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The 5 Best Gutter Guards for Pine Needles (2024 Guide)

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12 Gutter Guard Brands Tested to Date
We recommend LeafFilter as the best gutter guard for pine needles. Its stainless steel micro-mesh screen can keep pine needles out while still letting water flow through your gutters.

Default Author Icon Written by Mike Miller Updated 05/14/2024

Pine needles are some of the most difficult debris to keep out of your gutters. They are small and acidic and tend to get lodged in the small gaps between gutter sections. The best way to block pine needles is with a quality gutter guard. The best gutter guards for pine needles are micro-mesh systems. These guards’ tightly-knit screens can keep materials such as pine needles and shingle grit out of your gutter system. 

We’ve researched major gutter guard brands and installed and tested gutter guards on their ability to prevent pine needles from entering a gutter. Our research revealed that micro-mesh and foam gutter guards perform the best. LeafFilter’s stainless steel micro-mesh screen is our top recommended gutter guard for pine needle prevention. We surveyed 129 LeafFilter customers and found that more than a quarter of them had issues with pine needles before installing gutter guards. Of those who used LeafFilter to block pine needles, 85% were very satisfied with the guard’s performance. Below, we’ll share our test results and explain why LeafFilter is our top recommended guard.

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Key Takeaways

Pine needles are one of the most difficult materials to keep out of your gutters.
Based on our firsthand testing, micro-mesh gutter guards are the best systems for preventing pine needles.
LeafFilter is our top pick for the best gutter guard for pine needles and blocked all pine needles we applied to the guard during testing.

Top 5 Best Gutter Guards for Pine Needles

LeafFilter: Best Guard for Pine Needles
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Compare the Best Gutter Guards for Pine Needles

Product Image Star Rating Link
LeafFilter LeafFilter LeafFilter
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HomeCraft HomeCraft HomeCraft
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All American Gutter Protection All American Gutter Protection All American Gutter Protection
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Raptor Raptor Raptor
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Waterlock Pro Waterlock Pro
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Logo LeafFilter
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Logo HomeCraft
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All American Gutter Protection
Logo All American Gutter Protection
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Logo Raptor
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Waterlock Pro
Logo Waterlock Pro
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BBB Rating
Best For
Best Filtration
Best Additional Services
Best Deals and Discounts
Most Customizable DIY Guard
Best Warranty for DIY Brand

How Much Do Gutter Guards for Pine Needles Cost?

Gutter guards that block pine needles include micro-mesh, foam, and high-end reverse-curve systems, which are among the most expensive to install.

Determining the cost of a professional gutter guard installation is difficult because companies typically require an at-home inspection to offer pricing. However, you can get a rough estimate based on national averages for each type of gutter guard system. We surveyed customers of the top gutter guard brands to find out how much they paid for their systems. According to our respondents, micro-mesh guards typically cost between $4,000 to $5,500. A high-quality reverse-curve system can cost up to $7,300.

It’s easier to estimate the cost of a DIY system because DIY product pages and Amazon pages provide pricing. You can calculate pricing based on how much material you need to buy to cover the length of your gutter system. Depending on the type of guard you choose, you can expect to pay between $170 to $850 for a DIY gutter guard system. The following table shows a breakdown of costs based on the type of gutter guard you choose. DIY costs are based on pricing we found on Amazon at the time of writing.

Gutter guard typeTotal gutter guard installation costGutter guard material cost for 200 linear feetGutter guard material cost per linear footProfessional installation cost per linear foot
Plastic screen$170–$200$170–$200$0.85–$1DIY
Perforated aluminum$265–$300$265–$300$1.32–$1.50DIY
Steel screen$300–$700$300–$700$1.50–$3.50DIY

What Our Gutter Guard Testing Told Us

To determine the best type of gutter guards for pine needles, we conducted firsthand testing of the most popular gutter guard types. Once installed on our gutter model, we subjected the guard to a series of tests to determine its filtration efficiency, durability, and overall quality. Our testing included the following steps:

  • Water passage test: We poured water on the shingles above the guard to simulate rainfall at varying intensities. This tested the guard’s ability to promote water flow.
  • Filtration test: We placed pine needles, shingle grit, deciduous tree leaves, seedpods, and twigs directly on the guard and the shingles above it. We then applied water to see which materials passed through the guard or were knocked to the ground.
  • Durability and quality inspection: We assessed the quality of the materials, the design of the guard, and the guard’s flexibility and rigidity. If the guard seemed easily damaged, we applied a stress test and noted any damage, such as dents, chips, cracks, or detachments.

