Pros and Cons of Reverse Curve Gutter Guards

A person inspecting the gutters installed on roof of house

Gutter guards block debris, provide gutter protection, and reduce the need for gutter cleaning. There are many styles to choose from, and each one claims to save time and aggravation on gutter cleaning. 

Reverse curve gutter guards are one of the stranger options because they employ surface tension to direct water into the gutter while letting debris drift to the ground below. But like anything else, there are pros and cons to reverse curve gutter guards that make them a great choice for some homes but not for others.

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What is a Reverse Curve Gutter Guard?

illustration of reverse gutter
Photo Credit: Juan Rodriguez

Reverse curve gutter guards are solid pieces of plastic or metal that fit over the gutter opening and have a curved lip at the edge. They work on the principle of surface tension: Rainwater flows over the top of the guard, follows the contour of the curved edge, and “reverses” direction as it spills back into the gutter. Meanwhile, debris continues on over the roof’s edge and away from your gutters. The result, according to its manufacturers? No more clogs.

Pros of Reverse Curve Gutter Guards

Reverse curve gutter guards claim to do pretty much the same things most other gutter guards claim. The difference is that their innovative design makes them longer lasting with less maintenance than other gutter guards. Let’s examine how this system works to keep your to-do list short and prevent damage to your home.

Stop Most Debris

rain gutter full of leaves
Photo Credit: soupstock / Canva Pro / License

Let’s get this out of the way: No gutter guard catches all debris. You will still need to clean out your gutters and clean off the gutter guards every so often. Gutter guards simply reduce the frequency of that chore and make the job easier when it’s time to tackle it. 

But reverse curve gutter guards definitely help. They are designed to allow water to slide into your gutters while debris blows away or falls off the edge. Because the opening between the reverse curve gutter guard and the gutter is small, you don’t collect a lot of debris.

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Low Maintenance

With less debris inside the gutters, maintenance is needed less frequently. After intense storms, gutters can overflow with leaves, leading to tedious and time-consuming cleanups. However, reverse curve gutter systems are designed to keep leaves out.

Prevent Damage

Ensuring that rainwater enters your gutters and funnels through them smoothly is incredibly important to the safety of your home. Clogged gutters can cause various serious problems because rainwater is not channeled properly. Water can begin to pool on your roof, leading to fascia rot and roof damage.

Water not channeled away from your home can flood your basement or damage the foundation. This can disrupt the structural stability of your property. Standing water in your gutters can also lead to rust and invite insects. Reverse curve gutter guards can make you feel at ease knowing your home is safe from water damage.

Cons of Reverse Curve Gutter Guards

While reverse curve gutter guards are a cut above the rest in many aspects, there are a few things to consider before buying. In this section, we’ll explain how reverse curve gutter guards may be pricey for some homeowners, and while they are low maintenance, they aren’t maintenance-free.

Noticeable From the Ground

Reverse curve gutter guards are usually visible from the ground because they don’t sit as low as other types of gutter guards. Because of this, you’ll want to make sure you get a gutter guard that matches the color of your roof shingles and the aesthetic of your home. This ensures that your gutter guard system doesn’t take away from the curb appeal of your home.

Hard to Clean 

You may notice the underside of the curve becomes dirty over time. Oils and grime from your roof are carried in the rain water and coat the gutter guard’s curve. Additionally, small debris may be able to flow with the water into your gutters and may cause buildup over time. While this isn’t as serious as large debris clogging your gutters, this will also require cleaning.

Due to the way reverse curve gutter guards are designed, it can be difficult to access your gutters for cleaning when there is debris buildup. When removing your reverse curve gutter guard for cleaning, you may damage your roof and void your roof warranty. It may be wise to leave cleaning projects to the professionals.

Less Effective in Heavy Rain

Heavy rain pouring on a roof of house
Photo Credit: Willowpix / Canva Pro / License

The reverse-tension principle does, indeed, work. It just doesn’t work as well when the volume of water streaming down a roof is really heavy. Heavy rainfall can flow swiftly over the top of the reverse curve gutter guard and spill to the ground below. Consumer Reports shows how this happens in this video.


You may not be able to install reverse curve gutter guards on your existing gutters. They typically have to be custom fitted to your home and may require you to purchase new gutters as well. They also require professional installation, so all but the most handy DIYers are out of luck. All of these factors combined make them one of the most expensive gutter guard options.

Reverse curve gutter guards cost between $9 and $27 per linear foot installed. Installing gutter guards can be more or less expensive depending on the gutter guard material, whether you are also having to install gutters, and if professional installation is required.


How often should you clean gutters with gutter guards?

While your gutter guards should keep your gutters clear for most of the year, it’s a good idea to clean your gutters and gutter guards once or twice a year.

Do gutter guards cause problems during winter?

Metal gutter guards can freeze. The thing homeowners are most likely to experience is icicles. Gutter guards are often blamed for causing ice dams, but these are typically caused by uneven roof insulation. By keeping your gutters clog free, and allowing melting snow to drain smoothly, gutter guards can prevent ice dams.

Why does rain flow over my gutters?

Overflowing gutters typically indicates a clogged gutter. Debris prevents the gutter from draining properly, resulting in overflow. Sometimes, loose gutters can also result in leaks or overflows.

Final Thoughts 

Reverse curve gutter guards can drastically reduce leaves, twigs, and other debris in your gutters that may cause clogs. While reverse gutter guards don’t allow for DIY installation, they save you time and money in the long run by reducing maintenance costs and protecting your home from flooding. For help choosing the right gutter guard for your home, contact a MyGutterGnome professional.

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Beck Carter

Beck is a creative writer from Central Texas. She graduated with an MFA in poetry from Texas State University. Beck enjoys martial arts, kayaking, and walking her wiener dog, Cookie.