Gusher guards are thin pieces of material that are meant to stop water from overshooting your gutters and ending up on the ground. Otherwise, over time, that water can do serious damage to your landscaping and the foundation of your home. Not to mention that it’s annoying to walk by your roof and get splashed with water. Gusher guards are a great solution–under the right circumstances. Here is what you need to know about them.

How Gusher Guards Work

Gusher guards are thin pieces of aluminum, vinyl, or other gutter material shaped into an “L.” They can be installed in the corners of your gutters.

Gusher guards are just splash guards. They work by catching the water that overshoots the gutters and reflecting it back into the gutters, kind of like the backboard on a basketball net. Overshooting water is common on large roof valleys that have a steep pitch.

However, this means that gusher guards do not work on problems caused by clogged gutters or improperly sized or installed gutters. They only protect from splashing, not overflowing.

Gusher Guard Materials

You can buy a splash guard made of any material that gutters are available in. Many roofers will choose not to purchase a standalone gusher guard and will instead make one directly out of the materials they have on hand to make gutters.

However, if you’re buying a gusher guard yourself, you should choose one made from the same materials as your gutter. Aluminum, steel and vinyl may look the same, but if you mix and match them, you can cause galvanic corrosion. In this process, one metal weakens the other. This can cause your gutters to weaken and develop leaks.

Galvanic corrosion is also possible with copper, although, because of its color, you’re less likely to accidentally pair it with aluminum.

Gusher Guard Installation

Gusher guards should be attached to the inside of the outer edge of your gutters. Typically, they are only needed in corners where valleys end, but you might also need to add straight splash guards to other problematic stretches of your gutters.

For aesthetics, you will want to choose a gusher guard which matches the color of your gutters or paint it to match. Most homes have white gutters, and a variety of potentially matching white splash guards are widely available.

When You Shouldn’t Use Gusher Guards

Gusher guards may seem like the perfect solution to your gutter overflow problems, but really, they are a very specific tool that only really works where the design of the roof leads water to overshoot the gutters. This most commonly occurs in the valley, where large roof planes combined with a steep slope can make large volumes of water move fast enough to pass over the gutters. It can also occur in other spots, but this is rare.

Gutter overflow problems created by partial and full clogs or those created by improper sizing or installation of the gutter system will not be corrected by gush guards.