Gutter Guard Testing Takeaways

Our testing results yielded the following takeaways:
Micro-mesh guards block the most debris: Micro-mesh gutter guards, if made of high-quality materials such as stainless steel, boast the best filtration. Raptor’s guard kept out 100% of the pine needles we applied to it. Other DIY products we tested, including screen and mesh guards, blocked between 20% and 70% of pine needles.
It’s easy to damage your roof system: There are many common mistakes homeowners can make when installing DIY guards. For example, lifting your roof shingles can result in popped nails or damaged underlayment and can even void your roof warranty. We recommend carefully following the instructions of your DIY gutter guards or hiring a professional.
Cleaning with a gutter guard is easier than without one: To have a baseline for our cleanability test, we manually cleaned out our test gutter without using a gutter guard. The process was unpleasant. We found that it was much easier and more efficient to clean pine needles with a gutter guard installed.
Every guard needs to be cleaned: No guard we tested completely self-cleaned, regardless of the amount of water or pressure we applied. Even micro-mesh guards such as LeafFilter and Raptor experienced some debris buildup.
Debris including pine needles and deciduous tree leaves during gutter guard filtration test.
Photo by James Kiefer

Homeowners dealing with pine needles may be surprised at how much hassle these little leaves can cause. Due to their small size and unique shape, pine needles can slip into gutter systems and collect until they create clogs. Here’s a rundown of what you need to know about pine needles before purchasing a gutter guard designed to manage them.

How Do Pine Needles Damage Gutters?

Pine needles can lead to damaged gutters because they clog up your gutters and downspouts. Clogged gutters cause overflows, leading to potential water damage on your walls, fascia, and roof. Other expensive issues that can be caused by clogged gutters include foundation shifting, gutter collapses, and soil erosion.

What makes pine needles more damaging than other types of debris, such as deciduous tree leaves and seedpods, is that they’re more difficult to clean out and block from entering your gutters. Pine needles are small and find their way into gaps, cracks, and openings. Other debris can wash over small openings, such as the seams between gutter sections, but pine needles often lodge there and snag other debris. Pine needles are so tiny that they can slip through many gutter guards or screens.

Which Gutter Guards Are Best for Preventing Pine Needles?

After testing every type of gutter guard, we determined that micro-mesh and foam guards are the best for preventing pine needles. These guard types consistently blocked pine needles from entering our gutter system and allowed water to pass through the gutters. Some products, such as reverse-curve gutter guards, blocked most pine needles but overflowed when exposed to heavy rainfall.

Note that material quality is paramount when choosing a gutter guard, especially when it comes to micro-mesh. Micro-mesh guards need to be made of high-quality metal, preferably stainless steel, to function correctly. When we tested gutter guards with a plastic mesh screen, they caused overflows, came loose, and underperformed overall.

Should You Go With DIY or Professional Installation?

You can install some gutter guards on your own, but you’ll need to choose the right DIY guard and be comfortable working on a ladder. Review the installation instructions of your chosen DIY guards carefully and take precautions when installing them. Accidental damage to your roof or gutter system can lead to expensive repairs or even void your roof warranty.

Some gutter guard brands can only be installed professionally. If you want your home to be equipped with the best gutter guards for pine needles, consider professional installation. While it costs more, using a professional gutter guard company comes with benefits, including warranty protection, high-quality installations, and access to additional services such as gutter cleaning.

Are Gutter Guards for Pine Needles Worth It?

Gutter guards for pine needles can be worth it if you want to reduce the time and energy needed to maintain your gutters. Micro-mesh and foam guards can keep pine needles out of your gutters, preventing clogs and extending the lifespan of your gutter system.

