Gutters, which are also called rain gutters or eaves troughs, are the U-shaped channels that attach to your house just under the edge of the roof. Their purpose is to carry the rain water  and snow melt that runs down your roof away from your house. Without gutters, water pours off the edge of the roof, runs down the exterior walls of the house, and drips into the foundation. That’s bad.

A gutter guard is a product that fits in or on an eaves trough and prevents it from becoming clogged by small and large leaves, bird nests, seed pods, flower petals, buds, water, and other debris. This is important, because when a gutter becomes clogged, it won’t do what it’s supposed to do. It also may develop a wet mash of decaying leaves and dirt that makes an ideal medium for “gutter trees” to sprout in. Or, in the most disastrous cases, the clogged gutter can fill with water or ice and become so heavy that it tears away from the house. Gutter guards save homeowners time, money, and effort by reducing the time it takes to clean their eaves troughs. Keeping gutters clear and flowing smoothly prevents water damage to fascia, siding, and structural elements. But while gutter guards will prevent bigger leaves, twigs, and debris from clogging your eaves troughs, most of them still let in smaller debris such as dirt and tiny seeds, which will eventually clog up your gutters. For this reason, even eaves troughs with gutter guards still need to be cleaned once a year or more, depending on conditions at the property. Fortunately, eaves troughs with gutter guards are generally easier to clean than those without.

It’s important to remember that no gutter guard system is entirely maintenance-free. Still, a good, appropriate guard will greatly reduce the time and effort that keeping your gutters working requires. To make the best choice, make sure your purchase is well-suited to your house and its location.


Top 6 Companies

#1
Our Partner
9.9 / 10

 

  • Special Promo! 10% Off
  • They clean your gutters for free
  • Never clean your gutters again yourself
  • Same day appointments available
  • Protects against all types of debris
  • Request free estimate online
  • Discounts for active duty & retired military
  • Lifetime solution & transferable warranty
#2
Our Partner
9.8 / 10
  • Currently offering a 20% dicsount
  • Free online quote
  • Lifetime “no-clog” guarantee
  • Excellent customer service
  • A+ BBB rating
  • Meticulous installation
  • Experienced in gutter guards, since 1946
#3
Our Partner
9.6 / 10
  • Free, zero-obligation estimates
  • Connect with professional contractors nationwide
  • Protect your gutters from snow, ice, pine needles, and leaves
  • Start your search by simply entering your zip code
  • Wide selection of gutter guard services and professional contractors to choose from
#4
Our Partner
9.4 / 10
  • Multiple options - choose the right gutter system for you
  • Get free, no obligation estimates
  • Wide network of gutter contractors to choose from
  • Vast resource for home improvement and remodelling ideas
  • Exclusive deals and daily tips offered
  • Nation’s top brands
#5
Our Partner
9.4 / 10
  • Free estimates
  • Choose from a wide network of gutter contractors
  • Take advantage of home improvement and remodelling ideas
  • Offers exclusive deals and daily tips
  • Choose from among the top brands in the country
#6
Our Partner
9.4 / 10
  • Compare quotes from up to 4 professionals
  • Wide network of pre-screened gutter guard providers and installers
  • Find a professional near you
  • Member of the Better Homes and Garden Network
  • True cost guide
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How We Compare Gutter Guards

Services & Features

25%

Many gutter guards are sold online via marketplace websites, which connect customers to sellers and installers in their area, although some do sell guards directly to consumers for installation either by themselves or a handyman. The benefit of installing your own gutter guards is that it can significantly reduce your overall costs. However, it may also void your home warranty, so this is something to make sure of beforehand.

Though more expensive, professional installations on the other hand, mean that there's zero hassle or guesswork involved. Apart from usually including a warranty of their own, another advantage is that many installers will also cover additional services, such as repairs, reinstallations, or alignments. Installers that include annual or semi-annual cleanings with the warranty or at a lower cost will also save you the headache of having to perform your own maintenance. Bottom line, no matter what anybody tells you, gutter guards in most geographical locations will require upkeep in order for them to remain debris-free and functional. 

A final consideration is whether the company also offers mitered guards, for going around the outer corners of the roof. These not only provide a more pleasing aesthetic, but also offer extra strength while keeping debris out. If the company doesn't carry mitered gutter guards, the usual solution is joining two guards at right angles at the corners, which is less structurally stable and may require additional cleaning and maintenance.

