Gutter guards protect your home’s gutters from damaging leaves, pine needles, twigs and other clogging debris. They also reduce the number of times you need to clean your gutters each year while preventing debris and water runoff from damaging your home’s foundation.
If you notice large debris falling around your home or just want a preventative maintenance measure, gutter guards may be a good option. Keep reading to learn more about gutter guards and the best options available for your home.
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Types of Gutter Guards
Gutter guards are made with a variety of materials to fit the budget, gutter style and individual needs of homeowners. Here are the benefits and drawbacks of some of the most common types of gutter guards.
Screen gutter guards consist of large holes or slits that filter debris from passing water. Because most screen models are installed under the row of shingles closest to your gutters, they are usually inexpensive and easy to install. While screen gutter guards are user-friendly, they’re typically less effective than other models and can be dislodged by high winds.
Micro-mesh guards are similar to gutter screens, though they have extremely small holes to filter even the smallest debris. They’re typically made of stainless steel and are installed by slipping under the bottom row of your roof shingles, snapping on top of your gutter or fastening to the board below your roofline.
Many micro-mesh gutter guards, including those from LeafFilter Gutter Protection, combine micro-mesh with other layers like screen guards. As such, these models typically require professional installation.
Brush gutter guards resemble large pipe cleaners that rest inside your gutter tubes. As water and debris travel down your roof, this type of guard prevents leaves, twigs and other large debris from entering. While inexpensive and simple to install, these guards aren’t very effective at preventing smaller debris from entering your gutters.
Foam gutter covers are similar to brush gutter guards. They’re inexpensive and easy to install. Usually offered as a triangular block of foam, these models wedge inside your gutter’s structure to keep out large debris. Foam guards can be cut to fit your gutter’s size and don’t need screws or nails for installation. However, these guards become saturated quickly in areas with high precipitation, which can cause your gutters to overflow and mold to form.
Reverse-curve gutter guards allow water to flow over the top of your gutter and around a curve before dropping inside. This helps large leaves and other debris pass over your gutters, eliminating the risk of clogs. While effective, reverse-curve models are difficult to install and have a large profile that can be seen from ground level.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Gutter Guards
In addition to the type of gutter guard, here’s a list of other factors to consider before making a gutter guard purchase.
Here’s an overview of common materials used in gutter guards:
- Stainless steel—Stainless steel is used in many professional-grade gutter guards. It’s commonly found in micro-mesh and reverse-curve gutter guards and is one of the most durable options, standing up to rain and other weather elements. While stainless-steel gutter guards are long-lasting, they’re typically more expensive than other models.
- Aluminum—Aluminum is a go-to gutter guard material for homeowners who are looking to balance longevity and affordability. Similar to stainless steel, aluminum is used in many professional micro-mesh and reverse-curve models.
- Plastic—Plastic is regularly used as a component in many gutter guard models. It can be used for bristles in brush guards and in the frame for reverse-curve guards.
- Foam—Only used in foam gutter guards, this material is an affordable and temporary option for protecting your gutter system. While effective at filtering out large debris, foam is susceptible to deterioration and mold growth over time.
Many professionally installed gutter guards include warranties that last multiple years. However, it’s important to look into your roof warranty before purchasing a gutter guard. Some gutter guard models are installed underneath your bottom row of roof shingles, which can void your roof’s warranty. DIY gutter guards, such as brush and foam guards, don’t usually come with warranties because they’re a semi-permanent solution to protecting your roof’s gutters.
Most gutter guard systems require intensive installation procedures and are best left to professionals, particularly if you have a steep roof or a multi-story home. However, if you’re looking for a temporary gutter guard for a small area around your home, DIY installation is manageable. For example, foam and brush gutter guards typically require simple tools and minimal hardware.
Depending on the gutter guard you select, its structure may be visible from the ground. As such, you may want to consider purchasing a model with various color options that you can match to the color of your home. These models include micro-mesh, screen and reverse-curve gutter guards, which are almost always visible from the street. Foam and brush gutter guards usually rest completely within the walls of your gutter and are shielded from outside view.
