It’s a rainy day and your gutters are overflowing. Maybe its fall time and you’re just tired of climbing the dangerous ladder every year or paying someone to do it. What happens next? Whether you’re looking for gutter cleaning or gutter covers, these top ten gutter protection products and services can help you keep your gutters clear 365 days of the year – and 366 days in leap years.
1. Reverse Curve Gutter Guard
This design fits neatly over your existing gutters, allowing you to avoid new gutter installation. Otherwise known as top gutter covers, these gutter guards mimic the extension of your roof line over your gutters and utilize surface tension to help water cling to the surface and enter your gutter. The front of the gutter guard sticks out over the lip of the gutter. Water is displaced over panel and moves into the gutter, while all major debris is direct out past your gutter opening falling to the ground.
Pros: Most reverse curve systems are made from a high strength aluminum alloy and come with an internal bracket system that reinforces your existing gutters to handle heavy weight and high wind situations. You’ll never need to clean your gutters again and many providers guarantee not only clear gutters but also come with a free flowing performance guarantee.
Cons: You’ll need to select a reputable local installer to ensure that your gutter guards are installed correctly. Warranties do vary among each product, so ask for the warranty language before making your purchase decision.
Providers: Gutter Helmet, TruGuard, Leaf Off, LeafLock
2. Flexible Mesh Gutter Guards
These gutter guards are a screen, mesh or filter that fit onto your gutters. The mesh portion is designed to collect rain water (think a coffee filter) and the screen keeps most debris out, preventing it from falling into the gutter.
Pros: Mesh screen is relatively inexpensive and it will keep most debris out of your gutters. It’s a do-it-yourself project or you can opt for a professional installation.
Cons: Mesh screens are made from low quality materials (PVC/plastic) and not as effective as other gutter guard products due to the mesh portion getting clogged overtime from pollen, tree sap, moss, etc. The mesh portion needs to be cleaned periodically and many providers provide you with a brush in the box or at time of installation. Heavy snow loads and falling branches are also a concern.
Providers: Gutterglove, TruValue, GutterGuard, FrostKing, FlexPoint
3. Solid Mesh Gutter Guards
These guards are a sturdier alternative to flexible mesh gutter guards. They slip into your gutters, and they often come with a longer guarantee unlike the flexible mesh screen. Some solid mesh screens snap onto your gutters or they are attached onto the gutter lip then secured onto your roof or fascia board.
Pros: They keep all debris out of your gutters and are stronger than flexible mesh products. Many come with a guarantee no debris will ever enter your gutter.
Cons: Like a flexible mesh screen, any mesh screen or filter clogs over time from pollen, tree sap, moss, etc. No matter how fine the mesh, decomposing debris will break down and weave into the mesh screen potentially prohibiting rain water from entering. Again, you’ll need to select a reputable local installer to ensure that your guards are installed correctly and warranties do vary among each product, so ask for the warranty language before making your purchase decision.
Providers: Valor, Gutter Helmet Micro-CS, GutterDome, Gutterglove, LeafBlaster, MasterShield, AmeriMax
4. One Piece Gutter and Cover System
One piece systems combine your gutters and cover together or they present the appearance of being one in the same. They are custom fitted for your house and installed in the same manner in which your regular gutters are attached via an inside hanger through to your fascia board. One piece systems often come with a lifetime performance guarantee similar to a reverse curve gutter guard.
Pros: If your gutters are old and you’re also looking at a gutter guard then a one piece system may be a great option. They come in variety of colors since they are custom roll formed onsite from gutter coil using a proprietary gutter machine.
Cons: Given the combo of gutter and guard, one piece systems handle less water than your current gutter system and they don’t feature a nose forward design therefore allowing more debris to accumulate into your gutters. One piece systems will install bigger downspouts to accommodate for this. If budget is a concern, an average installation can be very costly as you’re not only getting a gutter guard but you’re replacing all the gutters and downspouts at the same time.
Providers: LeafGuard, KGuard
5. Bottle Brush Gutter Guard
These gutter protection products sit inside your gutters. The brush collects debris, allowing water to flow easily from your roof into your drains. These products come in many different diameters to fit many different gutters.
Pros: They reduce the amount of gutter cleaning you need to do.
Cons: They need to be cleaned frequently since debris can accumulate on top of or inside the bristle.
Providers: GutterBrush, Any Major Box or Home Improvement Store
6. Foam Gutter Guards
Foam gutter guards are an insert that you place into your gutters. Since your gutters are full of foam, it’s not possible for leaves and sticks to clog your gutters. The foam has small holes that allow the water to pass through.
Pros: Fairly easy for a DIYer to install.
Cons: The little pores in the foam inserts can easily get clogged with fine sediment. They’re hard to clean, so this can mean that you need to change your gutter inserts on a regular basis and pay for a new set.
Providers: Raingo, GutterGuard, GutterStuff
7. Gutter Cover & Heat Cable Systems
Have you ever seen a row of beautiful icicles hanging off your gutters? When water freezes, it expands. That ice hanging off your gutter is also expanding and moving underneath your roofing where it can cause leaks. That’s why you need a gutter heating system if you’re in a cold climate. Gutter heating can save your roof from ice dams which can be costly to repair the damages.
Pros: You’ll have the guard and the heat to avoid the build up of ice and snow along the eaves of your home and help reduce your risk of ice dams, even when it’s really cold.
Cons: You’ll need professional assistance to install the heating system with your guard system or just the cabling system alone.
Providers: EasyHeat, FlexElec, WarmlyYours, Gutter Helmet – Helmet Heat, ProTherm
8. Gutter Cleaning Tongs and Scoops
If you don’t have a gutter guard, you’ll need to clean your gutters. There are a variety of gutter cleaning products on the market. Gutter cleaning poles help you clean your gutters without reaching into the gutters with your hands. Some gutter cleaning tools only extend for a short distance so you still need to stand on a ladder when cleaning. Others use an extension pole that allows you to reach into your gutter while you stand on the ground.
Pros: Extend your reach and stay safe since you don’t need to stand on a ladder.
Cons: You won’t be sure if your gutter is completely clean if you can’t see inside. Some products still require you to stand on a ladder.
Providers: Gutter Sense, GutterTongs, GutterGettr
9. Gutter Vacuum Accessories
Do you have a Shop Vac? If so, you may be able to use it to clean your gutters. This solution works well in dry climates. If you have dry debris clogging your gutters, use the attachments to connect to your Shop Vac to suck the debris into your vacuum.
Pros: You’ll be able to efficiently move debris from your gutters.
Cons: The leaves and gutters must be dry.
Providers: Toro, Home Depot, Ridgid, Craftsman (Sears)
10. Gutter Sprayer
If you need gutter cleaning but don’t want to pay for it, use a gutter sprayer on a pole to wash out your gutters while you stand on the ground. Gutter sprayers may also feature mirrors so that you can see what you have in your gutters.
Pros: You can see the inside of your gutters and clean them at the same time.
Cons: Spraying water above your head can be messy.
Providers: iRobot, SunJoe, Gutter Blast, Orbit
At Harry Helmet, we’re here to protect your gutters. If you’re considering a gutter guard or gutter heating system this year, contact us. Schedule an appointment today to learn more about the many ways that we can help keep your home secure.