Are Gutter Guards Worth It?
Tired of spending your weekends climbing up a ladder and clearing out your rain gutters?
Do you dread the thought of having to scoop out handfuls of soggy leaves and debris?
The solution to your maintenance woes may well be professionally installed gutter guards.
But with the ever-increasing cost of living and the state of the economy not exactly doing us any favors, many homeowners are left with the same question –
Are gutter guards worth the investment?
Well, we asked our very own gutter guard experts some of the most frequently asked questions in the industry to help you make a more informed decision.
Doug and Steve have combined 29 – years of experience in the gutter guard industry, so it’s safe to say they know their stuff.
Here are their responses to your questions:
Q: Do gutter guards actually work?
The question of whether gutter guards actually work is not easily answered with a simple “yes” or “no”.
There are both short and long answers to this question due to the many different factors involved.
Short Answer: Yes, gutter guards do work!
In fact, they can be one of the most helpful additions to your existing or new home, keeping debris out of your gutters and allowing water to flow and disperse away from your building, even during the harshest of rainstorms.
Long Answer: You may have heard that gutter guards do not work – in fact, they could end up being more work than just cleaning your gutters periodically.
This can be true if you opt for the wrong gutter system.
However, certain gutter guards do work.
When selecting a gutter guard, you need to choose one that is specifically designed for the type of debris commonly found in your area.
It should also be installed correctly, made of durable materials that can withstand different weather conditions, and backed by a reputable company’s guarantee.
With various designs available, it’s important to consider these factors to ensure that the gutter guard you choose is effective and reliable in keeping your gutters clean and functional.
We recently covered the 5 main factors for finding gutter guards that work for your home in the following article: 5 Keys to Finding a Working Gutter Guard.
Q: What’s the average cost of a gutter guard?
This varies based on the particular gutter guard (or leaf filter) and whom the product is purchased from.
Whether a company or homeowner themselves do the installation will also change the investment considerably.
In our well over twenty years of experience, below are reliable numbers of what you can find in the Mid-Western United States as of 2023.
- Gutter screens / Leaf filters / Sponges / Gutter guards purchased from home improvement stores but installed by the homeowner: $.50-$3.00 per linear foot.
* As these types of gutter guards are installed by a homeowner they often don’t come with any real guarantee. If there are any issues, you’re on your own.
- Gutter screens / Leaf filters / Sponges / Gutter guards purchased and installed by home improvement stores, handymen, or roofing companies: $8-$15 per linear foot.
* The guarantees associated with the workmanship and product are only good (to a degree) as long as the contractor is in business.
- Gutter screens / Leaf filters / Gutter guards purchased from and installed by companies who specialize in the industry, usually with patented products: $20-$68 per linear foot.
* These types of gutter guards usually come with written warranties. Some companies stand behind their warranties, others not so much.
We seem to be referring to warranties quite often, don’t we?
That’s because they’re super important.
Warranties are dependent on a company staying in business, so be sure to check on how long a company has been around before doing business with them.
Doing homework on a company’s reputation can save headaches in the future.
If you are looking for more factors to consider with the gutter guard cost per foot see our article: How Much Are Gutter Guards?
Q: Why should I invest in gutter guards when I can clean my own gutters?
Well, with a gutter guard system in place, not only are you saving time and reducing danger, but you’re also gaining more peace of mind.
We believe it comes down to those things.
Additionally, overflowing gutters can do a tremendous amount of damage to a home. Not staying on top of your gutter cleaning for even one season can lead to serious damage – Such as flooded basements and foundation damage.
Another aspect is the ability to keep up with regular maintenance.
If you have trees close to or towering over your house you simply won’t be able to keep up with routine cleaning, resulting in clogged gutters.
All it takes is being out of town one time when a big rainstorm comes in and your gutter overflows. This could lead to some serious damage to your property, like getting your basement flooded.
Q: Do you really need gutter guards?
There are a few factors that should help you lean toward installing a gutter protection system. Here are three of the foremost reasons:
It is increasingly more difficult to find and hire professional companies to clean gutters at an affordable cost.
It takes a lot of time to stay on top of gutter cleaning – month after month and year after year. By contrast, with our maintenance-free gutter system, it’s taken care of once and forever.
This saves you valuable time.
There are a lot of risks involved with standing on a ladder or dangling over the edge of a roof to clean your existing gutters.
Does the company you’ve hired have sufficient insurance? What if they fall? Could they sue you? Are they being thorough when they clean? What if you don’t get the gutters cleaned in time? What could the cost of water damage be to your home?
These are important questions to ask, especially considering that many people simply rely on a neighbor or a minor to help with home maintenance chores.
Paying someone to clean your gutters is a bottomless pit – it never ends.
And with inflation, costs associated with keeping gutters clean just keep going up.
Q: Is there a downside to gutter guards?
Like with most products on the market, there are pros and cons to consider with each type of gutter guard.
Here are the four main categories that gutter guards fall into, along with some of their most relevant drawbacks:
Screen gutter guards are good for keeping large fall leaves out of gutter systems.
However, they aren’t great for keeping smaller debris such as dirt, maple seeds, pine needles, and smaller leaves from becoming trapped and filtering through the holes in the screen.
The other downside is that some screens aren’t heavy-duty and can break easily under the weight of snow and ice.
Leaf filters keep most debris out of the gutter itself, however, they eventually clog with tree sap, dirt, and small debris buildup.
It also traps debris like sticky oak tassels on top of the filter. Once clogged, rainwater can’t filter into the gutter causing water to overflow your gutters.
Leaf guards require periodic cleaning, which can be a hassle.
