6 best gutter guards of 2024

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LeafFilter is our top pick for professional gutter guard installations. We like Raptor for do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. But before you choose the best gutter guards for your home, you must decide whether to hire a professional or install them yourself.

The decision often comes down to price. It’s not always that simple, though. Costs for a DIY project can escalate quickly if you don’t account for equipment needs, safety measures and potential time lost.

Meet the expert

Mike Miller is an editor and gutter guard tester for USA TODAY Homefront. He has spent more than 20 hours in hands-on gutter guard testing, in addition to surveying homeowners, speaking with gutter guard installers and interviewing gutter experts.

On the other hand, hiring a professional installer can cost thousands of dollars upfront but includes benefits such as higher product quality, trained installation and a better warranty.

We conducted thorough research and hands-on testing to help you determine the company and gutter guard products that suit you. Based on our reviews and test results, we recommend choosing a stainless steel micro-mesh system for your home due to its performance and durability.

The 6 best gutter guards

Here are our top picks for professionally installed and DIY gutter guards to protect your gutters from debris and leaves and help prevent clogging:

Not sure whether DIY or professional installation is right for you? Here are a few key points to consider. 

Hiring a professional can cost more, and you’re stuck with scheduling the project on their timetable. But with professional installation, you can expect the following benefits: 

  • Better product workmanship
  • A warranty that covers manufacturer defects or installation errors
  • Little to no risk of personal injury 

On the other hand, doing it yourself might bring a sense of personal accomplishment and pride. It also can cost significantly less than professional installation. But going the DIY route also carries risks, such as the following: 

Tips from Mike

Gutter guards are typically worth it if your yard sees rain and debris from your roof and nearby foliage — and if you have realistic expectations of the benefits. I found in testing that no gutter guard can eliminate the need for gutter cleaning, but a good one can make it easier.

  • Unexpected equipment costs
  • Potential for personal injury
  • Improper installation
  • A shorter or sparser warranty

Whether you choose professional installation or DIY, you will want to select the right type of gutter guard for your home. The chart below shows that more than two-thirds of people we surveyed in October 2023 preferred screen, mesh or micro-mesh gutter guards.

Best gutter guard types according to our testing

We tested six gutter guard styles under various conditions and found that micro-mesh options perform the best overall. Your local debris types, weather phenomena and pests influence the integrity of your gutters and the performance of your gutter guards, so it’s important to find the right style for your home.

Here are some takeaways from our testing that may help you decide which style is right for you.


Mesh-style gutter guards use interwoven metal or plastic wires to create a mesh filter. These guards can handle heavy downpours and block large- to medium-size debris. However, pine needles, seedpods and shingle grit can get through. We recommend these guards if you live in a climate with heavy rainfall.

A plastic mesh DIY gutter guard catches leaves and pine needles during testing.
A plastic mesh DIY gutter guard catches leaves and pine needles during testing. James Kiefer, Homefront


These guards are functionally similar to mesh guards but have a much finer filter. The fine mesh on these guards is the most effective at keeping out small debris, including pine needles and shingle grit. While they are more expensive than other products on the market, these gutter guards can be a great option if your home is surrounded by pine trees.

Close up photo of a gutter guard with a few leaves on top of the guard
An A-M Gutter Guards aluminum screen gutter guard catches leaves during testing. James Kiefer, Homefront


Screen guards are thin metal sheets with perforated holes. They’re durable and easy to clean. However, the holes are too large to prevent small debris, such as pine needles or seedpods, from entering your gutters. These guards may be a good fit for your home if you have oak or other deciduous trees around your property but not pine trees.

Raptor micromesh gutter guard
Raptor brand gutter guards feature a fine micro-mesh screen. James Kiefer, Homefront


Reverse-curve gutter guards, also called gutter helmets, are large plastic or aluminum caps that attach to the top of your gutters. They use the scientific principle of liquid adhesion and surface tension to block debris, promote water flow and self-clean. These guards are the most durable because they act as a shield on your gutters. We recommend reverse-curve guards if you have trees directly over your home or live in a high-wind area.

