Best DIY gutter guards you can easily install yourself

Tom Horton

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Cold weather is finally here. Just as it’s important to winterize your home before snow shoveling becomes a thing again (ugh), and making sure your house is secured against burglars during the holiday travel season (yikes), you want to make sure your gutters are safe and secure. That’s where gutter guards come in.

The best gutter guards help filter out debris such as leaves, twigs, and tiny flecks of shingle grit from clogging your gutters over time. While there are plenty of professionally installed gutter guards out there that are worth consideration, if you want to save a bit of time and more than a bit of money, DIY gutter guards are the way to go.

“DIY gutter guards can be a lot more cost-friendly than professionally installed guards, thanks to sidestepping the installation fees that come with a professional installation,” says property sales manager at Kingdom Park Homes Wilma Brown. “Installing gutter guards yourself also means that you’ll have more control of the overall process, including the type of guards you will use and the amount as well.”

Going the DIY route means having access to a greater variety of gutter guards — no limiting yourself to systems that require professional installation. Gutter brushes and other DIY types are typically cheaper and easier to deal with overall. Many DIY gutter guards, such as the Gutterstuff original K-style foam inserts, sell in segments (32 feet in the case of Gutterstuff) — making it easy to buy what you need for coverage and nothing more. 

If you’re ready to fortify your gutters for the long haul without spending an arm and a leg on professionally installed gutter protection, then you’re in luck. We explore the best DIY gutter guards you can buy for your home today below.

The best DIY gutter guards for breezy self-installation

If you’re looking for gutter guards that don’t require a 10-step consultation process to have installed, consider purchasing one of these highly rated DIY gutter guards. 

Whether you want more traditional gutter guards that cover your gutter system with a mesh screen or something that makes routine cleaning a snap, such as foam blocks or gutter brushes, we have you covered below.

Top DIY pick: Raptor Gutter Guard

Raptor Gutter Guard logo

Raptor Gutter Guard


Raptor Gutter Guard’s aluminum micro-mesh design can rival some professionally installed systems when it comes to filtering out medium- to small-sized debris such as leaves, pinecones, pine needles, and shingle grit.

The Raptor Gutter Guard is capable of offering better filtration than other guard types, thanks to its reliable micro-mesh design. With its patented V-Bend Technology, this mesh guard is marketed as being more durable than the competition.

The mesh gutter guard by Raptor is available for $125 at Amazon, which breaks down to just $2.60 per foot. Your purchase comes with 48 feet of gutter guard, plus the essential tools you’ll need for installation.

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly DIY prices are a welcome alternative to hefty installation fees.
  • More durable than other brands thanks to this mesh screen’s patented V-Bend technology.
  • Easily installed, removed, and cleaned for stress-free gutter maintenance year round.

Cons:

  • You may need to manually cut and trim to fit the mesh screens to your gutters, as these gutter guards do not come precut.
  • If your home has a gutter system held up by K-style brackets instead of more traditional hidden hangers, you may want to find something more compatible like the original GutterStuff K-style guards.

Easiest installation: GutterBrush Simple Gutter Guard

GutterBrush logo

GutterBrush


This simple yet effective option by GutterBrush is not like other guards. While other companies offer gutter guards that are fixed in place or sit atop your gutters, this gutter brush actually rests inside your gutter to catch and prevent medium and large debris from affecting water flow.

The cylindrical brush’s bristles are designed to fill your entire gutter and block debris. Choose one of several different brush gutter guard sizes to match 5-inch or 6-inch diameter gutters.

Find the original gutter brush on Amazon in lengths ranging from 6 feet to 105 feet, which means you have options whether you’re covering your entire gutter system or just certain sections of your roof.

Pros:

  • Simple design balances decent dirt and leaf filtration capabilities with easy installation (and removal).
  • Bristles are better than other metal designs at reducing winter ice buildup and aiding gutter melting.
  • No worries about difficult installation processes, cutting excess gutter guard, or unsightly final results that may be visible from the road (cough, Gutter Helmet, cough).

Cons:

  • Small debris can still sneak by the GutterBrush’s bristles and build up in your gutters.
  • Regular gutter maintenance will still be required.

Hassle-free maintenance: GutterStuff original K-style gutter guard

GutterStuff logo

GutterStuff


These foam inserts by GutterStuff are a top pick for anyone looking for a straightforward DIY solution. No need to worry about cutting, fitting, or fastening screens to your gutters; these foam gutter guards simply and easily fit right into your gutters.

The foam design of these foam inserts by GutterStuff allows water to flow normally while holding up bits of small, medium, and large debris on top. These are also a great choice if you value gutter guards that aren’t noticeable from the street.

Available in four, five, or six-inch sizes (with five being the most common), these gutter guards come with 32 feet of product per purchase. In addition to the popular K-style design, which offers top-notch leaf filtration and allows water to flow freely in a triangular area below the foam gutter guard inserts, there are also half-round and fascia styles (the latter of which is ideal for deeper than average gutters). 

Pros

  • Super easy installation that involves little more than fitting the foam inserts snugly into your existing gutters.
  • Super effective at filtering out medium and large debris.
  • Cleaning up is a breeze since these inserts are easily removed.

Cons

  • Shingle grit and small bits of dirt may still sneak in and build up in your gutters.
  • Leaves and other debris can build up on top of your gutter guards, which can weigh down your gutters if left unattended.

Most affordable: FlexxPoint

FlexxPoint Gutter Guards

FlexxPoint


FlexxPoint provides a simple yet effective all-metal guard system that comes with an affordable price tag and range of custom options. Like other DIY gutter guards, the FlexxPoint 30 Year Gutter Cover System is available online and easily installed without help or high costs from a team of professional installers.

