Lets face it; a clogged gutter can not do its job and renders your gutter system useless. You must maintain your gutters to make sure they can protect your home. You can clean the gutters one to four times a year depending on location and trees, or you can install gutter guards to help with this project. If the idea of cleaning, either for time or danger, isn't going to work, it's time for plan B, gutter guard. But which one will work?
There are thousands of gutter guards out there; 98% of them are junk and not worth buying. Most gutter guards promise to keep all the debris out of your gutters only to let you down. You then have to clean the gutters with the guard and find the guards just make it harder to deal with. The fact is that only a few guards on the market are worth buying. Like the gutter itself, you really need quality or you are wasting your money. I have yet to find any guard on any store shelf that is not a waste.
I have tested hundreds of leaf guards in various types and shapes. I offer only guards that are at the very top in value for the dollar spent.
1) My top for the economy level is our “Ultra Guard.” 2) My top for the mid-grade level is our “Clean Flow.” (Don't be fooled by mid-grade; this is my favorite by a large margin.) 3) My top for the high-end level is “Gutter Protector.”
Let’s look at these a little closer and see what they do.
In the search for the best of the best for my customers, Clean Flow is my favorite. Clean Flow is a mid-priced guard that will outperform any high-end product on the market. This is my “GO TO” guard.
Micro-mesh guards are the best protection for any type of debris. The difference between Clean Flow and other mesh guards is the strengthening factor it has for your entire gutter system. Clean Flow has a very strong support layer that is screwed to the front lip of your gutter and then to the back lip. This pulls the gutter tight and adds “box”-like strength to the gutter system. As far as debris, this micro-mesh screen keeps even the smallest debris out of the gutter system. Not even Maine gutter enemy #1, pine needles, get in. You will never have to the open the gutter for cleanings again. 95% of all debris will just blow off with a mild wind. If you are in a very heavy pine area, you may have to brush the top off just before winter to prevent pines from freezing. But this is the worse case and is still a lot easier than constant cleanings.
In most cases, if you are looking for a gutter guard, this is the one I highly recommend. I will put this guard up against any guard on the market as the #1 gutter guard. Show me a product and let me prove it.
Ultra Guard is our economy leaf protection. Ultra guard is great in regular leaf areas. Any larger leaves can not enter your gutter system and will blow off the gutters. Keep in mind that smaller debris like pine needles and seeds can enter. You may have to maintain your gutter system to make sure there are no clogs. The Ultra Guard will help cut your cleanings drastically and in some cased eliminate them all together. Just keep in mind, I do recommend at least checking in the gutters once in the spring and just before winter to make sure they are clear.
Gutter Protector is our heavy hitter when it comes to ice and snow slides. Protector belongs to the solid cover family. All of these guards use the principles of water adhesion to draw the water over the top and into the openings on the front. As water enters the gutter, the debris is deflected to the ground. What I like about this product is there are no standing edges to catch snow. Therefore, if you have a house with a lot of snow slides, that snow has a hard time hurting the gutter systems. As the snow avalanches off the roof it simply slides over the gutters.
I choose Protector over any other cover because of its front strength. Most of these guards will crush over time. Because the Protector has the cut openings, it supports the front very well.
Strainers are simply put over the downspout hole to help prevent any debris from going in and clogging your downspout or underground drain. If you have an underground drain and do not wish to install leaf guards, this Strainers or Drain Guards (below) are highly recommended to protect that drain pipe.
These strainers do require maintenance as the debris will wash and build up in front of them. Once too much debris is built up, the gutters will overflow.
If you going without gutter guards or using a guard that lets smaller debris in, Drain Guards will help you protect that underground drainpipe. If your drainpipe gets clogged, it becomes costly to get it cleaned out. Drain Guards are installed on the downspout and will filter the debris into a screen that is easily removed from the safety of the ground. Simply remove the screen, dump it out and put it back; it's that simple.
This is my recommended product over Strainers as this is maintained from the ground and a lot safer for cleaning.