Reverse-curve gutter guard blocking debris
A reverse-curve gutter guard shows how the water flow “sticks” to the curve while debris is filtered. James Kiefer, Homefront


These guards resemble large pipe cleaners with thick plastic bristles. Brush guards are inexpensive and easy to install, but because their design intentionally clogs with debris, they must be cleaned more often than other guards. Brush guards may work as a short-term solution but only last up to five years with proper maintenance. For many homeowners, they don’t provide enough value for the effort.

brush gutter guard in action during testing
A brush-style gutter guard snags debris during testing. James Kiefer, Homefront


These guards resemble large, triangular foam blocks. Foam guards allow water to pass through and block almost all debris. They’re inexpensive and relatively effective but degrade in sunlight, which means they need to be replaced every few years. Foam guards are well-suited for short-term installations but become expensive as time passes and you continuously replace them.

Closeup photo of a foam gutter guard that is catching leaves and other debris
Foam gutter guards catch debris during testing. James Kiefer, Homefront

Compare top choices for gutter guards

When assessing a gutter guard for your home, one major factor is how effectively it filters out debris and handles heavy rain. That will help you determine whether it’s worth the price.

Provider Our Rating Average Cost Type Get Pricing
$4,484 Micro-mesh GET ESTIMATE
$3,546 Micro-mesh GET ESTIMATE
$3,699 Micro-mesh GET ESTIMATE
$3,624 Micro-mesh GET ESTIMATE
$4,014 Reverse-curve GET ESTIMATE
Provider Our Rating Average Cost Type Get Pricing
$4,484 Micro-mesh GET ESTIMATE
$3,546 Micro-mesh GET ESTIMATE
$3,699 Micro-mesh GET ESTIMATE
$3,624 Micro-mesh GET ESTIMATE
$4,014 Reverse-curve GET ESTIMATE
Average costs are based on our October 2023 survey of 865 homeowners for a home that requires 200 linear square feet of gutter guards.

How we tested gutter guards

We on the USA TODAY Homefront team tested the primary types of gutter guards, including every DIY brand featured in this article. We purchased DIY gutter guards and installed them on a model of a roof and gutter system.

Additionally, LeafFilter provided us with a floor model of its gutter guard system, and we were able to test its professionally installed guard.

LeafFilter model roof and gutter system
The LeafFilter floor model we used during our hands-on testing. James Kiefer, Homefront

Installation difficulty

This test determines how difficult it is to install a DIY guard on existing gutter systems. We affixed standard 5-inch, vinyl, K-style gutters with hidden hangers to our model roofing system. We installed the guards on these gutters by following the instructions as closely as possible.

Debris filtration test

We applied an assortment of debris to the guard, including deciduous tree leaves, pine needles, pine cones, seedpods, twigs and shingle grit. We applied water to observe which materials passed through the filter.

Durability and quality inspection

We thoroughly inspected each guard for structural weaknesses, material quality and other design factors that could impact performance. If we noticed any potential problems, we applied a stress test to check whether the guard could be easily damaged, warped or bent.

Water flow test

We applied water at varying speeds and intensities to the roof and gutter system to simulate different levels of rainfall.

Cleanability test

We applied water directly to the debris atop the guard to see how easily it was pushed off to the ground. If any debris remained, we used a brush or gloved hands to remove it and noted how difficult it was to dislodge.

man uses razor blade to trim a plastic micro-mesh gutter guard
Mike Miller trims a plastic micro-mesh gutter guard prior to installation on the model roof for testing. James Kiefer, Homefront

How do you choose the right gutter guards for your home?

As mentioned earlier, the first decision you should make is whether to do it yourself or buy a professionally installed gutter guard product.

Here are some major considerations for each path:

Professionally InstalledDIY
Product qualityPremium materials last longerCheaper materials degrade quicker
WarrantyLifetime transferable warranty is standardWarranty lengths vary and only cover materials
Cost (200 linear feet)Expect to pay around $4,000Expect to pay around $500
LaborPeace of mind from installation by trained professionalsNo quality assurance or company to stand by the work

Average cost of professionally installed gutter guards is based on our October 2023 survey of 865 homeowners. Average cost of DIY brands is based on retail prices for top brands we’ve reviewed.

Choosing the best professionally installed gutter guards 

If you hire a professional installer, you’ll want to know how best to evaluate these companies. Our reviews are based on a comprehensive list of standards that can serve as your buying guide.

Rating gutter guard companies

Here is a detailed look at how the gutter guard companies we tested scored with our review standards. The numbers represent their scores on a 5-star scale for each review category.

