Do I Really Need Gutter Guards?
Whether you own a home, storefront, or warehouse, if your property has gutters, then you will likely want to protect them. Debris can become lodged in your gutters which can cause both overflows, damage to the gutters, or damage to the property wall. To prevent this, gutter guards offer peace of mind.
What Kind of Gutter Guards Should I Look For?
There are many different types of gutter guards on the market, but the type and location of your property will have a large impact on the best gutter guards for your needs. Cold weather climates can create issues for certain types of gutter guards, while shingled roofs present a different kind of challenge for others.
How Will I Find the Best Gutter Guards?
To take some of the hassle out of figuring out which are the best gutter guards for you, we have put together a list of the 5 best guards, highlighting what each one does best. Then we provide a helpful buyer’s guide, so you know which gutter guards will suit you best.
Best Gutter Guards 2018
Curved & Box
|GutterBrush||K-Style||5||Brush||No||6 15 30|
|No||20 100 200|
500 1000 5000
#1 LeafsOut Micro Mesh Rain Gutter Guard System – Best Gutter Guards for Pine Needles
Founded in 2009, LeafsOut is an exceedingly specialized company that manufactures and sells just their micro mesh rain gutter guard. This exclusivity allows LeafsOut to focus all of their efforts towards making the best gutter guard that they can. This singular focus has paid off as this is not only the best micro mesh gutter guard on our list, but the LeafsOut is arguably the all-around best gutter guard that we reviewed.
First, the LeafsOut gutter guard is mostly made out of stainless steel. The mesh that makes up the micro mesh is stainless steel which provides a number of benefits. First, the stainless steel is resistant to rust and corrosion. This material is also exceptionally strong for its thickness and weight. The other material used in the manufacture of this product is aluminum, specifically for the base lip. Aluminum shares that same rust resistant and anti-corrosive qualities as stainless steel.
The LeafsOut gutter guard’s design also provides a number of benefits. For one, the micro mesh is formed to have siphon strips running throughout. These siphon strips collect the water at certain points along the gutter guard and help it break surface tension. This prevents the water from building up surface tension and overflowing off of the LeafsOut gutter guard and over the gutters. This ultimately allows the LeafsOut gutter guard to provide some of the best water flow out of any gutter guard we reviewed.
The micro mesh also helps with a variety of issues that plague different types of gutter guards. Because the micro mesh is exceedingly effective at preventing most kinds of detritus buildup, there are no places for pests to nest. Other gutter guards may provide space for insects or birds to build a nest, but the micro mesh of the LeafsOut gutter guard is too fine to provide that room.
Another benefit of the LeafsOut micro mesh is that it more effectively prevents even the smallest granules of debris from piling up. Roofing shingles will often release dust grains during rain storms, hot days, or when an animal or debris comes into contact with it. Thanks to the fine micro mesh of LeafsOut gutter guard, even these particles do not make it through.
The exceptional protection that this micro mesh structure provides can even extend well-beyond simply guarding your gutters. This product has also been developed to be used as a filter for rainwater collection systems. Though, it is important that the LeafsOut gutter guard should only be used as an initial filter in this context as it will not decontaminate the water itself.
That said, the LeafsOut guard gutter does come with a couple drawbacks. One of the more notable annoyances with this product is the installation. While the steel mesh is easy enough to position for virtually any type or age roof, you will still need to screw the aluminum plate into your gutters. Some consumers have reported having to drill the actual holes for the screw. Also, the stainless steel micro mesh is extremely flexible, so you will need to be careful and make sure that you do not place any pressure on it when you are installing the LeafsOut gutter guard.
#2 GutterBrush Leaf Gutter Guard – Best Gutter Guard for Leaves
GutterBrush is one of the older companies on our list, and like many of the other companies we reviewed, GutterBrush is a fairly small company that specializes exclusively in manufacturing and selling this single product. Birthed from an idea conceived in 1980, GutterBrush was founded in 2004 by Bob Schreiber. In a short span of time, the GutterBrush would end up being featured and recommended on HGTV, “At Home With Gary Sullivan,” and on Glenn Haege’s radio program “The Handyman Show.”
Out of all the gutter guards that we looked at, the GutterBrush is arguably the easiest one to install. You do not need any tools or hardware to install this product. In fact, all you have to do is place it in your gutters where it will fit snugly. While there are other products that install in a similarly easy fashion, the GutterBrush is the only gutter guard on our list that also bends around your gutter’s profile. This means that you do not even need to do many, if any, modifications – something even the other set-in-place gutter guards cannot boast.
This gutter guard is made out of two materials: steel and polypropylene. The steel makes up the core of this gutter guard and ensures that the bristles of the brush have a strong, durable base to provide a solid foundation. The bristles themselves are made out of double UV protected polypropylene, a durable plastic that can withstand extreme changes in temperature as well as heavy moisture without deteriorating over time.
