Best Gutter Guards for Home Use – Buyer’s Guide

best gutter guardsDoes this sound like a fun weekend to you?

Set up 25’ ladder against the house. Climb to the top of the ladder.
Scoop out slimy, rotted leaves from the gutter and throw to ground. Go down the ladder.
Bend over to clean up leaves and put in a trash bag
Move ladder three feet to the right. Repeat.

Best Gutter Guards (Updated February, 2020)

Product Product Information View on Amazon
Editor’s Choice

Raptor EasyOn Gutter Guard | Stainless Steel Micro-Mesh

Raptor

  • Best Features:
    – rust-proof stain-less-steel,
    – micro-mesh openings block everything,
    – 25-year warranty
  • Gutter Type: All
  • Gutter Size: 5″/6″/7″
  • Guard Type: Stainless Steel Micro-Mesh
  • Guard Length 4 ft × 12pcs

Check Price

Amerimax Home Products 636025 Lock-In Gutter Guard, Black

Lock-In

  • Best Features:
    – US-made,
    – 10-year warranty,
    – no tools needed to install
  • Gutter Type: K-style
  • Gutter Size: 4″/5″/6″
  • Guard Type: Steel Mesh
  • Guard Length 3 ft × 25pcs

Check Price

E-Z-GUTTER GUARD EZ-Quick-10 Gutter Guard

EZ

  • Best Features:
    – rust-proof aluminum,
    – no screws needed for installation,
    – small mesh design
  • Gutter Type: K-style
  • Gutter Size: 5”
  • Guard Type: Aluminum Tight Mesh
  • Guard Length 4 ft × 10pcs

Check Price

A-M Aluminum Gutter Guard

A-M

  • Best Features:
    – heavy-gauge aluminum,
    – lifetime no-rust warranty,
    – 380 holes per foot
  • Gutter Type: All
  • Gutter Size: 5”
  • Guard Type: Perforated Aluminum Screen
  • Guard Length
    – 4 ft × 50pcs
    – 4 ft × 25pcs

Check Price

FlexxPoint 30 Year Gutter Cover System, Residential 5inch Gutter Guards

FlexxPoint

  • Best Features:
    – US-made,
    – 30-year warranty,
    – aluminum with stainless screws,
    – multiple colors
  • Gutter Type: K-Style
  • Gutter Size: 5″
  • Guard Type: Perforated Aluminum Screen
  • Guard Length 22 ft / 102 ft / 125 ft / 200 ft / 510 ft

Check Price

GutterStuff Guard 5-Inch K Style Foam Gutter Filter Insert with Year Round Leaf Protection

Foam Gutter Protection

  • Best Features:
    – rigid foam inserts block leaves,
    – lets water flow,
    – 5-year warranty
  • Gutter Type: K-Style
  • Gutter Size: 4″/5″/6″
  • Guard Type: Foam
  • Guard Length 4 ft × 8pcs

Check Price

GutterBrush Simple Gutter Guard

GutterBrush

  • Best Features:
    – polypropylene bristles catch leaves;
    – water goes through,
    – US-made,
    – easy install
  • Gutter Type: K-Style
  • Gutter Size: 5
  • Guard Type: Brush, poly-propylene
  • Guard Length 6 ft / 15 ft / 13 ft / 60 ft / 120 ft

Check Price

Gutter Guard 3 Inch Expand Aluminum Filter Strainer

Expand Aluminum Filter Strainer

  • Best Features:
    – block leaves from downspouts,
    – no tools to install,
    – aluminum
  • Gutter Type: All
  • Gutter Size: All
  • Guard Type: Aluminum Filter
  • Guard Length 3″ diameter 4 pcs in pack

Check Price

1. Raptor – Best Rated Gutter Guards

General impression

This might be the king of the hill when it comes to gutter guards. The stainless-steel material is rustproof, and the micro-mesh holes will block even the tiniest pine needles or debris from getting inside your gutters. It’s the number one selling easy on gutter guard on Amazon.

Installation and technical details

Three sizes are available to fit most standard gutter widths. The steel won’t rust or warp over time and comes with a 25-year warranty and US-based technical support. Installation hardware, including screws and a driver, are included.

Best features

These guards have a high overall rating and are also highly rated for durability, instruction quality, and sturdiness. They do carry a bit of a premium price, but you get excellent durability, relatively straight-forward installation, and above-average performance.