Rating CategoryLeafFilterGutter Guards AmericaHomeCraftAll-American GutterLeafGuard
Construction and appearance4.
Service and installation5.
Quote process and expense3.
Communication and support4.
Average Rating4.

Construction and appearance

Find out what styles the company offers and what filter and frame materials it uses to understand if its product is suitable for your needs. Stainless steel filters and aluminum frames, such as Homecraft’s, score higher, while aluminum filters and vinyl frames score lower.

Tips from Mike

Micro-mesh gutter guards — LeafFilter in particular — performed the best during our testing. LeafFilter blocked more than 90% of debris, allowed water to flow freely with no overflow, and we cleaned it off easily with a swipe of a long-handled push broom.

If aesthetics are important to you, ask each company about color options and whether it offers low-profile designs. All five prominent gutter guard providers we reviewed scored well in this category, although LeafGuard was the only one not to offer a low-profile design.

Services and installation

How versatile is the company? A well-rounded suite of services should be available, including gutter installation, repair, cleaning and downspout installation. Of the companies we reviewed, only All-American did not offer downspout installation.

Quote process and expense

How much does the company’s gutter guard cost per linear square foot? Anything more than $20 per linear foot is above average, based on our survey results. Also, find out whether the company offers binding quotes for at least one year and offers financing options.


Professional gutter guard companies often do not share any information about pricing without an in-person consultation, where a representative will come out to your home, inspect your gutters and provide a custom estimate. There is often room for negotiation during these appointments.

The table below shows that Gutter Guards America offered the lowest prices among the companies we’ve reviewed.

Average cost for professional gutter guard installation

BrandAverage Cost per 200 Linear FeetAverage Cost per Linear Foot
All American$3,624$18
Gutter Guards America$3,546$18
Based on our survey of 865 homeowners in October 2023

Communication and support

Does the company provide online chat, email and phone support? While all providers we’ve reviewed have email and phone support, only Gutter Guards America provides the convenience of online chat.

Does it offer a lifetime warranty? Is that warranty transferable to new owners? Though most companies we reviewed got perfect scores for their transferable lifetime warranties, All American Gutter Protection stood out for not allowing you to transfer its warranty to the next homeowner.

Good communication and a well-rounded warranty are signs that a gutter guard installer will be easy to work with if issues arise after the installation is complete.

Choosing the best DIY gutter guards

Your decision to install gutter guards yourself should be based on your experience and knowledge regarding home improvement projects. For example, if you’re concerned about working on a tall ladder, DIY gutter guards might not be for you.

Tips from Mike

Make sure you’re prepared before attempting a DIY installation. During testing, I found dull tin snips and worn work gloves can make it difficult to work with metal guards; starting with poor equipment leads to extra trips to the hardware store and more money spent.

On the other hand, if you’re confident in your ability to do the job, there is something to be said for the satisfaction of doing the work yourself. Just be sure you take the proper safety precautions and understand everything you need to know about the equipment you’ll need for the job.

In addition to purchasing the gutter guard materials and a safety harness from a manufacturer or hardware store, you’ll need to acquire the following tools:

  • Bucket
  • Electric drill
  • Gloves
  • Hose with spray nozzle 
  • Ladder
  • Ladder stabilizer 
  • Quarter-inch self-piercing screws 
  • Safety glasses 
  • Screwdriver
  • Tape measure 
  • Tin snips

The table below shows how we on the Homefront team rated six popular DIY gutter guard manufacturers based on our review standards. Raptor scored best overall, while A-M Gutter Guard and Amerimax Screen tied for the best price.

Rating gutter guard products

Here is a detailed look at how the gutter guard products we tested scored with our review standards. The numbers represent their scores on a 5-star scale for each review category.

Rating CategoryRaptor Stainless SteelA-M Gutter GuardAmerimax ScreenMaster-ShieldGutter Brush
Style choices5.
Filter material5.
Frame material4.
Attachment types3.
Warranty length4.
Customer support5.
Testing results4.
Average Rating4.

Style and appearance

You’ll want to know whether the manufacturer offers a variety of styles, such as micro-mesh, foam or brush, as well as what colors are available if you’re looking at products you can see from the curb. Of the six companies we reviewed, only A-M Gutter Guard and Gutter Brush don’t offer color options.

Construction and attachment

Ensure you understand what the gutter guard is made of — gauging its durability and suitability for your home. Stainless steel is a long-lasting material that resists corrosion while vinyl is more susceptible to warping, cracking or bending.

