Each year, around September and October leaves turn from a dark green to hints of brown, orange, and yellow. By the time daylight savings occurs on November 1st, most of these leaves have since fallen to the ground.
While some leaves make it to the ground, others find themselves on top of cars, stuck in gutters, and stuffed behind our home’s outdoor AC unit.
And while you might be the handyman who likes to clean your gutters each fall, the simple truth is most homeowners neglect their gutters. Whether it is because the gutters are too high, too long, or they simply forget – a clogged gutter is No Bueno!
Clogged gutters cause countless issues for homeowners which is why many turn to gutter guards. Today, we decided to rank the best gutter guards for your home!
First, Why Gutter Guards?
Those leaves we discussed earlier – they don’t simply disappear. While they might not be visible to the standard eye, leaves find their way to gutters every year.
In addition to leaves, birds love nesting in gutters (they find interesting spots to create their nests) which can be extremely detrimental to gutters based on their nesting materials. Sticks and pine needles can also clog downspouts and gutters.
All of this to say homeowners have three options when it comes to protecting their gutters:
- Option 1: Clean gutters 1-2x per year on their own
- Option 2: Pay for someone to clean their gutters, approximately $300 per year on average
- Option 3: Install gutter guards 1x and never mess with them again
An intact gutter system is vital to making sure rainwater and melting snow are displaced appropriately throughout the seasons. Protecting your gutters is a must to prevent bigger problems like foundational issues and leaks.
However, let’s do the math from the options above:
- Option 1: Take 2-5+ hours on a Saturday two times per year and clean your own gutters. Unlikely.
- Option 2: Pay someone to clean your gutters for $300 per year. In 10 years, that is $3,000.
- Option 3: Have someone like the Gutter Gurus of Woodbridge install gutter guards one time. The average cost is approximately $1,000 for a single-family home.
Related: Best Gutter Companies in NOVA Ranked!
Clearly, the best option long term is to install gutter guards, but a question remains:
What should you look for when considering gutter guards?
We often get asked from homeowners if installing gutter guards will “Cause more problems” for them. It’s a reasonable question because unfortunately, most homeowners have had negative experiences with cheap gutter guard solutions.
The ingredients you want to look for in gutter guards are simple:
- Hassle FREE
- Don’t need cleaning or maintenance (what is the point of guards if you have to clean them?)
- Last long
- Withstand weather and storms
- Easy to install, but solid
- They perform!
When we go through the different types of gutter guards below, keep in mind all the ingredients from the list above!
Types of Gutter Guards
All things considered, there are three common types of gutter guards:
- Screens gutter guards
- Surface tension gutter guards
- Fine mesh gutter guards
- League of their own: Raindrop
A quick rundown of each will reveal why we chose Raindrop’s gutter guard product and stand firmly by them. Consider, since 2000, according to Raindrop’s website they have ZERO complaints with the BBB for their gutter guards!
Screen Gutter Guards:
Screen gutter guards are the most common gutter guards you will find because they are easy to install. Pros for screen gutter guards include easy installation, inexpensive, work with all types of roofs and keep leaves out.
Cons: Easily damaged by sunlight and branches, can be seen protruding from gutters, REQUIRE maintenance/cleaning, difficult to clean, not durable.
Surface Tension Gutter Guards:
Surface tension gutter guards are the most durable on the list, but typically the most expensive. They are designed to withstand branches, snow, ice, and windstorms while keeping the bigger debris out. The positive with surface tension gutter guards is they last long and require zero maintenance when installed correctly.
Cons: Surface tension gutter guards are the most expensive on the list and have to be installed by contractors (for the DIY gang). Sometimes, the difficult installation includes adjusting gutters, thus causing more work and they are easily underperforming during heavy rains. Homeowners report “Water flying off” their house during heavy rainstorms.
Fine Mesh Gutter Guards
Similar to the screen gutter guards above, fine mesh gutter guards do not let anything inside the gutter system. Pros include easy to install, can withstand weather, customizable for roof types, simple to clean when compared to screens.
Cons: Still need cleaning and maintenance, limited availability and selection, and leaves can easily accumulate on top.
Ranking the Best Gutter Guards: Raindrop!
Remember the list from above detailing the key ingredients to the best gutter guards?
Raindrop checks the box for every single one. Unlike screen guards that are cheap but need cleaning, or surface tension guards that don’t require cleaning but don’t always perform, Raindrop gutter guards are known for their superior quality and performance.
Raindrop® is made from its own unique blend of polypropylene.
This special blend of polypropylene and UV stabilizers can and will withstand the harshest storms, hottest climates and coldest seasons imaginable. This means it’s perfect for any region and location. Not to mention the durability the polypropylene provides!
Raindrop gutter guards are designed to cover the entire gutter and prevent leaves, sticks, and birds from ever entering. Small debris such as some pine needles and other organic particles that enter are easily washed out by rainwater.
This is why we offer a lifetime no-clog warranty!
The gutter guards are installed under the roof shingles and attached to the front of the gutter creating a solid surface that can withstand heavy storms. Raindrop’s design is simple:
- Keep the leaves out
- Let the rain in
- Last forever
- Zero maintenance
Fit & Flexible:
Raindrop® is the most versatile gutter guard available, working with every style of roof and fitting the most common 5” and 6” gutters. They can even be modified to fit gutters ranging from 4” to 10”.
The “Flex-Flange” makes Raindrop® highly adaptable to work for every situation, thus installation is easy and simple. While we still recommend a pro installer to install gutter guards, Raindrop fits under the shingle and attaches to the front of the “K-style” gutters.
Good for Ice & Branches:
Ice and snow sitting on gutter guards like the flat-mount mesh guards can actually weigh down gutters. Due to their black color, Raindrop® Gutter Guards heat up from the sun during the cold months, naturally melting snow and ice to keep water flowing into the gutters year-round.
As the video showed earlier, Raindrop gutter guards can also withstand branches that would damage most guards!
Raindrop Gutter Guard Price:
In addition to looking the best, on average the price for the product you get with Raindrop is unbeatable. We might seem bias, but we seriously love the performance and price range Raindrop offers.
While cheap gutter guards don’t perform well and expensive gutter guards still require cleaning, Raindrop is right in the middle when it comes to price.
On average, a single-family home is looking at gutter guards can expect to spend somewhere in between $1,000-$1,5000 on gutter guards for their home. Or look at it this way – 3-4 years worth of paying someone to clean your gutters.
Final Take: Raindrop Gutter Guards For The Win!
The verdict is out – if you want a gutter guard that performs, is reasonably priced, has a no-clog lifetime warranty and never needs to be cleaned, Raindrop is your best choice.
There are certainly inexpensive, do it yourself gutter guard options – but those end up causing more work and more issues down the road.
This is why we (Gutter Gurus) recommend Raindrop Gutter Guards for every homeowner!
Until next time,
Gutter Gurus of Woodbridge, Va proudly serves the Northern Virginia region for all gutter services including gutter installation, gutter guards and gutter repair.