Rain gutters that don't get clogged with leaves

I need to replace gutters and my old ones are very ordinary and are almost constantly plugged with leaves. It only takes a small handful of leaves to clog them and several large trees hang over our house, so thoroughly cleaning the roof and gutters with a leaf blower doesn’t even keep them working for a day.

How well do those leaf-proof, non-clogging gutters work? Are there brands that work much better?

I deal with oak and beech leaves and the various other things that trees shed, and my roof is really simple, a 50’ by 30’ rectangle with one ridge right down the middle, with two 50’ gutters.


As you noted, there is more than one system. A well designed, properly installed gutter guard system will make a significant difference. I’ve heard things locally that roofs equipped with that sort of gutter system also didn’t experience as much problem with ice dams and/or gutters getting pulled down by ice build up but that’s anecdote.

I’m not personally qualified to suggest a particular system, but if I were you I’d look into what’s available in your area and research those.

If it’s just leaves and other larger debris you need to keep out, gutters with wire guards (metal or plastic) will, as Broomstick says, make a significant difference. If you have lots of small particles that wash into your system, you can get finer screens to keep that out.

There’s also Leafguard, but they have had their share of complaints.

We have a leaf and long needle pine problem and we went with this after-market product because we thought we would try the cheapest option first:


They work great even though from the picture I think we installed them upside-down.
There is a similar product that is even cheaper without the small screen overlay. We have professionally installed seamless gutters, we did the guard ourselves.

You will still need to clean them on occasion. I have the ones where the leaves are supposed to go over top of it, but the pollen gets in the holes so it does need to be cleaned out every so often. Still, far easier to clean that then clean out the entire gutter of leaves and such.

For many years I had a house that had three oaks and a black walnut that hung over the house. There were many other trees nearby that, with a very little wind, would also shed on my house. In the beginning my strategy was to go up on the roof with a blower once every two months. I actually liked doing this, but my wiser half put a stop to it and I started investigating the kind of gutters mentioned in this thread. My conclusion was that they did not work that well and made cleaning the gutters a major undertaking (I never actually had them installed). My solution was to hire a gutter cleaning service two or three times a year. I am sure this saved me money.

I was just about to start this thread. I need something as well. I have to get up on my roof and clean it 3-4 times a year and ‘spot clean’ it once or twice between each of those cleanings (just grabbing a tall chair or small ladder and grabbing a wad of leaves from the down spouts, usually while it’s raining).

My problem is that the trees around my house are very small. So any of the ones that are basically just hardware cloth aren’t going to work as the leaves will just make their way through it. The ones that are ‘curved’ one work since the leaves will back up behind it and I’ll likely end up with damming and water under the shingles. I like the ones like this but I have to take a better look at them. If they leave a lip or are ‘counter sunk’ below the top edge of the gutter, again, they’re just going to fill up with these tiny leaves.

But I’ve got to do something. Climbing up on the roof is getting old and I’m sure it’s going to start causing problems with my foundation eventually.

I was in one of our home improvement stores last night and saw this foam insert for gutters for the first time.

I don’t know how well it would work in the long run, but it’s an interesting idea.

Those have been around for a while. My concern is that over time they’ve eventually clog with either small debris or decomposing leaves and then you’d have to pull them down and spend a good chunk of the day rinsing them and wringing them out.
I did have thesein my gutters for about a year and they didn’t work with the little leaves that I have. They clogged up just as fast as if I didn’t have them. The company was very good about letting me return them.

In my experience as a home owner there aren’t any gutters that won’t clog. The wire mesh screens work pretty well but you should still clean your gutters twice a year. Spring after pollen season and Fall after all the leaves are down. My roof is pretty high up so I hire a guy… (I don’t like heights) and his price of $45 bucks is money well spent.

We replaced our old gutters with the non-clogging kind somewhere around 2010 or 2011. Haven’t had any clogs since.

I can’t remember what brand they are, but I’ve got the info at home. I’ll try to remember to post it to this thread tonight.