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March 19, 2021 4 min read

The year 2020, and the introduction of the Corona virus to the world, resulted in an increased focus on performing improvements to our homes and buildings.  Americans are smart to study, plan and execute home improvement projects and DIY gutter guard repairs that will decrease future maintenance costs, that way the investment of time and money into home improvement will continue to repay dividends for years.  More owners and property managers are looking for the best gutter guard company and they expect to be able to find and install leaf guard products that will eliminate gutter maintenance forever.  After 25 years in the roofing and gutter cleaning business, I personally don’t believe there is a gutter guard that will perform clog free and maintenance free when installed in a detritus ( tree debris ) environment; what’s worse, you need to take most gutter guards apart when they clog or need maintenance to flow properly.  If you want to learn how to install gutter guards or more specifically how to put leaf guards on gutters, here are some tips for how to measure your gutters for gutter guards and other interesting easy-on  clog protecting leaf filters. Hopefully, I can guide you towards understanding top gutter guards and types of gutter guards to keep your gutter from clogging and decrease how often you need to climb that ladder, to clear gutter problems.

How to measure your gutter for leaf gutter guards depends on the type of leaf guard you plan to install as well as the style or type of gutter you have.  Whether searching for cheap gutter guards or expensive,  it is difficult to know which gutter guard is best for your situation.  Some gutter protection devices are easy to measure for installation and are actually incredibly easy and fast to install too, (mentioned below) while other gutter clog protection devices are tricky to measure for, and also complicated and time consuming to install due to lots of trimming, fitting and fastening involved. 

Picture of multiple different gutter styles for various gutter guard products

Understanding gutter guard recommendations, can be easier if you know your gutter type. Try to determine if you have a seamless K-Style gutter or some other gutter style.  Click here and scroll down to learn about different gutter styles.  It’s recommended and generally accepted that most gutter screens, gutter mesh, helmet covers and slotted metal gutter covers are installed in a linear fashion from the front edge of the gutter installing under the roofing shingles or other drip edge, therefore you would want to measure from the outer edge of the gutter to the closest edge of the roofing and add a few inches for under-lap. Beware that your gutter likely slopes toward the downspout, therefore you will get different measurements depending where you put the ladder.  You'll want to measure at all of the lowest points of the gutter as well as measuring at the highest points because the measurement will also differ due to the height of the gutter on the fascia and the slope of the roof.

Choose gutter guard products carefully.   Depending on the type; gutter micro-mesh, open screen, gutter cover, helmet or slotted perforated metal, you might have to take your newly installed gutter guard apart to clean it regularly.  The tight filter-like gutter mesh screens do decrease the need to take it apart quite so often, but those screen openings or "apertures" are incredibly small so they get dirty and clog.  Dirt and leaf debris laying on gutter screens, makes a flat leaf mat that can cause the rain water to run over the gutter guard.  Tight gutter screens keep debris out but they keep roof water out too so you might have to get the ladder out to clean off the top of them frequently in order to eliminate gutter pour over.  Leaves and tree debris are thin so they can also fit right into the slots of the helmet guard, flowing to the outlet and into the downspout; so be prepared to disassemble and reassemble, as part of your expected gutter cleaning program.  When the nose of those helmet style gutter devices gets dirty after a year or so, the fast rain water releases too soon and bypasses the gutter, so be prepared to clean it too.

Picture of person measuring for gutter guard installation

There’s an innovative and very easy-on gutter guard that is also very easy for which to measure, because since 2004 this clever device has been manufactured to fit and simply fill the gutter itself.  Click here for how to measure for easy gutter guard clog protection.  For the easiest DIY gutter clog protection installation with no tools or fasteners required, fill the gutter with these long lasting brush gutter guards; simply by sliding them ( 3 footers ) under the gutter crossbar hangers which hold them in place. Its so easy, anyone can do it.  Fill the entire gutter, one after the other, and leave them in place as a full length gutter strainer and downspout and drainage pipe protector. With most seamless gutter styles you just measure from the fascia or the back of the gutter to the outermost tip of the gutter, to outfit with GutterBrush.

When learning how to install gutter screens, covers and other gutter guards under roof shingles, be aware that those roof shingles are supposed to stay adhered, so if you break the seal while separating the roof shingles, you'll want to use asphalt adhesive to stick the roof shingle back down or risk causing a loose roof edge and wind damage.  Be careful to do no harm to your roof because clogged gutters are a pain, but leaf guard installation isn't worth the higher degree of aggravation created by roof problems. One nice thing about brush gutter guards, is they are compatible with every roof because they are a gutter guard that's not installed under the shingles; they don't touch the roof; and they are easy to maintain too.  Whether you have lots of skill, tools and courage or just want a gutter leaf guard that's fast and easy that anyone can install, you should be able to measure and outfit your gutters to keep them clog free, with a maintenance plan that suits your particular needs.

Alex O'Hanley
Alex O'Hanley

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