Wondering what the Best Gutter Guards are to install at your home? Or whether you can install gutter guards yourself? Today, we show you the answers to both questions and get you well on your way to completing this DIY project in a day or two.
Most homeowners will find Gutter Guards in 2024 an inexpensive and super-effective way to keep debris such as leaves, pine needles, and sticks from clogging gutters and downspouts.
For the homeowner who is moderately handy and capable of using an extension ladder, gutter guard installation is a relatively simple DIY project.
Note: If you’re averse or unable to climb a Ladder or use power tools – please consider hiring a professional gutter installer, such as “Leaf Filter,” to furnish and install your gutter guards instead of buying the material and installing them yourself.
“Best” Type of Gutter Guards To Install Yourself (DIY)
1) “Plastic Mesh” Gutter Guards (Least Expensive)
Plastic Mesh Gutter Guards are the least expensive and most accessible gutter guards to install. With this type of gutter guard, Water flows into the gutter, and the plastic mesh traps (some, but not All) of the Debris on top.
Vinyl Mesh gutter guards are commonly available in 6″ width and 20′-0″ length rolls. To install – unroll the length required, cut, and then insert the plastic mesh into the gutter. That’s it – you’re done.
In the “Get what you Pay For” category – Plastic mesh gutter guards suit their purpose but do so with a less permanent solution. However, because of their porous nature, you must remove and clean built-up debris every 2-3 years, depending on the surrounding trees.
Tools Required: Sharp Scissors, Ladder.
DIY Installation Rating: “3″ (Scale: 1-10, 10 being most difficult)
VIDEO – How TO Install Frost King Gutter Guards
- Easy to install
- It just requires a pair of Scissors (and a Ladder, of course 🙂
- Inexpensive: Approximately $.35 cents per foot
- Blocks Most Large Debris (Leaves, Sticks, etc.)
- Flexible 6″ width accommodates most gutter sizes
- Plastic mesh can become damaged by UV light, Ice, Wind, or Fallen Branches
- Mesh can trap seeds, pine needles, or other small debris
- Requires more maintenance than more expensive Gutter Guard designs.
2) “Foam” Gutter Guards (Mid-Grade Cost)
When considering Value, Effectiveness, and the easiest methods of installation of DIY gutter guards – “Foam” gutter guards from GutterStuff are one to consider.
This 5″ foam gutter guard design comes in 4 ft. lengths, eight pieces to a box, and is super easy to cut and install in any K-Style gutter.
Tools Required: (Bread Knife, Hacksaw, Utility Knife), Ladder,
DIY Installation Rating: “3″ (Scale: 1-10, 10 being most difficult)
VIDEO – “Do Foam Gutter Guards Work?”
- Easy installation
- UV Protected Foam
- Blocks most Debris
- Allows water to flow through to the Gutter
- More Expensive @ $2.60/ft
- Not as permanent as Stainless Fine Mesh Gutter Guards
- Maintenance: Debris can stick to the top surface
- 3-5 year longevity depending on Climate conditions.
Our recommendation – If you are uncomfortable using tin snips or drilling screws from a ladder, the Foam gutter guards are an excellent choice for the DIY homeowner.
However, for the same amount of money, and if you can cut metal and use a cordless drill, take a look at the Fine Mesh Gutter Guards below.
3) “Fine Mesh” Gutter Guards – (Best Overall)
The “Fine Mesh” Gutter Guard is made from Stainless Steel Micro Mesh and an Aluminum Frame and offers a significant upgrade over plastic mesh or foam gutter guards.
This type of gutter guard is also considered “Low Profile,” – meaning it isn’t easily seen from ground level, providing a clean, attractive installation.
Fine mesh stainless steel gutter guards function similarly to plastic mesh gutter guards but with noticeable improvements by preventing less debris into gutters, a permanent installation, and superior damage resistance.
This is the type of gutter guard the Pros installs. Check out our link below to buy the material directly from Amazon or compare the DIY approach to hiring professional gutter guard installers like LeafFilter.
Tools Required: Sharp pair of “Tin Snips,” Cordless Drill (to attach self-tapping screws), Ladder.
