What is Gutter Foam?

installing gutter foam into gutter

Gutter Foam guards are long pieces of triangular, arch-shaped foam that fit inside gutters. The foam catches leaves, twigs, and other debris as water flows through it, preventing them from going inside the gutters. Many are choosing this type of gutter cover for its ease of installation.

Pros of Gutter Foam:

Easy to Install

Gutter Foam guards are the fastest and easiest to install out of all the different types of gutter guards. They're also compatible with all gutter types because you can easily cut to size or shape them as needed. 

You don't need any tools or fasteners to install gutter guards made of foam. You might have to cut or trim the foam to get the perfect fit or adjust the length slightly. There's no need for professional installation – making them ideal for DIY-ers and home improvement enthusiasts. 

Reduce Gutter Cleaning Frequency

Gutter Foam guards conform to the shape and fit snugly in your gutters while they allow water to flow smoothly through them. The upper surface catches all the fallen leaves, seeds, twigs, and debris, even the most minor debris, such as pine needles. By doing so, they significantly cut down the need to clean gutters. 

Since gutter foam guards are easy to remove, regular cleaning and maintenance become less of a dreaded job. You probably won't need a professional's help. 

Moreover, these gutter foams have raised ridges that blow off lots of debris before you have to clean it. The foam rises higher than the gutter edge, and when the winds are strong enough, they can blow some of the junk off it. 

Cost is Affordable

One of the biggest pros of gutter foam guards is that they're inexpensive. This is because the manufacturing costs for foam materials are relatively cheap. Gutter sponges cost as little as $2 per foot and are readily available at any hardware store. 

You'll also save considerably on labor costs as you don't need a specialist to jam the foam into your existing gutters. So, you don't have to worry about the hefty gutter protection costs if you opt for foam gutter guards. 

Cons of Foam Gutter Guards:

     Change Shape Over Time

Gutter foam guards are flexible and easy to remove for regular cleanups, but this flexibility might affect their efficiency.

Here's why: When you remove the foam guards for cleaning, they lose some of their shape every time. Misshapen foam guards don't fit snugly against the gutter edges and leave spaces for debris and organic waste to settle in. This could result in pollen buildup, weed growth, and mold. 

Not Great for All Weather

You will have to remove foam gutter guards if you reside in an area that experiences freezing temperatures. If you don't, the foam will freeze and block your gutters. And when the temperature rises in spring, you could find weeds or moss growing in the gutter guards as the temperature rises. 

The sponges soak up water in heavy rain, which may overflow on your home's roof or sides.

Let Small Debris Pass

Foam gutter guards are porous, so rainwater flows easily through the gutter and downspouts. But this porosity can allow small leaves and debris to lodge in the holes of the foam, obstructing the flow of water. 

And over time, the foam fills with a gradual debris buildup and clogs the gutters. Restricted water flow also means the gutter and the gutter guard system stay moist enough, long enough, to attract insects and mold.  

Require Regular Cleaning

Gutter sponges or foam gutter guard systems are not maintenance-free. They require regular cleaning, which may become a hassle. You'll have to remove them and manually clean the debris out every time. 

Short Lifespan

Foam gutter guards are lightweight and super easy to work with, but they last only two or three years. Even the high-quality material will last for a maximum of five years if properly cared for. Some foam gutter guards aren't UV-coated, which means an even shorter lifespan.