PROS:
  • Highly rated, number one selling gutter guard at Amazon
  • Good warranty and customer service
CONS:
  • Installation requires overlapping, which can create a trap to accumulate leaves
  • Some complaints about mesh too small to contain very heavy rains

Conclusion

This is a premium product, in both price and performance. When installed properly, it will not void any roof warranty you may have. Product warranty and customer support are solid. It’s easy to see why this is a “best rated” gutter guard.

View On Amazon

2. Lock-In Gutter Guard – Easy Installation

General impression

US-made with a ten-year warranty, these gutter guards have a wider mesh to contain even the heaviest rains, while at the same time keeping out all but the smallest debris. The installation is simple, and for the most part, requires no tools except for the occasional trimming.

Installation and technical details

The black color will blend in with most roofs and absorb heat to help melt snow and ice quicker. The powder-coated steel finish should last against the elements. Installation is very simple; push the flat end under the last row of shingles, and clip the opposite, curved end to the front of the gutter.

Best features

No doubt, the best feature is the ease of installation, but these guards are also well-rated for sturdiness and are a top ten seller at Amazon. The instruction quality is also highly rated.

PROS:
  • Ease of installation, quality of installation instructions
  • Compatible with multiple gutter widths
CONS:
  • The larger mesh may still allow some debris to build up in gutters

Conclusion

If you would like a reasonably priced gutter guard that’s sturdy, yet exceptionally simple to install, this is one that should be on your list of potentials. It has well over a hundred customer reviews, and is a best-seller at Amazon, and matches good performance with a best in class installation simplicity.

View On Amazon

3. EZ-Gutter Guard – Best Gutter Covers

General impression

These guards are aluminum, so rust is not a worry. The relatively tight mesh will keep out most debris, although some smaller items, such as pine needles, may slip through. They install easily, and can also be easily removed if gutter maintenance is required.

Installation and technical details

Installation is simple, with no screws or clips required, as the guards easily snap into place on the gutter itself. The aluminum holds tension well and will sustain during rough weather, but still remove easily for any maintenance. These are designed specifically for 5” K-style gutters, and will not work in other applications.

Best features

These guards also carry a strong rating and are an Amazon top five selling gutter guard. They carry strong ratings for value, ease of installation, and instruction quality. They are more durable than plastic materials and not susceptible to UV light deterioration.

PROS:
  • Easy installation, solid quality reviews, reasonably priced
  • Easily removed and replaced for gutter maintenance
  • text
CONS:
  • The silver color stands out against roofing materials
  • Some small materials will pass through the mesh, necessitating occasional cleanouts

Conclusion

While the manufacturer points out that some small debris may pass through the mesh, these gutter guards are superior in high rain environments and have a solid basis of customer reviews for performance and durability. All things added up point to these as the best gutter guard covers.

View On Amazon

4. A-M – Best Gutter Screens

General impression

These screens drop into the gutters to perform invisibly. They have angled bends to keep leaves and other debris out while allowing a full flow of water to pass through. The installation is a little involved, but not overly complex. Heavy-gauge aluminum will not rust or deteriorate and is covered by a lifetime warranty against these flaws.

Installation and technical detail

Featuring tabs for interlocking without creating a seam, the .018 thick aluminum provides a strong surface that will not bend or distort. Special screws are required for installation, but not included with the screen kit. Almost four hundred holes per foot will let anything but a hurricane downpour drain right through.

Best features

Customers that have purchased these screens just love them, giving an overall 4.7 rating, supported by 5.0 for durability and 4.8 for installation ease and sturdiness. Combine those reviews with mid-range pricing for a tough, high-performance gutter screening system.

PROS:
  • Solid construction, seamless joints to avoid leaf traps
  • Guards install on top of gutters so that they will work with any type of roofing material
  • text
CONS:
  • Screws required for installation are not included
  • Debris will accumulate on top of screens but will blow away once dried out

Conclusion

The durability and design of these gutter screens combine to provide a durable, long-lasting product that should function as designed without any problems. Almost 250 customer reviews result in a highly rated product, which certainly warrants our designation as the best gutter screen.

