Gutter Guard Buying Guide: Best Gutter Guards, Different Types, & More
Installing gutter guards eliminates the messy job of cleaning out your gutters. The proper leaf guard system can eliminate the need for constant maintenance if your gutters were installed below or near a tree, even after a heavy rain.
Gutter guards can save you the headache of having clogged gutters or having to clean gutters multiple times a year. To take it even further, gutter guards can save you maintenance costs on your home overall. Optimizing your gutters means cutting down on maintenance costs related to leaks, drainage or foundation issues as well.
We put together this buying guide so that homeowners can understand the benefits of a gutter guard system, and make smart purchasing decisions for their next home improvement project.
Benefits of Installing Gutter Guards on Your Home
Saves time and money - gutter maintenance becomes so much easier. Save time on gutter cleaning and avoid paying for gutter cleaning 2, 3 or more times per year.
Keep you safe - in addition to the time savings, you minimize risk of injury by not having to climb ladder to clean out your gutters multiple times a year.
Optimize performance - prevents build up of debris which can optimize the performance of your gutters - even in areas where downpours and storms are common.
Prevents animal and pest infestation - animals will have less access to your gutter system, so you wont have to worry as much about hives forming or rodents getting in.
Less water damage - clearing debris from your gutters not only helps performance, but also gives you an extra layer of defense from water damage to your roof.
Gutter Guard Types & Our Most Popular Models
There are many different styles and types of gutter guards. Their costs vary by the material you choose and the strength of the protection. Here's a high-level run down of each gutter guard type and our favorite models for each.
Gutter screens are a great option for homeowners looking for an extra layer of gutter protection. Gutter screens are placed over the top of your gutters and allow water to flow in, but prevent dirt and debris from getting in and clogging things up. We carry a few different types of gutter screens.
The Micro Mesh Gutter Guard is made of Marine-grade stainless steel and aluminum. Its resistant to corrosion and is lightweight and easy to install. Its equipped with an offset vertical slant system that filters water and prevents leaves and debris from getting in. Its a great option for homeowners looking to fortify their existing gutters against debris buildup.
The K Style Drop In Gutter Screen comes in 3 ft sections and each gutter screen has a continuous reinforced edge that clips on to the front bead of the gutter. The screen simply rests on the hangers and is virtually undetectable from the ground. The K Style Drop In Gutter Screen needs no fasteners or tools. This K Style Drop In Gutter Screen has long been the contractor favorite because of its ease of installation and affordability. Available in Aluminum and Copper.
The Lock-On Gutter Screen is the strongest gutter guard screen product for the money. The Lock-On Gutter Screen is made of durable powder coated steel, which will not collapse under ice, snow, or debris. The Lock-On Gutter Screen comes in 4 ft sections and is available for 5" and 6" K Style gutters. Color: Black.
The Diamond PVC Snap-In Gutter Cover installs in seconds by snapping onto the front edge of the gutter. Handy 3 ft. sections fit standard K style metal gutters.
The gutter cover is made of high quality, rigid PVC. Snap-In design will not collapse under debris. The gutter cover is available in white, brown, or black (Fits 4, 5 & 6 metal K gutters).
Hooded Gutter Guards
Unlike gutter screens, gutter hoods are made of solid material that runs the length of your gutter system. They have a slanted design that allows rainwater in, but blocks leaves and debris from the outside.
This Solid PVC Snap-In Gutter Cover works on the principle of surface tension. Water flows around the nose of the Solid PVC Snap-In Gutter Cover and into the gutter through the slotted channel.
This gutter hood will handle the heaviest of rainfall. It helps keep leaves, pine needles, and other debris out of the gutter. The Solid PVC Snap-In Gutter Cover has less debris accumulation then most gutter guards. Leaves and debris are carried away by wind and rain. Easy to install, the 4 ft sections fit standard 4", 5" and 6" gutters. The Solid PVC Snap-In Gutter Cover simply slides under the shingles and hooks to the front edge of the gutter.
No special tools needed for this gutter guard. The Solid PVC Snap-In Gutter Cover flex design accommodates many different roof pitches. The Solid PVC Snap-In Gutter Cover is made of rigid PVC. Available in White or Clay.
Insert (Foam) Gutter Guard:
Foam inserts fit inside both K-style gutters and half-round gutters that essentially filter leaves and debris out. Anything left on top of the gutter dries out or is blown away, leaving your gutter system to operate more effectively.
The Filter Flow / Filter Flow XT Gutter Filter keeps your gutters clean and free of all debris. The Filter Flow Gutter Filter has a flexible design. It will not dent or crack like other aluminum gutter leaf guards, gutter guards, gutter guard, gutter helmets, or gutter shields.
