Best Gutter Guard for 2021

Matt By Matt April 14, 2021

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Gutter Guard

Seeing the leaves change color is one of the most enjoyable aspects of autumn. However, as they change, they begin to fall into your gutter, causing a terrible mess. A clogged gutter during a rainstorm can cause rot, a leaking basement, and even foundation damage. You can try cleaning out your gutters, but it will take time and you may fall off the ladder! So the smart solution is to install gutter guards.

To create this article, we spent hours researching product data and user reviews for different gutter guards. After reviewing the data, we've compiled a list of our top picks.

Tip: If you need help, then we recommend skipping ahead to our buying guide which lists important things to consider when purchasing a gutter guard.

Best Gutter Guards: Our Top Picks

LeafTek Aluminum Gutter ProtectionLeafTek Aluminum Gutter ProtectionGreat Twig & Leaf FilterMaterial: AluminumSize Options: 5", 6"Install Method: ScrewsVIEW LATEST PRICERead Our Analysis
FlexxPoint Gutter Cover SystemFlexxPoint Gutter Cover SystemBest Price to ValueMaterial: AluminumSize Options: 5", 6"Install Method: ScrewsVIEW LATEST PRICERead Our Analysis
A-M Aluminum Gutter GuardA-M Aluminum Gutter GuardGreat WarrantyMaterial: AluminumSize Options: 5", 6"Install Method: ScrewsVIEW LATEST PRICERead Our Analysis
GutterStuff Foam InsertGutterStuff Foam InsertBest Foam Gutter GuardMaterial: FoamSize Options: 5", 6"Install Method: Tool FreeVIEW LATEST PRICERead Our Analysis
Amerimax Lock-In Gutter GuardAmerimax Lock-In Gutter GuardEasy InstallationMaterial: SteelSize Options: 4", 5", 6"Install Method: Tool FreeVIEW LATEST PRICERead Our Analysis
Shur Flo X LeafGuard Gutter ProtectorShur Flo X LeafGuard Gutter ProtectorSolid ChoiceMaterial: AluminumSize Options: 5", 6"Install Method: ScrewsVIEW LATEST PRICERead Our Analysis

More Details on Our Top Picks

  1. LeafTek Aluminum Gutter Protection

    LeafTek Aluminum Gutter Protection

    Great Twig & Leaf Filter

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    LeafTek aluminum gutter guards are an excellent choice if you have a serious leaf or twig problem. The guards have 404 holes per square foot to capture a lot of water while keeping out leaves and sticks. Its raised vent ridge design forces air into the gutters, keeping them dry and preventing mosquito breeding. In the winter, the black enamel is said to help melt snow and prevent ice dams. A 35-year warranty, made in the USA construction, and a simple installation are also highlights.

    • Material: Aluminum
    • Size Options: 5", 6"
    • Install Method: Screws
    • Price: $$$
    • Warranty: 35 Years
    • Panel Length: 4 Feet
    • Package Size: 200 Feet
    • Color Options: Multiple
  2. FlexxPoint Gutter Cover System

    FlexxPoint Gutter Cover System

    Best Price to Value

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    For homeowners who have a leaf problem, the FlexxPoint gutter cover system is a good option. The FlexxPoint guards are simple to install, and each box includes a set of rust-resistant stainless steel fasteners. The perforations in this gutter system are designed to help reduce debris and pine needles while still allowing a high water volume to enter the gutter. FlexxPoint provides a 30-year warranty and manufactures their products in the United States.