Take note of the attachment method, too. An adhesive product will be easy to apply but difficult to remove and the glue could break down over time. Screw-in products are more difficult to install but long-lasting while snap-in products may blow off in high winds. For example, we tested Raptor’s stainless steel micro-mesh gutter guard, which screws into your gutter lip for added security.

It’s also helpful to know (before your installation weekend) if the necessary hardware is included with the gutter guard itself. The roll-on products we tested, such as FrostKing, didn’t come with the required screws to prevent the material from curling.

Finally, does the gutter guard slide up under your shingles? If so, that can potentially damage your roof or void its warranty. Of the six brands we reviewed, only Raptor’s product does not insert under the shingles.

Communication and support

Is the material under warranty? Does the company provide clear, accessible installation instructions? Are you able to contact the company with questions via email or phone?

DIY gutter guard warranties vary by product. GutterBrush warrants its materials for 10 years while Raptor includes a 25-year warranty. Still, you’ll get the best warranty with a professionally installed product. They typically last for the life of your home, transfer to the next homeowner, and include their own version of a clog-free guarantee. 

Performance and satisfaction

We tested cleanability, water flow, debris filtration, durability and overall ease of installation. We found Raptor scored best in this category thanks to its above-average water flow capability and debris filtration.


Consider professional installation for reverse-curve gutter guards. While DIY options are available, the reverse-curve guards we tested from Amerimax and Waterlock Pro exhibited significant overflow issues. You may see better performance from a professional product expertly installed under the right conditions, such as proper roof pitch. We recommend LeafGuard for its durable one-piece design.


Installing DIY gutter guards is more work for you and often results in an inferior product attached to your roof. That’s why low cost is important for good DIY gutter guards.

Of the companies we reviewed, only A-M Gutter Guard and Amerimax Screen offered their flagship products for less than $299 per 200 linear feet. By contrast, Raptor — our highest-rated DIY product — charged $626 for linear 240 feet and GutterBrush charged $599 for 210 linear feet.

Our reviews of the top professionally installed gutter guards

Hiring a gutter guard installer provides a holistic look at your gutters. A trained technician can point out any gutter damage or issues that should be resolved before installing gutter guards, and most providers offer gutter installation and repair services, too. Here are our reviews of three prominent gutter guard installation companies.



Our thoughts

What we like

LeafFilter gutter guards are made of 275-micron surgical-grade stainless steel micro-mesh. This screen blocks debris as small as shingle grit. LeafFilter provides a host of additional gutter services, including gutter cleaning and repair. 

What we don’t like

LeafFilter’s high-quality product is reflected in its prices. We surveyed more than 1,500 customers of top gutter guard companies. According to our respondents, LeafFilter has the highest prices by a sizable margin.

Product performance

We were able to inspect and test this system firsthand, as LeafFilter supplied us with a floor model of its product for testing. It performed as advertised by blocking the majority of debris while still allowing water flow. Debris that wasn’t washed away from the top of the guard during our simulated rainfall test was easily removed with a direct spray from a garden hose.

LeafFilter’s gutter guards use a stainless steel micro-mesh screen set into a PVC frame with supporting substructures. This system creates an efficient guard that keeps out debris, is long-lasting, withstands impacts and handles heavy water flow. Its guards are installed with a built-in pitch, which allows most debris to roll off for ease of cleaning.

LeafFilter gutter guard top view

Customer thoughts

LeafFilter has positive customer responses across independent review sites such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Trustpilot. It has more than 6,500 BBB reviews with an average rating of 3.9 out of 5 stars. LeafFilter has more than 125,000 Trustpilot reviews, 82% of which are for 4 to 5 stars. 

We noted two major themes in customer reviews. LeafFilter’s customers are generally impressed with the performance of its representatives and technicians. Most customers note that representatives are polite, helpful and knowledgeable. LeafFilter’s service technicians were skilled, professional and prompt, according to many reviewers. 

However, negative reviews reference poor scheduling. Multiple complaints note LeafFilter failed to meet appointments, which led to rescheduling and other post-scheduling conflicts.


We surveyed just under 200 LeafFilter customers to get a general estimate of the cost of a LeafFilter system. According to the survey respondents, you can expect to pay nearly $4,500 for a 200-foot LeafFilter gutter guard system. However, some customers in our survey and in online reviews note prices up to and exceeding $10,000.


