The gutter cover market is oversaturated with a lot of junk. While many products claim to have the perfect solution to clogged gutters, in actuality, many of them are far from perfect. In fact, 95% of them will eventually fail, and no one out there has yet to build the perfect gutter cover. That’s just one area where mother nature still has the upper hand.
The key is to find gutter covers that work for you. For example, if you want to clean your gutters as least often as possible, then it’s wise to invest more upfront for a product that will last a while. But, if you don’t mind hopping up on the ladder every once in a while to pick up the slack of your cheaper gutter covers, then you can get away with paying less.
To ensure that you get the greatest return on investment, we did some of the dirty work and tested out some of the more popular types of gutter covers.
Here is a breakdown of what we found, starting with the worst covers and working our way up to the best (and make sure to watch the video above to see the gutter covers in action)!
The Worst of the Worst
While they are enticingly cheap, these gutters simply don’t do the job. Even though it is metal (which is always preferred over plastic gutter covers), it’s too flimsy, and the hotels are way too big to stop anything from entering your gutters. (*If you do want to go with a plastic gutter cover, we recommend going with Leaf Solutions. While they are far from perfect, they are the best plastic cover options on the market today).
These gutter covers are a great example of how metal over plastic can make all the difference. If these covers were made of metal, they’d actually be a good option. However, plastic is difficult to install, as gutters are never truly straight, and roof lines can vary. With the plastic being too flimsy, it makes it easy for water to spill over and end up flooding the area below.
Foam covers are probably the worst investment you can make for your home. Sure, they are cheap, but that’s all they have going for them. They don’t function at all, and all they will end up doing is clogging your gutters. They change shape over time, causing a lip to form that catches more debris than it blocks. Cleaning them is a real pain in the ass as well. Stay away from them at all costs.
The Better Than Most
We’re still pretty far away from a really good ROI, but these gutter guards a decent option, especially because they are extremely affordable. However, they won’t last particularly long because they are fairly weak, meaning replacing them will be necessary early in their tenure as your gutter cover.
The cons of these gutters are the size of the holes—which will invite large debris into the gutter system—and the fact that they have a lip on the end of them will actually catch a lot of debris as opposed to letting it slide off. But, these gutters do allow you to install them both under the shingles on the roof and on the gutter system itself, which is always the mark of a more premium gutter cover.
The Best of the Best
A relatively inexpensive gutter that produces a good ROI, this gutter cover will get the job done and should last a good while. However, just like with the Spectra Pro, the holes are still too large, and it would be nice to see them address this issue. It installs on both sides as well.
The best cover we found by quite a bit. It feels very secure when installed and once again allows installation on both the front and back of the gutter. The one issue we had with it is that installing can be kind of tricky, and it isn’t as intuitive to install. Therefore, if you haven’t installed gutter covers before, it may be best to have a contractor handle the install for these covers.
As you can see, no gutter cover is without its faults. But, if you are willing to pay a little more upfront, it can save you the pain of having to constantly clean your gutters, as well as replacing the covers too often.
How has your experience been with your gutter covers? Leave us a comment and let us know!