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What Are Gutter Splash Guards? (2024 Guide)

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Rain Gutters Splash Guard on Roof against blue sky

Default Author Icon Written by Mike Miller Updated 06/25/2024

Gutter splash guards are small, flat attachments that help keep water from overflowing out of your gutters. Splash guards allow your gutters to better handle heavy downpours and are well-suited for homes in rainy regions. You can install splash guards independently, as part of your gutter installation, or alongside additions such as gutter guards or downspout extensions. Read our guide to learn more about gutter splash guards and our recommended products.

What Are Gutter Splash Guards?

Gutter splash guards are a relatively inexpensive solution to overflow problems. They are thin pieces of metal installed along roof valleys, where two slopes meet and funnel large amounts of rainwater to a gutter section. You can find straight or curved gutter splash guards to fit along the length of gutters or in a corner.

Benefits of Gutter Splash Guards

Splash guards help your gutters handle large amounts of water more effectively, preventing damage and erosion to home structures. By installing splash guards and keeping your gutters in good condition, you can avoid these common problems:
Damaged siding
Flooded garden beds
Foundation damage
Mold and mildew
Pest infestations (such as mosquitoes and termites)
Pools of standing water
Rotted fascia boards
Soil erosion and trenching

Some of these issues require expensive repairs, so gutter splash guards can save you money. They also provide gutter protection that can extend the life of your system.

Signs You Need Gutter Splash Guards

Not all homes need splash guards. You may benefit from splash guards if your home has a steep roof pitch, is located in a region that experiences heavy rainfall, or has a metal roof.

The signs of frequent overflows aren’t always obvious. If you can safely step outside during a rainstorm, observe how your system performs during heavy rainfall. Take note of any spots where you notice water overshooting or overflowing your gutters—that’s where you should install splash guards. 

If watching your gutters in action is impossible, look for the following signs that you should invest in splash guards.

Water Overflow

Overflowing gutters can be a sign that you need splash guards. However, you should eliminate other possibilities first. For example, your gutters could be overflowing because debris buildup is clogging the system and restricting water flow. In that case, we recommend installing a gutter guard system.

If you find yourself outside on a rainy day, you might notice water overflowing, or you might notice a puddle or muddy patch underneath a specific part of your gutter system. Water overflow happens most often beneath a steep slope or inside corner.

Gutter System Damage

Other types of gutter damage can also be a red flag, especially if one section of your gutters shows more signs of wear than the rest. You might notice your gutters sagging or separating at a particular seam. Mold and mildew might grow more quickly in a certain area, or you might see other signs of water damage. Out-of-place damage can be a sign of frequent overflows and the need for splash guards. As water builds and pours out in these areas, it will cause them to wear down faster than the rest of the gutter system.

Roof Leaks

If water is flowing over the outer edge of your gutters, it may be damaging your roof. Ideally, water that flows down your roof will drain through your home’s gutter system. However, if too much water pours into your gutters too quickly, it may back up onto your roof. Over time, the backed-up water can damage the sealant and seep through your roof, resulting in a roof leak.

Foundation Issues

Water that overflows or overshoots your gutters spills onto the ground near your home. Eventually, this can cause erosion and foundation issues, such as shifting and cracking—the things your gutter system is designed to prevent. The spillover can also damage the siding and landscaping of your home. The potentially high cost of fixing foundation issues, if they go untreated, is reason enough to take preventative measures such as installing splash guards.

Mold or Mildew

Where there’s runoff, mold and mildew won’t be far behind. Overflowing gutters can result in mold along your shingles, down your siding, on your home’s foundation, and inside the gutters themselves. Mold and mildew can grow inside your home if the water damage becomes severe. If you spot mold growing on various parts of your home, see if you can trace the source to poorly functioning or overflowing gutters.

Steps to follow

Installing gutter splash guards can be a simple DIY home improvement project. However, check the terms of your gutter warranty first. Some gutter companies specify that repairs or upgrades completed by the homeowner will void the warranty. While installing splash guards is a minor alteration, it can void more restrictive warranties.

It’s also worth noting that splash guards may be easier to install on some styles of gutters than others. For instance, installing a splash guard on copper or half-round gutters will be more difficult than installing one on aluminum K-style gutters. The exact steps may also differ depending on the style and material of your gutters and the product you purchase.

