Do you have gutter helmets?

My spousal unit just spent a couple of hours cleaning our gutters out as I gathered the detritus he flung to the ground. We’re getting way too old for this silliness and we’re considering 2 alternatives - gutter helmets or paying someone else to clean our gutters. Our house is a ranch, with roughly 70’ of straight gutters both front and back. A number of trees overhang parts of the house, so we get leaves and other gunk in the gutters.

We’ve seen gutter helmets demonstrated at home shows and they look to be pretty good, but a demo isn’t real life. So I’m asking if anyone here has them and how well do they work? How expensive are they to have installed?


We have Leaf Guardgutters. They are of course more expensive than the standard ones but they work perfectly - one less home maintenance thing to worry about.

We had gutter helmets installed early this Spring. We have a big maple tree in the back yard. It’s ‘helicopter’ seeds would clog up the gutters. The gutter helmets did their job very well.

Now we just need to see how they will handle the leaves. They seem to work well on a neighbor’s roof and he has a maple tree in his back yard.

I don’t remember the cost as the wife paid for them, but probably much cheaper than me falling off the roof!

I haven’t heard them called “gutter helmets,” but we had a problem with some gutters getting clogged due to an overhanging tree. When we redid the siding, we had new gutters put in with screens over the top. Problem solved. Adding that option did not cost much more than regular gutters.

Yeah, that falling off the roof thing would be bad. I especially don’t like my husband to go up there because he’s had 5 spinal surgeries in the last 10 year, and I really worry about him messing his back up again. At least our roof isn’t too steep. And before anyone asks - I don’t do roofs. I don’t like unprotected heights, especially with slopes.

When we had these gutters installed 4 years ago, we opted for a system that was like a giant scotch brite pad that filled the gutters - the idea being that water would pass thru and debris would blow off. Well, today we tore it all out, as the pads were full of mud and roots and we had all kinds of stuff growing in the gutter just since last year when my husband was up there sweeping off the debris. So let this be a warning - don’t get that kind of stuff - it doesn’t work and in just 4 years, much of it was rotting away.

I have a one story house so most of my gutters are pretty accessible. I have long relatively thin screens which I cut to size and put over the gutters between the support rods. They are not perfect, but they make the cleaning job much easier. And it is a lot cheaper than new gutters.

We have Leafproof, similar to others mentioned already. Our yard is loaded with maple trees, and we go through 4 seasons: buds (mid-May), helicopters (early June), stems (that the helicopters grow from; late June) and leaves in the fall.

Wet buds and helicopters can clog small parts of the gap where the water is supposed to go. We have several valleys on our roof, and the shield at the bottom of the valley needs to be cleared or water will run around and off the gutter instead of getting down into it. I go up on the roof twice during the spring to clean things out, plus check on how the roof, chimney, etc. survived the winter. More of a nuisance than a big job, and I can do it when I get around to it, and it’s not a big sloppy mess like cleaning the gutters before we got the helmet, and no emergencies when it’s pouring rain.

My opinion - the “helmet” does its job pretty well, especial in leaf season which could be a tree-mendous pain in the arse. No gutter clogs in 9 years.

At my old house, my really nice neighbors had a tree with feathery leaves that hung over my house and clogged the gutters. When my gutters clogged, the water would overflow and flood their patio. They would cut the tree back, but the houses were so close together that it didn’t matter. It wasn’t practical to take it down for a variety of reasons. It was a big pain, but they helped with the gutter maintenance on my house because it was their tree causing the problem.

Got the roof replaced, and LeafGuard gutters put on, and the problem was completely eliminated.

the quote for leafguard, or something similar was almost $10,000. I could pay someone twice year for the rest of my life to clean out the gutters and still come out ahead.

I have something like that on my house, and for leaves and such it works just fine. However, a lot of gunk was still stuck between the slats and that was clogging it up as well. So the gutters would be clean, but nothing was going in to the gutters. I still clean mine out from time to time.

I have the cheapest “water adhesion” style gutter guard I could buy at a box hardware store. They work great. They slide under the roof shingles and into the gutter.

If you do this be aware of one very important thing, it will create a very long bird house. I had to make aluminum caps to fit thetriangular opening at the end of the gutters. Some of the more expensive brands of guards apparently haveend caps that fit their product.

I had to make mine out of aluminum and screw them in place because the squirrels had previously staked a claim on my attic and the little monsters were serious about breaking into the new vault.

I was just looking at a complaint site about leafguard, and it mentioned the high price and the hard sell, among other things. I have a couple of appointments set up right now - one for a gutter helmet system quote and one for a gutter cleaning quote. We’ll see how they shake out. I opted out of the company that said we had to both be here and the process would take about 90 minutes. I’m smelling hard sell there. I don’t think a pro should need more than half an hour to take the measurements and tell us what it would cost - it’s 4 straight sections to be covered. The gutters themselves are only 4 years old so they don’t need to be replaced.

I do find it interesting that customers seem to have a range of experiences - or maybe it’s just that folks who are extremely happy or extremely ticked off are the ones who post reviews.

One thing I wonder about those gutter helmets–how much does it restrict water flowing into the gutter? Have you ever gone out in a heavy rain and verified that the water isn’t just flowing over the front of the gutter and onto the ground?

It’s not what you asked, but one of our previous neighbors had a ranch home and had the greatest approach to cleaning gutters. He fashioned a PVC pipe attachment to his leaf blower that had a 180° turn at the far end. He just walked along and blasted the crud out every once in a while.

August West, that might work for part of our house, but in the back, the ground slopes away so that halfway over, it’s a walk-out basement, so the roof is actually 2 stories up. My husband did try just walking along the roof with a leaf blower, but it didn’t remove the wet, matted debris. And today’s cleaning involved a lot of wet, matted debris. ick.

I installed this type on my house gutters where needed. They sort of “click” onto the front lip of the gutter, and have a silicone-type gasket at the back where they touch the back of the gutter. They were easy to install except for a few places where my older gutters had been dented and weren’t perfectly straight. They seem to work well, some junk still gets in but not much. During heavy rains I’m sure the water flows over them, but that’s not a big deal to me because with so much water during a thunderstorm uncovered gutters will overflow too.

There seem to be dozens of types, I’d stay away from the ones that are a coarse wire mesh. They didn’t seem to last well and let quite a bit of small stuff into the gutters. Whatever you get I’d suggest you get some extra because the type you see in Home Depot one week may be gone for good the next.

It’s always a YMMV thing depending on the house, etc. In the case of my old house, the gutters needed cleaning more than 2x per year, I was doing a full gutter replacement anyway, the house was particularly tall, and those feathery leaves presented more than the usual gutter-cleaning challenges. Getting the gutter helmets was a no-brainer.


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If the gutter is full of water it will overflow regardless. But I wonder if the helmet will cause the water to cascade off the front of the helmet rather than get in the gutter in the first place. During a heavy rain the speed of the water flowing off the roof might fling the water off the top of the helmet rather than flowing into the gutter.

knee and elbows pads too. i’m keeping my gutters safe.

what you have in terms of trees and rainfall might determine thee best solution. something that keeps all stuff out might not catch all the rain (which means you need some drainage).