View On Amazon

5. FlexxPoint – Best Value Gutter Guards

General impression

This is a cover system for gutters and provides all the elements – durability and permanence, functionality, and good looks. Available in four colors to match almost any roof color, this guard system features a 30-year warranty.

Installation and technical details

Available in white, brown, black, and standard aluminum finish, this gutter system is invisible from the ground and, once installed, a permanent installation. It’s US-made from premium domestic aluminum and even comes with stainless steel screws, so the entire system will not rust.

Best features

These guards are available in standard 5” residential size, but also available for 6” commercial gutters. Once installed, the system is permanent. The many vent holes allow easy water flow while catching leaves and other debris. Once dried, a light wind will remove all debris from the top of the system.

PROS:
  • High ratings from almost 600 customers
  • Budget-priced
  • Easy, permanent installation
CONS:
  • Some customer complaints about individual panels bending while installing
  • Early customers complained about large package sizes and buying more footage than needed, but smaller package sizes have been added to remove that issue

Conclusion

With competitive pricing, and very high overall customer ratings and high specific ratings for ease of installation, overall value, and longevity, it’s easy to see why this system takes away our “best value” prize.

View On Amazon

6. Foam Gutter Protection – Best Gutter Guards for Pine Needles

General impression

Changing gears a little bit here, these guards are made from foam, rather than steel or aluminum like the others reviewed here. The guards are a triangular-shaped wedge that just pushes into your existing gutter. Water flows through the naturally absorbent foam, while leaves and other debris are contained on top of the foam where it can easily blow away in a light wind.

Installation and technical details

Installation is very simple; easily push each segment into place in your gutters. Trimming is easy and can be done with a razor knife or any serrated blade. This model comes with enhanced UV protection to make the polyether foam last longer in direct sunlight. Other types offer enhanced moss blocking or improved fire resistance.

Best features

The ease of installation is especially easy on this model, but the real winner here is the dense foam used for these guards. This is the one system that will stop pine needles from getting into your gutters. Completely invisible from the ground, this system also comes with a five-year warranty package.

PROS:
  • Reviewers rave about the ease of installation (6 review for this category)
  • Foam system stops pine needles – enough said!
CONS:
  • Some reviewers note the difficulty in removing the foam at the end of its useful life

Conclusion

This foam gutter guard system will not give you a decades-long solution to gutter plugging, but it will last for several years, and it will definitely keep pine needles from massing together and plugging up gutters and downspouts. If you have pine trees on your property, this will be a fine system for you. Well rated, and highly effective against leaves and debris, it’s the best of the group for use against pine needles.

View On Amazon

7. GutterBrush – Best Gutter Leaf Guard

General impression

Here we go with another change in direction with this system. The GutterBrush product looks like an elongated sea urchin, but it provides effective control against leaves getting into the gutter. With simple, drop-in installation, the bristles on the leaf guard capture the leaves, while letting water flow simply through the brush into the gutter.

Installation and technical details

Installation is very easy; simply push the gutter guard into your gutter. Various sizes are available to get a great fit for your gutter. No cutting is needed; just bend to fit. The brushes are made of UV-treated polypropylene, installed around a 12-gauge plated steel center core.

Best features

With hundreds of polypropylene bristles per foot, these gutter guards will stop leaves from getting in the gutter – period. They have a very high 4.9 rating for ease of installation.

PROS:
  • Reasonably priced, decent reviews, good performance catching leaves
  • Simple installation
CONS:
  • Users claim a lot of smaller debris works it way past the bristles and results in needing to clean gutters. Many claims that they hold leaves too well and end up clogging the system.
  • The manufacturer notes that gutters may still need maintenance by removing brushes and cleaning them.

Conclusion

This gutter system is very good at catching leaves, so if you have a lot of trees near your house, it will stop the leaves from getting into the gutters. Releasing the leaves seems to be a potential problem, so consider that some level of cleaning may still be needed from year to year. Ease of installation is also a major positive, so if you want something easy to drop in that will catch leaves, this system should work well for you.

View On Amazon

8. Expand Aluminum Filter Strainer – Best Gutter Downspout Guards

General impression

This is an ancillary product and would be a good companion to the two gutter guard systems just reviewed in 3.6 and 3.7. The product is a filter that is pushed into the top of the downspout and provides extra protection against leaves and debris getting into the downspout and plugging it, causing an overflow of the gutter system.

