DIY vs. Pro
If you’re a seasoned DIYer who’s up and ready to step ten feet high on a ladder for the weekend, you might be interested in installing your own gutter guards. The best patterns for DIY installations are foam inserts or PVC covers, as they are both quick and simple to fit into your existing gutters. If DIY isn’t your forte, or you’d rather let the pros spend the day high on a ladder, professionally installed gutter guards may better suit your needs. When choosing a professional company, you will likely need mesh screens or surface pressure helmets – the cost of installing other products is likely to be no less important.
types of debris
Another important consideration when choosing the style of gutter guard that will best fit your home is the type of debris your gutters are exposed to. For example, PVC coverings work great when dealing with just leaves and pine needles, but they can quickly become damaged by large branches. The foaming additives will prevent larger pieces of debris but can still be clogged by smaller debris such as pine needles. Surface tension helmets and fine mesh will effectively block and filter almost any debris, but are more expensive than other styles.
Similar to the type of debris that might clog your gutters with it, the environment you live in can determine which type of gutter guard is best. Both fine mesh screens and PVC covers are designed to handle several feet of rain per hour, but can be damaged by large ice and snow. If you live in areas prone to blizzards, your best bet may be surface tension helmets that snow and ice slide right through.
Affordability is also a major factor when it comes to gutter guards. Different styles can vary greatly in cost. Plastic covers and mesh screens are cheaper and more affordable $0.60 to $0.80 per linear footHowever, mesh screens require more complex installation and may therefore cost more to set up.
Foam inserts are at least a little more expensive $2.50 per linear foot, but may be necessary for an environment with larger debris types. Surface tension helmets are the most expensive to install with an initial cost of $3.50 per linear foot. You get what you pay for though – gutter helmets are built to last much longer than any other type.