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Your home’s gutter system helps to ensure water drains off the roof and away from the foundation, preventing water damage and keeping your basement dry, but your gutters can’t do their job if they’re clogged up with leaves, twigs, and other debris. To prevent this, you should make a point to clean your gutters regularly, but you can make the task significantly easier by investing in gutter guards.
Gutter guards are covers for your gutters, and they allow water to pass through while blocking out leaves, pine needles, and other debris that can clog up the drainage system. You may still have to go up and brush leaves off the top of your gutter guards from time to time, but this maintenance will take much less time and effort.
Here, the best gutter guards available for your home.
Best Overall: Gutterglove Stainless Steel Micro-Mesh Gutter Guard, 10-pack
The Gutter Guard by Gutterglove is an incredibly effective and durable option that will keep your gutter system functioning optimally. These guards are made from a stainless steel micro-mesh that’s strong and durable, allowing rainwater to pass through into the gutter while blocking leaves, pine needles, shingle grit, and other debris. Each piece is 5-1/2 inches wide and 4 feet long—so a 10-pack provides 40 feet of coverage—and the guards can be used on both 4- and 5-inch gutters.
You can install the Gutterglove Guards yourself using screws or with 3M VHB tape, and because there are no support mechanisms needed under the mesh, water coming off the roof can pass through 100 percent of the holes. The product is even UL approved for rainwater harvesting, and it has thousands of positive reviews.
Best Budget: Frost King Plastic Gutter Guard
If you’re looking for an inexpensive solution to clogged gutters, the Frost King Plastic Gutter Guard is as affordable as it gets. For less than $10, you get 20 feet of plastic mesh to protect your drainage system, and it’s incredibly easy to install, as the material can be cut with an ordinary pair of scissors.
The Frost King Gutter Guard is 6 inches wide and made from flexible plastic that can easily be inserted into your gutters. The material won’t rust or corrode, and it will prevent large debris such as leaves from clogging up your gutters. However, because it’s not a fine mesh, smaller objects like seeds and pine needles may still fall through.
Best for Pine Needles: Best-1 Flex Fit Aluminum Gutter Guard
If there’s a pine tree near your house, chances are your gutters frequently get filled up with tiny needles, and gutter guards with large mesh might not be able to stop these little leaves. In this case, you’re going to want a product like the Best-1 Flex Fit Aluminum Gutter Guard, which features a 304 stainless steel micro-mesh that can stop pine needles, shingle grit, and other fine debris.
Each guard panel is 5 inches wide and 3 feet long, and the product is compatible with standard 5-inch K-style and Fascia gutters. You can easily install the guards yourself using a power drill and the screws provided, and the mesh has a unique raised leaf pattern that helps to allow maximum water flow while directing debris off the top of the gutter.
Best for Leaves: Amerimax Snap-In Gutter Guard
The Amerimax Snap-In Gutter Guard is an affordable and easy-to-install solution that will help keep leaves out of your home’s gutters. While not the most durable product out there, the Snap-In Gutter Guards are unparalleled in terms of convenience—they simply snap onto the front lip of the gutter, saving you the hassle of wielding a power drill while balancing on a ladder.
Each panel of these guards is 6-1/2 inches wide and 3 feet long, and they’re compatible with most K-style gutters. They’re made from a lightweight plastic material with an attached filter screen to help block small debris, and the design matches white trim coil, soffit, fascia, and roof drainage systems for a discreet appearance. Plus, they’ll keep leaves from nearby trees out of the gutters, saving you ample time on maintenance.
Best for Metal Roofs: A-M Aluminum Gutter Guard, 5-inch
The A-M Aluminum Gutter Guard can be used with all roof types, including metal roofs. Instead of using mesh, these gutter guards are made from heavy-gauge aluminum with 380 small holes per foot, allowing optimal drainage while keeping debris out.
These metal gutter guards are 5 inches wide and designed for use with hidden hangars, but they will also work with K-style hangars. They’re easy to install onto new or existing gutters using screws (which aren’t included), and they don’t need to be installed underneath shingles, which makes them ideal for homes with metal roofs. Plus, the metal construction ensures the guards will never rust or rot, so they’ll last for years without needing to be replaced.
Best for Cold Climates: All Weather Armour ArmourGuard-Ice Micro Mesh Gutter Guards
One common issue with gutter guards is that they can increase the risk of getting ice dams along your roof-line in the winter. However, the unique ArmourGuard-Ice Micro Mesh Gutter Guards are an ideal solution for those in cold climates, as they include a heat cable system that works to melt ice and prevent dams from forming.
The ArmourGuard-Ice Guards are made up of three pieces: a perforated heavy-duty aluminum channel, a stainless steel mesh, and the heat cable system for melting ice. The heating cable warms the frame and gutter system to eliminate icicles and keep water flowing in winter, and the micro-mesh blocks the leaves and other debris from getting into the gutters year-round. These guards can be fitted to any existing gutter system, but the downside is that they have to be installed by a dealer—it’s not a DIY job.
Best Foam: GutterStuff GS-K5 Foam Gutter Guard
Foam gutter guards like these from GutterStuff are extremely easy to install, as you simply push the foam into the gutter—no screwing or clipping necessary. The triangular piece of foam seals out leaves and other debris while allowing large volumes of water to pass through, and the durable outdoor foam is lightweight and doesn’t dent, bend, crumble, or lose its shape.
Each piece of foam is 5 inches wide and 4 feet long, and they work best with K-style gutters. The foam is treated with both germicide and UV-protection to increase its lifespan, and you can’t see the foam from the ground once it’s inserted into the gutter, making it a good option for those who don’t like the look of traditional gutter guards.
Best Brush-Style: GutterBrush Simple Gutter Guard
The GutterBrush Simple Gutter Guards don’t look anything like traditional gutter guards, but they still work! These unique guards resemble an oversized pipe cleaner, with stiff plastic bristles sticking off a central wire in every direction. This design creates a cylinder-shaped brush that’s 4-1/4 inches in diameter and fits inside standard 5-inch K-style gutters. (The brand sells models with larger diameters, as well.) The bristles block leaves and debris from the gutter, while still allowing water to flow freely to your downspouts.
These are arguably the easiest style of gutter guard to install—all you have to do is slide the 3-foot brush sections into your gutters. They can even be bent around corners, saving you from having to cut pieces. Plus, this style of guard can help to prevent ice dams in the winter by keeping water flowing and encouraging ice to melt faster.
Best Hinged: Amerimax Home Products Hinged Gutter Guard
One downside of permanent gutter guards is that it’s a chore to take them off and clean out any debris that might have slipped through. The Amerimax Home Products Hinged Gutter Guard solves this problem, as it features a unique hinged design that allows you to simply lift up the guard and clean out your gutters as needed.
These products are made of galvanized steel, and they have a convex design that rests on top of your shingles. They come in 3-foot sections that fit standard K-style gutters, and the sturdy metal construction won’t collapse under ice, snow, or debris.
The Gutter Guard by Gutterglove (view at Home Depot) is a great option for 4- or 5-inch gutters, as its stainless steel mesh keeps out debris of all sizes and will last for years. However, for a less expensive solution, consider the Frost King Plastic Gutter Guard (view at Amazon), which comes in 20-foot rolls and is easy to install into your gutters without any tools.