Do I need to clean my gutters if they have guards on them?
If your home has gutters, then you know how they can get dirty and clogged with leaves, mud, and other debris. Many homeowners choose to have gutter guards installed to keep the gutters clear; while they typically do a good job, both the gutters and the gutter guards will need to be cleaned once or twice a year. Cleaning gutters and gutter guards is not an easy task, especially on a two-story home. If you are older, or have trouble with heights or balance, it's best to have a professional clean them for you.
Gutter guards dramatically reduce the amount of crud and debris that get into gutters. However, they cannot keep everything out, especially seeds, insects, and smaller pieces of dirt. The method for clearing out the gutters and cleaning the guards will depend on the type of gutter guard system on your home.
Brush guards and foam guards can get dirty and messy over time. With brush guards, leaves and debris do not bounce off and fall to the ground; a lot of it gets caught in the brush and collects, eventually causing a clog. These need more frequent cleaning but are generally easy to lift and clean around. Foam guards collect debris around the edges and underneath the foam, but this can also be raised up and cleaned in sections. Mesh guards are the easiest to lift and clean and are simple to put back into position.
Gutter covers are more difficult to clean, as they are securely installed and are not as easy to lift and clean underneath. While they are the most durable type of gutter guard, it is best to leave the cleaning to the professionals to reduce the risk of breaking the covers.