Contractor adjusting plastic gutter guards to get them to fit.

The Best Surface Tension Gutter Guards of 2022

By Britt Olizarowicz

The best surface tension gutter guards will eliminate clogs, large debris, and small debris from entering your gutters. Surface tension gutter guards can be installed on your existing gutters, and it pushes debris off of your roof and onto the ground while water flows into the gutter guard. In our guide featuring the best surface tension gutter guards, we will show you:

  • Where to find the best surface tension gutter guards
  • How much surface gutter guards cost
  • Why gutter guards are important

Surface tension gutter guards are also known as reverse curve gutter guards. When debris buildup in your gutters is a problem and downspouts are continually clogged, the surface tension gutter guards are the way to go. Let’s look at the best gutter guard for your home and how you can have peace of mind about the types of gutter guards you choose.

Our Top 5 Surface Tension Gutter Guards

At House Method, we did quite a bit of testing and research to come up with the top five surface tension gutter guards on the market. Whether you are looking for professional installation or a DIY option, we have found solutions for you. We looked at things like warranty, customer reviews, pricing, and installation process when picking our top five surface tension gutter guards. Here is how the top five providers ranked:

  1. Gutter Helmet Gutter Guard: Best Surface Tension Gutter Guards
  2. Leafproof Gutter Guards: Best Low Profile
  3. Hallet Gutter Cover: Best Premium Surface Tension Gutter Guards
  4. Amerimax Gutter Covers: Best DIY
  5. LeafFilter Gutter Guards: Best Alternative to Surface Tension

1) Gutter Helmet Gutter Guard

Gutter Helmet is the best surface tension gutter guard on the market. If you are dealing with heavy rain pushing debris into your gutter guard system, these surface tension gutter guards may be able to help. Gutter Helmet is not a new gutter guard brand; they have been on the market for more than 40 years. The way this gutter guard works is debris will fall over the edge of the gutter, but water will fall into the gutter itself. Gutter Helmet is professionally installed, and there are locations all over the United States that keep this guard in stock.

In addition to the impressive performance of the Gutter Helmet Gutter Guard, there is also a lifetime warranty with this product. Customers are generally happy with the service offered by Gutter Helmet and the work done to ensure these gutters are the perfect fit. The BBB rating of an A+ can help give homeowners the extra confidence they need to choose the Gutter Helmet.

Key Features

  • Has seven different design patents
  • 40 years in business
  • Gutter protection and heated technology combined
  • Lifetime warranty
  • BBB rating of A+

What Customers Are Saying

In addition to the Gutter Helmet Guards, you can also add the Gutter Heat heating element to your Gutter Helmet purchase. If you are tired of gutter cleaning and ice dams, this would be the best choice. Overall the BBB has given Gutter Helmet an A+ Rating. The time spent in the industry and the response to customer questions and concerns have helped keep this rating as high as it is. Trustpilot has several Gutter Helmet Gutter Guards reviews, and the star rating is 3.8 out of 5.

Most homeowners found that these surface tension gutter guards did a better job during downpours than something like brush gutter guards. However, there are still times when things like pine needles or small leaves can get stuck with the surface tension guards. Try to take a look at the type of debris coming off of your roof and see which leaf guard type is the best fit for you.

2) Leafproof Gutter Guards

Leafproof Gutter Guards are the best low-profile surface tension gutter guards on the market. One of the reasons that customers choose stainless steel micro-mesh as opposed to surface tension is the look of the guard itself. Sometimes the surface tension guard is apparent next to the roof shingles and can change the look of the home. With Leafproof Gutter Guards, you will find a low profile and highly effective design. Leaves and other large debris will simply slide over the top of the gutter guard.

Leafproof is a fast-growing gutter protection brand, and it helps prevent things like mold in your basement or attic. If you already have gutters in place, Leafguard makes several different sizes to fit your current system. In addition, with this gutter guard installation, you won’t void your roof warranty as there is no penetration of the roof itself. Leafproof is known to help prevent ice dams and animals nesting.

Key Features

  • Fast-growing gutter guard provider
  • Fits existing gutters
  • Holds up well in heavy rain
  • Lower price per linear foot than competitors
  • Low profile look

What Customers Are Saying

Leafproof is not BBB accredited, and that can be a bit of a disappointment to those looking for gutter guards from an A+ rated provider. However, we were able to track down some reviews and information regarding both the high-quality guard and the gutter installation process. For the most part, customers had no trouble finding a provider to complete the installation, and the current rain gutter sizes matched up quite well with the Leafproof gutter guard sizes.