The Filter Flow Gutter Filter is treated with a pesticide (prevent mosquitoes from breeding and bees from nesting), a fungicide (inhibits growth of mold, mildew, fungus, algae, and moss), it is fire retardant, and is UV protected. The UV stabilizer prevents degradation from the sun. Made from a Multi Polymer Thermally Fused Filter.
Hybrid Gutter Guards:
Hybrid gutter guards are a combination of filter and hood gutter guards. Theyre available in a variety of materials to match your existing gutter system.
The Leaf Out Gutter Guard combines the idea of leaf screens and gutter leaf guards hoods/gutter guards. Rainwater flows down your roof and drains through the patent-pending Aluma Flow Louver System.
This gutter leaf guard/gutter guard has been tested to handle up to 28.4 inches of rainfall per hour. The Leaf Out Gutter Guard is available in many colors to match your gutters and roof.
The Raindrop Gutter Guard is a unique design that is easy to install and manufactured to withstand the elements; it is one of the most durable gutter guards/gutter leaf guards products available.
The Raindrop Gutter Guard adds only 1/4 inch to your gutter height so it will NOT change your home's appearance. It's made of polypropylene plastic; it has tiny slots both vertical and horizontal to keep the leaves out, and water flowing.
The Gutter Solution has tiny holes, which allow the water to flow and keep the leaves out. Both affordable and efficient, the Gutter Solution is our most versatile product for keeping the leaves out of your gutter. Gutter Solution gets installed into the fascia board, and not under your roof, which makes it the leaf screen of choice for houses with metal, shake, tile, flat and slate roofs.
The Gutter Solution is simple to install, just apply (2) zip screws through the top, front bead of the gutter, and (2) long sheet metal screws into the fascia board. This gutter leaf guard/gutter guard is undetectable from the ground. The Gutter Solution is made of aluminum and available in many colors.
Wire strainers prevent leaves and other debris from clogging downspouts. To install a wire strainer, simply place the gutter strainer inside the outlet tube that connects the gutter to the downspout. No fasteners or tools are needed to attach a wire strainer to the outlet tube that connects the gutter to the downspout. Wire strainers come in sizes of 3" and 4". The 3" wire strainer is available in aluminum, steel, and copper, while the 4" wire strainer is available in aluminum, steel, stainless steel, and copper. Heavy duty and standard designs are also available.
The Flex-A-Spout is able to bend around obstacles so that it can divert rainwater away from your house. The flexible downspout extender adjusts to your landscape needs: if bushes are in the way, just bend this extender around them; to extend it further from your house or all the way through shrubs, "telescope" it between 25" and 55". For longer lengths, two or more snap together easily. Bend it up for mowing. The Flex-A-Spout can also be buried, if needed. The Flex-A-Spout is a durable, weather resistant polyethylene. The Flex-A-Spout fits 2" x 3" or 3" x 4" downspouts.
Gutter Guard Installation
Gutter guard installation is relatively simple. Its an easy installation process that can be done DIY, but professional installation is recommended for beginners.
Some gutter guards are easier to install than others. For example, some of our hooded gutter guards just snap onto your existing gutters without the need of fasteners. Others, like Micro Mesh Gutter Guards will require you to use fasteners - and cut the mesh to a specific size.
Just simply follow the directions provided with your gutter guards. If it seems like too big of a job, consider consulting a professional to help.
Gutter Guard FAQs
Is there a downside to gutter guards?
The main downside to gutter guards is that they require an additional investment in your gutter system - and you either have to install them yourself or pay a professional to do so.
In most cases, the benefits outweigh the downsides. When you install gutter guards, youre giving yourself some peace of mind and saving time through less frequent gutter cleanings.
How do I match gutter guards with my existing gutters?
Make sure you review product specs to ensure that your gutter guards will fit your existing gutter system and also be compatible with the roofing system. They come in different sizes and styles. For example, gutter guards can be specifically made for K-Style or Half-Round gutters. In certain instances, you can even match the gutter material.
Do gutter guards work in heavy rain?
Gutter guards do indeed work in heavy rain. Most are made to withstand the heavy flow that comes with storms and downpours, while keeping leaves and debris out of your gutter system.
Can gutter guards get clogged?
Gutter guards can eventually become clogged if they are not cleaned over long periods of time. When you purchase gutter guards, you still do have to clean your system - just not nearly as frequently.
How do I choose the best gutter guards?
Choosing the best gutter guards comes down to research. We hope that our guide helped out here, but its important to take into account the type of gutter system you have, the types of debris youre looking to prevent and how much you can invest in your system.
Theres a reason there are different types of gutter guards - each one has its own specific use case.