We may be compensated if you purchase through links on our website. Our Reviews Team is committed to delivering honest, objective, and independent reviews on home products and services.More

This Old House Reviews Team Gutter Guard Review Methodology

Author Icon Written by Mike Miller Updated 04/18/2024

We are dedicated to bringing you top-quality comparative content about gutter guards to help you make informed decisions for yourself and your home. To provide fair and accurate comparisons of the top gutter guard choices, we created a comprehensive rating system of key factors to score them against.

With our ratings in place, we conducted in-depth research on multiple providers and products. We analyzed their websites, tracked third-party ratings, and put our finger on the pulse of consumer sentiment to round out our understanding of each gutter guard. We reinforced this research with firsthand data by purchasing, installing, and testing gutter guard systems.

The resulting information allowed us to score each provider objectively and fairly based on our review standards. Learn more about our rating methodology below.


Gutter Guard Research Process

We conducted research using the following research methods to evaluate top gutter companies and DIY products.

First-Party Research

We comprehensively research each provider’s website to learn about its products, services, warranty, payment options, and more.

Secret Shopping

When a provider’s website provides insufficient information for our needs, we contact the provider via phone under the guise of an interested customer. This allows us the best chance to extract the same information that a real consumer would if they made the phone call themselves.

Third-Party Ratings

We consistently check each provider’s letter grade and accreditation status with the BBB to keep a pulse on customer satisfaction. We’ve also read more than 500 customer reviews on third-party review aggregation sites, including the BBB, Trustpilot, Google Reviews, and Yelp.

Firsthand Testing

We obtain and test gutter guards to evaluate the performance of DIY and professionally installed products. We purchase DIY gutter guards directly from retailers such as Amazon and install them on a roof and gutter system model. For professionally installed products, we contact the company and request a showroom floor model. With this model or installed product, we conduct a series of tests to determine each gutter guard’s performance and quality.


We collected data on gutter services and products and scored each company on a 100-point rating system. We divided the total score of each provider by 20 to obtain our 5-star ratings. Our ranking factors cover key aspects of each provider, including product details, customer service, affordability, peace of mind, and customer sentiment. Providers and brands don’t lose any points if we cannot procure a product for testing. Here is a look at each category and its weight.

Gutter Guard Design (37%)

A wide variety of gutter guard designs are available, and all are not created equal. Some designs have stronger construction, are more aesthetically pleasing, are better suited for cold weather, or have superior filtration.

We awarded points for each of the following factors:

  • Guard style: Gutter guards received points depending on their guard style. Micro-mesh gutter guards are considered to be the most effective and received the highest rating of 15 points in this category.
  • Filter material: Gutter guards made of stainless steel received the most points in this category, while plastic received the least points.
  • Frame material: Gutter guards received points based on frame material, with more points awarded to those made of stainless steel.
  • Other features: Gutter guards received up to seven additional points for having multiple color options, heating elements, and low-profile design.

Customer Support (25%)

Reliable gutter companies ensure that communication is easy and efficient. Additionally, they back up their products with ironclad warranties.

We awarded 10 points to companies that are reachable by phone, online chat, and email. Companies that exclusively use phone and email communication received eight points, while those with only a phone number received seven points.

We awarded companies an additional 15 points in this category if they backed their products and services with a lifetime transferable warranty. Those with limited lifetime warranties received 10 points. Companies received five points for offering a warranty of less than 20 years. If a company did not provide a warranty of any kind, they received zero points.

Quote Process and Financing (15%)

A gutter guard company’s quote process and financing are essential to customer satisfaction and affordability. Companies could earn points in this category by offering the following:

  • Free quotes: 5 points
  • Financing options: 5 points
  • Quotes good for one year: 4 points
  • Various discounts: 3 points

Services (13%)

Many providers can do more than install gutter guards. We rewarded those that act as a one-stop shop for all your gutter needs.

Providers earned points for each of the following services:

  • Installing gutter guards: 4 points
  • Replacing existing gutters: 4 points 
  • Repairing existing gutters: 3 points
  • Cleaning gutters: 2 points

Average Customer Reviews (10%)

Customer sentiment is essential in gauging a company’s reputation, reliability, and overall quality. We assigned points depending on overall customer satisfaction by averaging customer ratings from multiple independent sources, such as the Better Business Bureau and Trustpilot. Companies with an average rating of 4.1 to 5 stars were awarded 10 points. Companies rated at 3.1 to 4 stars received eight points. Those with an average rating of under 1.1 stars received no points in this category.


