If we asked all those of you who own a home to rank the top three most dangerous and tedious chores specific to home and not apartment owners, gutter cleaning would surely be in the top three list for most of you. That’s because it’s a messy job, it’s completely unsanitary, and it poses a great risk.
So, gutter guards seem like the most natural option at this point. But with so many different types to choose from, how can one possibly tell which one is the most efficient? And how do you even compare the different types and brands? For instance, if we were to look at several gutter guards vs. LeafGuard, the brand that many professionals recommend, which guards would come out on top? Let’s get into it below.
Gutter Guard vs. LeafGuard Comparisons
|GutterBrush Gutter Guard||LeafGuard|
|Review Check Price Here||Source|
This comparison may seem a bit far-fetched at first glance. It’s like trying to compare an iPhone to multiple generic cell phones in one review. But, as the facts unfold below, you’ll see that there are real differences between LeafGuard and almost every other type of gutter guard out there.
We will start off by talking about gutter guards. There are countless brands that manufacture gutter guards, and each one is slightly different than the next. The one thing that they all have in common is that they are all supposed to protect your gutter systems from leaves and debris, hence reducing maintenance and gutter upkeep time and costs.
Below, we break down everything you need to know about general gutter guards, including what they are made from, how to install them, maintenance, warranty options, and more.
Gutter guards come in many shapes and sizes. These are the five most common types of rain guards:
- Mesh guards are something like metal sheets with a multitude of tiny holes in them. These holes allow water to pass through the surface while keeping most debris out of the gutters.
- Bottlebrush rain guards, also referred to as brush guards, have a cylindrical shape. They are similar in looks to wire cleaning brushes and are quite efficient at keeping out large forms of debris.
- Foam gutter guards, just as the name suggests, are made out of foam. They are made to fit inside the gutters, but they are not all that efficient in the sense that the material can retain a lot of moisture and potentially aid the formation of mold and bacteria.
- Screen rain guards are amongst the most common types of guards for gutters. They look similar to mesh rain guards, with a plastic or metal surface filled with holes. However, these holes are larger compared to the mesh option, and might not be effective against smaller forms of debris, such as pine needles.
- Reverse curve gutter guards, also known as “surface tension gutter guards,” have been around for decades, but manufacturers have been constantly evolving their construction. They are a less efficient form of protecting the gutters since debris gets stuck in the curved sections. They are also hard to clean and visible from the ground up.
Installing most gutter guards is quite a simple task. Generally speaking, all you need is a ladder, measuring tape, and a pair of heavy-duty snippers (or something similar to trim the guards). Start by climbing up your ladder and carefully measuring each gutter. After measuring your gutter lengths, cut the guards to match. Climb back up and slip them into your gutters.
Foam and brush types require no additional installation. For other types, however, you will most likely need to secure them to the underside of the bottom row of shingles on your roof; this could void your roof warranty. Other models may even require some sort of clip or screw to anchor the guards to the opposite side of your gutters. Make sure to look into the installation process for the particular sort of guards you want to install before purchasing them and make sure you can handle it.
Some gutter guards are better off being installed by professionals. This service can cost anywhere from a couple of hundred bucks and up to several hundred dollars.
The level at which a gutter guard may actually protect your gutter system depends on the type of guards you choose. Mesh guards are considered to be the most efficient because their tiny holes barely let anything else rather than water pass through the surface. However, even mesh rain guards have their flaws. People who live in areas where heavy rainfall is common have stated that sometimes the fine mesh screen can’t handle the volume of a downpour, so rainwater eventually flows over instead of going inside the gutters.
Regardless of what type you choose, most of them do a good job at what they are advertised to do. But, just about all of them will still let some small percent of tiny debris through. Furthermore, mud can form in the bottom of your gutters if they let too many particles through, even the small ones. The main thing to remember is that these products are not the end-all-be-all to maintaining your gutters; you will still need to clean your gutters from time to time, no matter how efficient the guards are.
Taking proper care of your guards is pretty simple once installed. Isn’t that partially the point, after all, to eliminate the hassle of cleaning your gutters? For the most part, a few minutes, once or twice each year, is all that it takes. You will need gloves and a ladder at the very least, though. A drop cloth and a water hose could be handy as well if you have them.
Carefully set your ladder and climb on up. Using your hands, or some sort of soft bristle brush, sweep the loose debris from the tops of the guards. If you placed drop clothes below, the majority of the debris you throw down will be quick and easy to clean up from the ground level once you climb back down.
If it isn’t a hassle, remove the guards, section by section, and remove any built-up debris from inside the gutters themselves. Toss the material down to your drop cloth and replace the guard before moving on. Once you’ve wiped down and removed all the debris from your guards and gutters, use a harden hose to rinse them out and check for clogged downspouts.
The warranty of gutter guards will vary from one manufacturer to another. However, there are a lot of brands that stand by their products in such a manner, that they offer a lifetime warranty for their gutter guards. These are obviously the best ones, but they also cost the most. If this is a subject of particular interest for you, look for gutter guards that have at least 25 years of warranty, although lifetime guarantees will provide a lot more peace of mind.
