Leaf Filter VS Advantage Gutter Guard®

In this article, we will discuss how leaf filter products are designed vs Advantage Gutter Guard®, as well as what maintenance is required for each so that you can make an informed decision when purchasing gutter guards for your home.

leaf filter product sample

How Does a Leaf Filter System Work?

A leaf filter-type gutter guard is made with a combination of a micro mesh screen and usually a uPVC frame. Some systems use surgical grade stainless steel that is rust-proof for the micro mesh screen and the uPVC is a strong, lightweight plastic. Hidden hangers similar to typical gutter hangers may be added to the gutter as a support for a leaffilter gutter guard system.

Because of the micro-mesh filter, it does well at blocking even small debris from entering the gutter itself, such as leaves, twigs, seeds, pine needles, and maple seeds.  When the mesh is clean and unobstructed, it allows rainwater to pass through the micro mesh and into your guttering system.


How Does Advantage Gutter Guard® Work?

Advantage Gutter Guard® is a solid surface gutter guard made from heavy-gauge, rust-proof aluminum. The patented, 1/8″ thick all-metal bracket securely holds the gutter and gutter guard in place. There are no plastic parts, ensuring strength and long-term durability.

Engineered to cover the gutter completely, the nose forward design extends slightly over the front edge of the gutter blocking out all debris, including leaves, twigs, seeds, sap, pine needles, oak tassels, sweet gum balls, helicopters, etc.

The purpose of the solid surface is to avoid openings on the top for collecting rainwater, which can become dirty and obstructed with debris. Advantage Gutter Guard® uses the principle of surface tension in a reverse curve design to direct rainwater around the angled nose of the guard and directly into your gutter system – even in the heaviest of downpours. Visit our blog about surface tension.

Maintenance for Gutter Guards

Maintenance for gutter guards is usually unique to the home and its surroundings. Factors that impact maintenance:  Do the trees overhang the house?  Is it a forest of trees, or just one or two trees?  What type of debris do the trees drop? In virtually all situations, there is some degree of maintenance required.

Regardless of the gutter guards you choose, expect maintenance. Period. Even if you have been told or “sold” otherwise.

The important aspect to look for is what gutter guard requires the least maintenance and effort. If cleaning the leaf filter or guard is as difficult as cleaning the gutter, then there is no real benefit.

mesh-gutter-filter- guard-growing-mold

Leaf Filter Maintenance

Few or No Trees Near Home:

Maintenance and cleaning are required to keep leaf filters performing well. If you do not have trees overhanging or close to your home, leaf filters may require little maintenance. However, debris from nearby trees may still blow onto the top of the filter and might need to be blown off or brushed off with a broom. Over time, dust and dirt should be rinsed or scrubbed off. Check roof valleys for debris build-up and blow or brush off with a broom.

Trees Near or Overhanging the Home:

If you do have trees near your home, maintenance will be important. While it does not enter the gutter, sticky debris such as pollen, sap, and oak tassels can stick to and clog the stainless-steel micro mesh openings. Additionally, common debris like leaves sit on the filter, get wet and moldy and attach themselves to the top of the filter. Algae and mold can grow on debris trapped in the mesh. Bird droppings also collect in the micro-mesh screen holes.

clogged leaf filter/ micromesh screen

Because the filter creates a sort of “shelf”, and is not a slick surface, but has texture, it can trap items. Stems, seeds, etc. will collect on the top and in roof valleys. Eventually, without maintenance, there is a buildup of debris and muck that clogs the tiny micro-mesh openings, inhibiting rainwater from passing through and forcing it to overflow around the foundation. It might also flow behind the existing gutters, if not properly flashed to prevent water from going behind the guttering. The leaf filter needs to be cleaned regularly to ensure the guttering system is protecting your home.


Compare a Micro Mesh Leaf Filter to a Furnace Filter

In principle, this works like other filtration systems found around your home i.e.: vacuum filters, water filters, and furnace filters.  A furnace filter for example, keeps dust from circulating through the house. Eventually, all that dust clogs the filter and chokes the furnace. Once clogged, the furnace filter is no longer able to move air. It must be replaced or cleaned to perform properly.

With a micro mesh gutter guard, screens, foam, or brush guards, all that small debris must be cleaned out of the filter. That is very labor intensive and probably going to involve a ladder and scrubbing. To remove clogs from your mesh filter you can brush off the top of the mesh and roof valley areas for loose debris and if you find sticky sap, pollen or bird droppings use a damp sponge or soft brush. If staying off a ladder is important, take into consideration that cleaning out the openings of fine mesh is not easily done from the ground. This required maintenance is not covered by the warranty as the gutters are not clogged, rather, the mesh is clogged.

Advantage Gutter Guard® Maintenance

We do not shy away from the discussion of maintenance. In fact, we’re proud of the fact we help homeowners know what to expect and proud of the performance of our low-maintenance gutter guard. We believe this helps us stand out as honest.

Smooth Solid Surface – Advantage Gutter Guard® Difference

With the smooth surface design most leaves, sticks, helicopters, pine needles, etc. slide harmlessly over the slick surface to the ground. This eliminates most maintenance and makes any maintenance easier to perform.