As the cheapest gutter guard solution on our list, the FlexxPoint 20 Year Gutter Cover System has costs starting at just $1.22 per foot. You have a choice between 9 size options, ranging from 22 feet ($44) to 5,100 feet ($5,600). Since you’re likely not dealing with a small shack or sprawling vista, you’re probably looking for between 102 and 200 feet — shop options for an average-sized home below.

Pros:

  • The most affordable gutter guards on our list. 
  • Backed by a 30-year product defect and performance warranty.
  • Choose between black, brown, or white colors to find the perfect match for any home.

Cons:

  • Some customer reviews claim these lose effectiveness under heavy rain.
  • Thin aluminum design may not be best for withstanding icy winters.

What are the advantages of DIY gutter guards?

Installation prices can be a real clog in the downspout, if you catch our drift. While there are plenty of reasons to consider professional installation over DIY gutter guards for your gutter protection needs, especially if your budget can accommodate it, there’s just something about tackling the challenge on your own and pocketing the hundreds (if not thousands) you would have spent on a professional installed gutter guard system.

Average installation costs in areas like New York, NY can go up to $16 per foot. Most homes have 100 to 200 feet of gutters to cover, which could mean costs up to (and over) $3,000. With DIY gutter guards, you could potentially avoid paying thousands by handling the installation process yourself.

Other potential benefits include:

  • Super easy installation: For DIY gutter guards, the installation process itself is actually simple. Most simply slide over or sit within your gutters. Removal is also relatively easy when it’s time to clean.
  • Reduced gutter maintenance: While a professional gutter guard system can be more effective than the DIY alternative at keeping smaller debris from building up in there, self-installed gutter guards of any kind still get the job done well enough that you won’t need to worry about cleaning them as often throughout the year.

How do you install DIY gutter guards?

“DIY gutter guards have gotten much easier to install over the years,” says owner of construction company Crossroads Foundation Repair Kyle Leman. 

“You still need to get your ladder out and drill it out, but drop-in models require minimal handiwork. All the instructions are available on the website, in the packet, or both. When it comes to cleaning them, you’ll have to do it less often. Smaller debris can still make its way through your gutter and build up over time, but that’s inevitable. What matters is that you’ll clean it much less frequently.”

Homeowners that can’t resist a good DIY project are in luck, as DIY gutter guard installation is among the easier challenges you and your power tools can come up against. The only time you might break a sweat is if you need to do some manual adjustments to make certain guards, such as mesh screens, fit your existing gutter system. This is less of a concern with drop-in gutter guards. 

Drop-models include gutter brushes and foam blocks. These will give homeowners the least amount of hassle when it’s time to get everything set up: it really is as simple as climbing a ladder and dropping these gutter guards in their place. You won’t have to worry about cutting sheets of aluminum to make everything fit.

“While gutter guards will help to protect against debris, you will likely have to continue cleaning them periodically,” says Brown.  “I recommend having someone who can assist you with both the installation and cleaning process for safety reasons.” 

Just like the best professionally installed gutter guards, any gutter covers you install yourself will still need one thing: occasional gutter maintenance. Your reliable new gutter guards can do wonders with reducing how often you need to clean out your gutters (or how much of a headache the process is), but you’ll still need to check on them once or twice a year at least.


How to choose the best gutter guards

“While I advise [homeowners] to thoroughly research the materials that will be best for your house, many people purchase DIY gutter guards made out of micro-mesh, foam, and even brush inserts,” says Brown. “Ultimately, you’ll want to use guards that work efficiently enough with the common debris that you can expect in your area. Durability is also key here, where you’ll want to choose a material that will last you, and the climate you live in, for an extended time period.” 

Foam inserts are a good weather-resistant choice since they won’t freeze during the colder winter months. If you opt for a cover system to handle your dirt, debris, and leaf filtration needs, look for steel or aluminum mesh and other rust-proof materials.

Since you’re going the DIY route, you’ll also need to measure the length of the gutters around your roof ahead of time. GutterBrush recommends measuring from both the lowest and highest points of the gutter since measurements may differ. 

In terms of pricing, foam guards average between $400 and $650 for around 200 linear feet, which is typically enough for the average-sized one-family home. Since installation costs are not a part of the equation here, you can save big-time in the short-term (especially with some professionally installed systems like gutter helmets costing up to $4,000 or more).

Sometimes, you just need a sign. If you’re still on the fence about whether or not gutter guards are worth it, consider the following indicators that mean it’s time to change your approach to gutter maintenance (and invest in a gutter guard): 

  • You have gutters that are visibly warped, bent, or sagging under the weight of debris.
  • Visible corrosion or rust on your gutters, which could indicate trapped moisture in or around your roof.
  • Tacky mold or mildew on your home’s outer walls, which could indicate a gutter blockage.
  • Unwanted pests and critters have taken up residence in your gutters. If you see signs of insects, birds, or squirrels, first call a pest control company. Second: invest in gutter guards.

How we picked the best gutter guards

As always when reviewing products and services, we took into consideration a number of things when comparing the best DIY gutter guards. In order to help you find the best gutter guards for your home, we stuck to the following criteria:

  • Type and material: Since there’s no one-size-fits-all option with gutter guards, we looked at the top picks for aluminum, stainless steel, plastic, foam, and mesh guards.
  • Warranty: The best gutter guards offer warranties that last 20 years or longer. We prioritized companies that offer additional security for your gutter guards like transferable lifetime warranties.
  • Installation methods: We went with gutter guards that were a breeze to install. That means simple foam, brush, or mesh screen systems that are easy to set up and take apart to clean.
  • Customer reviews: We stuck with companies that boast a majority of positive reviews from happy homeowners.

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Tom Horton www.cbsnews.com

SOURCE
2024-01-11 01:55:46 , Home – CBSNews.com

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