What To Look For When Buying Gutter Guards
Once a homeowner has decided that gutter guards are necessary for their home, its time to consider all of the options. Leaf guards come in a variety of styles and may be composed of several different materials. Each style and material has pros and cons. Additionally, the method that the guards are installed is an important consideration. This section explores how to find the best gutter guards, including all of the options available and the pros and cons of each.
Surface Tension Gutter Guards:
Surface tension gutter guards are the most durable on the list but typically the most expensive. They are designed to withstand branches, snow, ice, and windstorms while keeping the bigger debris out. The positive with surface tension gutter guards is they last long and require zero maintenance when installed correctly.
Cons: Surface tension gutter guards are the most expensive on the list and have to be installed by contractors . Sometimes, the problematic installation includes adjusting gutters, thus causing more work and they are easily underperforming during heavy rains. Homeowners report Water flying off their house during heavy rainstorms. This also depends on the specific surface tension guard!
Best Budget: Frost King Vx620 Plastic Gutter Guard
Also available at Ace Hardware
Why You Should Get It: It’s affordable and is easy to cut to size using scissors.
Keep in Mind: It’s not a lifetime solution and won’t prevent pine needles or smaller debris from getting through.
For a budget-friendly option, the best gutter guard is this plastic version by Frost King. You can get 20 feet of gutter protection for less than $4. Featuring 0.25-inch mesh holes, this gutter screen is ideal for keeping large debris, like leaves, out of your rain gutters. The flexible plastic mesh comes in a roll and is very customizablesimply cut it to size with scissors. It also works well for most roof and gutter styles.
For installation, you have the choice of slotting it into place , securing it with zip ties, or screwing it into your gutter with sheet metal screws and tucking the inner edge under the roof’s shingles . That said, you should check your roof’s warranty to make sure your preferred method of attachment doesn’t void the warranty.
Because it’s made of plastic, this gutter guard won’t rust or corrode, but since it’s not a micromesh or foam gutter guard, it also won’t keep out smaller debris or pine needles. However, if leaves are your main concern, this will do the trick nicely.
Type: Mesh | Material: Plastic | Installation: Slot into place, zip-ties, screw-in | Size: 20 feet x 6 inches x 0.185 inches
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Why Is It Important To Address Shingle Overhang When Installing A Leaf Gutter Guard
If your overhang is too long, you not only have the risk of the wind catching the shingle and lifting it, which can cause damage to the shingle, but it will also lessen the effectiveness of your gutter guard as there will be a smaller opening in which to catch water and debris. Debris will often clog this smaller opening, requiring you to clean the gutter more often.
If your overhang is too short, however, this can also cause problems, including allowing water to seep into rake or fascia boards.
Micro Mesh Gutter Guards
Both warranties are reduced in coastal areas
550 micron mesh openings
Pro guards are made from 316 stainless steel and an aluminum frame
Widespread retail availability
Of the companies reviewed, Gutterglove offered the most micro mesh options. They have three professionally installed gutters guardsMicroMesh Pro, LeafBlaster Pro, Gutter Glove Proand one DIY option. Their DIY guard is available at most major retailers, both online or in-store. It may go by different names but its actually the same product:
Sams Club: Stainless Steel Gutter Guard Kit
Amazon: Raptor Gutter Guard
Lowes: Atlas by GutterGlove
Home Depot: Gutter Guard by Gutterglove
Menards: Viking Gutter Guard
Not only is their DIY micro mesh widely available, it also has the smallest mesh openings of all the companies we reviewed.
DIY installation made simpler
The DIY kits sold by Sams Club, Lowes and Home Depot specify they include pre-attached 3M VHBVery High Bondtape. This heavy-duty adhesive tape is used in metalworking, construction, and other industries where precision and strength is a must. 3M VHB was used to build architectural projects like the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
If tape-it-on installation isn’t to your liking, the kits also include self-tapping screws, which you can drill through the front edge of the gutter guard and into the front lip of the gutter and youre set.
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Other Gutter Guards We Tested
The A-M Aluminum Gutter Guards are an excellent backup choice if our top pick is unavailable. The design is very similar, with a simple all-aluminum construction, though it fastens to the front of the gutter and rests on the back of the gutter instead of using screws on both sides. It does have nice tabs so that two pieces can fit together seamlessly without creating gaps, but we prefer the gutters that have screws at the back at well, which did a better job resisting buckling than this model.
Everything else about the A-M gutters was exceptional: They are easy to install, very easy to cut, affordable , and they look great. They don’t come in the same range of colors as our other gutter picks, if that’s something you care about, but they are available for both 5-inch and 6-inch gutter widths and work with a wide range of gutter designs.
In our long-term testing, these gutters excelled. They handled everything from rain to wind to snow without issue, and they didn’t allow any debris to clog up the gutter that we could find while checking periodically.