LeafFilter provides a transferable, lifetime warranty. It promises to replace your system or refund the price for all LeafFilter materials installed on your home if it ever clogs. LeafFilter’s warranty only extends to its products and does not cover “damage to gutters, fascia boards, or roof substrate or surface caused by the installation of LeafFilter products.” 

I read the warranty in detail and noted that it becomes invalid in the following scenarios:

  • The guard “sustained damage from structural changes, adjacent trees or plant life, or an uncontrollable act of nature.”
  • The guard was “modified or altered from its original installation or any willful action was taken to impede or restrict the flow of water through the gutter system.”
  • An overflow occurred due to an improper number or placement of downspouts.

Gutter Guards America


Our thoughts

What we like

Gutter Guards America offers a high-quality micro-mesh screen that rests inside an aluminum frame. It also provides gutter and downspout installation, cleaning and repair. Gutter Guards America customer reviews are generally positive, with an average rating of 4.5 stars on Trustpilot. 

What we don’t like

Customer reviews mention that Gutter Guards America doesn’t communicate well and is prone to scheduling problems, noting issues such as failing to call back, frequent rescheduling and late arrivals. Our survey results support this, with a higher-than-average number of respondents noting late arrivals.

Product performance

While we were unable to test Gutter Guards America, our testing process indicated that stainless steel micro-mesh guards are the most effective guard type and block more debris than any other type of filter. Most customer reviews praise the quality of its products, with very few reporting clogs or other system failures.

Gutter Guards America offers a stainless steel micro-mesh screen with an aluminum base, steel frame and supporting substructure. Its screen has a series of ridges (called “S-bend technology”) that improve filtration and self-cleaning.

Customer thoughts

Gutter Guards America is a smaller company, and online reviews are more sparse. However, the reviews that exist are positive overall. Gutter Guards America has an A+ rating on the BBB but has only two reviews. Its Trustpilot page has more than 600 reviews, 88% of which are for 4 to 5 stars. Only 7% of the reviews are for 1 to 2 stars. 

Customers praise the guard’s performance and the skill and professionalism of the company’s technicians. Common complaints include poor communication habits, late arrivals and long callback wait times.


We surveyed customers and discovered that Gutter Guards America is one of the market’s most reasonably priced professional gutter guards. According to the 237 customers who responded, the average cost for a Gutter Guards America system is $3,545 for 200 linear feet. This price is nearly $1,000 less expensive than LeafFilter and $500 less than LeafGuard.


Gutter Guards America offers a transferable lifetime warranty. Its website lacks many details on this warranty, such as its conditions or limitations. Gutter Guards America states, “Under this warranty, we guarantee that the quality and workmanship of our services will meet your highest standards. Should you encounter any issues within the warranty period, our dedicated team of professionals is just a call away, ready to address and resolve them promptly and efficiently.”



Our thoughts

What we like

LeafGuard provides a durable all-in-one system that blocks most debris, handles heavy rainfall and protects your gutter system. LeafGuard backs its products with a no-clog guarantee and a limited lifetime transferable warranty. 

What we don’t like

LeafGuard’s system effectively blocks medium- and large-size debris but may fail to block pine needles, shingle grit and seedpods. LeafGuard is expensive and is second only to LeafFilter in price, according to our survey results.

Product performance

LeafGuard uses a reverse-curse system and the scientific principles of liquid adhesion and surface tension to filter debris. Unlike many gutter guards, LeafGuard uses a one-piece design in which the guard is part of the gutter. This means it can’t be installed on other gutters, so LeafGuard will need to replace your existing gutter system during installation. 

LeafGuard’s product is made from aluminum and coated in scratch-proof paint, making it resistant to peeling, chipping, blistering and other damage. This design makes it more durable and difficult to damage.

Customer thoughts

LeafGuard has a mix of positive and negative reviews across the BBB and Trustpilot. Customers note the professionalism and expediency of its representatives and installation crews. A large number of respondents praise the effectiveness of LeafGuard’s products. 

Critical comments express concerns about LeafGuard’s sales tactics. Some customers compared LeafGuard’s sales pitches to timeshare or used car sales pitches. However, even critical reviewers rarely fault the quality of LeafGuard’s product.


