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The 5 Best Gutter Guards for Pine Needles (2022 Guide)

Are pine needles building up in your home’s gutters? This in-depth guide has everything you need to know about the best gutter guards for pine needles.

A close up of gutters filled with pine needles iStock

Pine needles can wreak havoc on your gutter system if you don’t clean your gutters regularly. Rather than repeatedly climbing up a ladder to clean out the clogs they create, you can invest in a gutter guard to block pine needles from building up in the first place.

Though the best gutter guards don’t eliminate the need for gutter cleaning and maintenance, they simplify cleaning and dramatically decrease how often you have to do it. If you have pine trees near your home’s roof, read on for a detailed guide to the best guards to solve your problem. The This Old House Reviews Team has expertly analyzed each company based on warranties, design, and other services to help you find the best fit for your home.

Top 5 Best Gutter Guards for Pine Needles

Best Professional Installation Process: LeafFilter Micro-Mesh Gutter Guard

LeafFilter is our top pick for the best gutter guard for pine needles. The company uses the most efficient gutter guard available—a micro-mesh guard. LeafFilter’s micro-mesh design is so fine that it prevents pine needles from getting stuck in your gutters while allowing water to flow freely.

LeafFilter also employs a professional installation system. First, the LeafFilter team installs structural hangers on your fascia board for added stability. Then, the all-aluminum micro-mesh gutter guard is added across your gutters to create a platform for the guard to lay on.

This thorough installation process ensures that your gutters stay protected for years. It also helps prevent damage to your roof shingles that might void your roof warranty.

Key Features

  • Stainless steel guard material
  • uPVC frame material
  • Metal hanger material
  • Customizable sizes
  • Rustproof
  • Lifetime warranty

What Customers Are Saying

LeafFilter has an A+ rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau (BBB).* The company also has a relatively high customer review score. Overall, customers are pleased with the quality of LeafFilter’s product and its installation process. However, some reviewers mentioned a confusing quote process, claiming the company initially quoted a high price and then lowered it until they agreed to pay.

Best Design: HomeCraft Gutter Protection Gutter Guard

HomeCraft Gutter Protection’s guards feature a unique raised-screen design called Diamond Raised Technology. This design helps keep pine needles out of your gutters and loose enough that water can push them off. The guards also use a combination of marine-grade stainless steel and finely woven micro-mesh that the company claims can catch debris as small as pollen and shingle grit. As a result, HomeCraft’s gutter guards often create a cycle in which they continuously clean themselves.

Key Features

  • 304 marine-grade stainless steel
  • Attaches to the front lip of the gutter
  • Works with metal roofs
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Price estimates are good for one year.

What Customers Are Saying

HomeCraft Gutter Protection currently holds a B rating and accreditation from the BBB.* Many reviews praise the family-owned and operated business and its friendly and knowledgeable customer service team. Customers also highlight the company’s transferable warranty and installation process. However, more critical reviews mention difficulty with scheduling.

Most Customizable: All American Gutter Protection Micro-Mesh Gutter Guard

Like HomeCraft and LeafFilter, All American Gutter Protection offers micro-mesh gutter guards. The company customizes its guards to fit each homeowner’s gutters. In addition to a design that blocks pine needles and other small debris, it offers more than 30 color options to match the exterior of your home. All American Gutter Protection also provides gutter installation services if your existing gutters aren’t in good condition.

Key Features

  • Stainless steel guard material
  • Aluminum frame material
  • Customizable sizes
  • Over 30 color options
  • Rustproof
  • Lifetime warranty

What Customers Are Saying

All American Gutter Protection has an A+ rating and accreditation from the BBB.* The company also has the highest customer review score on this list. Reviews mention how professional the company’s employees are and praise the technicians, who promptly install and thoroughly explain the product, installation, and warranty. Some reviews call attention to leaks or other issues after installation but note that All American fixed the problems when contacted.

Best DIY Option: Raptor Gutter Guards

Raptor Gutter Guards offers a cost-effective DIY option for pine needles. The company’s micro-mesh gutter guard features 304 stainless steel, which is rust- and corrosion-resistant. It also features 900 holes per square inch to protect your gutters against pine needles and other small debris.

Raptor doesn’t offer professional installation, but all its gutter guards are designed to be easily installed. The gutter guards come in standard sizes and include easy-to-follow installation guides for all purchases.

