Gutter guards

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by Ian Gills, Aug 30, 2010.

  1. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

    Jul 24, 2007
    Robber, with some DIY on the side.
    After five years with the metal mesh ones I pulled them since I've cut down all the trees around my house.

    The gutter guards never worked well. Heavy rain washed over the top of them, and sometimes causing my windows to leak as they also pushed rain behind the gutter and they created icicles in the winter time.

    Are any gutter guards good or do they all have these drawbacks?
  2. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    Consumer Reports just reported on gutter guards. I don't remember the name of the company that made the highest rated one, but it was not cheap. It had really fine mesh fabric.

    Personally, my favorite is Gutter Brush. I had them in my gutters for several years with no problems. They look like oversized bottle brushes and just fit into the gutters to keep leaves, twigs, birds, baseballs, etc. out of the gutters. Anything that gets stuck in the bristles (like maple seeds) eventually rots away or dries up and blows away.
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  4. PEW

    PEW DIY Senior Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    I have used several, Gutter Guard, Gutter Helment, Leafguard, and the Gutter Brush.

    Gutter helment does a fine job, but due to the size has a different look that some folks don't like. But, I found they did a good job.

    Gutter Guard, by Dixie builders, also works fine. It has a larger profile gutter which handles larger volumes of water with fewer down spouts.

    Leafguard has a very small profile gutter which has issues with heavy downpours, and needs more down spouts. They also have a tendency to not keep themselves washed out very well.

    Gutter Brush seems to work fine but I have pulled mine every few years to clean them out. Don't know if it is completely necessary, but makes me feel better.


    Currently I have the Gutter Guard on the back of our home where we have long runs of gutter with few down spouts. On the front we have Leafguard where the runs are short. And on a summer place I'm using the Gutter Brush.
  5. dgold

    dgold Product R&D

    Dec 6, 2006
    Product R&D - Swimming Pool Industry
    Carlsbad, CA
    Gutterglove review -- Good & Bad

    Had Gutterglove installed about 15(+/-) months ago. These are pretty high-end guards, which feature a very heavy aluminum "chassis" and a very fine stainless steel mesh screen that pine needles, shingle grit, etc., can't get through. I got the top-of-the-line "Pro" version installed. Learned about the product from the "ask the builder" website. Wish there had been more customer reviews on the net when I bought. I can't use the regular mesh (had them) or brush style guards, or even the ones which rely on surface tension, because they all allow in the pine needles, oak catkins, and maple seeds. All that stuff eventually rots and decomposes in the gutter, turning into "gunk". I really did want a "permanent solution", and I didn't mind paying extra for it. Mastershield looks identical.

    Here's the good / bad / ugly as I see it since having it installed on my homen (Baltimore County, MD). The home is surrounded by Pines, Maples, Oaks. Others too, but these cause the real problems with the tiny needles / seeds -- for big leaves I suspect anything should work. The "Pro", is their top-of the line guard, but without a heater strip -- which my installer / dealer did not recommend.

    THE GOOD: The product works great for rain -- I have never seen rain run over my gutters since installed (yes, I checked several times when it really rained hard). They definitely keep out pine needles, maple tree seeds (helicopters), oak catkins, and even asphalt shingle grit. The debris doesn't seem to build up -- not sure if rain or wind takes care of that. They do exactly what they claim. The salesman was willing to negotiate on the cost, and the installer was courteous, finished on-time, cleaned up after himself, etc. No issues.

    THE BAD: Here's what I've learned, and what they don't tell you: In the winter, even with a well ventilated attic, and proper insulation, these products can contribute to ice-damming and icicles. In my case, I have a dark roof. The gutters (and the guards) have air flowing in/around them. If the roof gets to 33ºF, but the guards are 32ºF or below, the melting water hits the guards and freezes. Eventually, you get ice build up. Before having these installed, we had leaf & crud-in-the-gutter issues galore. No longer. But now we have 4' long icicles each time it snows, and probably some ice-damming as well. They should at least be painted or anodized black to capture some sun. I've since noticed that all my neighbors with gutter protection have the same issue -- none have the same brand as me, but all of theirs use a "reverse-curve" strategy which works by taking advantage of the waters surface tension -- I'm the only one (I think) with a micro-mesh type of filter.

    In summary: The product does exactly what it claims -- everything is true. But, I wish the salesman had warned me about ice formation that I suspect is caused by any sort of cover. I would have stepped up for the "Icebreaker" version if not too much more.

    Of the gutter protection products I've seen -- and I researched them pretty heavily -- I still think the Gutterglove (or Mastershield) are best if you have little seeds or pine needles like I do. But if you get snow, you may want to consider either getting no guards at all, or getting them with a heating element type of feature, or at the very least, have the installer reinforce your gutters with hidden fasteners (the screw-in type) every foot. Once you cover them, you don't want to have to uncover them, and you want to make sure they can hold the weight of the ice.

    Hope this helps someone.
  6. pompidoi

    pompidoi New Member

    Apr 18, 2011
    So far there's now a lot of gutter cover varieties available, and it depends on your surroundings i.e. the trees on what type will you be getting. There are brands that are a bit expensive, but you can get maximum benefit for an affordable price. A specific brand I can suggest for you to check out is Hallett Gutter Cover. You can find them online at

    Other brands may give a guarantee that you don't have to clean your gutters again -- which isn't true at all! As long as you'll have minimal and effortless cleaning of the gutters, the covers are doing its job.
  7. Jeff Winger

    Jeff Winger New Member

    May 23, 2011
    @Ian Gills: Preach. I was never satisfied with my metal mesh gutter guards ever. There say it filters tiny debris such as pine needles and small acorns but in contrary they get stuck on the screens which caused clogging. And don’t even let me start with the icing problem. After enduring for two years with MESS cover, sorry, mesh cover, I decided to change to concrete designed gutter cover by Hallet. And ever since I never have to suffer with gutter cover problems again.
  8. Greg W

    Greg W New Member

    May 25, 2011
    lanesville indiana
    I would never use any system that goes under the shingles. I know from experience that a lot of roof problems are caused from this garbage. It might keep out leaves but it keeps out water too. I have sold many of these products. The only one that I have seen work the best is leaf relief by alcoa.
  9. Randall1022

    Randall1022 New Member

    Jul 22, 2014
    Gutter cleaning
    Hiram Ga. Marietta ga
    Hello. Interesting topic. I install similar products in the south. Metro Atlanta area. I have never had to worry about the ice problem. I really don't know if there is a solution. Ice is going to freeze no matter the situation.

  10. Joel Carolina

    Joel Carolina New Member

    Jan 13, 2021
    679 manning ave. Elon, NC 27244, USA
    Having a good result on Gutter guard and Gutter Installation is very satisfying, it is a great experience for everyone. If you allow me suggest a professional company I believe this company will help us a lot. You can visit there website for more details. Thank you!
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