Can You Install Gutter Guards on Existing Gutters?

Aug 3, 2023 | Gutter Guards

When it comes to the maintenance of our homes, gutters play a crucial role in protecting our houses from water damage. However, gutters can easily accumulate debris such as leaves, twigs, and dirt, which can clog the system and hinder the performance of your gutters.

This is where gutter guards come into play – these innovative devices are designed to prevent debris from entering the gutter system while allowing water to flow freely. But can you install gutter guards on existing gutters?

The answer is that yes, in most cases gutter guards can be installed on existing gutters rather easily. 

These include screen mesh guards, foam inserts, bottle brush guards, and reverse curve guards. Each type has its own unique features and benefits that cater to various homeowner needs.

Regardless of which type you choose, all gutter guards are designed for installation on existing gutters. The installation process typically involves a few straightforward steps.

Which Types of Gutter Guards Can Be Installed on Existing Gutters?

When it comes to protecting your gutters from debris and clogging, there are various types of gutter guards available on the market. Understanding the different options will help you make an informed decision about which type is most suitable for your existing gutters.

Type of Gutter GuardCan It Be Installed on Existing Gutter?DIY Friendly vs Professional Installation
ScreenYesDIY
Micro MeshYesProfessional
Reverse CurveYesProfessional
BrushYesDIY
FoamYesDIY
Perforated MetalYesProfessional

Screen

Screen gutter guards are a very common type of gutter guard system on the market and they can be installed on existing gutters fairly easily. 

The main advantage of screen guards is that they are very inexpensive and are fairly simple for DIY installation. All you need to do is slip the edges of the screen guard under your bottom row of shingles. 

However, that’s about where the advantages run out for screen gutter guards. Since they aren’t screwed down, or fastened in any way, it’s extremely common for the wind to blow these gutter guards away. 

Additionally, while screen guards can be successful at keeping larger debris out of your gutters, smaller debris will have no trouble making its way in. This will lead to clogged gutters, and overflow during heavy rainfall if not maintained properly. Overall, screen gutter guards usually aren’t worth the trouble. 

screen gutter guard. These are one of the more popular options due to the ability to be installed on existing gutters, their lower price and ease of installation. However, their effectiveness isn't that great compared to other options.

Micro Mesh

Micro Mesh gutter guards are an increasingly popular product. These guards consist of finely woven mesh screens made from stainless steel or aluminum, with tiny apertures that allow water to pass through while keeping out even the smallest particles.

The design of micro mesh gutter guards ensures that shingle granules, leaves, pine needles, pollen, and other debris are effectively blocked from entering the gutter system. 

The fine aperture size prevents any clogging or blockage, ensuring a constant flow of water throughout heavy downpours. Another benefit is that micro mesh gutter guards enclose the gutter, and provide an added layer of protection against insects and critters that won’t be able to make their way into your gutters and cause damage or build nests.

When it comes to installation, micro mesh gutter guards can definitely be installed on existing gutters, and it’s relatively easy to do if you know what you are doing. Our recommendation is to reach out to a professional in order to ensure proper installation or to follow manufacturer instructions very closely to ensure optimal performance.

One downfall of Mirco mesh though… Trees that pollinate or create a fuzz plug micro mesh. Once micro mesh is plugged with fuzz or sap you have to use a wire BBQ brush to clean which can be very time-consuming and labor-intensive.

micro mesh gutter guards. Another solid choice for gutter guards that can be installed on existing gutters.

Reverse Curve

Reverse Curve, also known as surface tension gutter guards, are designed to utilize the principle of water surface tension to guide rainwater into the gutters while keeping debris out.

These innovative guards have a unique shape that allows water to adhere to the guard’s curve and flow smoothly into the gutter system. The concept behind reverse curve gutter guards is quite simple yet effective in preventing clogs and maintaining proper water flow.

One of the main advantages of reverse curve gutter guards is their ability to handle large volumes of water without overflowing. The curved design helps create a path for rainwater to follow, even during heavy downpours or storms.

Reverse Curve gutter guards can be installed on existing gutters as well, however they are not DIY friendly like screen, foam, or brush gutter guards can be. 

Professional installation of these guards is highly recommended as if these guards aren’t installed with a secure fit that covers the entire length of the gutters and is not installed at the proper angle to the fascia of your roof, then they can be useless. Water will run right over the edge and pool at the foundation of your home, rather than catching the reverse curve of these guards and draining into the eavestrough.