Key Features

  • Stainless steel guard material
  • V-Bend technology
  • DIY installation
  • 5-inch to 6-inch standard sizes
  • Rustproof
  • 25-year warranty

What Customers Are Saying

Raptor Gutter Guard doesn’t have a BBB page because it’s only a product and not a service. However, you can buy its products on Amazon, where there are thousands of customer reviews. The guards currently have a score of over 4.5 stars. The few negative reviews mention sizes being mislabeled, while the most positive reviews praise the easy installation process and product quality.

Amerimax Home Products

Amerimax’s Snap-In Filter Gutter Guard is another DIY micro-mesh gutter guard option, but it offers even more bang for your buck. This guard is made of PVC vinyl and features a micro-mesh screen and diamond-shaped holes to keep out pine needles and other small debris. Because it’s vinyl, the Amerimax guard is more affordable than other products on the market. However, it’s not as strong as steel and aluminum micro-mesh gutter guards.

Installing Amerimax Home Products’ gutter guards is easy and requires no tools. You simply slide and snap the guard under your shingles and onto the front lip of your gutters.

Key Features

  • PVC vinyl with micro-mesh screen
  • Snap-in installation
  • 6.5” standard size

What Customers Are Saying

As with Raptor, you can only find Amerimax reviews on sites where you can buy its products. These include The Home Depot, Amazon, and Lowe’s. Amerimax Home Products’ Snap-In Filter Gutter Guard currently has more than 700 Amazon reviews with a rating over 4.5 stars. Customers praise the company for its pricing and easy installation, but others mention difficulties with persistent snow and ice buildup.

*BBB information is accurate as of May 2022.

Factors to Consider When Determining the Best Gutter Guards for Pine Needles

We’ve listed some significant factors to look out for when deciding which gutter guard system is best for clearing pine needles from your home.

Type of Gutter Guard

Not all gutter protection systems combat pine needles. Mesh and micro-mesh gutter guards are best for pine needles and other small debris because they have tiny holes or no openings in the top. Guards with larger holes allow pine needles to slip through.

Installation

Though you can install gutter guards on your own, many DIY options, like screen gutter guards and brush guards, aren’t good at keeping out pine needles. If you want your home to have the best gutter guards for pine needles, you’ll most likely have to get a professional installation, which means a higher cost.

Holes and Openings

Though mesh, micro-mesh, and reverse-curve guards are best for pine needles, they’re not all the same. Take note of how many holes or openings are present in the gutter guard and their size. Pine needles may still pose a problem if the holes are too big—around a half-inch or more. The finer the holes, the better.

Maintenance

Though gutter guards make cleaning and maintaining your gutter system easier, they don’t outright eliminate the need for maintenance. Take some time to compare how often you’ll need to clear off pine needles from each gutter guard. For example, some pine needles may build up on a flatter gutter guard, but they’ll likely fall off of one with a built-in pitch.

Frequently Asked Questions About Gutter Guards

What are the best gutter covers for pine needles?

Any gutter cover that uses stainless-steel micro-mesh is best for pine needles. Some reverse-curve gutter guards can also work if the cover’s opening is less than a quarter-inch.

Do foam gutter guards work for pine needles?

Foam gutter guards do not work well for pine needles. They are often too flat and may even cause plant growth from falling seeds.

How often should you clean gutter guards?

Gutter guards do a decent job at maintaining a self-cleaning cycle, but we recommend you check on your guards annually for possible cleaning and maintenance.

Our Rating Methodology

This Old House aims to provide objective, well-researched reviews of gutter guard and gutter services companies through a transparent and detailed methodology. We rate each company on a 100-point scale to back up our findings and recommendations. Learn more about our rating methodology below:

  • Customer Service (15 Points): Does the company provide ample customer support and service through phone, email, and 24/7 support?
  • Reputation (14 Points): How long has the company been in business? What rating does the company maintain on the Better Business Bureau? Does it feature accreditation from the website?
  • Guard Details (16 Points): What features does the gutter guard have? Does it use micromesh, eco-friendly, or a heated element? How many colors does the gutter guard come in?
  • Additional Benefits (20 Points): What additional benefits does the company offer? Does it offer a lifetime warranty, locked quotes, online discounts, or downspout services?
  • Services (20 Points): In addition to gutter guard installation, what other services does the company offer? Does it offer removal of gutters, new gutter installation, gutter replacement, or gutter maintenance?
  • Payment Options (15 Points): What payment methods does the company provide? Does it only accept cash, card, or both? Does it offer a financing option?

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.