02 August 2023

Are Gutter Guards a Good Idea when Collecting Rainwater?

What a gutter guard is, how it works, and the pros and cons of going the extra mile when installing your tank and plumbing...

Blog Water Tanks

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So, you’re installing a rainwater collection system, and you’re wondering whether to take that extra step and invest in gutter guards as well. Maybe you’re not sure exactly what’s involved, or whether the benefits of adding gutter guards will be worth the extra outlay.

We get it: setting up a rainwater collection system is a substantial capital investment, and every extra dollar spent hurts the hip pocket. Today we’re going to explain what a gutter guard is, how it works, and the pros and cons of going the extra mile when installing your tank and plumbing.

What is a Gutter Guard? 

In layman’s terms, a gutter guard is a protective shield or cover that’s installed over your gutters to keep out leaves, twigs, grass and other debris. Think of it as a security guard for your gutters, ensuring that only rainwater gets to the party, while the unwanted guests (all that nasty organic matter) are left on the doorstep!

Gutter guards are designed to help prevent blockages in your rainwater collection system, reducing the amount of essential maintenance and making your life as a homeowner just that much easier.

How Does a Gutter Guard Work?

Ok, so how does this nifty contraption actually work? Let’s take a look...

Leaf Repelling Design

Gutter guards come in various shapes and styles, but their primary function is to create a barrier that prevents leaves and debris from entering your gutters.

Engineered and Fitted with Precision

Gutter guards aren’t just random pieces of metal or plastic; they’re engineered to fit snugly over or inside your gutters, leaving no room for debris or animals to sneak in. Your gutter guards need to be installed correctly so that they fit snugly with no gaps around the sides.

No Hindrance to Water Flow

While your gutter guards keep debris out, they don’t disrupt the flow of rainwater. Rainwater can pass freely through the small openings or mesh-like design of the gutter guard and enter the rainwater collection system as it is meant to.

Less Frequent Maintenance

With your gutter guards on duty, gutter cleaning becomes a less frequent and less laborious task. While they don’t eliminate maintenance altogether, your gutter guards will drastically reduce the amount of debris that accumulates, meaning fewer trips up the ladder for you!

Types of Gutter Guards

Mesh Gutter Guards

These are like the screen doors of the gutter world: they consist of a fine mesh that is fitted across the open top of the gutter, blocking debris while allowing water to flow through. Essentially, it's a long leaf sieve.

Bottle Brush Gutter Guards

This system resembles a series of bristles or brushes lined up along the inside of your gutters. The bristles capture leaves, debris and other unwanted materials while allowing the rainwater to flow through.

Foam Gutter Guards

Foam strips that are cut to size fit inside the gutters and act as a filter, allowing water to pass through into your rainwater collection system, but preventing debris and leaves from entering.

Reverse-Curve Gutter Guards

These guards act like a hood over the gutter. They’re designed to allow rainwater to follow a curved path over the top of the guard and into a slot, while leaves and other debris fall off the guard and directly onto the ground below.

Leaf guard roof
20004 staymesh ultra gutter strip lifestyle1

What are the Pros and Cons of Installing Gutter Guards?

Yes, every system has advantages and disadvantages, so now we’ll run through the fors and againsts of installing gutter guards on your home:


  • Easier Maintenance: with gutter guards doing the hard yards (please notice our quirky rhyme there!) you’ll be able to enjoy longer periods between gutter maintenance, and focus on more important household tasks.
  • Ensure Gutter Longevity: gutter guards act as an anti-aging superstar for your gutters! By preventing the build-up of debris and muck, you’ll extend the life of your gutters and save yourself a pretty penny on potential repairs later down the track.
  • Pest Repellent: none of us want a pest party in our gutters, and by installing the right gutter guards you can create a no-fly zone for mozzies and other nasties that thrive in stagnant water.
  • Foundation and Roof Protection: clogged gutters can cause water to overflow, causing damage to the roof or foundation of your home.


  • Cost: quality gutter guards can be a bit pricey: they’re a bit like the artisanal coffee of the gutter world! However, it’s important to remember that over time your investment will effectively pay for itself by saving you from gutter-related headaches and possible gutter replacements.
  • Installation Hassles: we’re not going to sugar-coat it: installing gutter guards can sometimes be a little bit tricky! It might take a bit of time and elbow grease to get them in place, but the rewards will make your efforts worthwhile.
  • Pine Needle Hassles: some gutter guard designs seem to struggle with pine needles - they tend to slip through, causing minor blockages which may mean extra cleaning duties. If you have pine trees near your house, talk to a specialist about what style of gutter guards would be best for you.
  • Occasional Maintenance: gutter guards may not be high-maintenance, but they won’t be maintenance-free either! Like everything else, they require the occasional check-up and spot of TLC to keep them in top working order!

To Guard or Not to Guard?

Yes, that’s the question! And there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer, either!

As Tasmania’s leading manufacturer of both poly and steel water tanks, we recommend the use of gutter guards, however, we understand that there are advantages and disadvantages that go along with this added extra.

Want more information about gutter guards? Or simply like to chat with one of our Water Tank Specialists about what’s best for your rainwater collection system? Call us today on 1800 752 784 or send us a message here and we’ll be in touch shortly.