Foam

Foam gutter guards can easily be installed on existing gutters, but they’re also one we think you should avoid at all costs. 

The goal of foam guards is to keep debris on top of the foam that sits in your gutter, while water flows through the foam and into the gutter. 

The problem with foam is that debris will accumulate in large quantities on top of the foam and stay there. Plus, when it rains and the foam gets wet, it provides a prime opportunity for seedlings to sprout and grow inside your gutter. 

In areas with high levels of rainfall, foam guards will quickly saturate, and cause your gutters to overflow. 

Our recommendation is that even though foam is one of the most DIY-friendly gutter guards available and can easily be installed on existing gutters, avoid them at all costs!

Brush

Brush guards consist of bristle-like brushes that are placed inside the gutters, forming a barrier against debris while allowing water to flow freely. 

The bristles act as a filter, trapping larger particles on top while enabling water to pass through easily. This prevents clogs and allows for efficient drainage during heavy rains or melting snow.

Brush gutter guards are one of the easiest gutter guards to install on existing gutters. They are highly versatile as they can fit into various gutter shapes and sizes and they can be easily trimmed using scissors or utility knives to ensure a perfect fit for any existing gutter system. Installation should be no problem for DIYers.

However, brush gutter guards will trap debris inside of the gutter and durability is usually an issue. So be prepared for frequent trips up your ladder to clean your gutters if you opt for brush guards, and that you’ll be replacing them sooner than most other guards on the market. 

Perforated Metal

perforated metal gutter guards. These are a great choice of gutter guard to install on existing gutters, but should be done so by a professional

Perforated Metal gutter guards are one of the most durable and long-lasting options available on the market. These guards are typically made from high-quality aluminum or steel, ensuring strength and resistance against harsh weather conditions.

The design of perforated metal guards consists of small holes or slots that allow water to flow through while filtering out debris effectively. 

The precision-engineered holes in the guard not only prevent leaves, twigs, and other debris from entering the gutter system but also facilitate smooth water drainage.

If you are seeking a robust solution for preserving your existing gutters while minimizing maintenance efforts, perforated metal gutter guards are an excellent choice. They can be installed on existing gutters with professional installation, and their well-engineered design allows for optimal water flow while effectively filtering out debris

Our Recommendation – Alu Rex Gutter Guards

At Gutter Dunn, we’ve been installing gutters and gutter guards for over 15 years. In that time, we’ve worked with every type of gutter guard made of every material out there. Plastic, aluminum, steel, etc. 

We proudly stand behind the gutter guard products from Alu Rex. Alu Rex offers perforated metal gutter guards that are very high-quality and extremely durable. 

Take the Gutter Clean System (GCS) for example. This gutter guard can be installed on your existing gutters and is made of high-quality grade, weatherproof aluminum. These gutter guards will not rust, crack, chip or warp and they’re built to support the weight of debris and snow, making them the perfect guard for those harsh Canadian winters. 

The GCS has been tested and shown to drain 29.7” (755mm) of water per hour, and if all that wasn’t enough these gutter guards are backed by a 40-year clog-free warranty. 

Conclusion

Nearly all gutter guard products on the market can be installed on existing gutter guards fairly easily, some can be done DIY, while others should be done by professionals. 

However, just because all gutter guards can be fit to your current gutters, doesn’t mean they should! Micro Mesh, or Perforated Metal gutter guards will generally outperform their counterparts like screen, brush, or foam guards. 

And when talking about preserving your home’s foundation, and getting the most value for your money over the span of decades, the added cost of a premium gutter guard solution will often pay for itself. 

At Gutter Dunn, we’ve been protecting homes in Edmonton from water damage for over 15 years! We’ve installed countless gutter guard systems onto existing gutters as well as new systems like the Continuous Hanger System that combines gutter protection and installation into a single product. If you’re interested in gutter guards for your existing gutter system, or looking to get your home fit with new gutters, give our expert eavestrough team in Edmonton a call today!

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See why our customers chooses Gutter Dunn!

