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Home maintenance can seem like a never-ending process. And while some aspects of it, such as window maintenance, may be relatively easy, others, such as removing debris from gutters and cleaning them, are not. Not only do these activities require a lot of hard work, balancing atop a ladder can be dangerous.
Thankfully, that is why we have gutter guards: to keep debris out of the gutter pipes as much as possible and to reduce the frequency of these maintenance activities. But how do you know which brand of gutter guard you ought to invest in? We’ll help with making that decision a little easier for you by giving you a detailed comparison of two of the leading brands in the industry, namely, LeafGuard and LeafFilter.
How it works
- This is a reverse curve gutter protector which is designed to create a path for the water to flow.
- The system is made from a single piece of aluminum that has a built-in hood. This hood protects the bottom of the gutter and helps redirect leaves and other debris away from the gutter system.
- This gutter guard system is based on the principle of liquid adhesion. A sheet of flat aluminum is used to create a gutter system with an arched cover with holes at the ends. While the holes are designed to allow rainwater to flow into the pipes, the arched cover is meant to keep leaves and other debris out of the drains.
- The biggest failure of this system is that the openings are meant to let rainwater in also let in debris sometimes. Considering the reverse curve system is meant to divert debris away from the gutter system, this makes the efficiency of the system suspect.
Installation and warranty
While LeafGuard sends its own team of specialists to build and install these systems on-site for its customers, it is notable that these protectors do not work as an add-on to an existing gutter system. Instead, they are gutter systems themselves.
LeafGuard offers its customers a limited lifetime warranty as long as the gutter guard installation is carried out by licensed professionals.
Leafguard gutter protectors will cost you anywhere between $11 to $37 per square foot including installation.
How it works
- LeafFilter is a micro-mesh type of gutter protector made from surgical-grade stainless steel. This makes it extremely resistant to rust and corrosion.
- To make them even more durable, these gutter guards come fitted with PVC frames, which are resistant to both extremely hot and cold temperatures while also being resistant to warping over time.
- This system uses structural hangers which are placed upon the fascia board, making them not visible from the ground.
- While the fine holes on the surface allow water to go in, even small debris, such as pine needles, is not allowed inside.
- The holes on the surface of this system, while being effective in preventing debris from entering the drainage system, are not very effective in handling large volumes of water, such as in the case of heavy rainfall.
Installation and warranty
- Like with LeafGuard, this company also offers its customers onsite gutter guard installation of their products.
- Unlike LeafGuard, LeafFilter is attached to the existing gutter system.
- Since the system leaves your roof untouched during the installation, you do not void your roof warranty in the process.
- The low profile design of the LeafFilter system makes it aesthetically more pleasing to homeowners.
- You are guaranteed peace of mind since LeafFilter offers its customers a lifetime warranty as well. There are some conditions that apply, though, so make sure you understand all terms and conditions before investing.
LeafFilter gutter guards cost between $18 and $42 per square foot including installation.
So which one should you choose?
Well, that depends on you and your home’s needs. These two products are among the best options available in the market today, but where you live, what kind of debris you deal with, and how much you’re willing to spend are some of the things you will need to consider before making a decision.
FAQs and pro tips
Do they work?
Yes, leaf guards do work in preventing debris from clogging gutters. However, the efficiency depends on the type of gutter guard you choose, the materials, and other factors.
Do all homes need leaf filter gutter protection?
Gutter maintenance is something that all homes need, irrespective of whether you invest in leaf filter gutter protection or not. However, homes with heavy tree cover definitely need this added protection to help reduce the amount of debris that needs to be cleaned. This will also reduce the frequency in which you will need to clean these gutters.
However, if your home does not have a heavy tree cover, you do not need to install leaf guards, since the amount of debris falling into your gutters from above will anyway be negligible.
Breaking it down into numbers, you’re likely to spend around $1500 to install a lead filter gutter protection system. On the other hand, hiring a gutter cleaning service costs around $250. So unless you’re dealing with enough debris that warrants getting your gutters cleaned three or four times in a year, there is no need to make the investment.
What are the different types of leaf filters?
The different types of leaf filters include reverse curve gutter guards, perforated aluminum gutter guards, gutter filter foam inserts, vinyl and/or metal screens, and micro mesh gutter screens.
Do gutter guards work in heavy rains?
Not all gutter guards work effectively when it rains heavily, especially if the roofs are metal roofs, slate roofs, or steep shingled roofs. In extreme cases, the cascade effect caused by heavy rains on these guards can cause flooding or pooling around the home’s foundation. This can be avoided by installing splash guards or water diverts in the corners below the roofing valleys.
Do gutter protectors form ice dams?
While not all gutter protectors may cause the formation of ice dams on your roof, the splashdown from some leaf protectors does cause ice dams during severe winters. In some cases, the ice build-up can get so heavy that the gutter system itself can be damaged. Another danger is of these ice dams collapsing on people standing below them.
Read more: Why gutter guards are bad
Your opinion matters, leave a comment
The newer leaf-guard designs really work in almost any situation. But that does not mean that you should not tend to your roof every year. You just have to program well.