Are Rain Gutter Covers a Good Idea?


If you are fed up with seeing plants growing from your gutters and are scared of getting on a ladder to try to clean them, then you might consider investing in rain gutter coverings. The good folk at Global Gutter Systems recommend covers for your gutters if they are particularly susceptible to a buildup of dirt and debris. But they want to remind people that there is no such thing as a maintenance-free gutter system. Even those with covers need to be checked and cleaned regularly.

What are Rain Gutter Coverings?

A gutter covering is a grate or a mesh cover that sits over the top of the gutters. The holes in the cover allow water to flow into the trough or channel below but the design will keep larger objects such as leaves, twigs, and needles out. The idea is that the gutter is kept clear, thus keeping the water flowing and reducing the risk of damage to the entire system. If water is allowed to flow freely through the gutter system, it will not overflow and cause damage to the walls or foundations of the building.

The Benefits of Gutter Coverings

As mentioned, having a cover for the guttering means that there is less chance of dirt and debris building up and the water backing up and overflowing. Without gutter covers, there is a risk of pests getting onto your roof to try to access the materials in the gutters. When these materials are prevented from entering the gutter, the pests are kept at bay.

What to Be Aware of

Something that many people wrongly assume is that once they have a cover over their guttersthey will never have to clean them again. Unfortunately, there must be holes in the cover to allow the water through (even though these are tiny) and these holes will sometimes allow other materials through too.

For example, birds may drop seeds into the gutters, which are small enough to fall through the holes in the mesh. Bird droppings also contain seeds and these inevitably find their way into gutters. With enough sunshine and a moist environment, seeds will sprout and grow. It is necessary therefore to clean the gutters at least twice a year to wash away any build-up of materials.

The reality is that rain gutter coverings are a handy solution for those who suffer with piles of leaves in their gutters every year. But if you are hoping for a system that will prevent every bit of dirt and debris from getting into the gutterwhileensuring it continues working efficiently, you will be disappointed – such a system simply does not exist.

Choosing Coverings to Suit

If you like the idea of having covers over your gutters to keep the largest materials out, then you will have plenty of choice. There are a variety of covers that work in different ways. As we have already mentioned, a mesh guard has hundreds of holes to allow water to pass into the gutterwhile keeping large items like leaves and twigs out.

A bottle brush guard has bristles that face upwards and are designed so that debris will sit on top of the bristles rather than falling into the gutter.

You could also choose gutter guards made from foam, which sit inside the gutter and block dirt and debris from accumulating there.


Gutter coverings are good if your gutters are regularly filling up with leaves, but they are not a maintenance-free solution. You will still need to have your gutters cleaned a minimum of twice per year.

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