Gutter guards also simplify the gutter cleaning process. Because the pine needles accumulate on a flat surface instead of within a trough-like gutter, a light brushing is often all that’s required to wash them off. Unprotected gutters should be cleaned at least twice yearly, while systems with gutter guards only need cleaning once every year—depending on tree density in your area.

How Do Regions and Climate Impact the Performance of Gutter Guards?

Consider your region and climate before purchasing a gutter guard for pine needles. Your climate significantly impacts the performance of your gutter guard. Areas with heavier rainfall require a guard with better water passage performance. If you live in colder regions, installing micro-mesh guards can contribute to the creation of ice dams. Features such as heat type can counteract this problem. 

Your location also impacts the amount of pine needles around your home. While pines are one of the most common trees in the United States, Northeastern states and states with higher altitudes have large numbers of pine trees and, therefore, more intense needle drops.

Our Top Picks for Gutter Guards That Protect From Pine Needles


Best Filtration
BBB Rating : A+

We tested LeafFilter firsthand and found that it excelled at keeping out pine needles. Its stainless steel micro-mesh screen and uPVC frame were so tightly connected that pine needles couldn’t get through even when we tried to force them.

How We Scored LeafFilter

LeafFilter earned a score of 4.7 out of 5 stars when judged against our review standards. Here’s how LeafFilter performed in key categories:

  • Design (4.3 out of 5): LeafFilter’s micro-mesh screen, system design, and material quality earned it high points in this category. 
  • Customer support (5 out of 5): We awarded LeafFilter full points in this category because of its lifetime warranty and communication methods. 
  • Quote process (5 out of 5): LeafFilter’s free inspections, discounts, and financing options earned it full points in this category.
  • Services (5 out of 5): We gave LeafFilter full points in this category because of the additional services included with purchasing its product, such as gutter and downspout installation.

Pros and Cons

Pros Its micro-mesh screen prevents pine needles from entering gutters. Its frame is well-built and tightly set, so pine needles can’t get lodged in small gaps. Its 11-degree built-in pitch allows water flow to push pine needles off onto the ground. Cons It requires a LeafFilter technician to make repairs due to its enclosed system. The back end of the guard rises up due to the built-in pitch and appears slightly bulky.

Cost and Financing

We surveyed 129 LeafFilter customers and combed through reviews on independent sites such as the BBB to find out what LeafFilter charges for its services. Our customer review findings indicate that LeafFilter costs between $2,400 to $8,000, with an average of $4,000 for a gutter guard system. Our survey results revealed an average cost per linear foot of $27.64. 

LeafFilter provides financing through Wells Fargo for any system $1,000 or more at 0% APR on a 24-month payment plan. It also offer 10% discounts for seniors and military service members.


LeafFilter’s lifetime warranty promises free repairs or a refund if its system clogs and causes water damage. LeafFilter’s warranty has the following limitations:

  • Damage to fascia boards, gutters, roof substrates, or surfaces caused by the installation of LeafFilter products
  • Damage as a result of structural changes, uncontrollable acts of nature, or falling debris
  • Alterations to the system or any willful action taken that restricts the flow of water through the filter
  • Overflows due to an improper number of downspouts

Our Experience With LeafFilter

LeafFilter supplied us with a floor model to test and inspect against pine needles. Here’s what we found: 

  • It effectively blocks pine needles—we even tried to push them between the screen and filter to no avail. 
  • It’s easy to clean pine needles off with a light brushing.
  • It features a durable design and substructure.
  • It filters water withou

What Customers Are Saying

LeafFilter has an A+ rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The company also has high customer review scores. Overall, customers are pleased with the quality of LeafFilter’s product and its installation process. 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 Additional Services
BBB Rating : B

HomeCraft gutter guards sport a stainless 304-grade marine steel filter with a powder-coated aluminum frame. Its design and superb material quality enable it to block pine needles and self-clean.

