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The Best Gutter Guards: 5 Things to Look for

How can you determine if one thing is better than another? Well, the first step is deciding on the criteria upon which to base any claims of “better” or “best.” And in the world of gutter guards, you have to know which factors to weigh before figuring out which product is the best choice for you.

Here are five things to consider:

1. Construction. The most basic aspect about a gutter guard is how it’s made. That starts with the materials used for the product. Some are made with plastic or soft metals, while others are fashioned with sturdier aluminum or steel. Also, gutter guards have different ways off keeping debris out of gutters. They may feature a “mesh” design with small holes or have slots cut into them where water is designed to flow. True gutter covers are characterized by a “reverse curve” shape, which repels solid debris while allowing the water to run down its surface and into the gutters.

2. Lifespan. Naturally, you’ll also want to determine how long gutter guards are supposed to last (and when you’ll have to buy and/or install new ones). While gutter guards you purchase at a store may be less expensive than complete gutter protection systems, they generally aren’t designed to last more than a few years. On the other hand, comprehensive gutter guard products have lifespans anywhere from a decade to a quarter century or longer. Again, it comes down to whether you want to replace your gutter guards periodically and save money, or pay more and not have to worry about it again.

3. Installation. Like many other homeowner projects, a key question is whether to do it yourself or outsource the job to a contractor. Most gutter guards sold in home improvement stores can be installed by homeowners, but it might behoove you to find out precisely how much work is involved. Conversely, gutter guards which require professional installation are almost always going to cost more; but then, you won’t have to subject yourself to added danger by climbing around on your roof or ladder.

4. Guarantees. You’ll also want to gauge how confident the gutter guard manufacturers are with the quality of their products. Are the materials guaranteed for a certain timeframe? If you have gutter guards installed, is the labor under warranty for a specific period of time? In either case, be sure to determine exactly what constitutes “substandard” quality before the guarantee or warranty kicks in. Also, if a gutter guard company offers a “no-clog” guarantee, read the fine print to see what is considered to be a clog and what type of remedy is provided in these cases.

5. Warranty voidance. There’s one more thing that many homeowners forget about when weighing new gutter guards: will their installation void any warranty offered by a roofing company? Many gutter guards attach underneath shingles, which some roofers consider “altering the roof” and thus a breach of the company’s warranty provisions. That means if you do see broken or missing shingles or similar damage elsewhere on your roof, the roofing company has a loophole which they can use to avoid performing warranty repairs. So ask gutter guard installers directly about this issue or check your most recent roofing contract.

Photo credit #2: Elvert Barnes

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I recently had the Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet installed on my house. It not only looks amazing, but the guys arrived on time, were professional and efficiently got the job done. I am very satisfied with Gutter Helmet's attention to detail and fulfilling their work as promised. I will definitely tell my neighbors about the Gutter Helmet.
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I have had Gutter Helmets for 20 years. In all that time I've never had a problem until recently a bird's nest found its way into one of my gutters. The installer who came to replace the product was the same installer from 20 years earlier. Now that's impressive. Everyone at Gutter Helmet inclusive of the office staff were professional and a pleasure to work with.
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Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet just replaced our roof and we could not be more satisfied. The crew showed up early, worked all day and stayed late, were professional and caring regarding the project and the surrounding impact it had on our property and home. They completed the roof quickly and it looks simply amazing!
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VERY happy with our entire experience adding Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet to our house. Installing this was a great value for us. The gutters are working perfectly in heavy downpours and with year-long leaves and debris coming down from our river birches. Terrific customer service and a first class product.
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We needed our roof repaired due to wind damage. After several quotes, Gutter Helmet was the only company that went into our attic to look and see if more damage had occurred. If it wasn't for them taking the extra time to look at everything, we would have had rotting wood under our new roof. They were very professional and gave a fair quote.
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We just had Gutter Helmet installed on our gutters and couldn't be happier. They provided us with useful information about Gutter Helmet and cleaned up everything, leaving no mess behind. We definitely recommend Gutter Helmet to anyone considering this product.
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