Installation and technical details

This three-inch diameter filter strainer is made from heavy-duty, non-rusting aluminum. It installs without tools; simply push it into the downspouts of your gutter system. You can also install them at the end of the downspout to prevent small rodents, such as chipmunks or mice from nesting in the spout.

Best features

Low-cost and easy to install, this product would make a good addition to many of the gutter systems reviewed here. The extra level of protection for your downspouts may save you time and maintenance. They are well-rated, and a #2 seller in gutter guards.

PROS:
  • An additional level of protection from debris getting stuck in downspouts
  • Heavy-duty aluminum, most likely a once per lifetime purchase; easy installation
CONS:
  • Mesh opening is fairly wide, and will still let some materials through. Most should flow right through the downspout.
  • May still require periodic cleaning during heavy leaf drop season

Conclusion

We would recommend these for use, especially with open systems such as the last two reviewed here. Because of the low price and long lift, they could also be a good addition to other systems as the last filter aid. These would be especially helpful for systems that drain underground rather than above ground. This is a very good product to install in your downspouts, at either end.

View On Amazon

Buyer’s guide

In this section, we’ll provide you with a little more detailed information about some of the key specifications, features, and performance measures related to gutter guards. Hopefully, this information will enable you to make a better buying decision for your personal circumstances.

Gutter covers vs. gutter screens: Covers and screens are the two major types of gutter guards available. Covers, as the name implies, fit over the top of your gutters. They may be visible after installation so that aesthetics might be a concern. On the positive side, once installed, covers tend to be more permanent. It’s not unusual to see 20 – 30-year warranty on gutter cover systems. Gutter screens are typically made of wire mesh, plastics, or foam materials. They tend to be simpler in design, cheaper, and easy to install. Permanence may be an issue, as some may not be designed for an exceptionally long life.

Gutter size

Typical sizes for residential gutters range from 3” to 5”. Commercial gutters may be as large as 6”. These measures are normally taken from the outer front edge to the back of the gutter. An example of typical gutter measures is below:

Gutter guard size

Gutter types

foam gutter guards

Matching your gutter guards to the type of gutter you have is critical to good performance. Below are examples of the three major types of gutter you will encounter. From left to right, they are k-style, half-round, and fascia mounted. Make sure that your gutter guards match not only the type of gutter but also the size.

Attachment methods

In most cases, gutter guards will attach or be placed in the gutter itself, and will not impact existing roofing materials. Some styles do, however, need to slide under existing shingles or roofing material. This is not an inherent problem in itself, but we do recommend that you review your roof warranty to make sure it will not void coverage.

Installation hardware

While some of the gutter guard systems reviewed here need no installation hardware, as they just drop into the gutter, or are held by tension, others require some type of fastener to hold them in place. If this is the case, we highly recommend that the fasteners be made from non-rusting materials such as aluminum or stainless steel. Self-starting screws are also recommended, so you can avoid drilling pilot holes. If the fastening screws rust out, at best, they will be difficult to remove; worst case, they will break off and affect the integrity of the system.

Gutter maintenance

Gutter guard systems are designed to reduce gutter maintenance. However, they will rarely eliminate gutter maintenance. You may still have leaf accumulation causing blockages, ice and snow blocks, and plugging from items that have worked their way past the guards. Keep this in mind as you select a system, because in some cases, you may need to “uninstall” covers and guards to perform this maintenance.

Run-length

When purchasing your system, make sure that you compare run-length required for the perimeter of your home to the package sizing from the manufacturer, as this may have a significant impact on your overall costs. As an example, if you have a total run-length of 260’ of gutter guard needed, and the standard carton size is 50’ of run length, you will need to buy and pay for 40’ of material that you don’t really need. Some manufacturers will offer smaller packages to offset this issue.

FAQ

1) Are gutter leaf guards worth the money?

This is perhaps the most basic question of all. Let’s start with some of the primary pros and cons of installing gutter guards:

PROS:
  • They eliminate the need to clean your gutters frequently.
  • Gutters will tend to last longer, as they won’t be filled with rotting materials and debris.
  • They prevent birds and rodents from nesting in the gutters.
  • When you do have to clean the gutters, there will be less buildup than if you had no guards at all.
CONS:
  • Installing gutter guards can be expensive.
  • You still have to do some level of maintenance and cleaning.
  • Snow and ice build-up on gutter guards can change water flow patterns, and increased weight may damage gutters.
  • Gutter guard systems vary ineffectiveness.