Gutters usually come in four-, five- or six-inch widths and require a gutter guard with a similar size to effectively protect against debris. If you’re purchasing a foam or brush guard, you’ll need to measure your gutter from its inside edge to its outside edge to ensure you purchase the right size. However, if you opt for a micro-mesh or reverse-curve gutter guard, a professional gutter installation service will handle the measurement process for you.
Top 5 Gutter Guards for Your Home
Based on our in-depth research and analysis of gutter guard providers on the market, we found that the following five companies offer the best gutter guards:
LeafFilter Gutter Protection
As one of the largest gutter protection companies in the nation, LeafFilter Gutter Protection has served more than 800,000 homeowners. The company uses a patented guard technology that latches onto your existing guttering to filter out pine needles, shingle grit, seed pods and more. LeafFilter stands by its product with a lifetime warranty, giving you peace of mind that your gutter guards are protected.
LeafFilter’s gutter guards consist of a three-piece system that supports the weight of your existing gutters and prevents large debris from clogging their tubes.
- The system starts with structural hangers, which fasten onto your home and secure your gutters.
- Next, an anti-warp and weather-resistant uPVC frame is installed along your gutter, providing extra support and filtration.
- Lastly, the gutter guard system is topped with a stainless-steel micro-mesh that filters out fine debris as small as 275 microns.
These three pieces work together to draw water in and push debris away. This gutter system also has an angled pitch that sheds large debris and prevents damage from heavy sticks, twigs and pests.
LeafFilter gutter guards cost about $22–$28 per linear foot. For example, if you own a single-story home with 150 linear feet of gutters, you can expect to pay between $3,300 and $4,200.
Read more: LeafFilter Review
HomeCraft Gutter Protection
HomeCraft Gutter Protection started as a father-son business operating out of a small warehouse. It’s since grown into a quality gutter guard provider that serves 10 states across the South and Midwest. The company offers free estimates and protects you with its lifetime transferable warranty.
Homecraft uses a three-part gutter guard system that creates a high-quality and effective product.
- The gutter guards start with reinforced hidden hangers that attach to your home’s fascia boards, locking the gutters in for added safety.
- A powder-coated aluminum frame is layered on top and holds the system’s micro-mesh screen.
- The screen has a unique diamond structure that elevates debris and allows water to pass through.
While HomeCraft Gutter Protection doesn’t provide prices online, the cost of gutter guard installation is affected by a variety of factors, including your gutter’s linear footage and condition. HomeCraft services Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
Read more: HomeCraft Gutter Protection Review
All American Gutter Protection
All American Gutter Protection has more than 50 years of experience and serves 13 states across the country. The company offers competitive pricing and extends discounts to seniors and active or retired military personnel.
All American Gutter Protection uses a high-quality guard with an aluminum body and stainless-steel screen.
- The anti-warp body provides a strong foundation for the screen, which filters leaves, pine needles, dirt, twigs and other debris.
- Its effective design ensures that only rainwater reaches your gutters, reducing the number of times you need to clean them.
Other benefits of All American Gutter Protection include:
- Rustproof guards
- Lifetime warranty
- More than 30 color options
While the cost of your gutter guard system depends on a variety of factors, including your home’s square footage, All American Gutter Protection suggests budgeting $15–$20 per linear foot. This means that if your home has 200 linear feet of gutters, you can expect to pay between $3,000 and $4,000.
Read more: All American Gutter Protection Review
Mastershield Gutter Guard
Mastershield has more than 20 years of experience in the gutter guard industry and uses patented micro-mesh technology in its gutter guards. The company also incorporates recycled materials throughout its gutter guard system and uses HydroVortex technology that keeps your system effective against rain and debris.
Matershield’s stainless-steel micro-mesh has pure copper wires woven throughout, which collect water and attack destructive oils and organisms flowing through your gutter system.
In addition to its traditional gutter protection system, the company offers a heated model that works to melt damaging snow and ice dams collected near the edges of your roof. Heated gutter guards are especially helpful to homeowners living in the country’s snowbelt, which experiences extreme freezes that can harm gutters.
- Mastershield offers a heated model that works to melt damaging snow and ice dams collected near the edges of your roof.