    • Material: Aluminum
    • Size Options: 5", 6"
    • Install Method: Screws
    • Price: $$
    • Warranty: 30 Years
    • Panel Length: 4 Feet
    • Package Size: 200 Feet
    • Color Options: Multiple
  3. A-M Aluminum Gutter Guard

    A-M Aluminum Gutter Guard

    Great Warranty

    Shop Now at Amazon

    If you want a lifetime warranty against rust and deterioration, the A-M gutter guards are an excellent choice. A-M places a high value on design, and these guards have a ribbed profile with 380 holes per foot for heavy downpours. Installation is similar to that of the other screw-in models. You can use the included hidden hangers to enhance the low-profile design, or you can use the included k-style hangers. The special hidden hangers are intended to help reduce visibility from the ground and increase curb appeal. Finally, they are manufactured in the United States, and customer service is said to be excellent!

    • Material: Aluminum
    • Size Options: 5", 6"
    • Install Method: Screws
    • Price: $$$
    • Warranty: Lifetime
    • Panel Length: 4 Feet
    • Package Size: 200 Feet
    • Color Options: One
  4. GutterStuff Foam Insert

    GutterStuff Foam Insert

    Best Foam Gutter Guard

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    One of the best foam filter inserts on the market is the GutterStuff gutter guard. There are no tools or screws required for installation, making it ideal for do-it-yourselfers. Simply cut the foam insert to size and insert it into your gutters. That's all! A no-show design that is not visible from the ground, a permanent leaf screen, and protection from mosquitos breeding in your gutters are also included. GutterStuff has a 5-year warranty. Some reviewers did express concern about the possibility of moss growth over time, which could impair performance.

    • Material: Foam
    • Size Options: 5", 6"
    • Install Method: Tool Free
    • Price: $$$$
    • Warranty: 5 Years
    • Panel Length: 4 Feet
    • Package Size: 192 Feet
    • Color Options: One
  5. Amerimax Lock-In Gutter Guard

    Amerimax Lock-In Gutter Guard

    Easy Installation

    Shop Now at Amazon

    Amerimax gutter guards are simple to install. Tuck the guard's edge into the lip of a k-style gutter before inserting the other end beneath the shingles and over the drip cap. According to the specifications, these are one size fits all for any k-style gutter between 4 and 6 inches!

    In terms of functionality, the Amerimax guards have large holes that allow massive amounts of water to enter. Some reviewers complained that the holes let in pine needles and other tree seeds, but if you only have a leaf problem, these can help keep the leaves out. Finally, the guards are made in the USA of powder-coated steel and come with a 10-year warranty.

    • Material: Steel
    • Size Options: 4", 5", 6"
    • Install Method: Tool Free
    • Price: $$
    • Warranty: 10 Years
    • Panel Length: 3 Feet
    • Package Size: 75 Feet
    • Color Options: One
  6. Shur Flo X LeafGuard Gutter Protector

    Shur Flo X LeafGuard Gutter Protector

    Solid Choice

    Shop Now at Amazon

    The Shur Flo X gutter guard protection system is designed for homeowners who want a low-profile solution to their leaf and pine needle problems. It's made to fit standard k-style gutters and is available in 5-inch and 6-inch sizes. The installation process is also simple. Simply place the Shur Flo leaf filters directly over your gutter and secure with the quick-screw hangers.

    The Shur Flow X gutter guards also have an all-aluminum step-down design that protects against rust and deterioration, as well as a patented perf-flow filtration system that allows rain to enter while keeping debris out. To help dry out leaves after a storm, the patented design circulates air through the perforated panel. Each box of guards comes with color-matched #8 and #10 screws. Made in the United States.

    • Material: Aluminum
    • Size Options: 5", 6"
    • Install Method: Screws
    • Price: $$$
    • Warranty: 25 Years
    • Panel Length: 4 Feet
    • Package Size: 200 Feet
    • Color Options: Multiple

Gutter Guard Buying Guide

If you have clogged gutters, you need to install gutter guards. But which type is best? We've researched all your options to help you find the gutter guard system that's right for your needs.

