Professional installers seldom provide pricing information for gutter guards without first inspecting your home to determine the required linear footage.
Many gutter guard brands come with warranty protection that typically corresponds to the size of the investment. Professional installs are more expensive but often include lifetime, transferable warranties. For DIY gutter guards, you will find that manufacturer warranties vary considerably, ranging from zero to 20 or more years. Cheaper DIY gutter guards, such as foam and brush guards, may not include any warranty protection.
Gutters most commonly have a 5- or 6-inch width, though 7-inch gutters are sometimes used in locations with heavy rainfall. Since gutters come in various sizes, it’s important to measure your gutters before buying gutter guards to ensure a proper fit. For a common K-style gutter, you need to measure from the backside of the gutter that touches the fascia board to the outer edge.
If curb appeal is important to you, choose a guard that either can’t be seen from the ground or comes in a color that matches your home’s exterior.
The micro-mesh designs offered by professional installers are typically not visible from the ground. Some installers provide multiple options for matching a more visible gutter guard with your home’s aesthetic. One company that impressed us, LeafGuard, offers its one-piece gutter and gutter guard design in up to 12 colors.
Gutter guard products are made from various materials, with professionally installed products often exhibiting superior build quality to DIY products. Some materials last longer, have greater durability, or possess greater corrosion resistance. However, they are typically more expensive as a result. “The material of the gutter guard is essential,” says Andrew Johnson, CEO of Prime Seamless Gutters & Roofing. “Homeowners should look for durable materials like stainless steel or aluminum.”
Here is a breakdown of the materials commonly used to construct gutter guards.
- Plastic: Vinyl and other types of plastic are affordable but not as strong as aluminum or steel and can warp or crack over time.
- Aluminum: Aluminum is used for gutter guard screens and bodies and is stronger than plastic but not as strong as steel.
- Steel: Steel, or more commonly stainless steel, is the primary material used for mesh and micro-mesh screens.
- Copper: This is an expensive gutter guard material with moderate strength, an elegant appearance, and chemical resistance to mold and mildew.
There are many different types of gutter guards, from DIY brush guards to professionally installed micro-mesh. Here’s a breakdown of each kind and their pros and cons.
- Screen: Screen gutter guards have large holes that keep out leaves and other large debris but do not provide protection against finer debris, such as pine needles or shingle grit.
- Mesh: Mesh guards are typically made of metal or plastic and have small holes that filter water while blocking debris.
- Micro-mesh: Micro-mesh gutter guards are similar to mesh guards, but their holes are much smaller, allowing them to keep out even the tiniest debris.
- Reverse-curve or surface tension: Reverse-curve, or surface tension gutter guards, use their distinct shape and surface tension to force water into the gutter while directing leaves and debris to the ground below.
- Brush: Brush gutter guards resemble large pipe cleaners that filter out debris while allowing water to pass through.
- Foam: Foam gutter guards are a wedge of polyurethane that fits into the gutter and keeps out large debris.