How We Scored HomeCraft

We awarded HomeCraft 4.7 out of 5 stars in our review standards. Here’s how it performed in key categories:

  • Design (4.2 out of 5): We gave HomeCraft high points in this category thanks to its micro-mesh design and stainless steel filter. It lost some points due to its lack of color options.
  • Customer support (4.6 out of 5): HomeCraft’s lifetime warranty earned it a strong score in this category. We docked points because its website lacks a chat function. 
  • Quote process (5 out of 5): HomeCraft’s free inspections, financing options, quotes that are good for one year, and discounts earned it full points in this category. 
  • Services (5 out of 5): We gave HomeCraft full points due to its additional service offerings, such as gutter cleaning and downspout installation.

Pros and Cons

Pros Its micro-mesh screen is made from high-grade steel for durability and corrosion resistance. Its raised diamond design allows for superior self-cleaning. It has reinforced hidden hangers for durable support. Cons It only operates in Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin. Customer complaints highlight frequent scheduling and communication issues.

Cost and Financing

We surveyed more than 100 HomeCraft customers and asked what they paid for their gutter guard systems. Our respondents reported a HomeCraft gutter guard installation costs an average of $5,196, or $31.69 per square foot. HomeCraft’s website claims it offers financing through third-party lenders but doesn’t elaborate further.


HomeCraft’s gutter guard warranty is lifetime transferable and states that if the guard leaks, isn’t installed correctly, or doesn’t perform as expected, HomeCraft will solve the problem at no cost. However, the company’s website doesn’t offer other details, such as coverage limits or conditions. 

Our Experience With HomeCraft

HomeCraft uses a 304-marine grade stainless steel filter, powder-coated aluminum frame, and hidden hangers. Together, these components form a malleable, long-lasting system adaptable to almost any gutter and roof type. Its screen blocks debris from entering the gutter, including plant matter as small as pine needles and seedpods. 

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, critical reviews mention difficulty scheduling.

All American Gutter Protection

Best Deals and Discounts
Phone : 888-495-7725 BBB Rating : A

We recommend All American Gutter Protection for its well-designed product and high customer review scores. Its micro-mesh gutter guard is designed to block pine needles and other small debris.

How We Scored All American Gutter Protection

All American Gutter Protection earned a score of 4.2 out of 5 stars against our review standards. Here’s how it performed in key categories:

  • Design (4.2 out of 5): All American lost some points in this category because of its aluminum frame and lack of color options.
  • Customer support (5 out of 5): All American earned full points in this category due to its lifetime warranty and comprehensive customer communication methods.
  • Quote process (4 out of 5): We docked All American points because its quotes don’t last for one year.
  • Services (3.1 out of 5): All American lost points for not offering gutter cleaning or repair services.

Pros and Cons

Pros Its stainless steel screen and all-aluminum body block small debris such as pine needles. Its frame is set tightly against the mesh, making it more difficult for pine needles to snag. It comes in more than 30 colors. Cons Customers indicate occasional scheduling problems. It doesn’t offer gutter repair or cleaning services.

Cost and Financing

Our survey of 200 All American Gutter Protection customers revealed an average price of $5,629 for gutter guard installation. The average cost per square foot is $29.34, according to our respondents. All American offers financing through Wells Fargo. However, its website doesn’t include details on this financing plan. 


All American offers a lifetime performance warranty on its gutter guard systems. This warranty only guarantees that “our gutter protection products will work as described in your contract for the life of your home.” The warranty page also states, “If our gutters and gutter guards fail to meet your expectations for any reason, give us a call and we’ll do all we can to make it right.” All American doesn’t provide any information on warranty length, exclusions, or qualifications.

Our Experience With All American

After analyzing and researching its product, we find All American’s gutter guard impressive and capable of blocking most debris. The guard’s aluminum frame and mesh screen look well-built, with no visible gaps for pine needles to get stuck in. We believe most pine needles would slide off without resistance but that the guards would still require cleaning once every year or two.

What Customers Are Saying

All American Gutter Protection has an A rating and accreditation from the BBB. Customer reviews mention the professionalism of its employees, who promptly installed the product and answered questions about the process. Some reviews call attention to leaks or other issues after installation but note that All American fixed the problems when contacted.


