Do gutter guards really work?

Gutter protection has largely advanced in the last decade. Many different products both great and horrible have been tossed into our market, but which gutter guards really work? The truth is, no gutter guard is going to provide you a maintenance free house.

You will always have leaves that sit on your roof and gutters and will need to be cleared off. Now, there are some great gutter guards with their own pros and cons and of course they are across the board with their prices. The Flat locking gutter guard is our cheapest option and works great. It is approximately $6 per ft installed. It keeps most leaves out of the gutter. Pine needles work their way into these guards pretty fast, we wouldn’t recommend these if you have a lot of pine trees surrounding your house. They are removable so if you ever have a downspout clog you can remove one panel pretty easily as clear the downspout. These are not ideal for tall houses for this reason.

These guards fit over the 5″ and 6″ K-Styler gutter system as well as the half round. All of the guards we install are separate pieces and can be installed universally. LeafBlaster gutter guards are a great system. They are strong like the flat lock, made out of stainless steel micro mesh and hemmed aluminum for the installation plate. These guards are great because they are installed beneath the shingle to give a nice pitch on the guard itself to allow the debris to flow over the edge of the gutter in a heavy rain. This product will keep all leaves including pine needles from getting in your gutters, it even keeps out roof granules. This product is our most popular and favorite of the gutter guards. It will help your gutters to last longer by preventing them from ever getting clogged and overwhelmed. This guard typically runs about $9-12 per ft depending on installation differentiation. Finally there is the Rhino Gutter guard. These guards are great to add strength to your gutter system being that they are mechanically attached to your fascia board and the lip of the gutter creates box- like strength. It is also made with aluminum and stainless steel micro mesh. In our opinion the guard is great and does a wonderful job of keeping debris out of your gutter. The only issue we run into with these guards is that the micro mesh may be a little too fine. It keeps all debris out of the gutter and allows a great amount of water into the gutter system but, the mesh is so fine that is sometimes allows certain leaves to stick to the guard itself with pollen and is the main problem with these guards. Another issue is being that it is installed to the fascia to achieve the strength it prevents it from having a smooth flush look and also prevents it from having a really nice pitch to move debris from sitting on the gutter. The guard has been tested by us and works great, in our opinion it is one of the best gutter guards on the market. The Rhino guard would be our second choice behind LeafBlaster. There are other guards you should not buy into as they do not work at all. The Leaf Guard brand gutter and other gutters like it with the same “helmet” style metal lip that folds over the gutter and back in to essentially allow debris to flow over the edge of the gutter while letting rain water enter the gutter. What goes wrong with these gutters and many other mesh screen gutter guards of all types is that they are too closed off and don’t allow the proper amount of rainwater into the gutter. So what you are left with is a really expensive gutter system that doesn’t work at all. If you google: leaf guard failures, you will see what is wrong with the system. What happens with these gutter guard systems is that in a heavy rain water shoots over the edge of the gutter rather than making it into the gutter at all. In a light rain you have surface tension that pulls debris back into the gutter system to allow it to stop up the downspouts. What you are left with is an extremely expensive gutter system that doesn’t work at all. We have replaced these gutters with our systems many times due to the gutters failing. Don’t buy into their “lifetime warranty” it is 7 pages long and in all that fine print it takes their liability out of the guard failing.

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