Gutters keep water out of your home, but they can clog and stop working if you don’t regularly clean them. Homeowners who don’t want to climb up a ladder to clean their gutters constantly can invest in gutter guards. These products don’t eliminate the need for maintenance but significantly decrease how often you have to do it.
The This Old House Reviews Team has researched the best gutter guards and compiled our findings. This guide compares our top nine recommendations.
Top 9 Gutter Guards of 2022
- LeafFilter: Our Overall Top Pick
- LeafGuard: Best Reverse-Curve
- HomeCraft: Best Design
- All American Gutter Protection: Most Customizable
- Gutter Guards America: Best Materials
- A-M Gutter Guard: Best Screen Gutter Guard
- Raptor: Best DIY Option
- Amerimax Home Products: Most Affordable
- GutterBrush: Best Brush Gutter Guard
Types of Gutter Guards
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 gutter guards have large holes that keep out leaves and other debris. You can install them by lifting the bottom row of roof shingles and sliding the edge of the screen underneath it. Screen gutter guards are affordable and easy to install on your own, but they can blow off in windy conditions and become brittle over time.
Mesh guards are typically made of metal or plastic and have small holes that filter water while blocking debris. You can slip them under the bottom row of your roof shingles, snap them directly on top of your gutters, or attach them to the fascia—the “transition trim” between your home and your roof.
These gutter guards are slightly more expensive and more difficult to install than screen guards, but their holes are usually smaller, preventing more debris from clogging your gutters. However, some mesh gutter guard varieties are flimsy, and extreme weather conditions can easily tear or damage them.
Micro-mesh gutter guards are similar to mesh guards. They have small holes that keep out debris and allow water to flow through them. However, the holes on micro-mesh guards are much smaller than those on regular mesh guards, allowing them to keep out even small debris. While they require professional installation and cost more than DIY gutter guards, they need less maintenance.
Reverse-curve or Surface Tension
Reverse-curve or surface tension gutter guards are made from metal or plastic. Unlike other gutter guards that allow water to flow through the gutter, this type forces water to flow over the gutter and around a downward curve before dropping into the gutter beneath. Leaves and debris then slide off and onto the ground below.
Reverse-curve gutter guards are more difficult to install on your own because they must be positioned at the same angle as your roof, which can be especially tricky for steep roofs. They’re also expensive and visible from the ground. However, they come in various colors and keep out most debris, even in the toughest weather conditions.
Brush gutter guards resemble large pipe cleaners that fit into your gutter. When these guards are in place, large debris collects on top and water trickles down and out through the gutter spout. While this gutter guard type is easy to install, small debris such as pine needles can easily get stuck in the bristles, forcing you to completely remove the gutter guard to shake those pieces out.
Foam gutter guards are another inexpensive and easy-to-install DIY option. They require sticking a wedge of foam into the gutter to keep out large debris. However, debris can easily build up on the gutter guards rather than inside the gutters, and they must be completely removed to clean.
Gutter Guard Buying Guide
Consider the following factors before buying gutter guards.
This refers to both your roof warranty and your gutter guard warranty. Your roof comes with a warranty that lasts 20–50 years, but you could potentially void it if you purchase gutter guards that require you to lift up the bottom row of your roof shingles.
DIY gutter guards, such as foam and brush guards, don’t typically come with a warranty because they’re designed to be a temporary solution. Professionally installed guards, such as micro-mesh guards, usually have a warranty that lasts multiple years.
Decide if you want a temporary gutter guard with easy installation, such as a foam or screen guard, or a high-quality, permanent solution that requires professional help, such as a micro-mesh or reverse-curve guard.
Gutters are most commonly 5 or 6 inches, though 7-inch gutters are sometimes used in locations with heavy rainfall. Measure your gutters before buying gutter guards to ensure they will fit properly.
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.
Our Top 9 Best Gutter Guards of 2022
Here are our top nine picks for the best gutter guards to prevent debris from clogging your gutters:
LeafFilter Micro-mesh Gutter Guard
Our Take: Best Overall
LeafFilter’s stainless steel micro-mesh gutter guard is installed by professionals using a three-step process. First, structural hangers are attached to the fascia board, or the trim that runs along your roof’s edge. They then add a frame across your gutters to create a platform for the gutter guard to lay on. This installation method ensures that your gutters stay protected for years to come.
It should be noted that gutter guards do not eliminate the need for gutter cleaning. However, they greatly reduce the frequency.
Our Take: Best Reverse-Curve
LeafGuard has been in the gutter guard industry for 29 years, and its gutter system is backed by the Good Housekeeping Institute. The company offers a unique rain gutter and gutter guard combination seamlessly constructed from a single piece of aluminum. The reverse-curve design easily blocks debris while routing water into your gutters using the scientific principle of liquid adhesion. Professional installers custom-fit the product to each home during installation.
Learn more: LeafGuard review
HomeCraft Gutter Protection Gutter Guard
Our Take: Best Design
HomeCraft’s guards use patented, diamond-raised technology that performs better than hooded or reverse-curve options. The guards are made from a combination of marine-grade stainless steel and finely woven micro-mesh to block debris while allowing water to flow through.