Most Customizable DIY Guard

Raptor by GutterGlove had the best overall performance of the DIY gutter guards we tested. It prevented pine needles, along with most other debris, from entering our gutter system.

How We Scored Raptor

We awarded Raptor a score of 4.6 out of 5 stars. Here’s how it performed in key categories:

  • Design (4.7 out of 5): Raptor earned high points due to its stainless steel micro-mesh screen and aluminum frame.
  • Customer support (4.6 out of 5): Raptor earned nearly full points for its helpful instructional materials and online guides.
  • Customer reviews (4.6 out of 5): Raptor’s above-average Amazon reviews earned it strong points in this category.
  • Cost (4 out of 5): We docked Raptor some points due to its high relative cost compared to other DIY guards.

Pros and Cons

Pros Raptor’s screen manages heavy downpours while filtering out debris. It features online installation materials for non-standard systems such as metal roofs. Its aluminum frame is bendable for easy alterations or adjustments. Cons Its screen extends past the edge of its frame and may require tin snips to make it flush Its system requires special alterations for metal roofs.

Our Experience With Raptor

Raptor is a DIY product produced by Gutterglove. It uses a stainless steel micro-mesh screen set into an aluminum frame. It comes with a detailed installation guide and self-tapping screws. Its website features guides for complex and non-standard installations.

We ordered a set of Raptor gutter guards and installed them on a small gutter model. We then tested it by simulating debris and downpour conditions. Raptor performed the best out of every DIY guard we tested. We noted the following highlights when testing Raptor’s gutter guard:

  • It blocks small debris, including shingle grit and pine needles.
  • It promotes water flow even in downpour conditions.
  • It requires more gentle handling when installing.
  • It requires snipping the frame during installation to prevent gaps between sections.
  • It’s easy to clean with pine needles sweeping right off.


Raptor’s listed price on Amazon is $109.99 for 48 linear feet or $2.29 per linear foot. You’ll pay $550 to purchase enough material to cover the total length of a 200-linear-foot gutter system.


Raptor has a 25-year manufacturer’s warranty that covers all included parts and materials of the gutter guard.

What Customers Are Saying

We read more than 100 Raptor reviews on Amazon. Satisfied customers said these gutter guards were easy to install because of the comprehensive 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 heavy rain, causing water to flow over the gutters instead.

Waterlock Pro

Best Warranty for DIY Brand

Waterlock Pro is a gutter guard produced by Art of Gutter Manufacturing. Waterlock guards are sold directly through Art of Gutter’s website and on Amazon. They’re also commonly sold to local installers, making this brand a professional and DIY hybrid product. We tested the micro-mesh Waterlock guard and found it to be effective at blocking pine needles, leaves, seedpods, and other debris from entering our test gutters.

How We Scored Waterlock Gutter Guard

Waterlock earned 4.8 out of 5 stars. Here’s how it scored in key categories:

  • Design (4.7 out of 5): Waterlock’s stainless steel micro-mesh guards and aluminum frame earned it high points in this category. 
  • Customer support (5 out of 5): We awarded Waterlock full points for its lifetime product warranty and customer communication options.
  • Customer reviews (5 out of 5): Waterlock earned full points for its high average customer reviews on Amazon.
  • Cost (4 out of 5): Waterlock lost some points in this category due to its comparatively high price for a DIY guard.

Pros and Cons

Pros Waterlock’s micro-mesh screen blocks small debris and is easy to clean. Its aluminum frame is thick, durable, and corrosion-resistant. It offers a lifetime product warranty, while most DIY brands only offer 10- to 20-year warranties. Cons Its thick frame and rigid design may make installation on non-standard roofs or gutters more difficult. Its website lacks detailed instruction manuals or guides.

Our Experience With Waterlock Pro

Waterlock is a gutter guard brand produced by Art of Gutter Manufacturing. There are numerous options in its catalog, but we tested the micro-mesh model. It has a stainless-steel screen with a thick-set aluminum frame. It includes a basic instruction manual and self-tapping screws.

