Is it Wise to Choose Cheap Gutter Guards?

Gutter guards and gutter covers can be inexpensive–down right cheap or they can be very expensive. How do you know if cheap gutter guards will work for you or if you really need the best gutter guards?

The answer depends on how much tree debris you have and the design of the leaf guards. If you’re only dealing with leaves and tree debris from distant trees then you can go with cheap gutter guards. But you don’t want cheap gutter guards that easily dislodge with wind or heavy animals such as raccoons or squirrels that can chew through them or dig them out of the gutter.

The easiest gutter covers to dislodge are flimsy screens made of wire mesh or plastic mesh. They usually get laid on top of the gutter and in some instances actually get clipped or screwed to the gutter. One type is actually a solid top gutter that is held in place with a clip that is the size of a quarter. It works loose and the gutter cover collapses into the gutter. They usually sell for up to about $6.00 per foot installed and are really worthless for after the first wind storm, they get blown to the ground or collapse into the gutter.

One style of hinged gutter guard looks substantial however, it accumulates debris on the roof and when you go to lift it for cleaning all the debris that has accumulated on the roof falls into the gutter.

In summary, all flimsy leaf guards require yearly inspections and maintenance even in light debris conditions.

In light debris conditions you need an inexpensive gutter guard that gets directly screwed to the gutters with with clips that are screwed to the gutters. If you google Niagara gutter covers you’ll find such a single fin gutter guard.

In heavy debris conditions it pays to find the best gutter guard that you can possibly find. Why? The answer is because you don’t want to choose an expensive–one would assume that expensive gutter guards are the best, but often not so. In fact most expensive gutter guards can be a night mare in heavy debris conditions.

In spite of their claims many pass debris into the gutters of sufficient amounts to clog the gutters–especially the single fin types that look like the Niagara system mentioned above. Their water collectors will also clog requiring maintenance–someone has to go up a ladder to clean them.

For medium debris conditions, the best leaf guard is a hybrid of a single fin type gutter guard. Google Care-Free gutter covers to find a single row louvered system which is moderately priced.

However, for heavy debris conditions the only and best gutter guard for the job is a double row louvered gutter guard. Google “Waterloov Gutter Guards” to find such a device. No matter how much debris or how heavy the debris, the gutters inside never clog and when the louvered water collectors clog, it is easily seen from the ground and can be easily serviced by the homeowner with a telescopic pole and brush. This type of gutter guard has been used since 1989 giving it over a twenty year track record.

Richard Kuhns B.S.Ch.E. President and CEO of R.K. Industries manufacturer of the Waterloov® Gutter Protection System. To learn more about the best gutter guards–self cleaning gutters–please go to