Protect Your Home: Best Gutter Guards for Pine Needles

As beautiful as pine trees are, pine needles can be a real pain in the gutters. The long, thin needles and twigs get stuck in the gutter system and prevent water from flowing freely, leading to overflow. As water accumulates, the potential for water damage to the siding, foundation, and even the interior, increases.  

When you have water in the basement and huge pines near the house, the first thing you investigate is the gutters.   Gutters are often clogged up with pine needles. Once this is dealt with the problems in the basement also clear up.

If this was the only hazard it would be enough to deal with, but, the pine needles are also loved by insects and other pests such as rodents because they make great nests.  We can talk about other challenges posed by pine needles, but first, we want to tell you about the best solution for dealing with clogged gutters caused by pine needles.

Cleaning out fall leaves and pine needles from gutter

Table of Contents:

  • Gutter Cover Kansas City™ Mission
  • Finding The Best Gutter Guards For Pine Needles
  • The Best Solution: Advantage Gutter Guard®
  • Worst Solutions: What to Avoid
  • DIY vs. Professional Installation: What’s Best for You?
  • Calculating the Cost: What to Consider

Gutter Cover Kansas City™ Mission:

Because what you don’t know can hurt you when it comes to poorly functioning guttering, our mission at Gutter Cover KC® is to identify costly gutter problems for homeowners and help them make informed decisions to protect their homes from pine needles and damaging rainwater.

We have been helping solve gutter issues for almost 25 years. In our 20+ years of experience, we have learned what is important in a gutter system that protects your investment. In addition, at the many homes we visit we have come across many different types of gutter guards and brands, we’ve seen them up close and personal and know the pros and cons – what works & what doesn’t when it comes to guards and pine needles.

We use these articles to share what we have learned. That way homeowners are empowered to make sure their gutters are truly protecting their home. As well as different types of products and how they perform.


Finding The Best Gutter Guards For Pine Needles

The right gutter guard system is the best solution for clogged gutters due to pine needles.   There are many types of gutter guards for pine needles sold by contractors and home improvement centers, but, they are not all equal.   

In fact, there are some gutter protection systems that are not suitable for pine needles and will end up making the problem worse, causing you a fair amount of ongoing maintenance and keeping you climbing those ladders – a hazard of its own. 

Here we will examine the best option and those that you should stay away from if you have a pine needle problem. 

The Best Solution for Pine Needles: Advantage Gutter Guard® 

This is because it is designed to keep debris like pine needles from clogging your gutters. It is a solid guard that blocks debris from entering the gutter. The surface is made of solid, rust-free aluminum in colors that blend with your home. Because it is solid, not perforated, it prevents pine needles and debris from getting trapped in little openings, as it does when there are holes, screens, or mesh. The nose of Advantage Gutter Guard ® is designed to go slightly past the front edge of the gutter ensuring needles and other debris slide off the guard and fall harmlessly to the ground.

How does the water get in the gutter?

Using industry-leading technology this patented reverse curve gutter guard employs surface tension as its secret weapon.   Let’s imagine you spill a glass of water on your kitchen counter and instead of falling straight off the counter and onto the floor, it flows around the curve of your counter and finds its way down your cabinet doors.  

Example of a gutter guard system in Kansas City Missouri

This is how surface tension works and despite many good designs in the gutter guard industry, most of these designs have neglected to use this simple principle of how water adheres to surfaces to develop a great product. 

The curve of Advantage Gutter Guard® was designed to use this principle of surface tension for maximum effect. It allows water to defy gravity and cling onto the solid gutter surface following the curve all the way into the gutter even when it’s raining cats and dogs!

The curve or nose of the gutter guard covers or blocks the entire gutter, preventing even small debris from clogging the gutters. 

The design of Advantage Gutter Guard® is the product of years of experience in the gutter protection industry.

It is guaranteed to keep gutters clean. Keeping pine needles (or anything else) from clogging your gutters. In addition, it is third-party tested to handle 3 TIMES THE WATER volume of a typical KC rainstorm and to support gutters even under the weight of 12 feet of snow. 

The bracket support is made of thick metal and is built to be strong. Advantage Gutter Guard® has passed the test of time. It has proven itself over and over to meet the challenge of keeping gutters clean.

Gone are the days of fishing pine needles out of your gutters and downspouts when you have this patented gutter guard solution. Even squirrels will stay out of your gutters this year. It is the ultimate gutter guard solution for fall – and really any other season!

