Compare gutter guard systems
Your guide for gutter guard and leaf filter reviews

Are gutter guards a waste of money? The short answer is no. But let’s take a look at why. Leaf filter systems for gutters started in 1891, and the reverse curve’s conceptualization happened in 1906. The concept is a sound one, and over a century of enhancements, technology, and innovations have continually made each step in gutter protection stronger. #SpringCleaning

Are gutter guards a waste of money?

The biggest question out there is – Are gutter guards a waste of money? The short answer is no. But let’s take a look at why. Leaf filter systems for gutters started in 1891, and the reverse curve’s conceptualization happened in 1906. The concept is a sound one, and over a century of enhancements, technology, and innovations have continually made each step in gutter protection stronger.

Advances in the leaf guard gutter helmet make it a sound investment for homeowners, and here’s why. Gutters continually clog. A clogged gutter leads to numerous problems for the homeowner. Over time these damages require home repairs that often come with a hefty price tag. Gutter protection allows the rain gutters to perform their job of carrying water away from the home without seasonally recurring gutter cleaning that is often easily overlooked, not to mention dangerous for the homeowner. Climbing on a ladder or getting up on the roof comes with its own set of risks that can, and do, often lead to injuries. To learn more about the danger of cleaning gutters, read our Blog, The Real-life Dangers of Cleaning your Gutters.

The Hooded Gutter Protection System

gutter comparison -guard

This gutter system has a solid gutter cover called the gutter helmet. The hood is a reverse curve gutter guard that uses surface tension to guide water into the gutter channel.

US Home Exteriors, gutter protection system, uses only the highest quality lightweight aluminum alloy reinforced with titanium. The combined alloy provides increased durability to withstand all weather conditions. A patented bracket works with your existing gutters to strengthen the original gutter structure. This system does not penetrate the roof, which can void a homeowner’s roof warranty. Additionally, US Home Exteriors provides a limited lifetime warranty on the gutter guard system.

First and foremost, this system eliminates both large and small debris. US Home Exteriors provides a 100% guarantee for no clogging. Plus, 100% maintenance-free gutters guarantee. You can read more about maintenance-free gutter protection with our blog, Springtime Gutter Cleaning Greensboro NC – No More!

For regions of high brush fires or fire pits that are upwind or close to the home, the complete covering also protects from blowing ash or sparks entering a gutter full of dry leaves and catching fire.

Pros

  • 100% No clogging.

  • Weather-resistant
  • Keeps out both large and small debris

  • Many colors are available

  • No maintenance, 100% guarantee. Free maintenance and repairs if any issues

  • Long-lasting durability

  • Lifetime warranty

  • Installs on your existing gutter

  • System does not penetrate the roof, which can void a homeowner’s roof warranty

  • Reinforces the original gutter structure

  • Solid hood protects against stray ask or sparks carried on the wind

  • Protects against ice and snow

  • Keeps out pests, small rodents, and bird nests

Cons

  • Moderately expensive, must be installed by professionals

  • Not available for all roof types

  • Water can splash over the guards in a extreme weather conditions

  • Small insects can enter the reverse curve

The Gutter Screen

gutter comparison - screen

The gutter screen is a leaf filter. It strains leaves, twigs, and larger particles over a screen. These elements can no longer enter the rain gutter and obstruct the water flow.

Yet, screens made from some metals rust and plastic screens are unreliable. Stainless steel mesh prevents rusting but weighs down the gutters without additional support to the existing structure and can cause weight issues.

A gutter screen is one of the less expensive gutter protection solutions. The screen keeps out large debris but allows smaller particles through that still clog the gutter. This system requires continued annual maintenance to remove leaf buildup decaying on top of the screen, significantly reducing efficiency. Most professionally installed gutter screen systems come with a limited or lifetime warranty.

Pros

  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Keeps out leaves and large debris
  • Easy to install
  • Works with various roof types
  • A limited or lifetime warranty comes based on the installer’s guidelines with professional installation
  • Installs on your existing gutter
  • Keeps out pests, small rodents, and bird nests

Cons

  • Get clogged with seeds and needles
  • Allows small debris through
  • Water can splash over the guards in a extreme weather conditions
  • Plastic versions are not durable and easily damaged or warp
  • Leaves buildup on top of the screen
  • Plastic may be gnawed away by small rodents
  • Limited color choices
  • Annual maintenance for screens and gutters may need occasional maintenance/cleaning
  • Difficult to clean

The Micro Mesh Guard

gutter comparison - micro mesh

Micro mesh has the same properties as the gutter screen but a more close-knit woven screen. Micro mesh strains all particles large and small over a mesh screen. These elements can no longer enter the rain gutter and obstruct the water flow.

The woven net prevents the smallest particles such as pine needles and shingle grit from entering the gutter trough, which reduces clogging. Again, some metals can rust, but the newer stainless steel mesh corrects this issue while imposing more weight to the structure. The micro mesh requires additional cleaning to prevent decomposed organic buildup, which begins to mold.

For maintenance concerns, the tighter mesh is more difficult to clean. This system also requires continued annual maintenance to remove leaf buildup decaying on top of the screen, significantly reducing efficiency. For homeowners who do not mind continued maintenance, this can be a less expensive option. Most professionally installed micro mesh protection systems come with a limited or lifetime warranty.