Here is a complete breakdown of how to install splash guards on your gutter system: 

Before installing splash guards, obtain the following tools and materials: 

  • A-frame ladder
  • Bucket
  • Electric screwdriver 
  • Ladder stabilizer (not required but recommended if using an extension ladder)
  • Self-tapping gutter or sheet metal screws 
  • Splash guards to cover overflowing gutter sections 
  • Waterproof, white or clear silicone caulk and caulking gun

You can avoid taking unnecessary trips up and down the ladder by placing your caulk, caulking gun, screwdriver, screws, and splash guards inside a bucket.

Place your ladder on a flat, dry area. Avoid leaning extension ladders on gutter sections, as this can lead to dents or other damage. Instead, use a ladder stabilizer on the house’s siding or roof surface. If you have a spotter, ask them to steady the ladder while you ascend and descend.

Next, you’ll apply caulk to the bottom edge of the gutter section. The caulking will act as both a seal and adhesive for the splash guards. 

Set the splash guard along the top of the outside edge of the gutter section or miter.

Most splash guards come with their own set of screws or fasteners. You must purchase self-tapping gutter or sheet metal screws if they aren’t included. Use an electric screwdriver to fasten the screws and adhere the splash guard to the gutter’s edge.

Once the splash guard is in place, reseal it along the edges with more caulk. Wipe away any excess caulking with a rag.

Where To Buy Gutter Splash Guards

Splash guards are available online and in most hardware or home improvement stores. Most splash guards are made of aluminum or stainless steel, often with a low-gloss white finish. Bestsellers include Amerimax and Gutterworks splash guards.

Most products on the market are designed with K-style aluminum gutters in mind. If you have a different type of gutter, read the product details carefully before purchasing splash guards. You should also verify the store’s return policy in case the gutter valley splash guards you purchase don’t work with your gutters.

What Are the Best Gutter Splash Guards?

We recommend selecting a splash guard made from aluminum or stainless steel. These guards are more corrosion-resistant and have a longer lifespan than PVC or vinyl guards. We researched gutter splash guards’ pricing and reviews across Amazon and home improvement stores to provide a quick list of recommended picks:

  • Gutter Valley Splash Guard by Gutterworks: This product is listed as an “Overall Pick” on Amazon thanks to its high reviews, low pricing, and fast shipping. It costs $25.86 for a pack of three and also comes in packs of 12. It is available in 22 different colors and finishes and has an average rating of 4.5 stars based on more than 750 reviews. 
  • Eagle 1 Rain Gutter Valley Splash Guard: These gutter splash guards have a 4.5-star rating with more than 680 Amazon customer reviews, 15 color options, 10 size options, an aluminum body, and a reasonable price of $27.95 for a two-pack. This product’s Amazon page also has an instructional video that explains how to install the guards. 
  • Amerimax Aluminum Gusher Guard: Amerimax produces a range of high-quality home-improvement products, including gutter splash guards. This product is recommended by 77% of customers based on customer reviews on The Home Depot. It is made from aluminum and has a low price of $12.89 for a three-pack on Amazon. This splash guard doesn’t come with screws, so you’ll have to buy your own.

Our Conclusion

If rainwater routinely overshoots your gutters, splash guards may be a worthwhile addition to your gutter system. Splash guards can prevent roof leaks, foundation damage, soil erosion, and much more. They are affordable and relatively easy to install, even for novice DIYers. Alternatively, you can purchase them from a gutter company and arrange a professional installation.

When inspecting your gutter system, consider whether you might benefit from any other gutter accessories. For instance, you might add downspout splash blocks or adapters, gutter covers, or a gutter strainer. A professional gutter installer can offer advice and recommendations tailored to your home.

FAQ About Gutter Splash Guards

Do splash guards on gutters work?

Yes, splash guards on gutters work to prevent water from overshooting your gutters. However, other gutter modifications might be needed. You might need to upgrade from 5-inch to 8-inch gutters, or you might need to put in a gutter guard.

Can I install gutter splash guards myself?

You can likely install gutter splash guards yourself. Installing gutter splash guards is an easy DIY project for most homeowners. However, if you’re uncomfortable working on a ladder, we recommend hiring a professional gutter company to install your gutter splash guards. 

Where do gutter splash guards go?

Gutter splash guards go on the outside edge of your gutters in places that experience heavier water flow, such as inside corners. They form a wall that keeps water from overshooting your gutters or spilling over the outer edge.

What is the purpose of a gutter splash guard?

Gutter splash guards help keep water from overshooting or overflowing your gutters during periods of heavy rain. This prevents water damage to your roof, siding, landscaping, and foundation.

How often do I need to clean my gutter splash guard?

Check your gutter splash guards when you clean your gutters. Experts recommend cleaning your gutters twice a year, once in spring and once in fall—though you may be able to go longer between cleanings if you have high-quality gutter guards.

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