Reasons Why Gutter Guards Cause Your Roof Leak
Cleaning your homes gutters is a necessity for preventing roof and water leaks but not necessarily a favorite task of homeowners. Gutter Guards are designed, in part, to make cleanup easier, can lessen the workload for homeowners faced with gutters filled with leaves and other debris. But are gutter guards all theyre cracked up to be? Can they cause roof leaks?
Here are a couple of things to consider as you buy gutter guards for your home.
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Beware Of Improperly Installed Gutter Guards
Working with an experienced, dependable roofing contractor means you dont have to worry about gutter guard installation issues. Improper installation includes nailing the guards right through the shingles, as well as incorrect placement of the gutters and guards which leads to water backing up under the roof. The result is roof leaks and damaged plywood under the shingles.
If youre thinking about installing gutter guards or have questions about any gutter system,. They have the knowledge and know-how to serve you best.
Consult With The Experts
When purchasing a gutter guard for your home, it is best to speak with a professional to assist you in deciding the best option. An installed gutter guard that is professionally designed does not only mean you wont need to be concerned about climbing up a ladder to install the gutters but also will give you the security of knowing that the system is operating effectively and efficiently as it should.
Utilizing a professional service like the one we provide can also guarantee that you are using the right kind of gutter protection system installed that will provide the best protection for your home gutters. Beyond that, the gutter guard installation will be backed with a warranty, which means your home will be completely secure.
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Mesh Screen Gutter Guards
If you need a lightweight gutter guard thats easy to install and fits well, mesh screen guards are for you. They slide under your shingles and allow debris to slide off at an angle. Screen gutter guards are typically the most affordable option but dont come without a few drawbacks. Their lightweight nature makes them susceptible to damage if large debris hits them directly. Since they are merely slid under the shingle, they are also known to slide out in adverse conditions.
Gutter Guards Are Not A Great Investment
- The best ones worth installing are expensive.
- The best brands can still cause your gutters to be blocked even if they keep them free from debris.
- Gutter guards will not prevent everything from getting in so they dont prevent the need to clean your gutters.
- They can make it more costly to clean your gutters when necessary.
For those brands which state they work perfectly, consider that the main reason for installing them is to reduce maintenance. Since your roof should be inspected annually, should be cleaned annually, and a chimney should be inspected and cleaned annually, adding gutter cleaning at this time adds little to no cost.
Our professional advice is to skip those guards and set up a maintenance schedule to have your gutters cleaned twice per year. Youll find it more effective and less expensive over time.
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Choose Gutter Helmet For Solid Protection
The greater the angle of the gutter guard, the less likely this is to happen. Thats what makes the design of Americas #1 gutter guard so important. Gutter Helmet® can be positioned over or under shingles so theres a solid continuation of the roofline with no space for debris to become trapped. Its the only patented solid gutter cover thats precision-engineered so water flows over and into gutters while leaves and debris stay out. See Gutter Helmet in action!
All American Gutter Protection Gutter Guard Best Performance Warranty
- Style: Stainless steel micro-mesh screen over an aluminum body
- Material: Stainless steel and aluminum
- Visibility: Blends in with your gutters profile
- Cost: Contact for a quote
- Size: Can fit any gutter system
- Professional installation only
All American Gutter Protection Cost
You should contact All American for an estimate if youre within its operating territory. Simply provide contact information and an address, and youll be put in contact with a service representative. As stated above, All American Gutter Protection offers plenty of discounts, including:
- 20% or $300 discounts via a downloadable coupon
- Military discounts
- Senior citizen discounts
All American Gutter Protection: General Consensus
All American is a BBB-accredited business with an A+ rating. Aside from the commonly-reported lower price points, the product itself seems to hold up over time. The micro-mesh screens shield your gutter system from even the smallest debris and are pitched with your existing roof and gutters to ensure that refuse doesnt build up on your gutters.
Clients enjoy the speed of the professional installation, the quality of the stainless steel mesh and aluminum frame, and the 30-plus colors offered. With the customization ability youre afforded, its easy to see why this gutter guard is one of the most popular options today.
Learn more with our All American Review.
Get a free quote from All American today by filling out this quick form.
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The Truth About Gutter Covers And Shingles
If you’re considering professionally installed gutter guard covers, GAF notes that everyone has their own specific application instructions that must be followed to obtain their maximum benefit. They then go on to say, “in almost all instances, the products are installed following good roofing practices and do not have an impact on the roofing manufacturer’s warranty.”
They suggest avoiding the following situations:
- penetrating the shingle with a fastener to hold the gutter cover in place
- removal and replacement of shingles for installation
- removal and elimination of drip edges
- installation under the underlayment
- placing the gutter cover under the felt underlayment
- significant bending of the shingles during installation
They also specifically answer the question, “Does installing Gutter Covers affect my warranty?” No, is the answer. They note that the GAF Limited Warranty only covers the shingles’ manufacturing defects and does not cover the gutter guard covers or damage due to their installation.