Pros

  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Keeps out leaves and large debris
  • Easy to install
  • Works with various roof types
  • A limited or lifetime warranty comes based on the installer’s guidelines with professional installation
  • Installs on your existing gutter
  • Keeps out pests, small rodents, and bird nests

Cons

  • Difficult to clean
  • Get clogged with seeds and needles
  • Small debris and decomposed organic matter molds
  • Branches, snow, and ice damage high-profile styles
  • Leaves buildup on top of the screen
  • Limited color choices
  • Annual maintenance for screens and gutters requires maintenance/cleaning more often than other systems
  • Product is not widely available

The Foam Gutter Guard

gutter comparison - foam

Foam allows water to absorb and, once saturated, soak through the foam gutter guard and down the gutter to the downspout. Other particles can not penetrate or be absorbed into the foam and thus do not enter the downspout.

The main issue with foam is that seeds cling to the moist foam and begin to grow. Living plants start to grow, causing unsightly overgrowth inside the rain gutter. Additionally, the wet foam breeds moisture causing mildew and mold.

The most gain from this design is simply that they are an inexpensive, easy DIY gutter guard system. The form requires replacement approximately every three years and does not have a warranty. The uncovered gutter also leaves your home exposed to the dangers of snow and ice buildup inside the gutters, which cause severe weight damages to the home’s exterior as well as interior leaking.

Pros

  • Easy DIY home project, easy to install
  • Keeps out leaves and large debris
  • Inexpensive option
  • Works with various roof types
  • Installs in your existing gutter

Cons

  • Seeds sprout and grow in the foam, causing overgrowth in the rain gutter
  • Builds mold and fungus

  • Clogs easily with seeds and needles
  • 3-year satisfaction guarantee, no warranty
  • Annual maintenance for foam and gutters requires maintenance/cleaning more often than other systems
  • Difficult to clean
  • Product needs continued replacing
  • Leaves buildup and decay on top of the foam
  • Snow and ice buildup, leaving your home vulnerable to high-priced home damage and repairs

The Brush Gutter Guard

gutter comparison - brush

This leaf solution catches large debris and leaves in the brush. The nylon brush holds large debris from entering the system and allows water to flow through freely.

Unfortunately, leaves, twigs, seeds, and needles also stick into the brush and become a soggy decaying mess clogging the brush bristles and the gutter. Again, the benefit here is that it is another easy DIY gutter guards home project.

Decomposing materials build up in and around the brush, causing mold, mildew, and fungus. This system clogs easily and requires high annual maintenance and occasional replacement. The system offers no warranty.

An open brush system also leaves your home exposed to the dangers of snow and ice buildup in the gutters, which cause severe weight damages to the home’s exterior as well as interior leaking.

Pros

  • Easy DIY home project, easy to install
  • Keeps out leaves and large debris
  • Inexpensive option
  • Works with various roof types
  • Installs in your existing gutter

Cons

  • Traps debris that decomposes and builds mold and fungus in the brushes
  • Seeds sprout and grow below the brush, causing overgrowth in the rain gutter
  • Clogs easily with seeds and needles
  • No warranty
  • Annual maintenance required
  • Difficult to clean
  • The product may need some replacing
  • Leaves buildup on top of the brushes
  • Snow and ice buildup, leaving your home vulnerable to high-priced home damage and repairs

The Unprotected Open Gutter

gutter comparison - open gutter

The open and unprotected gutter system does the original purpose of carrying water away from the home but, unfortunately, nothing more.

An open and unprotected gutter clogs easily, requiring continued seasonal maintenance.

It also has huge ice buildup issues in the rain gutter which cause severe weight damages to the home’s exterior as well as interior leaking.

Left unattended, an open gutter causes major damages to the home’s gutter system, roof, and interior ceiling and walls.

Pros

  • Removes rainwater from the home

Cons

  • Allows all leaves and debris to sit and decay in the gutter trough
  • Seeds sprout and grow below decomposed material, causing overgrowth in the rain gutter
  • Clogs easily with leaves, seeds, twigs, and all debris
  • Builds mold and fungus in the rain gutters
  • Seasonal maintenance required
  • Dangerous to self-clean
  • Snow and ice buildup, leaving your home vulnerable to high-priced home damage and repairs

  • Waterfall effect by clogged gutters, causing damages to the house, landscaping, and roofing.
  • Fire hazard – in an open system dry leaves can catch fire from blown sparks and embers in the air.
  • Pests enter to build nests or live in gutters
  • The waterfall effect draws mosquitoes

What are the best gutter guards?

In general, the reverse curve gutter guard is the highest quality system available. When we compare gutter guard systems, the covered hood ranks the highest in pros Vs. cons. As seen above, no one strategy works for everyone’s specific needs. We encourage you to look over the pros and cons of each system and see what works best for your yard conditions and personal maintenance needs.

US Home Exteriors is your Premier Home Improvement Company.

Originally Carolina GutterMagic founded in 2004, we changed to US Home Exteriors as we improved and added to our renovation and home repair services. Spanning more than a decade in business, we added vinyl siding, window and door installation, and gutter protection to our remodeling services. We listened to our customers and began to build a better company expanding to fulfill our customer’s needs for their home improvement projects.

Now we are proud to have serviced over 12,000+ satisfied customers in North Carolina. We are bringing curb appeal to our customers with new siding. Helping homes become energy efficient with new windows and doors renovations. Protecting your gutter investment and keeping gutter maintenance down with gutter protection. No matter what the project US Home Exteriors is the top home improvement specialist in central North Carolina.

You can get a free estimate on our website, apply for financing pre-approval, or fill out our contact form for more information. If you prefer speaking directly to a friendly associate, call US Home Exteriors today to set up your no-obligation full-service quote. It’s a FREE ESTIMATE: (888) 282-6244. We can’t wait to hear from you.