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

Default Author Icon Written by Mike Miller Updated 07/09/2024

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.

We also collect proprietary data by surveying homeowners who have had gutter guards installed. Our latest survey of 1,000 consumers gave us insight into gutter guard pricing, project size, purchase motivation, installation and product quality, warranty experience, and satisfaction.

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 Better Business Bureau (BBB) to keep a pulse on customer satisfaction. We’ve also read more than 1,000 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.

Material & Design

This category considers both the materials used for each guard and the design of its build. Guards made from longer-lasting, corrosion-resistant materials like stainless steel earn more points than those made of aluminum or plastic since they provide a more valuable investment and a stronger, better-performing product. While there are different guard designs to choose from and each has unique benefits, some designs perform better than others. 

Specifically, we distribute points in this category based on the following factors: 

  • Style: Gutter guards receive points depending on their guard style. Micro-mesh gutter guards are considered to be the most effective and receive the highest rating of 5 points for this factor. Foam guards are the least effective and receive the lowest points for this factor. 
  • Filter material: Gutter guards made of stainless steel receive the most points for this factor, while plastic guards receive the least points.
  • Other features: Gutter guards receive up to five additional points for having multiple color options, heating elements, and a low-profile design.

Warranty Coverage

Warranties are an essential part of any major home improvement project. They provide invaluable financial protection in the event of manufacturer or installer failure. Without a warranty, you might be out thousands of dollars for an installation and then need to spend even more to fix the mistakes of the provider. We award companies points based on how generous, long-lasting, and clearly defined their warranties are compared to the industry standard. 

For professionally installed gutter guards, the standard warranty length is the lifetime of the home and is considered generous if it is transferable to a new homeowner in the event of a home sale. These warranties receive the most points.

The standard warranty for DIY products is 15–25 years. Any brand with a warranty of 25 years or longer receives full points in this category. 

We also awarded more points to any professional or DIY gutter guard brand that clearly defines its warranty on its website and offers a no-clog guarantee.


A gutter guard is only worth it if it saves you time and money in the long run. Gutter guard companies that offer reliable products at a fair cost, alongside generous perks, earn more points in this category. Essentially, the more bang for their buck a homeowner gets from a gutter guard company, the more points it will earn. 

We determine a guard’s value by comparing its overall performance and the company’s quality-of-life bonuses (discounts, financing options, free inspections, etc.) to the product’s overall cost. The more a guard offers homeowners for the least amount of money, the more points it earns.

Services Offered

Many professional gutter guard providers can do more than install gutter guards. We reward those companies that act as a one-stop shop for all your gutter needs. This factor only applies to professionally installed products since DIY guards are sold independently. 

Providers earned two points each for the following services:

  • Gutter cleaning
  • Gutter guard installation
  • Gutter repair
  • Gutter replacement
  • Roofing services (roof replacement, repair, etc.)

Customer Reviews

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 BBB, Trustpilot, and Amazon. Companies with an average rating of 4.1 to 5 stars receive the most points in this category, while companies with an average score of 1.1 stars or less receive no points in this category.


This category considers how well each guard performs. Guards that keep most debris out of a gutter system and let water filter through without overflowing the gutters are considered to be effective and receive full points. The worse each guard performs from this standard, the fewer points it earns.

We determine how well guards perform by either testing them firsthand and measuring these factors directly or, if firsthand testing isn’t available, by gauging their performance through customer surveys. When surveying customers, we determine performance through two satisfaction scores: one measuring filtration performance and the other overall system performance.

Ease of Installation

This category only applies to DIY guards since professional gutter guards are installed by the provider. The easier a DIY gutter guard is to install on your gutter system, the more points it earns in this category. Products that are intuitive to handle, include all the parts or tools you need with purchase, fit onto most standard gutter types, and are compatible with hidden hangers earn full points in this category.

Factor Weights for Rating Gutter Guard Companies

Review factor weights for each category in the tables below. Because professional and DIY guards are measured against different standards in one category, we’ve included a separate breakdown for each guard type. We also share how to interpret company ratings based on the total score they received out of 100.

Professional Gutter Guard Review CategoryPercent of Score
Material & Design15%
Warranty Coverage20%
Services Offered10%
Customer Reviews15%
DIY Gutter Guard Review CategoryPercent of Score
Material & Design15%
Warranty Coverage20%
Ease of Installation10%
Customer Reviews15%

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.

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 Choose 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: Professional gutter guard installations typically cost between $4,000 and $6,000 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. You can usually install DIY guards for $170–$700.

About the This Old House Reviews Team

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.