Gutter Guards
Waterworks NW (503) 844-6788

Types of Gutter Guards



gutter guardsGutter strainers are the least expensive, usually made of plastic, aluminum or steel but not really considered gutter guards per say. With regular cleaning service you can expect 3-5 years of service from a set of strainers. To outfit your home is usually less than $100 and enables the gutters to be still be serviced at a standard gutter cleaning price. While strainers do not provide a cover they do keep debris  from traveling down the downspout  tube which can eventually clog the downspout drainage system under ground which can be rather expensive to fix. For some home owners gutter guards provide a very inexpensive way to keep their drainage system free and clear of debris.


Gutter Guards – Nylon Netting

gutter guardsIf you are in the market for gutter guards and looking for a cheaper alternative you might consider gutter guards least expensive option, netting. It is relatively easy to install, low cost, usually less than $300-$500 to install and available at most home improvement stores. Gutter guards, such as netting, can provide your gutters with some protection, but there are some downfalls to using this type of product.

After a couple years the gutter guards netting will be affected by the sun and become brittle. Debris will pile behind the gutter guards netting on the roof side. Roofing debris such as needles, leaves and moss will weigh down the material and it will sag into the gutter. When it is time to clean the gutters the netting can become brittle and sharp which can cut your fingers as well as the staples that were used to put the netting into place if they were placed on a cedar shake roof. Life expectancy is 3-5 years at best. You can also expect your cleaning price to rise if you have this material installed on your home.

Gutter Guards – Plastic or Metal

gutter guardsIf you are in the market for a bit more durable product you might be looking at plastic or metal gutter guards which on average are 3ft long about six inches wide and are meant to slip under the roofing material on the first row and snap onto the top lip of the home gutter system. The cost of installing a gutter guards system like this ranges between $500-$1200 and will give your home protection for 7-10 years on average. You can expect your cleaning price to rise by a third to half when gutter guards are installed on your home. Gutter cleaning should be performed every 2 to 3 years as the debris will break down and fall into the gutter guards. Gutter guards that are vinyl will last 5-7 years approximately before sun damage or debris deforms them to much to be effective.

These systems are not without problems as the weather can cause the gutter covers to become brittle over time. Also these covers are affected by the amount of debris that is sits the surface. Gutter covers can be overwhelmed by the weight of the debris and fall into the gutter drainage system. Over time these covers become distorted and will no longer be useful as they were intended.

Gutter Guards – Gutter Foam Inserts

gutter guardsGutter guards such as gutter foam is unique as it fills most of the space inside the gutter letting the rain water flow through but leaving the roofing debris to sit on the top. Cost of this system is $1000-$2500 or more and claims a 20 year warranty. While this product may be the answer to your gutter cleaning dilemma there are some considerations that you should be aware of. As the roofing debris breaks down it fills the gutter foam material. In the Pacific Northwest region moss will soon start to grow soon after. In our experience this is next to impossible to clean out. While this product might work in other regions with great success areas with heavy rain and moss should consider other options in our opinion. We installed this gutter guard on a test area of a home just to see what would happen. As you can see the pine needles get stuck and will not come out. As these break down the foam will become useless as moss and other plants will grow.

A similar product is a “foam like” material that can be folded into the gutter but leaves a open channel on the backside. We have had reports from customers requesting advice that the roof debris pushes the material into the gutter causing the gutter protection system to collapse into the open space of the gutter. This material must be kept debris free for the material to remain structurally sound. Gutter guards come in all different shapes and sizes and as we have found over the years no one system is right for all situations.

Gutter Guards