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Gutter Guard Test Results

Gutter Guard Test Result TIPS

  • Inferior gutter guards allow small debris into gutters
  • Small debris collects in gutter turning to organic muck
  • Micro-mesh gutter guards STOPPED all debris
  • Install micro-mesh guards at same slope as roof
  • CLICK HERE to Get Tim's FREE & FUNNY Newsletter!

Long-Term Testing

Years ago, I started testing gutter guards on my own home. Not only was I having issues with leaves and tree debris in the winter, spring and summer, but I was getting regular emails from people just like you about the frustration you were having.

I sought out and tested just about every gutter guard I could find.

My tests started at home-and-garden and national builder shows where I saw tiny working displays. In the booth would be a small roof with a gutter covered by that company's gutter guard.

While the salesman would talk to a potential customer or future dealer, I'd tear off tiny scrapes of paper resembling pieces of leaves and watch them either get sucked down into the gutter or start to clog the wire-brush or similar gutter guard.

On more than one occasion the gutter guard company, once they saw what I was doing, asked me to leave and never come back. No pun intended!

 

Stop - Check this out! Hi, it's me Tim Carter.
Do you want a bid on the same gutter guards I used on my home?
Click Here
If you do fill out the form at the MasterShield page, they pay me a very small commission.

 

Failure After Failure

What I discovered once I started testing at my own home is that just about every gutter guard failed.

They either allowed small debris into gutters and/or the actual gutter guard clogged with debris.

All of them did a great job of stopping full leaves from getting into gutters. But they couldn't stop:

  • small pieces of leaves
  • small twigs
  • evergreen tree needles
  • tree bark
  • etc.

Early Test Results

Here's a video just below I shot for the Cincinnati, OH ABC-TV affiliate, Channel 9 News. This video was done very early in my testing and several gutter guards had already failed.

I had already discovered that with ALL OF the gutter guards I had tested up to this point, you STILL HAD TO CLEAN YOUR GUTTERS OR THE GUTTER GUARDS!

That pretty much defeats the purpose of the products because most sales literature and claims by salesmen were that you'd never have to do any gutter cleaning EVER AGAIN.

All three of the gutter guards you see in this video at the end of spring had FAILED COMPLETELY. The holes, slots and mesh were all filled with crap from my trees.

Victory!

I was at a national builders show one year and walked past a booth that had the most unique gutter guard I had seen.

It was made from a fine stainless-steel mesh that resembled a woman's panty hose. The weaving of the thin threads of stainless steel was so tight nothing could get through, not even ceramic roof granules.

But the gutter guards allowed water to pass with no problems.

I knew instinctively these were the Holy Grail of gutter guards.

At Least Two Brands

Being a syndicated newspaper columnist - I've written the Ask the Builder newspaper column since 1993 - it wasn't hard for me to discover how many companies made this micro-mesh gutter guard.

I reached out to the two companies at the time that sold the product. Both of the companies sent their own crews to install the product.

Prior to them showing up, I cleaned the gutters on my garage making them look like new.

The Morning After

Here's a video I shot after the second company had stopped by to install their product. It was the perfect time to start the test because the giant maple and oak trees that overhang my garage were just starting to bud. Believe me, after years of testing I discovered that gutter guards all do a great job in the fall. It's spring when they fail.

 

Months Later

The video below is what my garage roof looked like after months of testing. It's very obvious that the way the gutter guard is installed makes a very big difference:

The one gutter guard performed better than the other. You can clearly see that.

I went with Mastershield because it's the gutter guard that kept my gutters clean AND it was self-cleaning on my roof.

You can't dispute the findings in the above video.

You may discover there are knock-off products out there that are violating the patent of the Mastershield product. At the time I did my test, there were only two micro-mesh gutter guards available.

P.S. I've left this column open to comments. You'll discover quite a few comments below that challenge what my tests showed. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to discover many of these were submitted by owners of franchises of gutter guards that FAILED in my tests. These comment authors have a dog in the fight and you just need to be aware of that.

