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  • Writer's pictureDaniel Quintana

Is Gutter Guard Installation Worth It? A Comprehensive Guide to the Cost, Pros, and Cons, and Types

Updated: May 17, 2023

If you're a homeowner with large trees surrounding your property, you've likely considered gutter guards (or leaf covers for gutters) to reduce the frequency of gutter cleaning. But are they worth the investment? This guide will explore the cost of installing gutter leaf guards, their pros and cons, and alternative procedures to help you determine whether they make sense for your home.

The Reality: Gutter Guards Won't Completely Eliminate the Need for Gutter Cleaning

Before we delve into the cost and types of gutter guards, we must understand that they will only partially eliminate the need for gutter cleaning. Depending on the number of trees in your yard or surrounding your property, you can anticipate cleaning your gutters about one-third to one-half as often as before. Fine tree debris will still build up over time, and seeds may sprout, leading to notable clog issues if you don't cleanse the gutters.

Additionally, when you eventually need to clean your gutters, the job will be more challenging and time-consuming because you'll have to clean the guards and the gutters.

Three Gutter Guard Installation Options

There are three options for gutter guard installation:

  1. DIY installation: You purchase the product at your local home improvement store and install it yourself.

  2. Pro installation of the product you choose: You employ a handyman service or gutter guard company to install your chosen product.

  3. Pro installation of a proprietary product: You hire a company to install its brand of gutter guards.

How Much Do Gutter Guards Cost?

Gutter guards come in various types, each with features and price points. The following are the material costs per linear foot:

  • Plastic screen gutter guard: $0.20-$0.40

  • Aluminum perforated gutter covers: $0.50-$1.25

  • Steel screen gutter guard: $1.50-$3.00

  • Foam gutter guard: $2.00-$3.25

  • Micro-mesh steel gutter guard: $2.25-$4.00

  • Brush gutter guard: $3.15-$4.25

  • Solid-surface gutter guard (helmets): $3.50-$6.25

If you purchase the materials and have them professionally installed, the cost ranges from $2.25 to $4.75 per linear foot. If you opt for full-service professional installation, including materials and installation by a gutter guard company, expect to pay $7.50 to $12.50 per linear foot.

Types of Gutter Guards and Their Features

Various gutter covers are designed to work effectively against different types of debris, such as hardwood leaves or pine/conifer needles. The choice of the best gutter guard for your property will depend on the type and density of the trees on your premises. Below are the types of gutter guards available in the market with their respective advantages and disadvantages:

  1. Plastic PVC Screen Gutter Guards: These are the cheapest in quality, produced in rolls of flexible plastic with width options of 5" to 7". They are effortless to install, but strong wind, large twigs, ice and can move them out of place. Anticipate them to last about three years in extreme climates and up to 6 years in temperate climates.

  2. Perforated Aluminum Covers: These guards are inexpensive and offer the best value. Most are bare aluminum and come in 4' to 8' lengths that can be punched to produce perforations. Expect them to last 10-20 years.

  3. Steel Screen Gutter Guards: These cost more than the plastic type, but their performance is better and more durable. Expect them to last 7-10 years.

  4. Micro-Mesh Gutter Guards: These covers have the same pros and cons as screen gutter guards. Depending on the material, they are best suited for hardwood leaves and can last 3-12 years.

  5. Foam Gutter Guards: These guards are easy to install and prevent debris from entering the gutter. Expect them to last up to 10 years in temperate climates.

  6. Brush Gutter Guards: These guards are not recommended as they do not cover the gutter, and the bristles collect seeds and pine needles.

  7. Solid Metal Gutter Guards (Surface Tension/Helmets): These guards cover the entire gutter and are effective at keeping debris out. However, they are difficult to install, and water running across the "helmet" can leak into your home's floor or deteriorate wood siding or a wood garage door.

Our Suggestions

We suggest skipping gutter guards or choosing affordable DIY guards and trying them for a few years. If they lessen the frequency of gutter cleaning and don't cause further issues like rain running past the guards, you've earned a good investment if you find that gutter guards create more trouble.

In addition to the specific types of gutter guards, the article outlines the general pros and cons of installing gutter guards. Gutter guards can prevent gutters from clogging and reduce the frequency of cleaning, but wet leaves on gutter covers can cause water to leak into a home's foundation or damage wood siding or a wood garage door.

The article recommends trying affordable DIY guards for a few years to determine their effectiveness before investing in expensive guards and professional installation. Ultimately, the decision to install gutter guards will depend on the specific circumstances of each property.

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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