We ordered a test piece of Waterlock’s guards and installed them on our model of a roof and gutter system. We then ran it through a series of tests to determine its performance. Waterlock’s performance was among the best we’ve seen from DIY brands. We noted the following highlights during testing:

  • It blocks small debris, including shingle grit and pine needles.
  • It allows water to pass through in downpour conditions without overflowing. 
  • The guard’s thick aluminum frame was easy to work with but may be more challenging on non-standard roofs.
  • The product’s mesh was sharp along the edges and required gloves to safely handle.


Waterlock’s Amazon page offers several length options. The most economical pack is 100 linear feet for $517. Installing its guards on a 200-linear-foot gutter system would cost $1,034, one of the steepest prices for a DIY guard we’ve reviewed. 


Waterlock’s website boasts a lifetime transferable warranty for all customers. It’s a standard manufacturer warranty and only covers the guard’s parts and performance, excluding all installation defects. The warranty promises that “Art of Gutter products (Micromesh, Waterlock) will not peel, chip, crack or blister. This material warranty applies under normal exposure to sunlight temperature and other natural elements, local weather, proper installation, and normal use…” 

If your damage meets the warranty conditions, Art of Gutters promises to “repair, replace with another product, modify the existing product or refund the full purchase or refund the full purchase price of the failing part, minus the cost of installation.” This warranty is generous not only for DIY products but also for professional installations. Few gutter guard companies provide such detailed and consumer-friendly warranties.

What Customers Are Saying

We read more than 100 Waterlock reviews on Amazon. Satisfied customers praised the guard’s performance and the promptness and helpfulness of Art of Gutter’s customer support staff. The most prominent complaint we read was that these guards don’t fit properly on every gutter system. Specifically, gutters with “nail and ferrules” or “spike and ferrules” attachments presented installation problems. 

Should You Invest in Gutter Guards for Pine Needles?

If your yard is consumed by pine trees and you find yourself having to get your gutters cleaned regularly, then we recommend that you have a professional install micro-mesh gutter guards. It is a worthwhile investment that prevents clogs and reduces the effort and cost of cleaning your gutters. We recommend LeafFilter and HomeCraft for professional installation as well as Raptor as a high-performing DIY product.

FAQ About the Best Gutter Guards for Pine Needles

When is the best time to clean gutter guards for pine needles?

The best time to clean gutter guards for pine needles is at the end of fall. Pine trees drop their needles once every few years, typically during the late summer to mid-fall for most species. 

Gutters should be cleaned at least twice a year, once at the end of fall and again at the end of spring, if you don’t have gutter guards installed. A quality gutter guard reduces the frequency of cleaning to once yearly, either at the end of spring or fall.

What is the easiest way to remove pine needles from your gutters?

The easiest way to remove pine needles from your gutters is with a hose and soft bristle brush or scoop. Spraying your gutters with a hose removes most debris, while clogs can be removed with a scoop. Gutter guards make cleaning easier because debris can be washed off the top of the guards with a hose. You can dislodge any pine needles that are caught in small gaps or cracks with a brush.

Do pine needles damage your gutters and roof?

Pine needles can damage your gutters and roof by causing clogs in your gutter system. When combined with moisture, pollen, and other debris weight, pine needles can contribute to the slow erosion of your gutter system. Over time, clogged gutters can lead to overflows and water damage to your roof.

Are pine needles acidic?

Pine needles, pollen, and other plant matter are acidic. Pine needles have a pH of 3.8 (7 is neutral). Some sources claim that pine needles can acidify the soil, but this is a myth. Pine trees grow better in acidic soils and often choke out grass with heavy needle drops and dense root systems.

Our Rating Methodology

We back up our gutter guard recommendations with a detailed rating methodology to objectively score each gutter guard product and provider. We conduct research by reviewing product specifications and provider website information, speaking with customer representatives, and analyzing customer reviews. We then score each provider against our review standards for gutter guard design, customer support, the quote process, services, and reviews to arrive at a final score on a 5-point rating scale.

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