In many cases, they may have invested tens of thousands of dollars to get the exclusive rights to the product they sell so they don't want to see their investment sour.

Whenever you see harsh comments about anything, try to look through the fog and ask yourself what their motivation is. If they're able to support their comment with cold, hard facts, then it's absolutely worthy of your attention. Most don't have any facts, simply opinions or half truths. You know what a half-truth is don't you? A half-truth is a WHOLE lie.

Tim Carter

 

Stop - Check this out! Hi, it's me Tim Carter.
Do you want a bid on the same gutter guards I used on my home?
Click Here
If you do fill out the form at the MasterShield page, they pay me a very small commission.

 

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54 Responses to Gutter Guard Test Results

  1. Hey Tim, you evaluation of the gutter guards was just what I was looking for. Excellent testing.
    Unfortunately MasterShield does not have installers in my area. Darn!
    S.I., NY

      • Have you by any chance had the opportunity to review a newcomer to the field, the only one recommended by one of our local gutter companies: One Gutter Guard

        • I just went to their website. I've not tested it. I can tell you that based upon their interactive graphic it appears to install FLAT.

          If you install any gutter guard FLAT, it will fail. Debris will collect on top of it.

  2. Hi Tim,
    Thank you for your valuable insights into gutter guards. What do you think of GutterDome? This product seems similar to GutterShield? Can you give me an idea of what the total cost would be to install 90ft of GutterShield? I live in Ohio. Your help is much appreciated.

    Helen

    • Helen, you should absolutely call me. Read this: Your question requires lots of typing, plus I have some questions for you so I can give you the correct answer(s). I only do pithy answers here in the comment section. If you want to protect the investment you have in your house and not waste time or money *hoping* you make the right decision, you should talk to me on the phone for just 15 minutes. It'll be the best investment you've ever made in your home!

  3. I keep reading abut how well gutter guards keep debris out of the gutters but I also really need a product that will withstand the weight and damaging effects of heavy wet snow sliding off my metal roof! I don't have a problem with ice dams or icicles but the snow comes rushing down like a freight train!

  4. Hey Tim. Like so many others - thank you for doing such throurough research into the topics you cover. I had a question about the mesh gutter covers. One quote that I've recieved uses "Versa Guard". It's fairly expensive, and from the pictures I can see on their website, the slope is both a 2-3 inches lower than the shingles, and not as steeply pitched. They also look a bit like the ones that didn't work so well on your house. Wondering if you have any thoughts on the Versa Guard product. http://www.versaguard.net/Gallery

    Thanks again for all you do!

  5. Tim,

    Based on your recommendation, we had MasterSheild gutter guards installed on our house about 3 years ago--120 feet at 3 different levels. We've visually inspected with binoculars on a regular basis to make sure debris didn't collect on top. However, we now have significant drip lines under all of them. This is so different from what we expected. Before I call the installer, do you have any advice?

    Thank you,

    Gillian Crane

  6. Hello,

    I live in Minnesota and would like to know how the gutterglove pro performs in climates that get a lot of snow. I am concerned about snow not melting fast enough on the mesh screen and creating ice dams. I know the company offers a heated version, but I don't want to pay extra as they can be quite expensive.
    Thanks!
    Mark

  7. With such a fine mesh screen, how does MasterShield perform in a heavy downpour? Does enough water actually get into the gutter?

    • Once the first rain drops fall on the mesh, the surface tension of the water combined with gravity PULLS the water through the mesh.

      You have to see it to believe it. Rest assured the water doesn't flood over the mesh.

  8. Hi. A little distressed here. Had a handyman put up some gutter guards two days ago, and he left a few for me to do. So I was copying what he was doing. But within one minute I thought something was wrong, so I read the label on each guard. The handyman had jimmied up all the shingles around my mothers house she build with her own hands, about three inches worth up the shingle which to me as an uneducated fool, thought yeah that would compromise and expose the roof the the weather. Now what, and now that I have reviewed your site, I know the guards for 260 dollars were a waste of money, they clip on and have a concave shape that flip on top of the shingles. I had to sit down on the roof and cry out my 60 year old eyes that my roof was damaged, and I am not that endowed financially.