According to a survey of 300 LeafGuard customers, it is the second most expensive professional gutter guard system you can purchase. We found that you can expect to pay an average of $4,000 for a 200-foot LeafGuard system. Reviewers on the BBB and Trustpilot have noted much higher figures, with some citing prices between $7,000 and $10,000.


LeafGuard provides a limited lifetime transferable warranty. It covers all manufacturing defects in the guard and its materials. It is transferable to new homeowners within 50 days of the home sale. To redeem it, you must notify LeafGuard within 45 days of apparent damage. 

I read the warranty and noted that it doesn’t cover any of the following: 

  • Accidental damage
  • Building settlement and structural failures
  • Damage as a result of the installation of incompatible accessories
  • Exposure to damaging atmospheric conditions such as salt spray or acid rain
  • Fires, floods, earthquakes, radiation, lighting, storms, hail or other “acts of God”
  • Improper installation 
  • Misuse, intentional damage or vandalism
  • Mold and mildew
  • Normal weathering
  • Unreasonable use
  • Wind-borne or falling objects

Our reviews of the best self-installation gutter guards

The best DIY gutter guards are cheap, relatively effective and easy to install. They should include clear instructions and any hardware required for the project. Here are our reviews of three prominent manufacturers of gutter guard products.



Our thoughts

What we like

Raptor Gutter Guard is one of the best DIY gutter guard options available. Produced by Gutterglove as a DIY alternative to its professional services, this product features a high-quality, stainless steel micro-mesh guard set into an aluminum frame. It comes with a detailed, easy-to-understand instruction manual that we used to install the guard during testing. Raptor’s website hosts a wide selection of articles and guides detailing installation instructions for uncommon or complex gutter and roof systems. 

What we don’t like

Raptor’s screen, while effective at stopping debris, is thin and bendable. During installation, we noted how easy it was to bend or dent the screen if we weren’t careful. The guard’s frame extended roughly an eighth of an inch beyond the screen, which led to gaps between each guard section. We used a pair of tinsnips to clip the frames to make the screens flush.

Product performance

Raptor gutter guards perform very well. During testing, we applied an assortment of debris to the guard, including pine needles, deciduous tree leaves, seedpods, twigs, pine cones and shingle grit. Raptor’s screen kept out all debris except tiny pieces of shingle grit and dirt. We then applied water at varying speeds and intensities to simulate different levels of rainfall. Raptor withstood most rainfall intensities, only overflowing in simulated heavy downpours.

Customer thoughts

Raptor has more than 5,000 reviews on Amazon with a 4.5 out of 5-star rating. Customers appear satisfied with Raptor’s performance, price and installation. Positive reviews point to the instruction booklet, ease of installation and effectiveness of the micro-mesh screen. Customers were particularly impressed with Raptor’s ability to block pine needles.

Critical reviews note the difficulty of installing Raptor on nonstandard roof and gutter systems. Some customers expressed frustration about altering or modifying the gutter guard to fit on their gutters or fascia. Other complaints include Raptor’s inability to handle snow or ice. According to some customers, Raptor’s guard doesn’t filter snow; instead, it creates a platform for it to rest on. This issue results in ice dams or snow piling up.


Raptor’s products come in several different packs. Its standard stainless steel micro-mesh guard costs $124.99 for 48 feet on Amazon. To cover a 200-linear-foot gutter system, you will need to purchase at least five packs for a total of $624.95. For 6-inch gutters, you’ll need Raptor’s “super 6-inch” pack, which currently costs $149.99 for 48 feet or $749.95 for five packs.


Raptor products come with a 25-year warranty. Raptor’s Amazon page and website don’t host specific details, but the last page of its instruction manual covers warranty terms and coverage exclusions. The warranty only covers parts and does not protect against labor and reinstallation problems.

A-M Gutter Guard


Our thoughts

What we like

A-M Gutter Guard offers a DIY guard made from industrial 0.18 gauge, heavy-duty tempered aluminum. This means its guards are thick and will never rust. These guards are difficult to dislodge once secured to your gutter system. During our testing, we found them to be highly effective at keeping out medium and large debris; only pine needles were able to penetrate the guard. These guards perform well and are highly durable and fairly priced. 

What we don’t like

A-M’s aluminum gutter guards are difficult to install compared to other DIY brands. When we installed these guards, we had to screw holes through the gutter and adjust the back of the guard to fit onto our fascia board. We also noted some design issues, such as the lip at the front of the guard. This section creates a small ridge that can collect debris.