One of the issues was when weather conditions get out of control. If you notice, The Leafproof system is installed at the same pitch of the roof, and if water runoff starts happening really fast, it will miss the small holes provided for it to flow through. Sometimes micro-mesh gutter guards will do a better job at this than the surface tension style.

3) Hallet Gutter Cover

The Hallet Gutter Cover is the best premium surface tension gutter guard on the market. This product is made with a professional heavy gauge aluminum perfectly suited for this home improvement project. Homeowners will notice the installation process with the Hallet Gutter cover is extremely fast, and a great deal of money can be saved as opposed to a professional installation. One of the things that help these Hallet Gutter Covers stand out is their clean and professional look.

There is a 20-year warranty on the Hallet Gutter Cover, and it has been on the market for 26 years. During this time, Hallet Gutter Covers have managed to earn an A+ rating from the BBB. These covers will fit both a 5 and 6-inch K-style gutter and they are tested to uphold heavy amounts of rain.

Key Features

  • More than 26 years in business
  • A+ rating with the BBB
  • Comes with proper hangers and fasteners for easy installation
  • Premium material with a 20-year warranty on the finish
  • Tested for up to 5 inches of rain in an hour

What Customers Are Saying

The Hallet Gutter Covers took our spot as the best premium surface tension gutter guards because of both the look and the performance of this guard. With 26 years in the business and an A+ rating from the BBB, you can imagine that gutter cleaning and foundation water damage are a thing of the past. In addition, the Hallet Gutter Covers are available on Amazon, and they have a 4.4 out of 5 rating with eight total reviews.

If you want to purchase the Hallet Gutter Covers in other colors, there are options out there to choose from. An aluminum gutter guard can hold up considerably better in climates where the weather changes quite often. Some small bristles will still make their way into the gutter guard, and it’s hard to compare screen gutter guards with surface tension when it comes to water flow rates. However, if you have decided surface tension is best for your home, Hallet Gutter Covers are worth considering.

To get current pricing, you can find Hallet Gutter Guards on Amazon.

4) Amerimax Gutter Covers

Amerimax Gutter Covers are our favorite DIY surface tension gutter guards. If you are up for a project this weekend, Amerimax Home Products is a company that will help ensure you are adequately prepared. The Amerimax Gutter Covers are made of aluminum, and they come in three different sizing options for consumers, a 4, 5, and 6-inch gutter cover. The installation process requires you to slide the gutter cover under the first row of shingles and then hook the cover to the front end of your current gutter system.

Amerimax Gutter Covers are available in several colors, and they come with a 10-year warranty. In addition, since this product is aluminum, it is also treated to be rust proof. You will notice that there are small holes in the Amerimax Gutter Covers that only allow water to flow through.

Key Features

  • Made of aluminum
  • 4, 5, and 6-inch options
  • Available in packs of 1-25
  • 10-year warranty
  • Rustproof

What Customers Are Saying

Amerimax Gutter Covers are available on Amazon, and they have some mixed reviews. There are more than 15 ratings currently, with the average rating being 4 out of 5 stars. Amerimax is a large company that makes several other gutter guard products; you should not have trouble should warranty related issues come up.

Although this product still remains one of our top picks for DIY installation, there are some problems with the widths of the holes that the Amerimax Gutter Covers have. These holes allow small seedlings to get stuck, and they must be cleaned out to improve water flow. For homes with a large amount of tree coverage, it makes sense to choose a different type of gutter guard.

5) LeafFilter Gutter Guards

LeafFilter Gutter Guards are the most well-known and trusted gutter guards in the industry and the best choice for an alternative to surface tension gutter guards. Surface tension gutter guards are not typically as effective as a fine mesh guard. You will notice that these guards sometimes cause issues with overall functionality and the rate at which you will still need to clean your gutters. With the LeafFilter Gutter Guards, you will get a 275-micron steel mesh guard capable of removing everything from across to shingle grit from your gutter system. LeafFilter Gutter guards are known for impressive water flow, professional installation, and a lifetime transferable warranty.