Do you hear stony silence from anyone? Thought you might. This myth has been busted, at least by some gutter covers. Several products DO fasten by penetrating the shingle for their fastening system, so do your homework and verify this point before choosing a system to install.
What Are The Best Gutter Guards For Pine Needles
Pine needles are very tricky for any kind of gutter cover because they are so thin and can easily slip through the gaps of many conventional guards. Our top picks have very small entry holes that do a good job of allowing water to pass through but manage to keep pine needles out. We tested over nearly a full year and my backyard is loaded with pine needles as well as oak and maple leaves, so you know all of our picks have proven capable of keeping most pine needles from slipping into the gutter and causing issues.
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Raindrop Gutter Guards: The Best Gutter Guards For Homeowners
Raindrop Gutter Guards from right here in the midwest have become one of our go-to brands for our customers. Raindrop has been around for almost 20 years, and continues to provide high-quality, maintenance-free, self-cleaning water protection for homes all over.
These guards can fit any 5 or 6-inch gutter but can be customized to fit 4 or 10-inch gutters as well. They are incredibly strong and durable and allow for even the most torrential flow of water to run over and through. These gutter guards are virtually invisible and can match any aesthetic of a home.
How it works is its laid on top of your gutter and screwed into place. It has slats that allow debris to flow right over it and off the gutter, without getting trapped in any holes or divets. There is no edge for debris to get caught. Its black color absorbs the suns heat even on the coldest of days and naturally melts ice and snow, alleviating any problems with ice dams or icicles.
If Youve Been Told That Sliding Gutter Guards Under Roof Shingles Will Void Your Shingle Warranty Its Untrue
Its a marketing ploy plain and simple.
However, attaching gutter guard panels through the roof shingles with long screws will void your shingle warranty!
Its ironic that the roofer voided the warranty of the shingles he installed on this home.
Or, we should say, it could void the warranty. You never know. Whether youre a homeowner, roofer or gutter guard installer, if you ever see a scenario like this, its important to fix the problem sooner rather than later.
Needless to say, this is wrong and should never occur, but it will. Again and again.
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Why Is Installing A Leaf Gutter Guard Under The Shingles With Screws Not Recommended
Anytime you screw something through your shingles into your roof, you break the roofs water barrier, making it easier for water and debris to seep into the holes, void your roofs warranty, and create potentially costly problems for you down the road. The MasterShield Gutter Guard, however, is installed under the shingles with our Shingle-Safe Guarantee.
MasterShields technology has been approved by GAF, the largest manufacturer of roof shingles because the back of the gutter guard floats between the starter course and the first row of shingles. No fasteners are used on the roof itself, but rather only on the front lip of the gutter, with the weight of the shingles being enough to keep the product in place. Because of this technology, roof manufacturer Owens-Corning, CertainTeed, and IKO have also all stated in writing that they would not void the warranty on the roof shingles for homes where a MasterShield Gutter Guard has been installed.
It also should be noted that MasterShield Gutter Guards do not always have to be installed under the roof shingles, as there are often several installation options. For example, it can also be installed to your fascia in such a way that it becomes an extension of your drip edge, further protecting the fascia from becoming damaged by water.
Best Hinged: Amerimax Home Products Hinged Gutter Guard
Why You Should Get It: These gutter guards don’t have to be removed when you’re cleaning your gutters just lift them up on their hinges, like you would a door.
Keep in Mind: These guards may rust over time.
If you’ve made it this far down the list, you’re well aware that no gutter guards will totally eliminate the need to clean out your gutters. Moss and algae will still form, so yearly gutter maintenance will remain a necessity. These hinged gutter guards by Amerimax make cleaning gutters much easier, though, thanks to their flip-up design. They simply lift up when you want to spring clean the gutters, and, when you’re done, you can just drop them back down into place.
Two clips attach to each 3-foot mesh piece and the front edge of the gutter while the other side of the guard simply rests on top of the shingles. If you prefer, you can also bend the flexible mesh so that the guard slips under your shingles, but check to make sure this won’t void your roof’s warranty. These hinged gutter guards’ flexible design means you can bend them to fit around the gutter corners, too. The clips take a little effort to push down into place, but once they clip in, they’re not going anywhere.
These mesh guards will keep out leaves, larger debris, and rodents, and their curved design means they won’t collapse under the weight of wet leaves. Debris can roll off much easier, too.
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Do Gutter Guards Work For Your Home
There’s no blanket answer, but we can help you with the question: do gutter guards work for your home? Our professionals at Labor Panes are your best option for gutter installation and cleaning. Guards can reduce the amount of maintenance needed each year. But they are not maintenance-free. Our team can provide a personalized assessment of your gutter system. We’ll recommend the best solution for gutters, gutter guards, and ongoing maintenance and cleaning. Labor Panes serves the Greater Charlotte area to make sure your gutters serve your home well. Hear from some of our satisfied customers and contact us today!