Top 4 Common Gutter Guard Materials and Their Performance Analyzed

Please read my article about the Basics of choosing good rain gutter system for your home before reading this article. You will understand my point better. :) Now, let’s get started.

The design of your gutter guard will always determine its effectiveness. The more intricately designed models offer almost perfect protection from debris trying to find their way through rainwater channels. Better yet, they are self-clearing for peak and optimal results. But there is also the durability aspect which is pegged to the type of gutter guard material. The best materials as you will find out, can withstand extreme weather conditions with ease. They can also withstand pressure from ice and snow building up inside or on top of the gutter. So which are these materials?


Vinyl gutter guards have become increasingly popular these days, thanks to the affordable price tags they come. They are also durable. But that is not everything. Unlike other materials, vinyl has the ability to withstand pressure from heavy loads and resist impairing by rainwater.  In a nutshell, vinyl materials can last for up to 5 years. The only flaw they come along with is the fact that strong UV rays can harm their coating. That said, vinyl is ideal where there is moderate sunshine.


It is hard to ignore metal gutter guards for obvious reasons. First, they require little to no maintenance. Secondly, they are not delicate. Either way, there are two main types of metal gutter guards:

  • Galvanized steel
  • Aluminum

Of these two galvanized steel gutter guards happens to be more popular. They are moderately priced and extremely strong. They also cannot bend under heavy pressure. The setback they come with inability to resist rust after 5 or 6 years of use. This should be expected as by that time, you galvanized steel gutter guard will have withstood extreme weather conditions.

Then there is aluminum which is by far more reliable than galvanized steel. People keep them off because of the high price tags they come with. With an aluminum gutter guard, you can as well forget about repairing or replacing your gutter guard for as much as 8 to 10 years.  You must however stick to aluminum gutter guards that are thicker than 0.19 inches. But for optimal strength and durability, go for an aluminum protective system with 0.29 inch thickness.

Foam gutter guards

They are extremely affordable and easy to install. Unfortunately form is not durable. It tends to absorbs rainwater with ease. It also becomes brittle when exposed to sunlight for long. Worse still, it is susceptible to clogging. In a nutshell, it can be easily damaged.

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