    • Sorry to hear about this. The mistake you made, in my opinion, was NOT doing your research first before hiring this man. Had you come to my website in your research, you would have discovered those clip on flip gutter guards are decroted pieces of crap.

  9. Yep saw that, and I had already bought the guards, and this man was a friend of someone I trusted. I usually do my own work but been bed ridden for two decades and now have to rely on anyone who has mercy. Thanks anyway. I put the last of the crap pieces on the roof by myself, and I did notice they were indeed crap. Blessings

  10. Hi....I'm looking to install a gutter guard on my grandparents house but need one with minimal maintenance, for obvious reasons. I've seen ur video which is very informative. I did, however, hear of, I think they are called Rhino Gutter Guard, if I spelled that correctly, but not sure how good they really are. Have u come across this type of gutter guard and If so, what do u think of it? I'm seeking all the info I can possibly get to be able to make an informed decision. Ur help will be greatly appreciated.

    • Go back to the top of this page. See that STOP sign? Click the link next to it and get the gutter guard that one my test. Isn't that what you want, a proven winner?

  11. Did you test LeafsOut Micro Mesh gutter guard? Some of us are looking for a more reasonably priced, but effective, gutter guard as an alternative to MasterShield. I searched for the product in your archives but didn't find it. Thank you.

  12. Hi Tim, do you also endorse Klean Gutter, there is no Master Shield dealer/installer in my area. They told me this was a sister product and their website asks if I heard about from you? A google search did not find me an article where you discuss that product

    • Who is "they"? Why don't you buy the DIY version of Mastershield and either install it yourself or have a handyman put it in for you? CLICK HERE and once at that page click the link next to the STOP sign at the top of the page.

  13. "Drip lines on the face of the gutter are to be expected. That's dirt and diesel engine soot washing down each time it rains."

    Lol, really, Diesel engine soot!!!

      • It is most likely pollen that has decomposed and grown a little black mold. The faces of the gutter are always exposed to some rain. When it is not raining the wind is blowing around dust, pollen, and spores from all kinds of things. Unfortunately you would need to wipe the gutters down to get the dust off before it rains to keep that from happening.

  14. Tim, I just found your website, wish I had seen it a few weeks ago. We just installed a Leaf Filter System gutter guard for our entire home (3 bedroom colonial with gutters on first floor near the garage and kitchen, and then on the 2nd floor near all the bedrooms. We had our first rainfall the other day and I have to say I think the system performed horribly. Water repelled right over the top of the gutters as opposed to in the gutters themselves. I walked out of the sliding door in the back of my house and was doused with water! Can anything be done from a service and repair system, or should I get my money back and go to the Master Shield system? I spent over $2K and feel it was the worst purchase I have ever made. Your thoughts and advice are very welcome here. Thanks.

    • What can I say? You said it all in the first sentence of your comment. You failed to do your due diligence. You made a tuition payment to the College of Hard Knocks.

  15. Concerning those stains on the face of the gutter - I would surmise that since the gutters have to be installed at the same slope as the roof (thus the front edge is lower than the roof edge), that the diesel soot and other dirt has actually washed off the roof, over the gutter guard, and then down the front edge of the gutter. I may be a small percentage, not noticible in the rain, but enough over time for the grime buildup. I have never had any dirt and stain problems with any of my gutters (which went 10 years between painting). They have no guards (I have a single-story house, so gutter cleaning is no big chore). Sounds like the gutter guards may have solved one problem (having to climb a ladder to clean out the gutters) and created another (having to climb a ladder to clean the face of the gutters).

    • It is very common to get "tiger striping" on gutters even without guards. There is a product called "Gutter Magic No. 9" that was created to clean the outside of your gutters long before guards existed. As an installer, I have experienced the fact that homeonwers do not pay attention to their gutters until they have been worked on. You just didn't pay attention if you didn't see the staining because it is very very common.