DIY Installation Rating: “7“ (Scale: 1-10, 10 being the most difficult)
- Permanent Installation (25-Year Warranty)
- Easy to Install – Snap in place – Set with Screws
- Traps all unwanted debris from entering Gutters
- Available in 12 – 4 Ft. pieces per Box (48 Ft. total)
- Requires Periodic Maintenance to remove debris
- More Expensive – Approximately $2.50 per foot
- Can Trap unwanted debris in “flat through” design
- Requires a higher set of DIY skills (Cutting & Fastening)
Check out this Quick video from Raptor Gutter Guard to see it in action:
This is the type of gutter guard the pros install, and if you want to get rid of regular gutter clean-out maintenance, this would be our first choice for gutter guards.
Check out our link below to buy the material directly from Amazon and compare your DIY approach to hiring professional gutter guard installers like LeafFilter.
Raptor Fine Mesh Gutter Guards
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What are the Best Gutter Guards To Buy?
The best (and most expensive) gutter guards on the market are the “Fine Mesh Stainless Steel” variety, followed by “Foam” gutter guards, and the budget-minded Plastic Mesh Corner Guards.
How Long Do Gutter Guards Last?
The longevity of gutter guards depends on your region and the type of gutter guards you install. For instance, cold winter regions and hot southern climates are harsher on gutter guards, so we recommend using only a fine mesh stainless system.
Fine Mesh Stainless Gutter Guards are typically warranted for up to 25 years, with Foam or Plastic Mesh gutter guards lasting 3-5 years, depending on weather conditions.
How Do You Install Gutter Guards?
Different methods exist for installing gutter guards, from drop-in (Plastic or Foam) to permanent (stainless steel) fastener installation.
Select the style that suits your needs and your installation skill level. To get started installing gutter guards, you will need to use the following Tools:
- Extension ladder – Height to match your roof height.
- Leaf Blower – To blow out or vacuum existing debris located in gutters. I would prefer to use a cordless (battery-powered and less cumbersome), but the corded blower will work.
- Garden Hose – (Optional) Use a Garden hose and Spray Nozzle To rinse the remaining debris after the initial blow-out of waste.
- Cutting Tools – Scissors, Utility Knife, or Tin Snips – Dependent on which type of gutter guards you choose.
- Cordless drill to install self-tapping screws (Only required for installation of Metal Mesh Gutter Guards)
Next, we suggest watching the above manufacturer’s How to Install Gutter Guards videos. You can view the videos by clicking the featured product links while checking prices or more details.
Are Gutter Guards Hard to Install?
Assuming you’re comfortable using an extension ladder and basic tools, Gutter guards are considered easy to install. Of course, some gutter guards are more challenging to install than others.
The more permanent method of installing mesh screen gutter guards requires cutting metal guards for length. This is done with tin snips and fastening gutter guards to the gutters with screws.
Gutter guards are made in various styles to accommodate your budget and installation ability. They are also relatively inexpensive – assuming you’re not trying to cover four sides of a large house.
DIY Rating for Installation of Gutter Guards from 1-10 – (10 being the most difficult) *
- Plastic Mesh Gutter Guards – Rating: 3
- Foam Gutter Guards – Rating: 3
- Fine Mesh Stainless (Screw attachment) Gutter Guards – Rating: 7+
*Methods of installation range from the simple Vinyl Mesh or Foam, which you cut for length and fit inside the gutter, to more professional products.
Gutter maintenance can be a laborious, dirty, and Unsafe chore for most homeowners. However, gutters and downspouts provide tremendous results in preventing flooding – and diverting water away from your home’s foundation.
The simple design of Gutters provides for the collection of debris that can ultimately clog your gutters.
However, for gutters and downspouts to actually “work,” they must be free of debris to function correctly. To that end, you can continue to climb ladders, dig out by hand, or blow the junk out of your gutters – twice or more times a year. That, or install gutter guards. One and done!
Gutter Guards solve the gutter maintenance problem by preventing debris from piling up in gutters and clogging downspouts to keep the water flowing in your channels.
As in all cases, you can compare the costs of doing this DIY project yourself – Using any of the recommended products, or if you have the budget, contact a Professional Gutter Guard company for an estimate.
If you love being outdoors and working on your home, we think you will enjoy this project – And you will undoubtedly appreciate NOT having to dig debris out of your gutters regularly.
To that end, best wishes with your research – and hopefully with your new Gutter Guard project!
Thanks for visiting – be sure to check out our many other “Best Product” reviews @ BestHomeGear.Com
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- How To Maintain Rechargeable Batteries – Wikipedia.Org
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