Do Brush Gutter Guards Work? 

brush gutter guards on a roof

Gutter cleaning is on every homeowner’s weekend chore list, and let’s be honest, it’s no picnic. Maybe gutter guards will lighten your burden, especially brush gutter guards, which are easy to install and clean. But do brush gutter guards actually work?

It’s worth a look because, unlike other kinds of gutter guards, these simple bottle-brush designs can be purchased cheaply and installed quickly, even by someone with little do-it-yourself experience. 

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What is a Brush Gutter Guard? 

Brush gutter guards have been on the market for about 20 years and are popular with homeowners and cabin owners with heavy tree coverage or homes with hard to reach gutters. Unlike other gutter guards like micro-mesh guards and gutter screens that sit over the top of the gutters, brush gutter guards sit inside gutters – filling the space but leaving room for the flow of water to run freely toward downspouts while preventing clogging from leaves and other debris. 

How Brush Gutter Guards are Made: Like a bottle brush, brush guards are wound with high-quality galvanized metal or stainless steel, securing the heavy-duty and weather-resistant polypropylene bristles. Brushes can come in several sizes to fit standard gutters, usually 5” and 6” in diameter. These guards can fit snuggly inside most gutter styles, including half-round, K-style, and box gutters. 

How Brush Gutter Guards Work: Brush gutter guards are designed to fit snugly inside your gutter to catch leaves, pine needles, and other debris in their stiff bristles. Catching large debris reduces the frequency of gutter cleaning but does not eliminate it. The bristles hold onto debris so leaves can be blown away or washed away from heavy rain or wind. The truth is, some of it does indeed blow or wash away, and some of it remains trapped in the bristles.

Cost: Brush gutter guards are relatively inexpensive. They are easy to install yourself with minimal tools. The average cost of a brush guard is between $3 and $5 per linear foot. Professional installation typically starts at $500 and goes up depending on the square footage and style of gutters on your home. 

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Pros of Brush Gutter Guards

VEVOR Gutter Guard Brush with 60 FT Length Bristle, 4.33"(Dia) Gutter Brush Leaf Guard Fit for 5 Inches Gutter, Galvanized Steel Wire Gutter Brush, No Tools, DIY Gutter Leaf Guard for Keep Out Debris

Brush guards are easy to install and can be customized to fit most gutter styles without fasteners or brackets to keep them in place. It’s a great home improvement project for the DIY homeowner.

By catching leaves and other debris, they make yearly gutter cleaning a quick job.

In addition to keeping your gutters clear, brush guards deter rodents and birds.

Lastly, the tightly packed bristles allow air and water flow, keeping gutter rust at bay and prolonging the life of your gutter system

Cons of Brush Gutter Guards

While brush guards help keep debris out of your gutters, they may need to be replaced every few years, which can be hard on your home improvement budget.

Brush gutter guards are also less aesthetic than the clean lines of a traditional gutter because the bristles may be visible.

Additionally, despite being made from fire-resistant materials, it could be a fire hazard if you live in an area with frequent brush fires.

Lastly, you’ll still need to clean gutters regularly to remove large debris stuck in bristles as well as small seeds, sticks, and sediment.  

Conclusion: Do Brush Gutter Guards Work? 

Yes, brush gutter guards reduce – but don’t eliminate – gutter cleaning, extend the life of your gutter system, and deter rodents. They are inexpensive, easy to install, and are overall considered low maintenance. 

However, they aren’t as effective as micro-screen gutter guards for a very simple reason: As mentioned earlier, an awful lot of leaves, sticks and other debris cling to the bristles, and smaller debris like dirt and grit from roofing shingles easily slips between the bristles and ends up in the gutter.

The verdict: You’ll still need to clean your gutters a couple of times a year, but brush gutter guards make the work easier.


Q. Do brush gutter guards require fasteners to keep them in place? 

A. No, brush gutter guards require no hardware to keep them in place. They are designed to fit snugly into your gutters and can be installed without tools. 

Q. How will I know if brush gutter guards are the best guards for my home?

A. If you have lots of trees, you might notice gutter blockages or clogged gutters throughout the year.

Q. Do brush gutter guards affect my roof’s warranty? 

A. Some gutter guards can alter your roof’s warranty, especially if guards touch fascia boards or use fasteners. Brush gutter guards do not contact the roof, fascia, or soffits – they do not require fasteners. Brush gutter guards should not affect the warranty of your roof. 

If you need help with anything related to gutters, contact MyGutterGnome. Our pros do everything from regular gutter maintenance to gutter repair to gutter installation services.

You’ve got gutter and gutter guard questions. We’ve got answers.

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Main Image Credits: Comstock / Canva Pro / License; Bill Oxford / Canva Pro / License created using Canva Pro

Robin Chipman

Robin Chipman is a technical writer working toward her master's degree in Strategic Communication. She teaches QiGong in her community and enjoys exploring nature or sipping on a cup of herbal tea.