  16. was looking for an unbiased comparison of gutter guards but I see that you are paid a commission so concerned that this is less than a fairy valuation of all of those gutter guards available.

    • Sharon,

      This review is unbiased. At the time of the review and the TEST, I wasn't getting a penny from the winner. In fact, I don't get paid a penny to say what I've said in the above columns or video.

      That all happened BEFORE I decided to make an affiliate deal with the clear winner.

      If you think this is a biased review, then tell me what you think about the advice you get from:

      real estate brokers
      mortgage brokers
      a saleswoman at any store
      magazine reviews (trust me, editorial *is* influenced by big advertisers)
      etc.

      If a BETTER gutter guard comes along, I'd tell you about it and try to make the same arrangement with them for a tiny commission.

      What I'm confused about is why you're upset about me getting a small amount of money for all the work I put in to be able to advise you as to the best gutter guard.

      All this information at AsktheBuilder.com is for free. How am I supposed to pay my bills and invest in my company if I don't get revenue somehow?

      I've got Amazon affiliate links on many pages for the BEST tools that I use. Is that wrong?

      Would you rather I put an ad on this page that says:

      "I tested all the gutter guards out there. I KNOW which one is the BEST and have the video footage to PROVE it.

      If you want to see the video and the TEST RESULTS, you have to PAY for them. It costs you just $19.95."

      Sharon, would you pay me the $19.95 or would you mumble, "Idiot, that information is free at other websites....."

      Do the other websites DISCLOSE the arrangement they have and are they as TRANSPARENT as I am?

  17. I just called the MasterShield company to investigate the addition of their gutter guards. While the product may work well, it is cheaper to pay someone to clean my gutters annually for 25 years (the length of their warranty) compared to installing their gutter guards. There are no options for hiring your own contractor or self installing to reduce the price. So, based on my research, this product is not cost effective.

    • Really? The average gutter cleaning seems to be around $100-$200 per cleaning. Some homes may need to have that done two or more times a year. To be conservative lets say $150 x 1.5 = $225 x 25years=$5625 and that's a conservative figure for someone with large trees over their home. Now, how many times are your gutters going to be clogged with water running behind them, soaking and rotting your fascia board before the next cleaning? How many times are you going to have who knows who trampling over your old shingles? How many times are you going to wait around for the cleaners to show up? Are they insured? Have you checked with their insurance co to se if their premium's up to date? If they aren't and they fall.. Really? Cheaper?

  18. We have a unique problem because our roof has a Mansard or Dutch Colonial design in the front and back and the roof shingles are practically vertical when they come in contact with the gutters (which are between the first and second floor). You state that "the manufacturer insists that the gutter guard be installed in the same plane as the roof". That is impossible. I know that the gutters would need to be lowered, but the plane will never be the same at the roof shingles. Would you still recommend using your favorite gutter "filter" under these circumstances? PS: I can send you a picture if you can't visualize what I am talking about.
    Thanks for your help.

  19. Tim, I do give you a lot of credit for disclosing that you get some compensation from Masterguard. And you are absolutely correct in replying to Sharon that there is bias in all sorts of recommendations including editorials. And you are fully justified in feeling that you should be compensated for giving advice. And I agree that not taking advertisements or commissions from products that you are reviewing prior to recommending one of them helps shields you from being biased in favor of one of them (unless it is known that one company is likely to compensate those that recommend their product).

    While I think it is very likely that you are sincere in stating that you are unbiased, I think it is unlikely that you remain unbiased in your promotion of Masterguard after being paid by them. And you are not likely unbiased in terms of whether to recommend no leaf guard product at all with there being no chance of remuneration.

    I am considering whether to get a gutter cover and if I do, which one to get. I am concerned about how many years (months?) of filtering the fine mesh screen on Masterguard and Gutter Glove have before they fail to work as well as in your videos. The Masterguard warranty is good against the "INTERIOR of the gutter" becoming clogged; NOT the cover failing to allow water through it-instead cascading over it onto the side of the house. Your recommendation not withstanding, I am going to stick with my plan to have no cover or one based on surface tension that Consumers Reports rates as being excellent at preventing buildup.