Gutter sponges, also known as foam gutter guards, fill up 3/4 of your gutter space leaving only 25% water capacity.
This will work for most light rains, but after a few months, dirt, sap, and small debris will continue to collect on top and filter through the sponge taking up more and more space.
This can lead to water overflowing your gutters and causing issues. Like screens and filters, they will eventually need to be cleaned.
Solid Gutter Guards
Some designs that are considered solid covers don’t fully cover the gutter, they are not considered nose forward – they stop short of the gutter edge.
This leaves a small gap that can allow sticks, stems, and smaller items into the gutter.
Other designs have a channel or slot-like opening on the back edge of the guard close to the roof line.
Such products will have the same struggles as a screen because dirt, seeds, pine needles, and small leaves can become trapped in this channel or filter into the gutter.
Other downsides to consider would be the type of material the guard is made from. If it is thin and flimsy or plastic, it will probably not hold up the elements or the weight of ice and snow.
Well, wait a minute. Those are all the downsides. What product works? Doug and Steve have been working with Advantage Gutter Guard for many years. It is the solution to the gutter guard downsides.
Hold on – isn’t Advantage Gutter Guard ® also a solid gutter cover?
Yes, it is!
However, Advantage Gutter Guard ® is different from other solid gutter guards. It has been designed to cover the gutter completely using a nose-forward design. This design blocks and deflects debris away from the gutter so well it comes with a lifetime no-clog guarantee. How does the water get in? Engineered to use the physics of surface tension, Advantage Gutter Guard® guides the water effortlessly into the gutter even in very heavy downpours. It has no openings in the top to become clogged.
Advantage Gutter Guard ® was also engineered to handle immense pressure because it is made with sturdy, heavy-gauge, all-metal (no plastic), and rust-free construction. It is made to hold its own in heavy rain, high winds, burning heat, and blizzards.
The sturdy, heavy-duty bracket is specially designed to secure the gutter and guard tightly in place, with no roof penetration.
It has been third-party tested to handle 122 lbs. of pressure per linear foot, which means it protects gutters from the weight of ice and snow.
To put that into perspective, it can support 12 feet of snow, or 4 feet of solid ice stacked on top of it.
Not only will Advantage Gutter Guard ® protect your home and guttering system, but it also will not break down and need to be replaced like plastic or flimsy metal gutter guards.
To read more about each type of gutter guard’s pros and cons visit our article on the best leaf guards for fall leaves.
Do gutter guards work in heavy rains?
Solid gutter covers like Advantage Gutter Guard ® use physics and surface tension to handle heavy rain while blocking all debris.
Many leaf filters, micro-meshes, screens, and store-bought gutter guards don’t employ surface tension in their design.
Therefore, they need holes in the top of the product to allow water into the gutter. As long as these holes don’t become clogged, water should go into the gutter through them.
As you have seen above, keeping these types of gutter guards clean and free of debris is an issue, which could lead to these products having trouble handling a lot of rain.
How much rain can Advantage Gutter Guard® handle?
Advantage Gutter Guard® has been third-party tested to handle more than 3 times the rain of a typical Kansas City rainstorm.
In order to surpass Advantage Gutter Guard’s® capacity, Kansas City would have to meet the world record for the heaviest rainfall ever recorded. In other words, ‘Bring on the rain!’
As far as the ability of other solid gutter guards to handle rainfall, we do not have experience with the amount of rain they can handle, we do however know surface tension works even in heavy downpours.
Q: Installing gutter guards is an investment. Why is Advantage Gutter Guard worth that investment?
As with any investment, the prudent consumer focuses on getting the best value for money.
A balance between quality and affordability should be sought to ensure you get the most value for your money.
For example, $1000 spent solving our problems is worth considerably more than $500 spent not solving them. The reverse is also true. Spending $1000 for what we could have solved for $500 is wasted money.
VALUE is that sweet spot between solving our problems and not overspending.
We’ve found that sweet spot.
As with virtually any industry, there is the cheapest and the most expensive option. And like most industries, the best value typically lies somewhere between these two extremes – in the middle.
Our gutter guard systems are by no means the most expensive, but they are not the cheapest.
With our patented Advantage Gutter Guard®, decades of experience, nearly flawless reputation, and no-games price structure, we can confidently say that our gutter guards are worth it.
We have gutter protection systems we installed over twenty years ago, that still work well to this day. Here’s what one of our long-term customers had to say:
“I got Gutter Cover 20 years ago. They have worked great and I haven’t ever cleaned them or anything. No water in the basement since then either.” – Andrea W.
Q: Do you offer a warranty?
The Advantage Gutter Guard® comes with a fully transferable lifetime performance warranty that the gutters will remain clean and free-flowing.
A no-clog guarantee means that if your gutters ever clog, we will remove the debris free of charge. Additionally, we have a 20-year manufacturing warranty on material defects.
A warranty is as good as the company that stands behind it. As the longest-running gutter protection company in Kansas City, we’ve been standing behind our warranty since 2001.
Are gutter guards a good idea?
In conclusion, if you’re looking to save time, avoid the hassle of dealing with rainwater overflowing from clogged gutters, and stay off the ladder for frequent cleanings; then investing in a quality, solid surface gutter guard that is proven to work, installed professionally and backed by a reputable company is a wise choice.
The primary purpose of gutter guards is to protect your investment in your home. As well as reduce danger and make your life easier by reducing maintenance.
The added benefit is that we offer hassle-free, no strings attached estimates.
Fill out the form below to get started. Our friendly team member will be in touch with you to discuss your needs. Then help you find the perfect match for your gutter guard requirements.