That said, certain gutter guard types are not meant to last a lifetime, nor 25 years. Some of the products, even the best of their kind, are meant to last no longer than three or four years, five tops. These types of guards will of course not have such long-lasting warranties or guarantees. Foam and brush types tend to fall into this category. So, if you are shopping for one of these types, any warranty or guarantee at all is a sign of a solid product, even if it is only 90-days or 1-year.
What the professionals say
The professionals that install gutter guards have pretty mixed reviews on particular brands. That said, LeafGuard does show up high on most of their lists. Other brands recommended by professionals vary but include LeafFilter, Gutter Shutter, Gutter Glove, and many more. Further, some professionals refuse to work with brands aside from the ones that they believe in and trust. So, if you have your heart set on a certain type of gutter guard, and plan to have it professionally installed, you may want to contact a few professionals beforehand and make sure they will work with the brand/product.
LeafGuard gutter protectors are based on a relatively basic scientific principle called liquid adhesion. The surface of these guards facilitates rainwater travel around the curved hood while also keeping debris out of the gutters. In comparison to other types of gutter and rain guards, LeafGuard is constructed from one continuous aluminum piece, rather than numerous inserts.
The guards measure 18-inches in width and are customized to the length that the homeowner requests. What’s even more impressive is that the metal that makes LeafGuard protectors is 20-percent thicker compared to other similar products. That means two things; one, they are more durable, and, two, they are a bit heavier than competitor products like Gutter Helmet or Gutter Topper.
Installation of LeafGuard is better left up to the professionals unless you are quite handy with power-tools while working from a ladder. Even then, if you can afford it, having professionals do the installation process for your LeafGuard will most likely give you some extra coverage via a warranty from the company that did the job for you. Cost-wise, according to HomeGuide, the average cost of purchasing LeafGuard for 150 to 200 feet worth of gutters, including professional installation is between $2,150 to $7,400.
LeafGuard takes pride in the gutter protection system they invented. It features a debris-shedding design that surpasses the protection capacity of other gutter protectors. The curved hood allows water to pass through into the gutter, while “pushing” debris away from the gutters.
The hood is supported by hangers resistant to corrosion. These hangers are attached to your fascia board through the backside of the gutters, using high-quality screws. By avoiding the use of nails to secure the system, the gutter guards stay in place for longer.
The gutter bottom is larger compared to many of the typical gutter guards, which means that heavy rainfalls should not be a problem (and LeafGuard has the laboratory tests to back up this statement).
One of the biggest benefits of having LeafGuard gutters is that they require much less upkeep than other brands. Some owners claim they never need to clean their gutters anymore. We don’t know about that, but we do know that they reportedly keep out the majority of debris, year after year, and rarely let more than water into the gutter systems they are guarding. So, if you are looking for a rain guard that requires very little maintenance, this one could really be the one for you.
LeafGuard comes with a lifetime warranty. That means that you are covered as long as you are the owner of the house on which the gutter guard system is installed. It doesn’t get much better than that.
What the Professionals Say
Professionals generally seem to be a fan of LeafGuard. This could be due to the fact that it works so well, or that it comes with a lifetime warranty. It could also be that they take longer to install, and a bit more skill, which in turn allows them to charge the homeowners more than if they were installing something like brush or foam guards. At any rate, many professionals that voiced their opinions on this product did so in a positive fashion.
Overall Pros and Cons
When it comes to the most significant advantages and disadvantages of LeafGuard, and general gutter guards, most of the facts are pretty apparent.
Both LeafGuard and generic gutter guards will protect your gutters from clogging with debris, help regulate water flow, and avoid flooding if installed correctly. They can also reduce the amount of time and money required for maintaining your home’s gutter systems dramatically.
LeafGuard, though, has more advantages than the average guards do. For example, they are more durable, consisting of thicker metal than just about everything on the market. They are also wider than the average guard system. Even more, LeafGuards patented design really works, and rarely lets anything but water into your gutters, so you rarely need to perform any kind of maintenance.
The biggest drawback to general gutter guards is that, regardless of the type, they are well known for making mud or cultivating thick moss in the bottom of your gutter systems if they are not properly installed and maintained. And that, some would say, defeats the purpose of installing them in the first place if you are going to have to work, or shell out cash, for not only installing them but for cleaning them once or twice a year as well.
As far as LeafGuard goes, on the other hand, the most crucial con seems to be the price. Other than that, there isn’t much to complain about; though some people don’t particularly like the way that they look. But, hey, what would you prefer? Messy clogged up gutters that overflow every time it rains, or a somewhat bulky-looking guard like LeafGuard that you rarely ever need to clean?
Gutter Guard vs. LeafGuard: Which One Should You Choose?
LeafGuard is one of the best-selling gutter protectors on the market for a reason. They have designed a winning concept and differentiated their product from the industry standard, up to a point where they offer features that no other gutter protection system provides.
Despite the fact that LeafGuard limits you to choose a single type of guard, while the general options are wider and more diverse, the system that they provide is well-made, comes with a lifetime warranty, and continues to stand the test of time.
If you’ve set your mind on getting a gutter guard, have a look at our Easyon Gutter Guard vs. GutterGlove comparison.