Cleaning leaves, twigs, and other debris from gutters is a difficult, time-consuming, and potentially dangerous chore. You can keep a lot of debris from finding its way into your gutters by installing gutter guards, but they will not be entirely maintenance-free.
Gutter guards are covers that are placed on top of existing gutters. They can reduce the frequency of required gutter cleaning and prevent stagnant water from accumulating in gutters. They can also prevent birds and rodents from getting into the gutters and building nests. The gutters will be less likely to rust, so they will last longer.
Although installing gutter guards can reduce the amount of gutter cleaning required, you will still need to remove debris from time to time. Some debris will collect on top of the gutter guards. This should be much easier to clean than leaves and debris that have washed into the gutters themselves. You will not need to reach into the gutters to remove handfuls of leaves and twigs.
Gutter guards will not keep all debris out of your gutters. Small things, like seeds, can still get washed into the gutters. If they are not removed, they can begin to grow. Some homeowners with gutter guards have been surprised to find trees growing in their gutters.
Gutter guards can be costly. Depending on the size of your house, the number of trees in your yard, and your budget, it may be more cost-effective to hire a gutter cleaning company to remove debris from your gutters twice a year than to install gutter guards.
If your house is two or three stories tall, you should hire a gutter cleaning contractor to clean your gutters once or twice a year, whether you have gutter guards or not. It is too dangerous to clean gutters that high off the ground yourself.