Installation Options

Depending on the type of gutter guard, and the difficulty of installation, some companies allow both DIY and professional installations. The latter can be handled either by the gutter guard company itself, or by professional installers in your area. In any case, whichever option you choose, make sure that it won't void your home warranty.

Services Offered

Some gutter guard companies provide additional services, apart from installations. These can include repairs, cleaning, alignment, or replacements.

Miter Guards Available

Miter guards are made specifically on an angle to conform to the corners of your roof. Not all gutter guard companies manufacture these, leaving customers or installers to match up corners at right angles.


Specifications

25%

When choosing between competing quotes for gutter guards, the first thing to consider is the type of guard, attachment methods, and compatibility. Gutter guards come in an extraordinary range of models, materials, and colors; which differ not only in their construction, but also in their suitability to weather and the environmental conditions of your specific area.

The most common types of guards are screens, which can come in large variety of materials, shapes and mesh sizes, and are easy to install yourself, but usually have limited color choices. These types of guards are best for place in which the main problem are leaves, as these rest on top of the screen and are easy to clean off. They're less suited to homes with firs close by, as the needles can easily catch and may require removal of the screens in order to clean them. These are usually installed in one of two ways: either simply dropped over the gutter, or slipped in under the shingles, which has the plus of placing them at an angle, thereby allowing debris to slide off. 

A variation on mesh screen gutter guards feature micro meshes, with holes as minuscule as 50 microns in diameter, preventing even the most minimal runoff from entering your gutters. These must be cleaned regularly, as they can create a sludge over time, which must be removed manually. If you live in an area that sees heavy annual rainfall, this type of guard can also cause water in large volumes to simply wash off, missing your gutter completely. Micro mesh screens usually require professional installation and purchase from a licensed dealer. 

A third option is installing foam gutter guards, which block the gutter completely and prevent it from filling up. The material used is a highly porous foam which is sold in 4-foot long strips, which allows water to pass through while any debris and leaves remains resting on top. Though these have the advantage of being very affordable and DIY-friendly, you will still need to clean your gutters regularly, and some homeowners have found that they may promote moss growth.

Some homeowners opt for brush gutter guards, which also fill the gutter cavity, but with a wire brush. The bristles allow water to pass through easily, large debris either blows away or is removed by hand, and smaller debris should catch but decompose over time. These can be installed easily by the homeowner, and while inexpensive, they do require a substantial amount of upkeep.

Finally, another option is reverse curve or surface tension gutter guards, whose curved edges are at an angle to your roof. The theory is that water follows the guard's shape even as it curves back into the gutter, while debris should slide off. These are very difficult to purchase on the retail market, and must be professionally installed. Many manufacturers and installers promote them as maintenance-free, but this is debatable. In areas with heavy rainfall, water may or may not follow the guard's curve, and slide off completely. Likewise, debris can also clog the gutters, and the very shape of the guard makes them difficult to reach and clean, often requiring maintenance from the selfsame installer. 

Guard Types

There are many different types of gutter guards, as mentioned above, including micro mesh, foam, brushes, S-curves, and screens. Some companies only work with one specific type, whereas others carry various models and manufacturers.

Attachment Methods

Each type of gutter guard has specific attachment methods, some of which can be performed by customers themselves. Others require professional installations.

Gutter Compatibility

Some gutter guard models are made for specifically-sized gutters. If performing a DIY installation, it's important to check this before finalizing your purchase.


Pricing

30%

When making a large investment for the home, such as gutter guards, it's always a good idea to compare prices between companies by obtaining various quotes, which many companies offer online at no cost to you. Remember to take into account whether you're doing the installation yourself, or opting for professional installment. To give you a ballpark figure, a DIY installation of 200 feet of gutter guards (the average amount of gutters in an American home) can cost as little as $200, whereas professional installation can reach as much as $3,600, though the cost for most homes will fall between $1,500 and $2,000.

In either case, it's fundamental to make sure that a DIY installation won't void your home warranty, and how a professional installation warranty might interact with your existing home warranty. Finally, if you're planning on moving within the gutter guards' warranty term, it's also a good idea to verify whether it can be transferred to the new owners. 

Financing Available

Since gutter guards costs can reach considerable amounts, most companies have financing plans available.

Length of Warranty

Gutter guard companies establish their own warranty terms, but lengths are generally 20 to 30 years.