The structure of the GutterBrush provides a couple of advantages over some of the other kinds of gutter guards we looked at, but easily one of the best benefits of a brush-style gutter guard is the water flow. Aside from perhaps certain micro mesh designs, this style of gutter guard offers the best water flow out of any other we saw. This is because the brushes neither prevent the water from draining into the gutter nor will they restrict its flow when inside the gutter.
Another benefit of the brush design is that this gutter guard is immensely adaptable. Whereas some of the gutter guards which require a more involved installation process are best suited for newer and standardized gutters, the GutterBrush works perfectly well in old and new gutters alike. Moreover, this product can work in a variety of different gutter types and styles.
That said, the GutterBrush does have a couple drawbacks that are also directly attributive of its design. For one, this gutter guard may prevent leaves and other detritus from getting into your gutters, but that often leaves the debris stuck to the brushes themselves. This means that you will manually need to clean the GutterBrush gutter guards more often than you would other types of gutter guards.
Another issue with the brush design involves the accumulation of finer grained debris. The dust and granules that are continuously rubbed off of shingles by animals or debris have no filter to prevent them from falling into your gutters where they will eventually build up. This means that you will have to clean the grain debris out of your gutters, though this is not a common requirement and can be done while you clean the brushes.
#3 GutterStuff EZ Foam Gutter Filter Insert – Best Insert Gutter Guards
GutterStuff is one of the few brands on our list that is not actually its own company. Instead, GutterStuff is actually a subsidiary brand of TJM Innovations Manufacturing. That said, TJM Innovations does at least specialize primarily in gutter guard products and offers a few solutions for different types of markets including commercial properties. The GutterStuff foam insert is a residential product which carries with it a few considerations.
First, as a foam insert, this gutter guard is one of the easiest to install. You do not need to worry about any extra tool or hardware. Simply place the foam insert into your gutters. Though, unlike some of the other insert-based installations, this type of gutter guard may very well need some modifications. This is especially true around corners or at the very end of the gutters. Still, the foam material is easy enough to cut through to make the necessary modifications.
This ease of installation comes with some other advantages as well, namely versatility. Unlike some of the other gutter guards that we looked at, the GutterStuff foam insert is an ideal solution regardless the age and type of gutter that you have. Whether rounded or squared, new or old, the GutterStuff foam insert will not cause the gutters to sag in the middle and will fill up the entirety of appropriately sized gutters.
Another advantage of the GutterStuff foam insert is its ability to handle cold-weather climates. Many types of gutter guard can trap snow and ice which can create the risk of ice dams and backflows. Because the foam material is exceptionally porous, the GutterStuff does not have any issues with this potential problem. Though, if the temperatures are sub-zero, ice may thaw during the day and refreeze at night.
Another benefit of the GutterStuff insert foam are the numerous treatments that the company gives the foam to prevent degradation and decay. This foam is UV protected, so it will not wear out in the sunlight. However, it is also treated with a germicidal coating, so you do not have to worry about mold or fungus building up in it. Finally, the foam itself is flame retardant preventing accidental fires.
All of this being the case, the foam of the GutterStuff insert does carry with it some disadvantages as well. For one, like some of the other types of gutter guards on our list, the GutterStuff foam insert is not especially helpful for preventing the accumulation of finely grained debris. This means the natural runoff of particles from shingles will accumulate in your gutters over time.
#4 FlexxPoint Gutter Cover System – Best Gutter Covers
Like some of the other products on our list, the makers of the FlexxPoint solid gutter guard have a singular product which provides the luxury of a singular focus. This means that this solid gutter guard has been specifically designed to serve as one of the best solid gutter guards on the market, and it succeeds in this task with flying colors. That is why we named it the best solid gutter guard on our list.
While this is similar to a micro mesh or sheet type of gutter guard, it is important to recognize the differences between them. This gutter guard is arguably in the middle ground between the two. It provides a bit better protection from debris than most sheet gutter guards, but it is not quite as effective at keeping your gutter clean when compared to the micro mesh. Still, the FlexxPoint does a good job and offers some of the best blow away protection once the debris dries out.
This gutter guard is reasonably easy to install, though it definitely requires a bit more effort than some of the other types of gutter guard on our list. You will need tools to install this gutter guard, and it is probably a good idea to get third-party hardware fasteners as the untreated steel screw that FlexxPoint provides will rust over time. That said, these gutter guards are easy enough to modify with an angle grinder.
If you have an exceptionally large project, that is where these gutter guards are arguably at their best. Aside from the fact that these are the least expensive gutter guards on our list, FlexxPoint also sells the largest batch orders of gutter guards that we saw. With options including 1000’ and 5000’, these gutter guards are an excellent solution if you need to protect the gutters of a commercial or even industrial property.
