Wondering which one of the Best Gutter Guards to install on your home is? Or whether you can install gutter guards yourself? Today, we show you the answers to both questions and get you well on your way to completing this DIY project in one day.
We think most homeowners will find Gutter Guards to be an inexpensive and super-effective way to keep debris such as leaves, pine needles, and sticks from clogging gutters and downspouts.
For any homeowner, who is moderately handy and capable of using an extension ladder, gutter guard installation is a fairly simple DIY project to take on.
Note: If you’re averse or unable to climb a Ladder or use power tools – please, consider hiring a professional gutter installer, such as “Leaf Filter,” to furnish and install your gutter guards instead of buying the material and installing them yourself.
The “Best” Types of Gutter Guards To Install Yourself (DIY)
1) “Plastic Mesh” Gutter Guards (Economy)
Plastic Mesh Gutter Guards are the least expensive and easiest gutter guards to install. With this type of gutter guard, Water flows into the gutter, and the Debris is trapped by the plastic mesh on top.
Vinyl Mesh gutter guards are commonly available in 6″ width x 20′-0″ length rolls. To install – simply unroll the length required, cut, then insert the plastic mesh into the gutter. That’s it!
In the “Get what you Pay For” category – Plastic mesh gutter guards definitely suit their purpose, but do so with a less permanent solution.
Tools Required: Sharp Scissors, Ladder.
DIY Difficulty Rating: 3 (Scale: 1-10, 10 being most difficult)
VIDEO – How TO Install Frost King Gutter Guards
- Easy to install
- Just requires a pair of Scissors (and a Ladder, of course 🙂
- Inexpensive: Approximately $.35 cents per foot
- Blocks Most large Debris (Leaves, Sticks, etc.)
- Flexible 6″ width accommodates most gutter sizes
- Plastic mesh can become damaged by UV light, Ice, Wind, or Fallen Branches
- Mesh can trap seeds, pine needles, or other small debris
- Requires more maintenance than more expensive Gutter Guard designs.
2) “Foam” Gutter Guards (Mid-Grade)
When considering Value, Effectiveness, and the easiest installation of DIY gutter guards – “Foam” gutter guards from GutterStuff are definitely one to consider. This 5″ foam gutter guard design comes in 4 ft. lengths, eight pieces to a box, and is super easy to cut and install in any K-Style gutter.
Tools Required: (Bread Knife, Hacksaw, or Utility Knife), Ladder,
DIY Difficulty Rating: 3 (Scale: 1-10, 10 being most difficult)
VIDEO – “Do Foam Gutter Guards Work?”
- Easy installation
- UV Protected Foam
- Blocks most Debris
- Allows water to flow through to Gutter
- Expensive @ $2.60/ft
- Not as permanent as Stainless Fine Mesh Gutter Guards
- Maintenance: Debris can stick to the surface
- 3-5 year longevity depending on Climate.
Our recommendation – If you are not comfortable with using tin snips or drilling screws from a ladder, this is an excellent choice for the DIY homeowner. However, for the same price, and if you Are capable of cutting and using a cordless drill – take a look at the Fine Mesh Gutter Guards below.
3) “Fine Mesh” Gutter Guards – (Best Overall)
The “Fine Mesh” Gutter Guard is made from Stainless Steel Micro Mesh and an Aluminum Frame and offers a significant upgrade over plastic mesh or foam gutter guards. This type of gutter guard is also considered “Low Profile,” – meaning it isn’t easily seen from ground level, providing a clean, attractive installation.
Fine mesh stainless steel gutter guards function similarly to plastic mesh gutter guards, but with noticeable improvements by preventing less debris into gutters, a permanent installation, and superior damage resistance.
This is the type of gutter guard the Pros install. Check out our link below to buy the material directly from Amazon or compare the DIY approach to hiring professional gutter guard installers like LeafFilter.
Tools Required: Sharp pair of “Tin Snips”, Cordless Drill (to attach self-tapping screws), Ladder.
