Gutter Foam – Failure


It’s not very often that I feel the need to slate a product so badly, but this gutter foam has let me down – big time.

I first installed this about 2 years ago and all seemed fine, until the following spring when I received phone calls from my customers. Moss, seeds and grit from the roof had compacted on the top of the foam and prevented water from entering the gutter.

This meant that the water cascaded over the front edge of the guttering and onto the fascia boards and then down onto the walls and window sills. In my opinion this product is flawed and at the time was mis-sold. The only way to clear out the gutter foam was to remove it and unblock it with a hose and then refit it.


Other Gutter Leaf Guards You Can Try

Here is a list of other gutter leaf protection products you can use instead of the Gutter Foam. 


My Review

Here is a review that I left on another website, it sums up my experience in more detail:

A couple of years ago I wrote a favourable review of the gutter foam, in hindsight I should have tested the product much more before doing so. During the last 12 months I have had several phone calls from customers who have had problems with the foam installation.

For those of you who are not aware of this product, it’s a section of foam that is inserted into the gutter and is designed to keep out leaves, pine needles and roof moss etc whilst allowing rainwater to enter the guttering. At first it seemed like a really good product, it was strong, not too expensive and easy to install.

Gutter foam being installed

The First Phonecall

The first phone call I received was in November 2010. I inspected the gutter foam and it was covered in bits of roof moss, dirt, pine needles and seedlings/acorns. I could clearly see that the foam was blocked, not just on the outside but also clogged up within the foam itself. It was obvious that the foam would not be able to handle a heavy downpour of rain, not while clogged up like this anyway.

Indeed, the customer took no time in pointing out the damp patch on the wall below. The rainwater wasn’t even entering the gutter. How could it, when the foam was completely clogged up? Rather, the water was just overflowing onto the patio and splashing up onto the wall.

I scraped the muck from the top of the foam and then tried to flush the rest out with some water, it didn’t really work so I had to completely remove the foam and used a hose to clear it. I then re-installed it, knowing that it wouldn’t take long to clog up again.

Gutter foam clogged with layer of dirt and moss on surface

Not What I (or my customer) Expected

When I installed the foam I expected it to keep out leaves and other debris so the gutter didn’t become blocked.  According to the website and manufacturer of the foam, leaves and other debris will sit on top of the guard and then “just blow away with the wind”

Yeah Right!

Based on my experience with this installation and several others, that is not the case. This gutter foam is easily blocked and roof moss and other bits just clog up the surface. I have witnessed this after just one season (Autumn).

Since installing this gutter guard I have checked the manufacturers website and noticed they have now changed their policy. Instead of advertising this product as a “clog free” foam, they are advising customers that the foam may require “maintenance” every 6 months!

Apparently one should go up a ladder every 6 months with a garden hose and flush the foam with water.

As my customer lives in a three storey property with a large glass roofed conservatory beneath, I don’t think I will be passing on this advice to him!


Other Gutter Leaf Guards You Can Try

Here is a list of other gutter leaf protection products you can try. 


3 Responses to “Gutter Foam – Failure”

  1. Russell04/07/2012 at 12:46 am #

    I have trees growing on the corners of my home that shed small limbs constantly. Also, because of the slope of my roof I also get a lot of shingle grit that settles in my gutters. Could you see these items causing the same difficulty as you have had with Pine needles and moss?

  2. Chris24/10/2013 at 2:53 pm #

    I have just installed the foam on My Conservatory, as the guttering is narrow, I folded it over creating a dome that protrudes slightly from the gutter, here’s hoping that the leaves and acorns will blow off the foam as there is no flat surface to rest on.
    Maybe a modified foam with a dome surface would be a better buy?

    • ADMIN03/11/2013 at 12:03 am #

      I agree and have had the same thoughts regarding a domed/angled foam insert, unfortunately most roof tiles in the UK overhang into the gutter so this wouldn’t always work, the tiles would squash the foam downward.

      Thanks for your comment though, your adjustments to the foam should work on a conservatory gutter.