#5 Ultra Flo Leaf Guard Gutter Protector – Best Gutter Screens
Ultra Flo is another gutter guard product on our list that is not actually its own company. Instead, the Ultra Flo brand is a subsidiary of the U.A. Aluminum Inc. corporation. With over four decades of experience, this company has had plenty of time to figure out what it takes to make an excellent gutter guard. Though, this is actually one of the few companies that we saw which does not actually specialize in gutter guards and instead manufactures a wide range of aluminum products.
Still, if you are looking for a screen gutter guard system, then the Ultra Flo gutter guard is easily one of your best options. This gutter guard arguably combines some of the best elements of a micro mesh or solid gutter guard system with the relative ease of a brush or insert gutter guard.
While it is not strictly an insert gutter guard, the screens of the Ultra Flo gutter guard are snap installations that simply require you to hook them onto the lip of your gutters. For those of you with step down gutters, Ultra Flo also provides a number of options for you too. In fact, Ultra Flo is the only product on our list to offer different types of gutter guards for different types of gutter – producing five different types in total.
Aside from the different gutter configurations, the Ultra Flo gutter guard types also differentiate themselves by the size of their holes. The different screens are best suited for different types of debris. Larger holed gutter guards are best when the debris itself is larger and the roof is not made out of shingles as they are stronger. The small and micro holed gutter guards are better if you deal with pine needles and pollen.
The installation is made even easier as these are fairly modifiable gutter guards as well. Unlike thicker metal gutter guards, the only tool you need to make modifications on the Ultra Flo gutter guard is a pair of tin snips. Even better, this sheet gutter guard also arranges the holes only a 45-degree angle. This makes cutting for turns in the gutters easy since all you have to do is follow the hole line.
Depending on your specific situation, one type of gutter guard may work better for your property than another. For instance, if you primarily deal with larger pieces of debris, then you are liable to need a gutter guard with larger openings that is more durable. Conversely, if you deal with finer grained debris, then you will need a gutter guard whose holes are smaller. Of course, some gutter guards do not even use holes and feature an altogether different design.
Screens are some of the most widely used types of gutter guards – and for good reason. While these gutter guards are not the strongest and rarely are they the best at keeping your gutter free from finely grained particulate debris, this type has a couple advantages.
One of the biggest advantages of the screen gutter guard is its price. Since they have been around for so long and their manufacturing process is a bit less intricate than some other types, it is easier to produce these gutter guards and consequently cheaper to purchase them.
Another advantage of this is that this type is also designed for use with a number of different types of gutter systems. Finally, this type of gutter guard is also fairly easy to install.
After screen gutter guards, this is likely the next most common type of gutter guard and is a favorite among commercial and industrial properties. This is because solid gutter guards are especially good at preventing larger pieces of debris from getting into your gutters and are generally the most durable type of gutter guard available.
That said, this type of gutter guard does have a couple drawbacks. One of the biggest issues with this type of gutter guard is that it does not offer any protection against finely grained particulate debris. This type of gutter guard is also one of the more intensive to install, though it is not the most difficult.
Insert gutter guards are becoming more and more popular for homeowners for one reason and one reason alone: ease of installation. Unlike the other types of gutter guards on the market, this type requires little more than simply inserting it into the gutter and ensuring that it is firmly in place – held their by tension.
The insert type of gutter guards do come in a couple of profiles: foam and brushes. The foam inserts are long triangular pieces of foam. They brace against the house-side of the gutters and offer great protection against larger debris, providing excellent water flow.
The brush style of gutter guards are generally made with a metal core around which the brushes extrude. The brushes provide full gutter tension and offer even better water flow than the foam inserts, though brushes have a tendency to trap debris more and need to be cleaned more often.
Micro mesh is generally seen as the premier type of gutter guard and is often priced as such. These gutter guards are similar to the solid type in design, except their top surface is made out of a metal mesh instead of a solid piece of perforated metal.
These gutter guards are excellent at keeping out even the finest grained debris as well as larger detritus. These gutter guards also provide some of the best water flows – especially if the mesh features siphoning grooves. However, these are the most difficult type of gutter guard to install.
When looking for the best gutter guard, it is important to keep a few things in mind. What is the climate where your gutters are located? What type of debris are you trying to keep out of your gutters? And what kind of property are the gutters attached to?
Regardless those answers, the best gutter guard on our list is still pretty much the same. The LeafsOut Micro Mesh Gutter Guard is made out of rust-resistant stainless steel and aluminum. While it takes a bit more to install, it will keep out even the smallest of particulate debris – though it may not be the best in extreme cold.
If you need to protect gutters on an industrial or commercial property, your best bet is to go with the FlexxPoint Solid Gutter Guards. The aluminum of the FlexxPoint is both resistant to rust as well as the most durable gutter guard on our list. Just make sure to clean the gutters once a year and use rust-resistant hardware fasteners.