Product performance

A-M’s gutter guards performed well during testing. These guards effectively blocked leaves while allowing water to pass through easily. The guards occasionally overflowed when exposed to heavy water flow but could handle average rainfall levels. 

We were most impressed by A-M’s durability and secure connection. Because A-M features a thicker gauge and screws directly on your gutter, it provides an impressive layer of protection. We applied a stress and durability test to the guard by attempting to dislodge and dent it, and it performed better than any other DIY product we tested.

Customer thoughts

On its Amazon page, A-M Gutter Guard has over 5,000 reviews, and 93% of them are 4- and 5-star reviews. Most positive reviews note the impressive performance of the guards. Some highlights include its durability, quick installation process and reasonable price. 

Critical comments note that the guards occasionally need to be bent, folded, cut or otherwise altered to fit on the gutter system. Other reviews note that the guard lip and flat surface allow debris to build up easily. Our installation and testing process confirmed both of these issues.


You can purchase A-M Gutter Guard on Amazon in 200-foot packs for 5- and 6-inch gutters. The 5-inch gutter guards cost $264.99, and the 6-inch cost $289.99. You can also purchase 100-foot sections for $144.99 and $164.99, respectively.


According to A-M’s website and Amazon page, it offers a lifetime product (manufacturer’s) warranty. According to its warranty, A-M promises its product won’t rust, rot or self-deteriorate. We were unable to find further information on this warranty, including its coverage, limitations and other conditions.



Our thoughts

What we like

Amerimax Home Products offers a wide variety of guards for DIY installations, including mesh-screen, reverse-curve and micro-mesh guards. We tested each guard and found the metal mesh, snap-in gutter guards performed the best. These guards prevent the buildup of debris such as pine cones, deciduous tree leaves, twigs and long-leaf pine needles. We were most impressed with the guard’s ability to handle large amounts of water. It performed the best in our water passage test, handling downpour levels of water without overflowing. 

What we don’t like

Amerimax’s mesh guard doesn’t protect against small debris, such as pine needles, shingle grit and seedpods. It has sharp edges that required us to wear thick gloves to install safely. The guard’s design traps some debris, meaning homeowners must clean it more often. Due to the large holes and the ability for some materials to get lodged on top of the guard, it was also more difficult for us to clean than other DIY guards.

Product performance

This guard performed above average in testing. It stopped most medium- to large-size debris but failed to prevent small materials from entering the gutter. It scored well for durability and ease of installation. 

Its metal frame was tough and resisted attempts to bend, warp and dent it. The screen also slid into the gutter section easily, with the curved lip fitting snugly under the edge. As a mesh guard, we were also able to screw between the wires of the mesh for added stability. It scored the best in our water passage test by withstanding the heaviest water applications.

Customer thoughts

Customer sentiments toward Amerimax’s gutter covers are positive. This product’s Amazon page has more than 1,500 reviews, with 91% being 4 to 5 stars. Positive reviews praise the guard’s performance, ease of installation and reasonable price. Some commenters noted that the guards can block some pine needles. 

Most negative complaints stem from shipping errors or the occasional overflow. Some customers claim to have received the wrong product or that materials were missing from their shipment. Other customers claim that the pitch of their roof combined with the guard’s design resulted in frequent overflows.


You can purchase a pack of 25 3-foot sections for $71.34 on Amerimax’s Amazon page. You’ll need to buy three of these to cover a 200-foot gutter system for a total of $214.02. You can find these guards at major home improvement stores, such as Lowe’s and the Home Depot, for $3.97 and $3.48 per 3-foot section, respectively.


Amerimax’s gutter guard warranty varies depending on which product you buy. The higher-end options have longer warranties. The metal mesh guard has a 10-year product warranty and manufacturer’s warranty.

What do you need to know after you install gutter guards?

Installing gutter guards will drastically reduce the time and effort required to clean and maintain your gutters. But they aren’t a free pass to ignore this important part of your home’s drainage system. Here’s what to keep in mind after installing gutter guards.

The life expectancy of gutter guards varies depending on their material and your home’s location.

How long do gutter guards usually last?

  • Plastic or PVC gutter guards often last between five and 10 years. 
  • Metal gutter guards, such as aluminum or stainless steel, can last 10 to 20 years. 

