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Choosing the Right Gutter Protection System: A Comprehensive Guide to Gutter Guards

What Are Gutter Guards?

What if you could effectively protect your gutters and home without having to put all the effort or money into installing a new gutter system? Attaching a gutter guard is the quickest and easiest way to ensure your gutters stay clog-free, making leaks or flooding the last thing on your mind.

Gutter guards are designed to eliminate the presence of unwanted debris in your gutter, allowing for water to disperse safely away from the foundation of your home. Gutter guards can even help you save yourself from spending thousands of dollars in potential repair costs, ranging from roofing repairs to drywall damage from flooding.

Saving time, effort and money are just a few of the reasons why gutter guards continue to be one of the more utilized trends for homeowners today.

With numerous gutter protection systems available, it's essential to understand your options and select the one that best suits your needs. In this guide, we will outline key guidelines to help you make an informed choice when it comes to gutter protection systems.

Different Types of Gutter Guards

Selecting the ideal gutter guards for your home is a crucial decision that requires understanding the various options available. Each type of gutter guard comes with distinct features that impact its ability to prevent debris from entering your gutters, the ease of installation, and its durability throughout the seasons. This guide will help you navigate the world of gutter guards, so you can make an informed choice that best suits your needs.

Screen and Mesh Gutter Guards

Screen and mesh gutter guards, while made of different materials, share the common goal of allowing water to flow through while keeping debris out. The primary distinction lies in the size of the holes.

  • Screen Gutter Guards: These have larger holes, making them susceptible to tiny debris, such as grit and small pine needles, alongside water. They are relatively easy to install but are lightweight and can deform or even blow away in windy conditions.

  • Mesh Gutter Guards: Featuring smaller holes, mesh guards are less likely to let in smaller debris. However, they can be more challenging to install.

The top choice in this category is micro-mesh gutter guards, such as LeafFilter's patented and award-winning system. These guards block even the tiniest debris, like pollen, permitting only water to pass through. Moreover, LeafFilter is installed by trained professionals who inspect, clean and repair your gutters before installation, ensuring optimal performance from day one. With a transferable lifetime warranty, you can say goodbye to gutter cleaning worries.

Foam Gutter Guards

Foam gutter guards are designed to sit inside the gutter, allowing water to flow through while capturing debris. However, these guards often deteriorate, leading to gutter clogs rather than preventing them. They can also trap seeds, essentially serving as a breeding ground for seedlings that can damage your gutters.

Foam gutter guards are easy to install but are not an effective long-term solution. They may serve as a temporary measure while you wait for the professional installation of mesh gutter guards.

Surface-Tension Gutter Guards

These gutter guards consist of plastic or aluminum pieces that are installed inside the top of your gutters. They feature a solid top with holes or slits on the sides, enabling water to flow into the gutter through the openings. Leaves, pine needles, and debris slide off the gutter guards and onto the ground.

While these guards work effectively, they can be challenging to install. Many of them are installed against or under your shingles, potentially causing water damage to your roof if water accumulates. Professional installation is recommended, particularly for guards that are difficult to set up.

Brush Gutter Guards

Brush gutter guards sit inside your gutter and collect debris to prevent blockages in your downspouts. They are easy to install and cost-effective, making them a popular DIY choice. However, they require frequent maintenance, as they tend to clog with debris and degrade over time, necessitating replacement every few years.

Check out the video below to learn more about the different types of gutter guards!

Considering the various types of gutter guards and their potential downsides, it's wise to turn to professionals for guidance. An informed decision ensures that your gutter guards perform effectively, protecting your home from debris and potential damage.

The Alternatives to Gutter Guards

For those who decide against gutter guard installation, regular manual cleaning becomes a necessity. Without gutter guards, it's typically recommended to clean your gutters at least twice a year, usually in the late spring and late fall. Here are a few approaches to consider when cleaning your gutters:

  • Climbing a ladder and using a gutter scoop to manually remove debris

  • Using a leaf blower or shop vac to blow dry leaves and debris out of the gutters

  • Using a pressure washer or garden hose attachment to wash the dirt and grime out of the gutters

  • Hiring a Flat Mate to clean out your gutters

Even if you install gutter guards, you may need to clean out your gutters occasionally, depending on the type you are using. But if you choose not to install them at all, it’s a certainty that they’ll need to be cleaned seasonally, usually in the late spring and late fall.


In your search for the right gutter protection system, remember these guidelines. Avoid systems with holes, gaps, or openings that allow debris to accumulate, and opt for those that utilize surgical-grade stainless steel micro mesh gutter guard leaf filters to ensure a fully sealed system. Additionally, steer clear of systems that are installed beneath your shingles to protect your roofing warranty. By following these guidelines, you'll make an informed choice and enjoy the benefits of a reliable gutter protection system for your home.

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