Cathy PrudenCathy Pruden
01:38 29 Sep 23
Gutter Dunn provided us a reasonable quote for soffits, facia, eavstroughing and gutter guards. We were dealing with improper airflow which was as a result of additional roof venting when a new roof was installed. They were able to open up the older wood soffits before adding new soffits. Employees are friendly and knowledgeable about their product. We are very happy with their work which was done efficiently and in a timely manner and the house looks great! They got the job Dunn! Thanks
Lukas SchillerLukas Schiller
16:49 26 Sep 23
Hands Down, the very best Eavestroughing company in town. They were very professional (from office to the site crew). The workmanship is on point and looks fantastic! I will always recommend this business
Mike RMike R
16:10 11 Sep 23
Took a while to get a quote but well worth the wait. Everyone from the Estimators, Office Staff, Scheduler, and Installers were first class.They explained what was available and what they would recommend. We chose not to go with the leaf protection as we have a 1,200 sq. ft. bungalow and not that much gutter on either our garage or house. It's easy for us to just flush same.FYI their competitors Sales Rep provided a verbal quote and insisted we needed the leave filters and offered at least 5 different discounts and would have charged us double the price that Gutter Dunn invoiced. Competitor would not provide a written quote so I was leary about this company and their Rep.Installers were terrific, showed up a little early and reviewed the scope with us... They also installed new downspouts into our existing storm drain system. What a difference, they inserted the downspout into a pvc fitting vs the old tee pee cone style fitting.They were here for about 3.5 hrs and had everything cleaned up and put away.You know you are dealing with Professionals when they show up in a custom truck with Gutter Dunn and their suppliers ads screened on the side of same. The installers also wore company hats, tees and they were keen to do the work.If I could rate them as a 6 if I could, thanks again Gutter Dunn.
Barbara NBarbara N
21:07 09 Aug 23
They are an absolute delight to work with. I had my old wooden soffit removed and replaced. They were quick to get it done, from the first phone call to them being done was maybe two weeks and it involved coordinating with another contractor to fix the roof. Great communication, called if there was a problem or question, sent easy to understand emails. I can't say enough good things. The work they did was worth every penny.
Ryan McKayRyan McKay
18:15 24 Jul 23
What a great company. They listen to what you want done and then do it. I'll be using them again and now setting up annual gutter clean outs.
Grant Pegden-WrightGrant Pegden-Wright
23:38 21 Jun 23
We had a great experience with Gutter Dunn and our eaves troughs look and perform amazingly well! Would definitely recommend Gutter Dunn to friends and family.
Joel RebohJoel Reboh
15:16 18 Jun 23
Completed my gutters 8 years ago amd they are still in great shape 👍
Eric KEric K
00:27 12 Jun 23
Had soffits/fascia and eavestroughs completed by Gutter Dunn. Both crews were very professional and we are very happy with the final product. The office staff were very helpful as we navigated some other construction delays that affected the scheduling of the Gutter Dunn crews, much appreciated!
Don ShayDon Shay
13:25 07 Jul 21
Professional Service, great advice on product (Soffit, Fascia, 6" Eavestrough & large Downspout Size plus Alu-Rex Double-Pro Leaf Guard). Job was done on time, on quote and they cleaned up so well it was as if they had never been there.
Jean FiliatraultJean Filiatrault
23:10 19 Nov 20
We are very please with the work and workmanship that we received from Gutter Dunn. The eaves that they installed are working very well. the technicians that install the eaves troughs carried their work in a professional manner and were able to answer our questions quickly and to the point. We would certainly recommend Gutter Dunn to friends and family.
Reanna BowdenReanna Bowden
17:25 16 Nov 19
So happy with this Company! They were a little longer getting to me than quoted but worth the wait for the service and attention to detail. They have more selections for qutter profiles than most companies I contacted and they color matched my troughs perfectly to blend in with the exterior. Pricing was also very comparable to other companies when comparing installation techniques. Branden made me an extra extension for my rain barrel in summer, and changed a run on the garage I wanted reversed due to the slope. No hesitation to make it perfect for me. He made sure I loved everything before leaving. My favourite was the duel color downspout to match my exterior. Looks perfect! Thanks for Gutt N’ ER’ Dunn 🙂
Kent LamoureuxKent Lamoureux
18:49 23 Nov 18
I am really happy with how everything went! i picked gutter dunn because of how they came across and the quoting process where they understood what i wanted, so i did not pick them because they were the cheapest but totally competitive in the market and i felt they would get the job done. in the end the design desired was followed and the installer communicated really well to verify. Really happy!
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