Why Advantage Gutter Guard® works best: 

  1. It is solid and covers the gutter, completely blocking debris! 
  2. You can’t fight the natural universe so work with it!  Advantage Gutter Guard® works with the natural forces of water adhesion, gravity, and momentum.  The slick surface doesn’t allow debris to stick to the solid aluminum surface, so, the wind and water gently push the debris to the edge and gravity does the rest.
  3. Water sticks to the surface of Advantage Gutter Guard® because of the natural force of water adhesion, and the momentum of the water running down the roof forces the water to go around the curve of the nose into the gutter.  Don’t you love it when universal forces work for you! 
  4. Nose-forward design – Since Advantage Gutter Guard® goes slightly over the edge of the gutter, it prevents debris from entering the gutter.

The Benefits You Can Expect From This Product:

  • Clean gutters that are free of pine needles allowing rainwater to flow freely. 
  • Low maintenance – Falling from a ladder is a common mishap that homeowners have to be concerned about.  With Advantage Gutter Guard ® you will never have to worry about this again unless you climb a ladder for something other than gutter cleaning, of course.
  • Attractive design – Advantage Gutter Guard® has a low profile and when installed it creates a nearly invisible and sleek profile.
  • A 20-year manufacturing warranty on material defects and a lifetime guarantee that your gutters will never be clogged again.

Let clogged gutters be a thing of the past.  Get your free cost estimate today.  Our product works on flat and steep roof pitches and installs on k-style gutters and half-round gutters. 


If you’re interested in how other gutter protection products perform, keep reading.

Every day our crews remove old gutter protection that doesn’t produce the results that people want and need.  Why don’t these products work? They try to fight against nature instead of working with it! If all we had to worry about was a stray leaf blowing in the wind, all types of gutter protection would work, but for most of us with trees on our residential lot, that is not a reality. Trees drop pine needles, seeds, leaves, heavy pollen, sap, and gunk. Fighting nature is an impossible fight. We have discussed what product actually works with natural forces in blocking these types of debris. Now we will look at what products fail and why.

The Worst Solutions for Pine Needles

Stainless Steel Micro-Mesh Gutter Guard 

Mesh guards are typically made from a stainless steel or aluminum mesh material with tiny perforated openings designed to filter out even small debris from entering the gutter while allowing water to filter in. 

How do micro-mesh guards or leaf filters work with pine needles?  

If there are not a lot of trees dropping debris right around or over the home, micro-mesh guards may perform well to block what little debris blows in from entering the gutter. However, since pine needles are collected by the thousands, these can pile up on top of flat, shelf-like mesh products and eventually block the water from entering.  While the gutter itself is not clogged, the mesh traps the debris on top rendering it ineffective until the debris is cleaned off. In addition, the rough surface of the mesh tends to hold on to the pine needles and makes it more challenging to clean them off. Then you’re back to searching for solutions on how to clean gutter guards.

In many neighborhoods, nature produces not only pine needles but also, abundantly provides millions of pieces of debris. Including tree sap and pollen which settles into the small openings of the filter or mesh, blocking the water from passing through. Resulting in overflowing gutters. 

At the end of the day, micro-mesh leaf filters can be expensive systems that don’t perform well with pine needles. Plus requires considerable maintenance to keep functioning.

Screen Gutter Guards


Screen gutter guards have been around for a long time.   Similar to micro mesh gutter guards in that they are installed over the opening of the gutter. They are not the best gutter guard for pine needles. They have visibly larger holes than micro mesh and pine needles will find their way into the holes.

Water is able to flow freely in the gutter as long as the gutter remains clear of fine debris, but, once a heavy rainstorm hits (which can be in seconds in the Midwest) the pressure of the water will force materials such as pine needles that were deposited on your roof through the openings in the screen. 

Most people have tried the large hole screens and found that they clog up in a year or less. Basically a waste of money. 


Brush Gutter Guards

This gutter protection system has a core of stainless steel or galvanized steel wire, surrounded by long, black polypropylene bristles. These guards typically come in 3 or 4-foot sections and have a diameter of around 4.72 inches.

The bristles are quite sturdy and do a good job of keeping out larger tree debris.  However, the drawbacks are that they require regular maintenance as smaller tree debris becomes entangled with the bristles. Pine needles collect in the bristles and on top. The water will continue to flow through until the pine needles are so thick it cannot run into the gutter.  At that point, it is time to take out the brushes, clean them and the gutter, and reinstall. So eventually you’ll find yourself on your ladder to remove the brushes. To be fair, the cleaning process is simple and you can use a hose to clean the bristles and the gutter. If you’re looking to stay off the ladder or a more permanent solution, gutter brushes are probably not the answer.


Foam Gutter Guards

Foam gutter guards are long pieces of shaped foam with large openings that allow water to flow through. But are also small enough to catch tree debris and other materials. 