- If your Mastershield gutter guard system clogs, the company will replace the system or issue you a full refund with its warranty.
- Should a potential clog damage your home, the company will even refund your insurance deductible up to $1,500.
On average, a Mastershield gutter guard system costs $19–$21 per linear foot. This cost is influenced by a number of factors, including the condition of your gutters and your selection of a traditional or heated system. Luckily, the company offers free project consultations to help you get a better understanding of the cost and scope of the project.
Read more: Mastershield Gutter Guard Review
Amerimax Home Products
Amerimax is a manufacturer of rain-carrying systems, offering an array of products direct to consumers and professional contractors. The company specializes in DIY gutter guard systems that fit most standard gutters.
Amerimax’s most popular gutter guard options include its Metal Lock-In Gutter Guard, Hoover Dam Gutter Guard and Titan Gutter Guard. Below is an overview of all three models:
- Metal Lock-In Gutter Guard: This simple gutter guard has a fine mesh pattern that keeps out large debris. The system is compatible with most traditional K-style gutters and has a pre-notched design that eliminates gaps in coverage. The Metal Lock-In Gutter Guard is made of powder-coated steel and is protected by a 10-year warranty.
- Hoover Dam Gutter Guard: Compatible with four-, five- or six-inch metal K-style gutters, this system has an innovative design that collects heavy rainfall while shielding your gutters from leaves, twigs and other debris. It’s made of powder-coated steel and is installed under your first row of shingles. Additionally, this system comes with a 15-year limited warranty.
- Titan Gutter Guard: The Titan Gutter Guard is made of high-quality aluminum and filters both large and small debris. This gutter guard has a low profile and two-step installation process that conforms to your roof line. It also comes with a 20-year performance warranty, one of Amerimax’s most comprehensive.
Amerimax’s gutter guards vary in price based on design and linear footage purchased. View the chart below to learn more about the cost of Amerimax’s popular gutter guard options.
|Cost per linear foot
|Hoover Dam Gutter Guard
|Metal Lock-In Gutter Guard
|Titan Gutter Guard
If you’re looking for the best option to protect your gutters, we recommend HomeCraft. This experienced gutter guard provider offers free estimates and boasts an impressive lifetime transferable warranty. HomeCraft’s unique three-part gutter guard system makes it both a high-quality and effective product.
Frequently Asked Questions About Gutter Guards
Do gutter guards work?
While gutter guards don’t completely eliminate the need to clean your gutters, they do significantly decrease the number of times you have to climb a ladder to do it. Additionally, gutter guards prevent total blockages, which can cause foundation damage, structural issues and mold and mildew.
Are gutter guards worth the money?
While the cost of installing gutter guards can add up, it’s important to consider the impact of clogged gutters. Blocked gutters can lead to costly problems like roof leaks, insect infestations and foundation damage. In addition to preventing damage, gutter guards can reduce the number of times you need to clean your gutters each year. This prevents you from spending a lot of money on gutter cleaning services or having to climb a ladder to do the cleaning yourself.
How much do gutter guards cost?
The cost of gutter guards varies depending on a number of factors, including the type of installation, the material used and the linear footage of your roof. In general, DIY gutter guards range in price from $1–$3 per linear foot, while professionally installed models cost $15–$28 per linear foot.
How We Chose the Top Gutter Guard Companies
Today’s Homeowner aims to offer our readers well-researched, objective reviews. In that effort, we have created a detailed research process that uses a weighted scoring system to rate each company we review objectively.
This approach to scoring allows us to be objective in our findings and back up our claims. Our rating system for gutter guard companies is based on a 100-point scale based on the following factors:
- Years of Experience (25): How long has the company gained industry experience, knowledge, and customer relations?
- Reputation (25): Besides its experience, what sort of reputation does the company have from previous or existing customers on popular reviews sites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB)? Does it feature accreditation from the website?
- Licenses (35): Does the company hold the proper licenses and insurance to perform the services it claims to offer?
- Guarantee (15): Does the company stand by its work and offer a service guarantee or not?
Source: Today’s Home Owner