Important Considerations when Buying a Gutter Guard Filter:

  • Debris Prevention
  • Heavy Rain Capacity
  • Ease of Installation
  • Material
  • Venting
  • Maintenance

Debris Prevention

Most people install gutter filters to keep debris and other objects from clogging their gutters. Here is a list of some of the more common materials that can get into your gutters and cause a clog:

  • Leaves
  • Pine needles
  • Maple seeds
  • Bird nests
  • Bugs and pests
  • Roof sediment
  • Twigs
  • Rodents

Leaves, pine needles, and maple seeds are probably the most common of these materials. Most gutter guards do an excellent job of filtering out leaves, but maple seeds and pine needles are difficult to remove.

We'll go over this in more detail later, but a gutter guard needs openings to let water in, but those openings can also let in debris like pine needles.

It's a double-edged sword. If the holes are too small, rain will run off the gutter guard, damaging your foundation or even entering your home. If the holes are too large, pine needles and other small debris will accumulate in your gutters.

So, before you buy, read the reviews to make sure that other people aren't complaining about pine needles and seeds passing through the holes.

Heavy Rain Capacity

Gutters are important for removing excess water from your home. Water can seep into your foundation and flood your basement if gutters aren't installed. Excess water can also damage your foundation. Gutters help keep water from leaking into your foundation and damaging it.

To function properly, a gutter guard must keep your gutters clear of debris while also allowing enough water to enter during a rainstorm.

In general, the only time you should be concerned about not getting enough water into your gutter guards is if you choose a mesh screen model.

The mesh screen gutter guards are the new kids on the block, with tiny micro holes that keep even the smallest particles out of your gutters. However, you will pay a higher price in terms of reduced rain flow capacity.

So, if you have a large roof or live in a rainy area, a mesh gutter guard is probably not a good idea. It would be best if you chose a perforated metal or foam model.

Ease of Installation

Typically, installing a gutter guard is simple. The most difficult part is not falling off the ladder and dying! Assuming you can manage the ladder, here are the various types of gutter guards and their installation requirements:

Foam

Easiest to install. Just cut to size and insert into your gutter!

Lock-In

Also very easy to install and doesn't require any tools. Just fit one side into the gutter's k-style lip and then slide the other side underneath your roof shingles.

Metal Screw-In

Requires the most install work, but still very easy for the average DIYer. Use some tin-snips to cut to size, set on top of your gutters, and screw into your fascia or drip edge.

Material

Metal and foam are the two most common materials used by manufacturers to make gutter guard leaf filters. Let's go over the advantages and disadvantages of each type of gutter guard:

Metal

Advantages:

  • Strong
  • Large holes reduce surface tension, especially in reverse curve gutter guards
  • Long lifespan and durability
  • Rust-proof (aluminum models)
  • Mold-proof and easy cleaning
  • Stable in strong winds

Disadvantages:

  • Sometimes pine needles find their way into the holes
  • Removal can be time-consuming (if ever needed)
  • Ice dams are a possibility
  • Install is sometimes more involved if it requires screws
  • Fine mesh gutter guards don't work very well

Foam

Advantages:

  • Easy pass-through of water during a rainstorm or extreme weather
  • Virtually indestructible from falling branches.
  • Easiest install

Disadvantages:

  • Most money of the different types
  • Lowest warranty
  • Susceptible to mold
  • Weight is a concern because it acts as a sponge and retains water

Venting

To prevent mosquito breeding grounds, your gutter must vent. Mosquitos adore wet environments. If your gutters can't dry out, you'll have millions of these little bloodsuckers crawling all over your house!

Most metal leaf filters work well for venting as long as you don't use a stainless steel micro-mesh. The problem with micro-mesh gutter guards is that the filter holes are too small to allow enough airflow to the gutter and dry it out. They can't even keep up with the flow of water from a major storm.

Leaves that fall onto the top of the gutter guard are another major issue caused by a lack of venting. Those leaves must dry out before they can blow away after the storm.

A metal guard will typically have large enough holes and a ribbed design to direct air into the gutter and dry out the leaves on the bottom.

