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  • Writer's pictureDaniel Quintana

Comparing Gutter Guards: Which is the Best for Your Home?

If you're tired of cleaning out your gutters or dealing with clogs, gutter guards can be a worthwhile investment for your home. However, with so many choices on the market, deciding which type will work best for your house can take time and effort. Here's a comparison of the most popular types of gutter guards to help you make an informed decision.


Screens are the most typical type of gutter guard and come in different shapes and materials. They are easy to install and work well when leaves are a major concern. However, the openings in screens are big enough to let in pine needles and seeds, and cleaning them out may demand removing the screens. Additionally, screens can become plugged, and cleansing them can be tricky.


  • Inexpensive

  • Readily available

  • Easy to install

  • Works with various roof types

  • Can work with old, brittle shingles


  • It may get clogged with seeds and needles

  • Screens and gutters may need periodic maintenance/cleaning

  • Limited color choices

  • Difficult to clean

Surface Tension

Surface tension guards work best if established, so the slope of the guard is the same as that of the roof. With surface-tension gutter covers, water clings to the round nose of the guard and pours into the gutter, while leaves and other debris fall over the edge. They work nicely with leaves and other large debris, but small debris occasionally gets in. Surface tension guards are more visible than other styles; water can shoot over them in heavy downpours.


  • Withstands branches, snow, ice, and strong winds

  • Keeps out the big stuff

  • More colors available

  • It needs little or no maintenance if installed correctly

  • Long-lasting


  • High cost

  • Limited availability

  • Challenging to install

  • Visible from the ground

  • Water can shoot over during heavy rain

  • Not suitable for all roof types

Best Overall: Surface Tension Guards

Fine Mesh

Fine-mesh guards block all but the smallest debris and won't clog with seeds and needles. They're easy to clean and allow almost nothing in your gutters. The tiny spaces in the mesh can fill with small particles like shingle grit, so they still need occasional cleaning. This gutter guard can be installed under the shingles or with the back bent and screwed to the fascia for added strength.


  • Blocks all debris

  • Strong enough to withstand harsh weather conditions

  • Simple to install

  • Compatible with different roof types

  • Suitable for use with old, fragile shingles

  • Enhances gutter strength when installed flat

  • Easy to clean


  • Not as widely available

  • Limited color choices

  • It may need occasional maintenance/cleaning

Best Value: Fine Mesh

Fine mesh guards are the way to go if you're looking for a low-maintenance gutter guard that won't let anything through. They come at a reasonable price and are easy to install.

Skip the Gutters Altogether

If your ground slopes away from your home and you don't have any issues with a wet basement, you might skip the gutters altogether. Instead, install a product like the Rainhandler system, which disperses the water and directs it away from your home.

Additional Tips to Prevent Gutter Clogs

Some debris can still get into your gutters, even with gutter guards. Here are some tips to help prevent clogs:

Replace small downspouts with larger ones.

  • Use rivets instead of screws to avoid sharp edges that can trap debris.

  • Ensure your gutter is pitched toward the downspout to prevent debris accumulation.

In Conclusion

When it comes to gutter guards, choosing one that fits your specific needs is essential. Screens are inexpensive and easy to install but may require frequent cleaning. Surface tension and fine mesh guards effectively keep debris out of the gutters, but they're pricier and may require professional installation.

Ultimately, your decision will depend on your budget, the amount and type of debris in your area, and your roof's slope and type. With the right gutter guard, you can enjoy a cleaner, low-maintenance gutter system and prevent costly water damage to your home.

No matter how big or small the project is, Asheville Seamless Gutters and Home Solutions Gutter Professionals aims to satisfy customers. Click here to book an appointment.

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