Gutter Guard Test Results
"The gutter guard was made using a fine stainless-steel mesh that resembled a woman's pantyhose. Furthermore, the weaving of the thin threads of stainless steel was so tight nothing could get through, not even ceramic roof granules."
Gutter Guard Test Results Checklist
- Inferior gutter guards allow small debris into gutters
- Small debris collects in gutter turning to organic muck
- Watch gutter guard test videos below
- Install micro-mesh guards at same slope as roof
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Why Did You Test Gutter Guards?
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. Many of the brands and types are no longer made. There are many reasons for this, not the least of which is some were very poor in design.
Did you Test Home & Garden Show Displays?
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 scraps 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!
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How Many Gutter Guards Failed the Test?
Once I started testing at my own home, I discovered 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
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Consider purchasing a micromesh product from Amazon.com and having your local handyman install them for you. CLICK the photo below for just one of the micromesh products I discovered on Amazon:
What is a Reverse Curve Gutter Guard?
A reverse curve gutter guard is one that directs water into the gutter using a curved piece of metal or plastic. The surface tension of the water causes the water to flow into the gutter while the debris floating on top of the water is supposed to go to the ground.
Many heavily advertised gutter guards have a reverse curve design.
The simple way to think about this is a waterfall. Water flows across the gutter guard and encounters a slit or some other narrow opening that is curved and bends down into the gutter.
The surface tension of the water provides the grip so the water flows into the gutter and doesn't overshoot to the ground.
Watch the following video to see an example of a reverse-curve gutter guard. It's the white plastic guard I hold in my hands. It's stained with mildew and mold from being on the roof during my testing.
Reverse Curve Gutter Guard Video
Here's a video just below I shot for the Cincinnati, OH ABC-TV affiliate, Channel 9 News. Very early in my testing, I made a video showcasing 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. Organic crap from my trees filled all the grooves, slots and mesh in the gutter guards.
Is Micromesh the Best Gutter Guard?
Yes, my independent testing has proven that micromesh is the best gutter guard.
I was at the national builders show one year and walked past a booth that had the unique gutter guard I had seen.
The gutter guard was made using a fine stainless-steel mesh that resembled a woman's pantyhose. Furthermore, 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.
How Does a Micromesh Gutter Guard Work?
The surface tension of water pulls water through the fine stainless steel micromesh. It's simply magic.
When you first look at the micro mesh gutter guard, you think there's no way it can work. Since the mesh is so tight it seems water will flow over the mesh.
The magic is in physics. Water has surface tension and likes to grab onto things. This is why water beads up on a piece of glass.
This surface tension helps pull the water through the mesh.
I've stood on a ladder and watched the water streaming down my roof in a rainstorm and it gets swallowed by the mesh.
Even in the worst downpours, the mesh sucks the water into the gutter!
Are There Different Brands of Micromesh Gutter Guards?
There used to be just one or two micromesh gutter guards, but now there are many.
Being a syndicated newspaper columnist, I've written the Ask the Builder newspaper column since 1993. Furthermore, 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 two brands were:
Did the Owner of GutterGlove Sell Mastershield Product?
Yes, the owner of GutterGlove started out as a dealer for MasterShield. Advance a few years and there are numerous micro mesh gutter guards that have worked their way around the different design patents.
IMPORTANT AUTHOR'S NOTE: Both of these companies sell through a dealer network. I've received numerous complaints from homeowners like you about high-pressure sales tactics, out-of-this-world estimates in the thousands of dollars, and very unprofessional salespeople coming to homes.
Because of this, I can no longer afford to tarnish my good name and reputation telling you which guard I used. I don't want you to have a bad encounter or pay more than you have to.
I'm currently investigating other brands of stainless steel micro mesh gutter guards that you can install yourself or pay a local handyman to do for you saving you a vast amount of money.
How Did You Test the Micromesh Gutter Guard?
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.
What Happened Several Months Into the Test?
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.
You can't dispute the findings in the above video.
What is the Latest Update on Gutter Guards?
You may discover there are knock-off products out there. At the time I did my test, there were only two micro-mesh gutter guards available. Realize that most of the products have a design patent. It's fairly easy to defeat a design patent and this explains why you see all the competing brands in the marketplace.
Some products may have stronger utility patents. If you're like me, you don't much care about the intricacies of design or utility patents. You don't care if one company is fighting another, or if one company stole the patents or is infringing on a patent. That's not your care or business.
All you should care about is:
- is the micromesh stainless steel
- is the gutter guard strong enough to last for decades
- is the design such that it will not lift or blow away
As a result, this may seem like it makes it harder to select the best micro-mesh gutter guard. Hence you just need one that seems like it's made well and is priced competitively.
P.S. I've left this column open to comments. You'll discover quite a few comments below that challenge what my tests showed. In many cases below, owners of franchises of gutter guards that FAILED in my tests authored the comments. 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.
I shared with my readers of the opens in a new windowApril 26, 2015 AsktheBuilder Sunday Newsletter.