    My answer to Sharon would be to go to Consumerreports.com to get truly unbiased information. She would probably have to pay a subscription fee. It would be worth it. READ TIM CARTER'S RESPONSE TO THIS COMMENT JUST BELOW.

    • Billy Bow Legs,

      Are you talking about the Consumer Reports magazine that failed, for over six years, to include synthetic-resin deck sealers in their annual deck stain study?

      Is it the same Consumer Reports magazine that FAILED to include MasterShield gutter guard - the product that passed my tests - in their study?

      Is it the same Consumer Reports magazine who's head editor refused to answer my questions about why they overlooked the sythetic-resin deck sealers?

      You give this publication far too much credit and faith my friend.

      As for my *bias*, my testing and report were done BEFORE I decided to make an arrangement to capitalize on the knowledge I discovered.

      It's no different from the hundreds of affiliate links I have here on my website that connect to FANTASTIC products at Amazon.com that I own and use in my own home.

      If you continue to follow the advice you get from Consumer Reports, I'm afraid at some point, you're going to get burned. But what do I know?

  20. Because of all your testing I too went with Mastershield and I can tell you I'm very disappointed in the product. Yes, the dripping that occurs during the rain, which we get a lot of in Vancouver, Wa. across the river from Portland, Or. get me wet every time I go out any of my 4 doors. I expected the neighbors maple leaves and seedlings to not accumulate ontop of the gutters and they did in many areas. I'm 74 and can't get up on ladders to brush them off.
    Also last week we had a snow storm that left the entire area with about 15" of snow. I'm the only one in the neighborhood who has icicle along my gutters that range from 4" to 29" and above my heat pump were the bigger ones along with about 3-4" of solid ice on top of the gutters.
    Any suggestions?

    • Susie,

      Several questions: Did you take photos of the installation and send them to the owner of Mastershield? It's POSSIBLE the local installer didn't put them in the same plane as the roof. That's a must.

      Did you watch all the Mastershield installation videos before the workers showed up? You need to do that with *any* product to make sure the workers do the job right. You can't HOPE workers will do it right.

      As for icicles, you'd have that with or without gutter guards. Read my past column about that!

      http://www.askthebuilder.com/gutter-guard-systems-and-icicles/

  21. Thanks for the research. I am interested in DIY installation of Mastershield but find no place on the link you supplied to purchase them. Only request for a quote to install.

    • That's because Mastershield is dealer-installed. Call them up and ask for Karen. Tell her what you want. Be SURE to mention my name. It's the secret password to get what you desire.

  22. Do you know anything about Alcoa Leaf Relief gutter guards? I'm getting ready to have a new roof & gutters installed & that is the brand my roofer recommends.

  23. Tim,
    My choice is down to MasterShield vs Rhino Guard. I can't find a MS installer here in Metro-Detroit and MS hasn't returned my calls. Do you have any experience and opinion on Rhino Guard? Thank you
    Mariano

  24. Hi Tim,

    Love the videos and the effort you put in to help consumers make educated decisions. One style of gutter guard i haven't seen you discuss are the metal panel types. I've had GutterGuardian installed on my home for 2 years now and its been truly maintenance free. I live in the Southeast, it was a little pricey but since its actually working, its totally worth the investment in my opinion. Would love to hear your thoughts

    • Sure. You bought a "reverse curve" gutter guard. It's going to #FAIL. These designs allow small pieces of debris into the gutter. They accumulate and transform into MUCK in the gutter. Since the gutter guard is screwed to the gutter, you can't easily squirt out the muck. This is why the micro mesh gutter guards are the only ones that work. They only allow water into the gutter.

  25. Hello,
    Awesome article and great feedback and customer responses. I am currently re-doing my gutters and want to put master shield gutter guards.

    My roof is a mansard roof (vertical roof) and so I am questioning if an angle of installation is even possible on this type of roof. If it isn't then is it worth the investment to install will little to no slop or should I just clean them out every year.

    Thank you for you professionalism

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