The Best Gutter Guard & Covers Reviewed

Let’s call it how it is: most gutter guards don’t work well. So, being leery of choosing the best gutter guard is a natural response. There are several materials, styles, and installation options. How do you know when a new gutter system is needed and which is best for your needs?

Well, we are going to cover a lot of details regarding each choice. Here, we will give you the contractor inside information that will reveal our recommendations and uncover the truth about gutter cover systems! Get the information you need to make a sound choice!

Types of Gutter Protection

Gutter guards are the most controversial subject relating to gutter protection! Several manufacturers use operative words such as guard, leaf filter, protection, and other words within the names of their products and company branding.

But beware, just because encouraging words are used doesn’t mean the cover is worthy of installation or does what it claims. 

There are several gutter guards on the market. To know which covers work best, we must assess the protection needed. Four common types of debris will potentially clog a gutter system: leaves, needles, sticks, and roof granules. A collection of these components can cause plant and algae growth, clogging gutters and downspouts, and damage your home and gutter system.

There are several styles of gutter protection. However, three styles of gutter protection are the most common – full coverage, mesh, and micro mesh covers.  

#1 Choice: Micro-Mesh Gutter Guards

There are several micro-mesh options; some are better than others. Most high-end micro-mesh covers are slightly more expensive and require more installation labor and materials.


Micro-mesh covers are our most recommended gutter cover and the most versatile option. They don’t limit gutter water capacity and can divert deciduous leaves and pine needles.

The added gutter protection and strength are worth the additional cost of Leaft Solutions micro mesh covers. Leaf Solution micro-mesh is our number-one recommended gutter cover company, and we have had a great experience and feedback from our customers after installation. 

Choice # 2: Full Protection Systems

The best full-coverage diverter system is LeafGaurd – a well-known company with an excellent reputation and following. The key to this system is both the gutter and cover are one piece.

The disadvantage of a fully closed protection system is that it essentially diverts water flow and lowers the system’s total capacity. Complete coverage protection can cause an unwanted overflow of water during heavy rainstorms.

Complete coverage systems are ideal for single-story houses. They also work great for smaller roofs with less pitch and limited water runoff. However, the most considerable disadvantage is the cost. In many cases, this system costs 2 to 3 times more than a conventional seamless aluminum gutter system!

Mesh Gutter Guard Review

Mesh gutter systems are the most common and often improperly installed systems. Because mesh guards are readily available and often offer misleading marketing pitches, they are often misused.

If used for proper applications, mesh guards work perfectly. Products such as DoneRight by GutterGlove offer fantastic mid-high tear stainless mesh products. Mesh systems are best for deciduous tree leaves and will not limit water capacity.

Due to the large mesh opening, needles are prone to either entering the mesh or getting caught on top of the cover, which will cause debris to collect on the surface. If pine trees or needles are prone to collection on the roof, you may want to choose another type of cover. 

Gutter Guard Features to Look For

We recommend a gutter guard system that fastens to the gutter and screws through the fascia board. This style of application will add tremendous gutter strength and integrity. The front of the cover should also screw to the lip of the gutter.


Micro-mesh covers that snap or slide into place are not bad options. However, they will not add strength and are more likely to fail!

Gutter Protection Maintenance

It’s important to understand that gutter guards are not a set-and-forget system. While you will not have to reach your hand into the gutter to clean them, there is a level of annual maintenance.

Corners where gutters meet are most prone to leaf collection. Gutter covers often collect leaves on the surface; occasionally, leaves need to be blown off to maintain water flow.


Gutter protection that works costs a bit more. However, once a professional system is installed, the long-term improvements make the expense worth it. If the added cost of a proper gutter guard system is not in your budget, in our opinion, it’s best to wait. Don’t waste your money on covers that do not work.

If you have read this entire article, you now understand the different types of gutter protection and what features and materials to look for. So when your neighbor asks you, “Do those gutter guards actually work?” you can smile and pass on the information.

If you want gutter installation or protection, our expert solutions help water management and protect your home and surrounding areas. If you live in Raleigh, NC, contact us to schedule your quote today!

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