Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Gutter Cover: What You Need to Know Before You Buy

Many want to invest in a gutter guard to save time and danger cleaning their gutters.

However, a lousy gutter cover can damage your home more than reasonable. This is why if you invest in a gutter cover, choosing the right design for your house, trees, climate, and so on is critical.

There are many options, which can feel confusing. This guide will help you understand the different types of gutter covers, materials, and features.

We'll also provide tips to help you pick the best one for your needs and budget. Gutter covers come in various designs, each offering unique benefits and drawbacks. Knowing what to look for and how each type works is essential.

This way, you can choose a gutter cover that fits your home's requirements and your financial plan. By the end of this buying guide, you should feel confident in selecting the perfect gutter cover to protect your home.

Understanding Gutter Cover Options

There are many different designs of gutter guards. Here are the most common:

1. Screen Gutter Covers

Screen gutter covers are one of the most popular and affordable options. These covers use a wire or plastic grid that fits over the top of your gutters, blocking leaves and large debris while allowing water to flow through.


  • Easy to install - Great for DIY!
  • Cost-effective.
  • Available in various materials, including aluminum.


  • Not effective with small debris.
  • It may require frequent cleaning.
  • If not maintained, debris can clog the top openings, and water can overflow into the gutters.

2. Mesh Gutter Covers

Mesh covers are similar to screen covers but have smaller holes, providing better protection against small debris like pine needles and shingle grit.


  • Easy to install - Great for DIY!
  • Effective against small debris.
  • Durable materials available.


    • Higher cost than screen covers, especially if name brand or installed by a company.
    • It may require frequent cleaning.
    • If not maintained, debris can clog the top openings, and water can overflow into the gutters.

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Let us help you. Call or Text Kenna Real Estate at 303-955-4220 to get personalized assistance from our expert real estate agents. Find out what your home is worth in today's market.

3. Reverse Curve Gutter Covers

Also called solid surface systems, reverse curve covers are designed to direct water over a curved edge into the gutter while causing debris to fall to the ground.


  • Highly effective at keeping debris out.
  • They are often made from durable materials like aluminum.
  • When properly designed and installed, minimal maintenance is required.


  • Often a higher investment.
  • It's NOT a DIY product! When not installed correctly, it can cause extensive damage to a home.
  • Overpromising is typical of companies that sell. There is no such thing as 'no maintenance.'

Materials for Gutter Covers

When choosing gutter covers, it's essential to consider the material. Here are some common materials and their characteristics:

1. Aluminum

Aluminum is a popular choice and is found throughout the designs.


  • Rust-proof.
  • Durable and long-lasting.
  • Lightweight.


  • It is more expensive than plastic.
  • Dents and bends under heavy loads faster than steel.

2. Plastic

Plastic is also used throughout the designs, especially in mesh and screen types. It is lightweight and affordable but may not be as durable as metal options.


  • Affordable.
  • Corrosion and rust proof.
  • Lightweight.


  • It becomes brittle and breaks down over time.
  • More susceptible to sun damage and warping than other materials.
  • Cracks rather than bends

3. Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is known for its strength and resistance to corrosion, but it is not commonly used in the gutter cover industry.


  • Highly durable.
  • Resistant to corrosion and rust.
  • Long-lasting.


  • It's an expensive material.
  • It is very difficult to work with and install, so typically, installation costs will be higher.
  • Heavy and more subject to thermal expansion due to temperature fluctuations than aluminum (leading to warping and buckling)

Features to Consider

When selecting gutter covers, consider the following features to ensure you choose the best option for your home:

1. Design Versus Local Debris

Consider what types of debris are common in your area.

Then, choose a design that works well against those particular types of debris. For example, if you get pine needles, maple tassels, whirly birds, or your trees drop a lot of sap over the gutters, leaf filters or meshes are not a good idea. Those forms of debris will clog and fill the tiny holes, leading to water pouring over the gutters.

However, if you get larger debris like leaves, large acorns, and twigs, a screen or mesh cover may suffice with a bit of regular maintenance. It is usually a good idea to compare a good reverse curve cover system with a good leaf filter system wherever you live.

2. Durability and Lifespan

Investing in a durable gutter cover can save you money in the long run.

Vinyl and poly materials break down faster, especially in the sun's direct blazing heat, which gutter covers will virtually always experience. Materials like aluminum and copper do require a higher initial investment but offer decades of results.

3. Aesthetic Appeal

Consider how the gutter cover will look on your home. You generally don't want people driving up to your home; the gutter covers are the first thing they notice. Discreet is usually best. They should compliment the beauty of the house, not distract from it.

Ready to find your dream home in Colorado?
Let us help you. Call or Text Kenna Real Estate at 303-955-4220 to get personalized assistance from our expert real estate agents. Find out what your home is worth in today's market.

Tips for Homeowners

When choosing gutter covers, keep these tips in mind to ensure you make the best choice for your specific needs and budget:

1. Assess Your Budget

Determine how much you are willing to spend. Gutter covers range in price from cheap, budget-friendly DIY options like sponges, screens, and meshes to solutions that require a larger investment, such as most reverse curve systems or leaf filters.

2. Research Different Brands

Look for companies and products with a proven LOCAL reputation.

This is critical because what matters isn't its national reputation but how the design handles the local debris, not to mention how the local branch or office treats its customers. Taking 15 minutes to read through third-party reviews can save you thousands later and a lot of headaches.

3. Consider Local Climate and Debris

Consider the weather and debris in your area. Better yet, your and your neighbors' houses. On most phones nowadays, you can take a picture of a tree or its debris and ask your phone to tell you what it is if you don't know. Then, search for the right solution accordingly.

If you are in the Kansas City Metro, such as an area like Lawrence, Kansas City, consider researching the Advantage Gutter Guard®, which has been third-party tested to handle three times the water volume of a typical Midwest rainstorm. It also has a track record of being in KC for 23+ consecutive years.

Winding Up

Choosing the right gutter cover protects your home from water damage and reduces maintenance efforts. By understanding the different types of gutter covers, materials, and features, you can make an informed decision that suits your needs and budget.

Whether you opt for a simple screen cover or a more robust reverse curve system, the right gutter cover can significantly improve the efficiency and longevity of your gutter system.

Keep these tips in mind, and take the time to research and evaluate your options. This will ensure a successful investment in your home's protection.

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