DIY Difficulty Rating: 6 (Scale: 1-10, 10 being the most difficult)
- Permanent Installation (25-Year Warranty)
- Easy to Install – Snap in place – Set with Screws
- Traps all unwanted debris from entering Gutters
- Available in 12 – 4 Ft. pieces per Box (48 Ft. total)
- Requires Periodic Maintenance to remove debris
- More Expensive – Approximately $2.50 per foot
- Can Trap unwanted debris in “flat through” design
- Requires a higher set of DIY skills (Cutting & Fastening)
Check out this Quick video from Raptor Gutter Guard to see it in action:
This is the type of gutter guard the pros install, and if you want to get rid of regular gutter clean-out maintenance, this would be our first choice for gutter guards.
Check out our link below to buy material direct from Amazon, and compare your DIY approach to hiring professional gutter guard installers like LeafFilter.
Raptor Fine Mesh Gutter Guards
How Do You Install Gutter Guards?
To get started installing gutter guards, you will need to use the following tools:
- Extension ladder – Height to match your roof height.
- Leaf Blower – To blow out or vacuum existing debris located in gutters. Preferably use a Cordless (battery-powered and less cumbersome), but the corded blower will work.
- Garden Hose – (Optional) Use a Garden hose and Spray Nozzle To rinse out the remaining debris after the initial blow-out of debris.
- Cutting Tools – Scissors, Utility Knife, or Tin Snips – Dependent on which type of gutter guards you choose.
- Drill – Cordless drill to install self-tapping screws (Only required for installation of Metal Mesh Gutter Guards)
We also invite you to watch our “Product Videos” above or view the How to Install Gutter Guards videos from each manufacturer – you will see them when you click on the Product Link to view prices or more details.
There are different methods for installing gutter guards, ranging from drop-in to permanent fastener installation, all depending on which style you opt for.
DIY Rating for Installation of Gutter Guards from 1-10 – (10 being the most difficult) *
- Plastic Mesh Gutter Guards – Rating: 3
- Foam Gutter Guards – Rating: 3
- Fine Mesh (Screw attachment) Gutter Guards – Rating: 7
*Methods of installation range from the simple; Vinyl Mesh or Foam, which you simply cut for length and fit inside the gutter, to more professional products, like mesh screen gutter guards, which require cutting gutter guards with tin snips, and fastening gutter guards to the gutters, with screws.
Gutter guards are made in various styles to accommodate your budget and your installation ability. They are also relatively inexpensive – assuming you’re not trying to cover four sides of a large house.
Gutter maintenance can be a laborsome, dirty, and Unsafe chore to undertake for most homeowners. However, gutters and downspouts provide tremendous results in preventing flooding – and diverting water away from the foundation of your home. The simple design of Gutters provides for the collection of debris that can ultimately clog your gutters.
However, for gutters and downspouts to actually “work,” they need to be free of debris to function correctly. To that end, you can continue to climb ladders, dig out by hand, or blow the debris out of your gutters – twice or more times a year. That, or simply install gutter guards. One and done!
Gutter Guards provide the solution for the gutter maintenance problem by preventing debris from piling up in gutters and clogging downspouts to keep the water flowing in your gutters.
As in all cases, you can compare the costs of doing this DIY project yourself – Using any of the products recommended above, or if you have the budget, contact a Professional Gutter Guard company for an estimate.
If you love being outdoors and working on your home, we think you will enjoy this project – And you will certainly appreciate NOT having to dig debris out of your gutters regularly.
To that end, best wishes with your research – and hopefully with your new Gutter Guard project!
Thanks for visiting – be sure to check out our many other “Best Product” reviews @ BestHomeGear.Com
References & Additional Reading:
- How To Take Care of Your Lawn Mower – The Art of “Lawn Mower Maintenance”
- The Best Self-Propelled Mower You Can Buy – Besthomegear.com
- The Best Gas Fire Pit Tables To Heat Up Your Patio
- How To Maintain Rechargeable Batteries – Wikipedia.Org
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