Other factors to consider:

  • Personal safety. Going up and down a ladder, dozens of times can be dangerous. And, at my age, I don’t bounce very well.
  • If you are paying a service to clean your gutters today, what is the payback period by getting gutter guards and not paying the service, or paying them less frequently? If the payback period is five years and the guards will only last three, it might not be a wise investment if they will last twenty-five years, a different answer.
  • Gutter guards make it easier to harvest rainwater by removing many of the contaminants.
  • As you can see, there are several positive reasons to install gutter guards, and some reasons not to do so. You will need to consider these points against your personal circumstances and base your buy/no-buy decision on that.
2) How to install gutter guards?

There are three basic means to install gutter guard systems. First, and the simplest is simply putting the guard into the existing gutter. We have shown a couple of examples of that type of installation here in items 3.5 and 3.6 above. Second, tension can be used to hold a gutter guard in place. This is also an easy installation, usually involving a hinge or flex approach to hold the guard in place. See items 3.2 and 3.3 for example. Finally, installation can be done using fastening hardware to hold the guard in place. This is often seen in cover-type guards, such as 3.1 and 3.4, from our reviews above.

3) What is the average cost of leaf filter gutter guards?

You’ll find a wide variation in the cost of gutter guard leaf systems, ranging in some cases from under $1 per linear foot to others running as much as $3 per linear foot. Professional installation would add to this cost, and, for some systems, fastening hardware might not be included.

4) How to remove gutter guards?

When you do need to do periodic gutter cleaning, removing the gutter guard system will be necessary to do a good job. Removal of these systems may be as simple as pulling out the inserted guards, or as complex as removing hundreds of screws holding a gutter cover in place. Information should be available from the manufacturer on how to best remove the guards for cleaning or replacement.

5) How to attach Christmas lights to gutters with gutter guards?

Once again, this answer will vary depending on the type of gutter guard system you have installed. If your system has guards just inserted into the gutter, standard gutter clips should work for you. These just clips over the front of the gutter, and the light strands are fed through them. This type may also work with tension systems. Otherwise, you can purchase gutter clips with adhesive backing to stick to the gutter. Other systems that attach to the shingles themselves are also readily available.

6) How to install gutter guards on metal roofs?

The installation of gutter guards on a metal roof will be the same as installation on a standard shingle roof for most gutter guard systems. Some gutter guard systems, however, require that one side of the guard be slid under a row of shingles to create the proper tension to hold it in place. That type of system will most likely not be suitable for a metal roof, but we would suggest contacting the manufacturer to see what alternatives might be available.

7) How do I maintain a free-flowing gutter system?

A gutter system is not going to do you much good if rainwater can’t flow through it. To keep your system free-flowing, you should check it periodically to remove any buildups of debris or leaves. This is also important during winter months in cold climates, where ice and snow can plug up the system and prevent proper drainage. If this happens, melting ice and snow can actually back up and drip into the house. It’s also a good idea to make sure that your downspouts are free-flowing by either checking them during a rainstorm or, better yet, flushing them periodically with a hose.

Conclusion

Your home is most likely the largest single investment you will ever make, and protecting that investment should be a priority for every homeowner. In comparison to the cost of a home, gutters and a good gutter guard system make a good investment. While protecting your home and foundation from potential water damage, they are also a way to save your own time and effort or the cost of hiring someone to clean out the gutters periodically.

A good quality gutter guard system will keep out leaves, pine needles, animals, and other unwanted particles from your gutters and downspouts. It will lower your maintenance frequency and cost. While a gutter system does add costs, the overall value of these systems is quite high and makes an excellent payback to your investment.

We hope that this product review article has aided your understanding of the types of gutter guards available in the marketplace, and the key features and specifications of them to find the one that best fits your personal needs and circumstances.

Stephen James
Stephen James

My name is Stephen James and I like various home gadgets that make life more convenient and comfortable. On the pages of my blog, I want to share the results of my selections presented in the form of product reviews. I hope the information in my blog will help you in selecting the objects for your home.

Rate author
Household Professor
Leave a Reply