Few or No Trees Near Home:

Expect very little maintenance

However, anything outside eventually collects a buildup of dust and dirt. Garages, windows, decks, and siding all require a rinse from time to time. With a solid, smooth surface it is as easy as a quick rinse with a spray hose from the ground. We recommend this be done annually. Check roof valleys for debris collection and use a broom or blower from the ground.

Trees Near or Overhanging the Home:

Some debris, particularly oak tassels become like glue when wet and might cling to the top or nose of even solid gutter guards. This is simply unavoidable as you know if you deal with them around your home, they cling to any surface and can be quite a nuisance.  However, the maintenance is easier with a smooth solid guard. In some cases, oak tassels will dry up and blow away, but if still hanging around, it can be as simple as taking a long-handled broom and knocking off the tassels or using a hose to spray it off from the ground. This is typically only needed in the spring when the tassels fall. If you live directly under a forest, it may be needed a few times a year for various debris buildup.

The same easy rinse will take care of dust and dirt if done on an annual basis, and not allowed to build up over several years. Debris may also collect in a roof valley, if you have a roof valley, you will know how it slides down the valley and stops in the corner. Depending on the type of debris, it may blow off, or require a broom or hose to knock it down. If more is required in a particular situation, our consultants are trained to inform you what to expect.

Every gutter cover, gutter guard, leaf filter or screen requires some maintenance. Our goal is to make it as minimal as possible and way easier than gutter cleaning.

Not All Solid Gutter Guard Providers Are Created Equal

Most solid covers provided by gutter companies, roofers, or remodelers are not designed and manufactured by those companies. They are all premade products that have the same type of design flaws:

  1. They screw down to the edge of the gutter for easy installation, not performance, creating protrusions for debris to catch on. Advantage Gutter Guard® has a hidden bracket that hooks into the inside of the gutter.
  2. They cannot be adjusted to cover the entire gutter. Advantage Gutter Guard® is nose forward and extends slightly over the gutter edge, completely covering the gutter.
  3. Most screw the tab down under the roof shingle. Some even use adhesive to attach to the roof. Advantage Gutter Guard® is secured with a patented aluminum bracket system that does not attach to the roof. It won’t void any roof warranties.

When it comes to maintenance, some gutter guards are not nose forward, which can allow debris into the gutter, these typically do not have a no-clog warranty.  Some solid guards have texture, so are less smooth for debris to slide past, and some have a slot toward the back side of the gutter that can become clogged with debris.

Key Factors to Low Maintenance Solid Gutter Protection

  1. Nose forward design that completely covers the gutter
  2. Smooth surface
  3. No roof attachment
  4. No outside gutter attachment

Advantage Gutter Guard® meets all these requirements and so much more.

After providing our custom rainwater control solutions and an estimate, we tell homeowners exactly what maintenance will mean for their home and unique situation. Our goal is to reduce maintenance needs as much as possible. Often, it’s as simple as an annual spray with a hose from the ground.

How Does a Leaf Filter Cost Compare to Advantage Gutter Guard®?

Many gutter guard companies start their bids very high. If you don’t like their price and are ready to walk they may offer huge discounts and promotions until you agree.

Gutter Cover KC® is Different.

From the beginning, we provide a fair, consistent price to all homeowners based on their inspection and measurements. No haggling or bogus sales. We will respect your time and keep the visit to an hour or less.

See more in our article on gutter guard cost.

Which Gutter Guard Company is Superior?

After considering all the factors we believe that Advantage Gutter Guard® by Gutter Cover Kansas City® is your best option for gutter covers. Why?


Advantage Gutter Guard® and patented bracket is made of heavy-duty aluminum rather than thin mesh and plastic, so it is built to last. Think of it as your permanent gutter cover solution. We recommend you see and feel samples of the products you are considering, to compare the quality of each.


The solid, smooth, nose-forward design completely blocks out all debris whereas a mesh filter can clog.


Advantage Gutter Guard® can be maintained from the ground whereas mesh filter maintenance may require a ladder and scrubbing. If cleaning the leaf filter is as much work as cleaning the gutters, we don’t think it’s doing its job.


Fair, honest pricing, no haggling required. Financing available.

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Why is Gutter Cover KC® the Leading Gutter Guard Company?

Besides the innovative, patented Advantage Gutter Guard® product – the customer service, estimate process, installation process, and warranty are all a cut above the rest. But don’t just take our word for it; check our reviews on Google, Better Business Bureau, Angi, and more..

See the top-rated gutter guard as endorsed by our satisfied customers. < Watch testimonials on why our guard is the best choice.

Gutter Guard Installation

An insured, trained professional will install over the existing gutter or new gutter system. The installation team are all trained employees. They will arrive at your home punctually, install in less than a day in most cases, and leave the site as clean as they found it.

Transferable Lifetime Warranty

The lifetime transferable warranty guarantees that your gutters will never clog again. Gutter Cover KC® has honored this warranty for the 20+ years we’ve been in business. That means if your gutters ever clog, they will correct the problem for free! It can also be transferred to the next homeowner.

Gutter Guard Estimates

Brief and educational. They typically take an hour or less including a detailed inspection of your guttering system.

The consultants never use high-pressure sales tactics and are guttering experts before salesmen. They are happy to answer any guttering questions you have, demonstrate their product, and give you to-the-penny pricing before they leave.

Ready to get a free inspection and estimate? Simply call us or complete the form below for a great experience!