The gutters on your home are designed to channel efficiently from the roof to the ground. When gutters fill with leaves, they can no longer drain water, potentially causing many issues for your home.
For heavily forested areas or other areas prone to a lot of debris, it may be inconvenient to have gutters cleaned on a regular basis, which is where leaf gutter guards come in.
How do you know if these leaf guards are a good fit for your property, and how much does gutter guard installation cost? Find the answers below.
Average Cost of Gutter Guards in 2022
Most property owners will pay as little as $700 or as much as $3,000 for a professional gutter guard installation.
Gutter guard installation costs are difficult to estimate without a site visit simply because it isn’t just a matter of your gutter system size. Numerous factors, which we’ll go over below, figure into the costs of installing gutter guards, and it’s nearly impossible to give an estimate site unseen.
And, because there are so many different things involved, it’s important to consult with professionals.
Factors Impacting the Cost of Gutter Guards
Gutter guards can be expensive to install and typically, this isn’t because of one single reason. Here are the three biggest factors that come into play with estimating the costs of gutter guard installation:
Labor & Simple vs Complex Jobs
Put simply, how hard is the job and how long will it take? Multi-level buildings, buildings with difficult-to-access gutter systems, and other issues that impact how long it takes and how many team members it takes to do it can have an impact on the estimate. Professional gutter cleaning companies that have been around for a while will be able to give a reasonably good estimate on the labor costs due to experience.
Some States & Cities are More Expensive
Cities with less greenery tend to cost less than ones that are heavily wooded. For example, professionally installed gutter guards in Miami, Florida might be less than $4 per square foot, while in New York City gutter guard costs may start at $6.
What’s the big difference? Miami’s greenery is more sparse, whereas there are over 7,000 acres of forest within New York City limits.
Additionally, the overall cost of living in an area can impact the cost of gutter guards. Companies have to find a fine balance between competitive pricing and providing a living wage to team members, which can result in some cities and states having a higher average cost than others.
Gutter Guard System Size
The average home has between 150-250 feet of gutters. Assuming that replacing part or all of your gutter system isn’t necessary, homeowners can multiply their gutter by the price per foot of a product. We’ll go over the products below and which ones are best for your needs.
Selecting the Right Leaf Guard System
Selecting the right type of system is important and depends on your roof, the type of gutters you have, and the area you’re in. Here is a quick review of some of the most popular types of gutter guards, their prices, and why they will (or won’t) work for your property.
Leaf Guard Price & Type Comparison
Cell $/linear foot Overall Cost Metal Mesh Screens $1.50 to $3.50 $800 to $2,500 Foam Leaf Guards $2 to $3.25 $400 to $1,300 Reverse Gutter Guards $3.50 to $6.50 $1,000 to $7,000
Keep reading to learn more about these three types of leaf guards.
Metal Mesh Screens
Mesh leaf guards have a frame and steel mesh that allows for water to pass into your gutters, but not larger debris, like leaves. Many homeowners like these because they are low profile and won’t distract from a home’s appearance. There are situations where mesh leaf guards aren’t ideal, however.
Homeowners may want to consider other options if any one of these factors applies:
- Steep roof. Certain hard angles can cause water to flow over the mesh, rather than through it.
- Heavily wooded area. Unless the mesh is very fine, smaller debris can still get through the mesh, which can be more challenging to clean.
- Colder climates. Depending on the mesh, icicles can form during winter months. This adds weight to the gutter system and can potentially cause damage.
- Roof warranty. Improper installation can void a roof warranty and cause damage to the shingles, fascias, and soffits of the roof. (If you choose to install mesh gutter guards, make sure that having them installed won’t void your warranty.)
Foam Leaf Guards
Wedge-shaped and perhaps the only leaf guards that are safe to install on your own, foam gutter guards fit inside gutters and stop debris from getting into the gutter while water passes through the body of the sponge. Leaves, twigs, and other debris gather on top of the sponge (though smaller debris can still settle in the sponge material or slip around any gaps.) While cleanup is simple enough, it needs to be done frequently, and the water retention nature of sponges promotes growth and adds weight to your system.
We don’t generally recommend foam gutter guards for homeowners unless it is a temporary solution and homeowners are actively planning to have better gutter guards professionally installed.
Reverse Gutter Guards
This style of gutter guard relies on surface tension to route water into the gutter system while keeping debris out. Debris stays on the guard itself and, once dry, simply slip off onto the ground below. Typically these leaf guards are quite noticeable and look like an extension of the roof.
Unfortunately, seeds and smaller debris tend to flow into the gutters with the water and can lead to build-up and growth in the gutter system. Because of this, and due to heavy rains breaking the surface tension and the build-up of ice in colder climates, this style of leaf gutter isn’t ideal for all properties.
Additionally, they tend to be difficult to remove for cleaning, making gutter cleaning laborious and difficult. When getting your gutters professionally cleaned, this can amount to more costs.
Signs Your Home Would Benefit from Gutter Guards
While gutter guards aren’t right for every home, most structures significantly benefit from them. Here are a few signs that leaf guards might be a good investment:
- There are large trees or pine trees near the home
- Leaves accumulated on and in the valleys of the roof (this debris will likely make its way into the gutters).
- Black striping on the outside of the gutters (these stripes are caused by water overflowing from the gutters).
- If your home has underground drains, such as french drains, debris is going to make its way into your underground drains without leaf gutter guards.
➡️Pro Tip: Once enough debris gets in an underground drain system, blockages can occur—which is a very costly system to repair.
Is it worth it to install gutter guards?
The short and direct answer is yes, it’s worth it to install gutter guards. It’s important, however, to have them professionally installed. Select an installer who knows what they are doing and selects a product that works for your home, your property location, and that doesn’t violate your roof’s warranty.
Some homeowners opt for DIY solutions—some of which can be bought for as low as $1/foot. But, with gutter guards, it’s important to note that you really do get what you pay for. These cheap systems typically fail quickly and aren’t recommended by any reputable contractor.
When comparing leaf gutter guard products, it’s very rarely comparing apples to apples as many products vary in quality and warranty. That’s why it’s important to consult with professionals and choose the right exterior cleaning company for your needs.
Explore our locations below and make an appointment for your free estimate on installing gutter guards.
Our Locations North Carolina Raleigh Wilmington Charlotte Concord Lake Norman Durham Cary Tennessee Franklin Nashville Alabama Florida South Carolina Birmingham Ormond Beach Charleston
Frequently asked questions about gutter guard installation
Have questions about gutter guard installation and if it’s worth it for your home? Browse our frequently asked questions below for additional information.
Can I install gutter guards myself?
While it’s possible with certain types of gutter guards, some systems are more complicated and will require skills beyond what the typical homeowner can do. It’s best to consult with professionals in order to avoid damage or voiding home warranties.
Is it worth it to install gutter guards?
In most climates where gutters are necessary, gutter guards can benefit the overall health of the property, which can lead to savings later by avoiding roof damage and repair, and any damage to your foundation or landscaping.
Why you shouldn’t use gutter guards?
When lower-quality gutter guards are used, it can actually create more problems due to water build-up, difficulties with cleaning, and taking away from the appearance of your home.
Do gutter guards increase home value?
Professionally installed gutter guards that are the right choice for your property can increase a home’s resale value. It’s important to note, however, that they need to be properly installed and selected for their efficiency, quality, and appearance.