Seeking info about gutter guards

Questions for those who have gotten “gutter guards” to keep the leaves out of your rain gutters: What kind did you get? How well do they work? What was the approximate cost? My house is a 2500 sqft ranch with a basement with about 150 linear feet of gutters. I just want to gather some basic info before engaging with gutter guard salespeople. TIA

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I just had my gutters worked on. When I asked the gutter guy about screens he said he would not recommend them for my house because blossoming fruit trees, like cherry, plum, apple, etc, abundant in my neighborhood, clog the screens every spring.

Agreed about the screens. You can actually end up with weeds growing on top of your screens. A few neighbors have the “gutter helmet” type of solution and they seem to be pleased.

Watching the TV ads, the screens never made sense to me. They appear to be a flat place for leaves to just “land”, then rot, ferment, and grow ugly stuff.

If they were sloped the same angle as the roof, or even more, then maybe.

Thinking about it. Maybe have gutters over doorways, but why else have them? To prevent rain run off to reach the ground? Why?

Depending on the local conditions, gutters, if installed along the edges of down-sloping roof areas, are designed to carry the water to downspouts which route the runoff to the ground and away from the structure’s foundation.

It helps keep basement and crawl spaces dry.

I installed Gutter Helmet back in 2001 on my 2-story ~1700 sq ft twin home. It’s been great and I consider it a good investment in my home.

My lot isn’t wooded, but my neighbors have lots of trees and my gutters would get clogged with leaves and debris. I’d have to get the gutters cleared 1-2 times per year. I don’t do high roofs, so I had to hire someone – it costs.

No gutter guard options are maintenance-free - whatever you choose will have some kind of maintenance!

I do maintenance once per year – after the pollen falls in June – I use a hose with a stream nozzle fitting to blast off the pollen and dirt. I also use a brush on an extension pole to brush along the edge. It takes maybe 45 minutes. This is needed because for the Gutter Helmet to work, the surface needs to be clean so water can adhere and go into the gutter. Here’s a quick maintenance video: Maintenance: Gutter Helmet Maintenance (

If I have my house power-washed, then the cleaning is taken care of for me by the power washing–but I don’t power wash every year!
A neighbor down the street has GH and didn’t do the maintenance and her gutters weren’t working correctly due to buildup of dirt/stuff on the surface for years. I recommended she get her house power-washed (it needed it!) and the gutters were much improved.

Also – if you or some roofer removes the gutters/helmets, that will void the lifetime warranty, and it will likely be re-installed/aligned wrong. See this video: Roofer took off GH and reinstalled wrong - don’t do this My Gutter Helmet dont work (

So when I had my roof done, I had GH uninstall/reinstall the Helmets – they do charge $ for this service (it’s not warranty work). It worked out because they also updated the hardware brackets that mount the Helmets, lined things up correctly, and checked it overall (GH was 15 years old at that point). So it was good to have a checkup done.

I also wrote these instructions and put it with my warranty paperwork, so whoever eventually buys my house will have the information to maintain it.

There are certainly cheaper options than Gutter Helmet. With GH, I got the Helmets, plus new gutters, and I added the option of having the 2nd-story downspouts connect directly to the first-story gutters – prevents discoloration due to debris, etc.
So GH will cost you more than those plastic screens. But if you maintain it and don’t have random people remove/reinstall it incorrectly, it will last a long time and be warrantied for life.

You Tube has videos showing how it works, the installation, and the maintenance.

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Be prepared to be shocked at the first few estimates. Friend of mine had the gutter guard (you know the ones that advertise like crazy) people come out. This was about 10 years ago, and the estimate was north of $5k. My perception is that if you find an affordable company, you will never recover the money for the covers.

I have installed gutter guards of two different types.

Look at the demos. Notice they always feature a light rain on the guard. What if it really pours hard? Rain just sheets over any gutter guard fine enough to keep debris out.

None are maintenance free.

Still hoping someone will invent the perfect gutter guard.