All American Gutter Protection Micro-mesh Gutter Guard
Our Take: Most Customizable
All American Gutter Protection installs micro-mesh gutter guards custom-fit to your gutters. They come in more than 30 color options to match your home’s aesthetic. All American also installs new gutters if your current ones aren’t in good condition.
Gutter Guards America
Our Take: Best Materials
Gutter Guards America manufactures a micro-mesh gutter guard with highly durable materials that will last the life of your home. It backs up this quality construction with a transferable lifetime warranty and 100% money-back guarantee.
Its high-quality gutter guards are manufactured in the United States using a seamless aluminum frame and surgical-grade stainless steel mesh screen. The absence of plastics, vinyl, and adhesives means you won’t have to worry about any materials swelling, cracking, or degrading over time.
Pros and Cons of A-M Gutter Guard
✔ Is an affordable, DIY option
✔ Has a low-profile design that sits below the gutter edge
✔ Is made from sturdy and rustproof heavy aluminum
✘ Does not include installation screws
✘ Allows smaller debris to slip through the filter
- Aluminum material
- Five inches wide
- Available in 23-, 50-, 100-, or 200-foot lengths
- Lifetime warranty
What Customers Are Saying
Several Amazon reviewers in wooded areas said this gutter guard kept leaves, twigs, and branches out of their gutters. However, some customers said that it required more maintenance than they expected. For example, the gutter guard formed a valley that collected debris and caused pine needles to get stuck in the holes, forcing customers to clean their gutters multiple times per year. (Most gutter guards require cleaning every one to two years.)
Pros and Cons of Raptor
✔ Offers DIY-friendly micro-mesh stainless steel guards
✔ Accommodates various installation styles
✔ Has a 25-year product warranty
✘ Is hard to cut for installation
✘ Has smaller mesh holes that can cause overflow issues
- Stainless steel material
- 5, 6, or 7 inches wide
- 48 feet long
- 25-year warranty
What Customers Are Saying
Based on more than 100 Amazon reviews, satisfied customers said these gutter guards were easy to install because of the instructions, drill bit head, and surplus screws included with the product. The main complaint was that the holes in the mesh were so small they wouldn’t allow all of the water to pass through during a downpour, causing water to flow over the gutters instead.
Pros and Cons of Amerimax
✔ Are easy to cut for customized fitting
✔ Work with most gutter styles and sizes
✔ Are rust-resistant
✘ Have a paint coating that can cause overflow issues
✘ Allow small debris to still pass through
- Steel material
- 4, 5, and 6 inches wide
- 3 feet long
- Available in multiple pack sizes
- 10-year warranty
What Customers Are Saying
Though these guards can be challenging to install, several Amazon customers said they were easier than types requiring fasteners and tools. Some reviews said water rushed right over the gutter cover instead of going through it because of how slick the paint coating is on the steel.
Pros and Cons of GutterBrush
✔ Is available through many retailers, including Amazon, Home Depot, and Lowe’s
✔ Has the quickest installation compared to other guards
✔ Fits with most gutter styles
✘ Filters large debris only
✘ Has frequent clogs
- Polypropylene bristle material
- 5 inches wide
- Available in 6-, 15-, 30-, 60-, or 120-foot lengths
What Customers Are Saying
Multiple Amazon customers were realistic about how well these gutter covers would work, understanding that they could only keep out large pieces of debris. Because of this, customers occasionally had to rinse smaller debris from the guards. Several customers complained the gutter guard didn’t work well in yards with many trees and became easily clogged by leaves and twigs.
The best gutter guards provide efficient filtration and protect your home from possible water damage. Though gutter guards don’t completely eliminate the need for cleaning, they reduce the frequency. We recommend LeafFilter as our top pick for the best professional installation. HomeCraft also tops our list thanks to its innovative diamond-raised technology. Finally, American Gutter Protection is a great option for a custom-fitted guard system with many colors to match your home.
We recommend comparing at least three different gutter guards to find the right option for your gutter system. Use the tool below to find the best gutter guard experts near you.
FAQs About Gutter Guards
Our Rating Methodology
This Old House has empowered homeowners for more than four decades with top-notch home improvement content in the form of television programs, print media, and digital content on its website and social media platforms. This Old House aims to provide objective, well-researched reviews of gutter guard and gutter services companies through a transparent and detailed methodology. The This Old House Reviews Team has written over 1,000 reviews on products in the home space, from cordless drills to kitchen trash cans, lawn mowers, leaf guards for gutters, and dining room decorations. 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?
We recommend products in each review using an intensive research process, spending hours combing through the best available models on Amazon. For a product to make our list of top picks, it must hold a solid sales record on Amazon, have consistently positive customer reviews, and offer unique features, among other factors. After narrowing down our list of recommendations, we conduct additional research and sometimes in-person testing to ensure that the products meet our standards. Once we conclude the research phase, we craft a well-rounded, user-friendly article that includes our recommended products and additional information to help homeowners like you make the right purchase.
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