A foam gutter guard can be problematic in this regard because the foam can accumulate algae, mildew, and fungus over time. This restricts airflow, resulting in clogged leaves and stagnant water. Unfortunately, this high moisture environment is ideal for mosquito breeding.

Maintenance

In general, most leaf guards require little to no maintenance. Usually, the only thing you might have to do is sweep them off with an extension pole every couple of seasons.

If you have a serious pine needle problem, make sure you thoroughly research which model to purchase. The last thing you want is to purchase the incorrect type, allowing needles to enter and cause a clog.

Brand

The brand of anything, including gutter guards, is significant. However, unless you buy a low-cost model, most manufacturers produce high-quality gutter guards. We don't have a "best" brand that we recommend, but we can provide a list of well-known brands with a large number of satisfied customers.

Common Gutter Guard Brands:

  • Shur Flo
  • FlexxPoint
  • Amerimax Home Products
  • A-M
  • GutterStuff
  • LeafTek
  • Ultra Flo

FAQs on Gutter Guards

In addition to our gutter guard buying guide, we'd like to address some of the most frequently asked questions about these products. If you have a question that we haven't addressed, please contact us so that we can address it and add it to this article.

How to Install Gutter Guards

Installing gutter guards keeps your gutters clean by reducing the amount of leaves, dirt, and other debris that gets in and eventually causes a jam. It can also keep tree limbs and overhead branches from falling into your gutters and causing damage to your home.

If your gutters are severely clogged, you may need to have them completely cleaned out. This can be an expensive fix, so it is best to avoid it in the first place.

The tools you need to install gutter guards are a ladder and possibly a drill, depending on the model you purchased.

If you have a second-story home, you should probably hire out the job to a professional because falling off a ladder is the leading cause of homeowner death. Never take this risk with your life when you can easily outsource it to a professional.

Okay, assuming you can reach the gutters yourself and don't need a professional installation, how hard is it? What's involved? Usually, gutter guards fall into three installation categories:

Foam Gutter Guards

The easiest to install of all the types of gutter guards are foam models. Just cut them to size using a small hand-saw and then slip them into your gutter!

That's really all there is to the installation! It's effortless.

Under Shingle Guards

Under shingle, gutter guards are almost as quick as foam models but require a little more work.

First, slip the lip of the gutter guard into the lip of your gutter's k-style edge.

Second, slide the other side (flat side) of the gutter guard underneath your roof shingles. They should sit right on top of your drip-edge.

That's it! They lock in place and won't go anywhere because they are under a row of shingles. Even in the worst of rainstorms, they should remain locked in place.

The best part about under-shingle guards is they maintain the angle and slope of your roof. This type of guard will ensure that leaves don't get stuck and blow off as soon as they dry.

Metal Screw-In Guards

The last type of gutter guard is metal screw-in models. They are the most durable in storms but do require a little more work to get into place.

First, set the gutter guard on top of your gutter and line the guard's back edge against the drip-edge of your roofline.

Second, drill a screw in through the hole on the back of the gutter guard to secure it in place. Usually, you screw through the drip-edge or fascia.

That's it!

It sounds simple, but realize that it can get tricky on a ladder, holding a 4-foot guard panel, some screws, and a drill. So be careful or hire it out.

Do Any Gutter Guards Really Work?

Gutter guards are an important part of the landscape maintenance industry. They are used to prevent leaves and other objects from clogging gutters and downspouts, which causes blockages that could damage your house's foundation. This can lead to serious structural damage or even collapse.

Some homeowners and business owners believe gutter guards are ineffective. Gutter guards, in fact, cannot prevent a determined leaf pile from clogging a gutter. However, they do a good enough job that the risk is a worthwhile endeavor for property owners.

About the Author
Matt
Matt is an engineer and outdoor enthusiast. He believes that one of the greatest pleasures in life is being outside and working hard. In his spare time, he enjoys working on new projects and home improvement.
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