They fit on the inside of the gutter and are easy to install and relatively inexpensive. And just like with screen and brush guards, these foam inserts are bound to get clogged. As pine needles pile up on them, along with other debris, clogs are created. Snow and ice are wet and heavy, not a good combination with foam.  

The water eventually dams up underneath these foam inserts. And in the right weather conditions, encourages mold and fungus to thrive under them. Definitely not healthy and not something you want to deal with. 

While foam gutter guards (or inserts) are probably one of the easiest gutter protection systems to install, they are not a permanent solution for pine needles.  

Gutter Guards For Pine Needles

You should install gutter guards that are solid, nose forward in design, and can fit on existing gutters or any size gutters.  

The cost of installing a gutter guard system like Advantage Gutter Guard ® will be minimal compared to the ongoing costs of maintaining and then replacing other gutter guards that do not stop pine needles.  Call us today and block pine needles from clogging your gutters.  

Now that we’ve examined the good, the bad, and the ugly of gutter guard systems, let’s talk about installation.  The installation process can be as important as the type of gutter guard you choose.

Should You DIY When it Comes to Installing a Gutter Guard System?

Quality Installation


Professional gutter guard installation is one of those topics that homeowners debate because of the cost involved.  To answer this question simply:  Yes, you can DIY a gutter guard system.  However, professional installation is the wiser option.  Let’s explain why this is true by examining the benefits of a professional installation process like the one done with Advantage Gutter Guard®.  

Benefits of Professional Installation:

  1. Safety First – We use ladder safety equipment such as stabilizer bars and leg levelers to protect your home and our crews. 
  2. Clean – Our technicians thoroughly clean the gutters and downspouts. Special effort is made to protect your home.
  3. Repair or Replace – Existing gutters are inspected and repaired, including adjusting for proper drainage and re-sloping.
  4. Seal – Gutter seams are sealed with an extremely durable, flexible, tripolymer sealant forming a watertight seal.
  5. Reinforce – A heavy-duty, all-aluminum bracket is installed every 28”.
  6. Alignment Done – Aligns the gutter protection system to match the pitch of the roof for optimal water control.
  7. Detailed Installation Plan – Advantage Gutter Guard® is installed based on measurements of the roof and gutter. Special roof valley components are installed to allow for the increased flow of water.
  8. A Final Check is Done – After installation is complete, technicians carefully clean up and make a final check for any debris around the house.

So even though DIY is one option, you can see that the benefits you get from professional installation is about more than just the type of gutter guard. 

When you choose an option like Advantage Gutter Guard®, you permanently get rid of the pine needle problem. As well as a written guarantee that your gutters will not clog. But, you also have the peace of mind that experienced and highly skilled technicians will work on your home. They do everything they can to protect it and care for it, like their own. 

Advantage Gutter Guard® Warranty & Reputation

Calculating the Investment

Advantage Gutter Guard® provides a permanent solution to clogged gutters and the resulting damage to your home.  As a gutter guard company with over 20 years of experience, we’ve had some time to work on designing a reputable product.  

We offer a state-of-the-art gutter guard protection system. In 20 years we’ve seen a wide array of gutter guard products and observed their various strengths and weaknesses.  

We haven’t found anything that surpasses the gutter guard system we offer – Advantage Gutter Guard®.  From strength to the DESIGN, from performance to HOW IT LOOKS ON THE HOME, Advantage Gutter Guard® is, in our opinion, the leader in all these areas. It is the only product we offer because it meets our customers’ needs.

But don’t take our word for it. You can read our client testimonials here.  You can also see the recommendation we received from HGTV host- Matt Blashaw

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How to Calculate What You Need

The needs of each home are unique and so are the variables. Some homes will require new 5 or 6-inch gutters or bigger downspouts. While other homes have a perfectly functioning gutter system and only need Advantage Gutter Guard®. 

In addition, some homes are ranch-style load-bearing and others are two or three stories tall. We provide cost-efficient solutions for your individual gutter problems. We are happy to come to your home to provide a free no-obligation evaluation and estimate. Here are some factors to consider when trying to figure out how much gutter guards cost.


In Conclusion

Protecting your home from the complications that come with pine needle clogs is essential for any homeowner living near pine trees. While there are several gutter guard options on the market, it’s crucial to choose one that specifically addresses the issues caused by pine needles. In this regard, Advantage Gutter Guard® emerges as the clear winner due to the industry-leading design and lifetime guarantee of no clogged gutters

If you’ve read enough and are ready to take the plunge, you can get a free estimate here.

Alternatively, you can contact our offices and speak to a professional who will be happy to answer any questions you have.