The LeafFilter Gutter Guards are typically priced a bit higher than other guards on the market, as they do come with a premium professional installation. For homes with quite a bit of tree coverage that have tried other options, LeafFilter’s 15 years of industry experience can really pay off when it comes to finding a solution. You can get pricing from the LeafFilter website or learn more about costs on our cost breakdown page. If you aren’t set on surface tension guards, it makes sense to give this best micro-mesh option in the industry a chance.

Best Overall

  • Full installation of patented 3-piece LeafFilter system
  • Stainless steel 275-micron micromesh screen
  • Lifetime transferable warranty
  • Free estimate with in-person inspection

our rating9.7

Key Features

  • Steel gutter guard with micro-mesh technology
  • Customizable sizing
  • Guards are rustproof
  • uPVC frame material
  • A+ rating from BBB

What Customers Are Saying

You won’t have to look hard to find a LeafFilter rating. This is a very well known provider with an A+ from the BBB and 3.8 out of 5 stars. In addition, more than 85,000 customers have reviewed the LeafFilter guards on TrustPilot, and the reviews were 4.5 out of 5 stars. Overall, customers do not complain about the functionality of the LeafFilter guards, even in the heavy rain.

The only real complaints that we see with LeafFilter will deal with the installation process. Customers can get frustrated with scheduling issues or wait times to have their gutter guards installed. Make sure to work this out with the LeafFilter representative at the time of purchase, and the issues should not be all that bad. Make sure to talk to LeafFilter if you are concerned with costs; sometimes, they have promotions or discounts to help make things more affordable.

To get a free quote from LeafFilter Gutter Guards, type in your zip code on its website.

Read our LeafFilter Gutter Guards review to learn more.

Buying Guide for Surface Tension Gutter Guards

Now that you can see which surface tension gutter guards are the best on the market, you may be curious which ones will work for you. The number of great choices for surface tension gutter guards is getting smaller. More and more people are moving to the mesh design. When choosing surface tension, you will want to look for these things.

Quality

The surface tension gutter guards you choose should be made with a high-quality aluminum material that will hold up over time. The higher quality surface tension gutter guards consist of lightweight and highly functioning materials that can get wet but will not rust or corrode. The higher quality materials will sometimes come at an increased cost, but they almost always have a longer warranty associated with the product.

Cost

The cost of a surface tension gutter guard is typically around $3 per linear foot and will increase from there. The price of the surface tension gutter guards you choose will vary considerably based on the size of your home, the linear feet of coverage you need, the overall guard you choose, and the installation process. The right gutter guards should have a lifetime warranty, so this could mean you only have to incur this expense one time.

Installation

The installation process of surface tension gutter guards can either be professional or DIY friendly. With the professional gutter guard installation, expect higher costs but quicker results and a longer warranty. DIY surface tension gutter guards typically come with the materials you need to complete the installation process, and they are known for being a lower-priced product. Most surface tension gutter guards do not require you to puncture any holes in the roof and will simply slide under the first row of shingles.

Appearance

Surface tension gutter guards are installed on a slope that is the same as the pitch of your roof. This is why they will be seen from the ground. Luckily many surface tension gutter guard providers will make their gutter guard in several different colors. Talk to your representative about what color is going to match the aesthetics of your home. Many homeowners choose white as it is easier to keep clean, using a bleach cleaning solution.

Size Options

The most popular options for surface tension gutter guards are 4, 5, and 6 inches. You may have some companies that will offer a 7-inch surface tension gutter guard, but that will be considerably more difficult to find. Most surface tension gutter guards are manufactured to work with existing gutters. This makes installation quick and hassle-free.

Warranty

The best warranty on a surface tension gutter guard will likely be a lifetime warranty. Knowing that your gutter guards are set for years to come can make the initial costs a bit easier to manage. A warranty for a DIY installed product is typically around 10 years. The warranty is important to protect against things like rusting or corrosion of your gutter guard product.

Why Trust House Method

  • 43 companies reviewed
  • 32 key factors analyzed
  • 1,002 homeowners surveyed

House Method’s Experts collected and analyzed 32 critical data points to identify what makes a great gutter company in the eye of the consumer. Our reviews team used this data to assess over 30 gutter providers for services provided, warranty coverage, and national availability to provide unbiased reviews so homeowners can confidently navigate key decisions about their homes.