Factor Weights for Rating Gutter Guard Companies

Review factor weights for each category in the table below. We also share how to interpret company ratings based on the total score they received out of 100.

Review CategoryPercent of Score

Design

37%

Customer support

25%

Quote process

15%

Services

13%

Average customer reviews

10%

How To Interpret Company Ratings

When looking at a gutter guard provider or product, we consider any score of 90 points or more to be excellent. A product or provider that earns between 80 and 89 points is still a quality option depending on your needs, but it likely lost points across multiple categories.

We typically don’t recommend providers with scores between 70 and 79 unless they cover a niche need or have a specific benefit that would assist some homeowners. We do not recommend any product or service that falls below 70.


Methodology Adjustments for DIY Gutter Guards

Gutter products intended for DIY installation require different ranking factors than those installed by professional companies. To maintain an objective comparison between the two, we removed non-applicable categories, such as quote process, financing, and services, and added a price category. We also adjusted category points to reflect their relevance for standalone products. This is how we weigh each category for DIY gutter guard products:

Review CategoryPercent of Score

Design

37%

Customer support

33%

Product reviews (Amazon or similar)

15%

Cost (200 linear feet)

15%


How We Tested Gutter Guards

When testing a DIY gutter guard, we install it directly on our gutter testing model. This model is designed to simulate a home’s roof and gutter system and includes a fascia board, siding, and roof shingles. It measures four feet long and two feet deep and is three feet tall in the front and four feet tall in the back. 

When testing a DIY gutter guard, we install it directly on our gutter testing model. This model is designed to simulate a home’s roof and gutter system and includes a fascia board, siding, and roof shingles. It measures four feet long and two feet deep and is three feet tall in the front and four feet tall in the back. 

During installation, we note how easy the product is to work with and if any design or material elements impede the installation. We test each product to determine how it withstands wear and tear, debris, and water. Our process varies slightly depending on the product being assessed, but we typically apply the following tests:

  • Debris filtration: We apply debris to the roof and gutter guard to see what materials are blocked and what debris passes through the guard. Debris includes deciduous tree leaves, pine needles, pine cones, and shingle grit. 
  • Water passage test: We apply water at varying speeds to determine if the guard can withstand heavy rain without overflowing. We simulate rainfall equivalents of light showers to heavy downpours by measuring the amount of gallons of water directed into the system per minute.  
  • Cleanability test: We apply water directly to the guard and shingles above it after debris is added. We score the guard based on how much debris is pushed off due to rainfall and how much gets stuck on the guard. Then, we manually remove debris from the guard with a hose, a brush, or gloved hands and note how difficult it is to remove materials. 
  • Installation inspection: We thoroughly inspect the guard before and during installation, checking for areas of weakness or poor design.
  • Durability test: We apply stress tests to see if the guard bends, dents, or comes loose. These tests vary from guard to guard but generally involve impacts from falling objects, direct application of pressure or weight, and jostling of joints and connectors.
Water passage test in progress | Photo by James Kiefer

How To Chose the Best Gutter Guard for You

Consider the following factors to choose the right gutter guard for your home:

Gutter condition: Evaluate the condition of your gutters before choosing a provider. If you have damaged or old gutters, select a gutter guard provider that offers gutter repair and replacement services.
Gutter type: Not all gutter guards fit every type of gutter. For example, half-round and box gutters are too wide for most standard gutter guards. Identify your gutter type and width, and check those specifications against gutter guard specs.
Location: Environmental elements such as rainfall, pollen, and leaf litter impact the type of gutter guard you need. For example, micro-mesh gutter guards suit homes that are located next to trees that produce large amounts of debris (such as pine needles).
Pricing: Gutter guards typically cost between $1,000 and $7,000 to install. Factors such as linear feet of guttering, gutter guard material, and gutter condition play a part in the total cost of a gutter guard system.

About Us

We are an independent editorial team of subject matter experts who champion the categories and home services we recommend. From the beginning stages of research to the published review articles, our team works diligently to center your interests by identifying common pain points, connecting with people with firsthand knowledge and experience, and crafting content that meets the needs of our audience. We aim to help first-time homebuyers, potential sellers, budget-conscious homeowners, and others from all walks of life streamline their decision-making process for selecting their home services.

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