micro-mesh guards, although they do keep debris out of the inside of the gutter,  the mesh may need to be cleaned off very early in the process and very frequently.  With mesh it is very important to remove any debris that has accumulated on top.

Professional Maintenance

Consider hiring a professional gutter cleaning service once or twice a year to ensure your gutter system remains in optimal condition. They can provide thorough cleaning and inspection, addressing any potential issues before they become significant problems.

In conclusion, do gutter guards work on steep roofs? The answer is yes, but their effectiveness depends on the type and quality of the guard and with many there will be maintenance involved. Mesh and micro-mesh gutter guards are particularly effective at keeping the debris out of the gutter, but  for steep roofs, they often can not handle the speed of the water and will often cause the fast water to overshoot the gutter. Proper installation and regular maintenance are crucial to ensuring these guards perform optimally.

By investing in high-quality gutter guards and ensuring they are correctly installed and maintained, you can protect your home from water damage, reduce the frequency of gutter cleaning, and enhance the lifespan of your gutter system. For homeowners with steep roofs, choosing the right gutter guards can make a significant difference in maintaining a clean and efficient gutter system.

Key Takeaways

  • Effectiveness on Steep Roofs: Gutter guards can work on steep roofs, but high-quality mesh and micro-mesh designs, have difficulty with high velocity water
  • Material and Durability: Choosing durable materials like stainless steel, aluminum or high quality UV protected plastic,  is crucial for gutter guards on steep roofs due to their resistance to rust and wear.
  • Proper Installation: Professional installation is recommended to ensure gutter guards are properly aligned and securely attached, preventing gaps and overflow.  GutterBrush installs very easily.
  • Reduced Maintenance: Gutter guards significantly reduce the need for frequent gutter cleaning, enhancing safety and convenience for homeowners with steep roofs.
  • Multiple Benefits: Gutter guards prevent water damage, extend gutter lifespan, deter pests, and improve overall home maintenance.

About GutterBrush 

At GutterBrush, we offer innovative gutter protection systems for both Residential and Commercial properties. Our unique brush technology, recognized by Home & Garden TV, The Family Handyman, At Home with Gary Sullivan, and Home Depot, ensures your gutters remain clog free while filtering rainwater, reducing the need to frequently buy gutter guards.

A family-owned company serving American homesteads since 2004, we're proud to have over 1200 5-star reviews, supported by a 10-year material warranty and a 365-day refund policy.

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