Your climate, surrounding foliage and frequency of maintenance also impact how long they last.

How often will I need to clean my gutters after the gutter guard installation?

While some companies advertise that you’ll never need to clean your gutters again after installing their guards, this isn’t true. No matter how effective the product, gutter guards can’t completely replace the need for regular gutter cleaning and maintenance. However, they make cleaning easier and less frequent.

Without gutter guards, you likely need to clean your gutters at least twice per year. With a good set of gutter guards, you can clean them once every year or two. Instead of grabbing a scoop and digging debris out of your gutter system, you can brush the debris off the top of the guard or spray it down with a hose.

While you’re cleaning, it’s a good time to watch for larger maintenance risks developing. Inspect your gutter guards for rust, corrosion, mold or mildew growth and other signs of damage. If you notice anything amiss, we recommend calling a professional to repair your gutter guards immediately.

I live where it freezes in the winter. How will that affect my gutter guards?

Some gutter guards, such as reverse-curve and micro-mesh guards, can contribute to forming ice dams — ice that builds at your roof edge and prevents melting snow from draining. However, most ice dams stem from improper attic ventilation. 

We recommend ensuring your attic is properly ventilated to protect against ice dams. If you have reverse-curve or micro-mesh guards installed and are experiencing ice dams, you can install heated tape to counteract the issue.

What other environmental factors might degrade the condition of my gutter guards?

Weather conditions can cause gutter guards to degrade quicker than usual. The two biggest culprits are heavily pollinating trees and air with higher salinity (salt). 

Some types of pollen produce acidic compounds when they break down in water, which will cause some gutter guards to corrode quicker. To prevent pollen buildup, trim overhanging trees and clean your gutters regularly.

If you live within a few miles of a coastline, the air is more saturated with sea salt, which also corrodes gutter guards. In this situation, we recommend using PVC or plastic gutter guards over metal ones. 

Some gutter guards work better in heavy rainfall than others. For example, mesh, micro-mesh, screen and brush guards can handle heavy downpours. Foam and reverse-curve guards are susceptible to overflows during heavy rain.

Will gutter guard installation void my roof warranty?

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question. Chances are you’re in the clear if your gutter guards are professionally installed, but the only way to know for sure is to read the fine print of your roof warranty document or call the contractor and ask.

Faulty gutter guard installation might nullify some manufacturer’s warranties. For example, the limited warranty for Certainteed asphalt shingles does not cover “damage caused by structural changes, alterations or additions, or by the installation of equipment (such as, but not limited to, aerials, signs or air-conditioning equipment) to the building after the original shingles have been applied.”

Final take: Micro-mesh provides the best gutter protection

Based on our research, survey results and firsthand testing, stainless steel micro-mesh gutter guards provide the best gutter protection. Our testing revealed that this guard type blocked the most debris and promoted efficient water filtration.

We recommend LeafFilter and Gutter Guards America for professionally installed micro-mesh guards. If you prefer to do the job yourself, Raptor offers a fine micro-mesh alternative.

We recommend scheduling at-home inspections with a few gutter guard providers. They will assess your gutter system and provide personalized quotes for the cost of installing gutter guards on your home.

Our rating methodology for gutter guards

The Homefront team incorporates our carefully developed methodology to rate professional gutter guard providers and do-it-yourself (DIY) products. We research and test gutter guards, interview industry experts and speak with company representatives to provide the information you need to make an informed decision before investing in gutter guards.

We assess professional gutter guard installation companies on construction materials and appearance, services and installation methods, cost, communication and customer service. We rate DIY gutter guard products on similar factors while emphasizing our product testing results.

We synthesize this information into review standards focusing on key aspects of the gutter guard buying experience and scoring each company out of 100. This score translates to the 5-star rating you see in our reviews.

BBB and other third-party ratings are accurate as of April 2024.

Editorial note: The name “Homefront” refers to the alliance between USA TODAY and Home Solutions that publishes review, comparison, and informational articles designed to help USA TODAY readers make smarter purchasing and investment decisions about their home. Under the alliance, Homefront provides and publishes research and articles about home service and home improvement topics.

Homefront has an affiliate disclosure policy. The opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Homefront editorial staff alone (see About Homefront). Homefront adheres to strict editorial integrity standards. The information is believed to be accurate as of the publish date, but always check the provider’s website for the most current information.

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