Transferrable Warranty

Most gutter guard companies allow warranties to be transferrable to a new owner in the event the house is sold. If this is not included in your warranty, it's a good idea to factor this into your asking price.

Free Online Estimate / Quote

Most gutter guard companies don't offer online estimates or quotes, as gutter guard costs and installation can vary tremendously depending on a number of factors, such as geographical location.


Reputation

20%

As with any other major home installation, it's always a good idea to do some research on the company providing the service or product. A little foresight before finalizing a purchase can go a long way in saving you headaches and money down the line. This is especially important with gutter guards, as there's generally very little information about individual manufacturers online. Good places to begin research are consumer-based review websites, such as TrustPilot and the Better Business Bureau. 

BBB Rating

The Better Business Bureau is an independent consumer review website, which gives ratings based on ethical standards and continuous monitoring of business practices.

Trust Pilot Rating

TrustPilot is an independent consumer review website. This is a great resource for verifying real-life experiences with whichever company you choose.


What's important to know about Gutter Guards?


How well do gutter guards work?

Do you need gutter guards? How well do they work? These questions are closely related. Their answers depend on the same thing: the environment in the immediate vicinity of your home.
Trees are a major source of gutter crud. Seeds, twigs, leaves, and needles collect in eaves troughs and block the flow of water. The more trees you have and the closer they are to your house, the more you need gutter guards. But having gutter guards doesn’t mean that your eaves troughs will henceforth be maintenance-free. You’ll still have to clean out your gutters. The advantage, though, is that with gutter guards, this job won’t need to be done as often and won’t be as difficult.
Birds and insects that nest in your eaves troughs are another potential source of gutter clogs. Gutter guards are somewhat less effective at keeping those animals away, since they can squeeze into the smallest of spaces.
The weather in your neighborhood is also a factor in evaluating the need for and performance of gutter guards. Rainwater sweeps debris off your roof and into your eaves troughs. The more it rains where you live, the more you may need gutter guards—and the less perfectly your gutter guards will perform.

How much do gutter guards cost?

Many variables affect the cost of gutter guards. These include the number of linear feet of gutters at your house, how many inside and outside gutter corners you have, the condition of your eaves troughs, the type of gutter guards you purchase, the number of gutter levels, labor costs in your area, the time of year you have them installed, and other factors. Simple screen, foam, and brush guards are the least expensive and the easiest to install. Some of these can be purchased for as little as $0.50 per foot, though better quality materials of this type will go for more like $2.00 per foot. Assuming your house has 200 feet of gutters and factoring in waste, you might be able to complete the job yourself for between $110 and $660. However, doing the job yourself will likely mean that you won’t get a performance warranty from the manufacturer. Installed gutter guard systems generally run from $7.50 to $10.00 per foot, though this figure can become significantly higher if your gutters are in bad repair, if you have many gutter corners and if your roofline has multiple levels. Again assuming you have 200 feet of gutters, the installed cost of a quality product could cost as much as $4,000 or more. But when you pay this kind of money for installation, you will likely get a manufacturer’s performance warranty.

Do gutter guards affect my home warranty?

No home warranty or roof warranty we are aware of generally prohibits a homeowner from installing gutter guards. However, companies that make shingles and contractors that install roofs do sometimes state that their warranty will be void if the shingles are altered or disturbed after installation. Some types of gutter guards, such as some micro mesh guards and most reverse curve guards, are anchored by being inserted under the last or last two rows of shingles. This kind of installation may void a roof warranty, especially if the installation involves nailing through the shingles. People who are concerned about this possibility might want to consider guards that fit into the gutters themselves, such as foam or brush gutter guards.

Which type of gutter guards work best with pine needles?

Most gutter guards do a decent job of keeping the leaves of deciduous trees out of your eaves troughs. Pine needles, though, are another matter. Their small size and needle shape makes it easy for them to slip through the holes in screen guards, to get washed into gutters with reverse curve surface tension guards, and to clog up foam mesh and brush guards. There is no foolproof pine needle defense, but micro mesh guards do the best job at minimizing the problems they cause. Pine needles can’t penetrate the tiny holes in micro mesh guards. A few may still sneak into your eaves troughs through cracks on the gutters themselves or at imperfect connections between the gutters and the micro mesh guards, but this risk can be further minimized by keeping the gutters and their guards in good repair.