PLUS, the worst thing: A lot of gutter guards attract wasps. They get in through the holes or the gap where the water goes in, and they build their nests in there. OMG, a world of no.
To avoid both the wasps and the sludge/clogged holes issues, we'd probably have to pay over $1,000 to pay for the fancy gutter guards and get them installed. They have a metal frame with holes or slots, but over that they also have a very fine mesh that water supposedly drains through like it's not there. But they really are not maintenance free either; you have to get a brush on a stick and clean off the mesh. And to really know you're getting it done, you have to get up on a ladder. Or get a mirror on a stick, I guess.
Since the ladder part is the part I'd like to avoid, this is not a good solution for me. I guess we'll just keep cleaning them the way we do now until we're too old to do it anymore and then pay someone to come by and do it for us.
But it's not so bad. I really do kind of like doing it, after I get over my initial ladder fear.