Compare the Best Surface Tension Gutter Guard Companies

Provider Cost* States Covered Unique features
Gutter Helmet Gutter Guards Contact For Quote Available From Dealers All Over US Great technology and performance, 40 years in industry, options for heated gutter guards
Leafproof Gutter Guards Contact For Quote Available From Dealers All Over US Fast growing gutter guard provider, fair pricing, low profile design will not stand out
Hallet Gutter Guards $269 for 105 feet All of US Premium looking gutter guard, aluminmum material with 20 year warranty, several color options
Amerimax Gutter Cover $68 for 48 feet All of US Durable and long lasting, large gutter guard manufacturer, several color options, easy installation
LeafFilter Gutter Guards Contact For Quote Available From Dealers All Over US Stainless steel micro mesh, great alternative to surface tension gutter guards, lifetime transferable warranty

Final Thoughts

At this point, you should have a more clear understanding of the surface tension gutter guards and which are the best on the market. In addition to being an excellent solution for homeowners that are tired of cleaning out their gutters, surface tension gutter guards also protect the foundation of the home from water damage.

Most homeowners find that LeafFilter micro-mesh gutter guards are the best overall on the market and will be a better solution than the surface tension guards. If you are looking for a complete solution, it’s worth getting a quote from LeafFilter. In addition, when shopping for any home improvement product, it makes sense to get more than one quote to ensure you get the best overall deal.

Surface Tension Gutter Guards FAQs

Do surface tension gutter guards work?

Surface tension gutter guards work pretty well in moderate to heavy rain, in areas where not a lot of small debris is falling from the roof. Larger debris will not fit in the holes that the surface tension guards have, so it flows over the edge of the guard with ease.

What is the #1 gutter guard?

The number on the gutter guard is the LeafFilter gutter guards. These guards are made from a stainless steel material that has more than 15 years of industry experience. In addition, LeafFilter comes with the most comprehensive warranty in the gutter guard industry. Even though this is not a surface tension gutter guard, many customers have found it to be a better solution for their homes.

What are the benefits of gutter guards?

The most important benefits of gutter guards are:

  • Gutter cleaning is not necessary
  • Less damage to the foundation of the home
  • Improved water flow from the roof
  • Low chance of animals burrowing in the gutters of the home
  • Less mold and mildew in the basement and attic

Do surface tension gutter guards work better than other types?

Surface tension gutter guards tend to work better than foam gutter guards as well as brush gutter guards. However, the micro mesh stainless steel gutter guards are more effective for some homeowners than surface tension. The effectiveness of the gutter guard will depend on the amount of debris that falls, the overall quality of the materials, and any special features that make the gutter guard more efficient.

How do you clean a gutter guard?

Gutter guards typically don’t need to be cleaned often, but if you start to see mildew growing on the gutter guard, you can use a water and bleach solution and a soft brush to scrub the gutter guard. Sometimes gutter guards can simply be rinsed with a hose, and it will be enough to clear away any extra debris that may have gotten stuck in the guard.

How we Ranked, Reviewed, and Tested the Best Gutter Guards

Here, we’ve broken down our rating methodology for gutter guards. You should know that we’ve taken the utmost care to provide the most up-to-date information and to ensure that you make the best choice for your budgetary and home maintenance needs.

Why Trust House Method? Our Gutter Ranking Methodology

At House Method, transparency and trust are our most important values for the reader. We’ve done the homework for you and have researched over 50 gutter guards so you can have the information you need to make the best choice for your home. That’s why we took the time to create an objective rating system and score each gutter guard and gutter guard provider company according to our gutter ranking methodology.

We also dug into the details of each gutter guard to ensure that you could make the best decisions for your home and keep your gutters debris-free for years to come.

To make the most of our research, we developed a formula to objectively determine the best gutter guards based on the following criteria:

  • Material: Material durability was the single most important factor that went into our rating methodology for gutter guards. Whether they were stainless steel micro-mesh or plastic screening, we gave an in-depth rating for this criteria.
  • Debris Resistance: Our testing served as the primary evaluator for this factor. We curated a rating based on customer testimonials and our own in-house testing here.
  • Ease of Installation: Most of the gutter guard options listed have some DIY component involved. For this reason, guards that required the fewest specialty tools got the highest rating here.
  • Cost: How reasonable are prices in comparison to the industry average? We compared the costs of each company to competitors.
  • Warranty terms: We looked into the warranty of lifetime warranty terms if it is offered by the provider.
  • Trust: What do customers rate the company? We looked into what customers are saying about their experience with the company.
  • Buying process: if the gutter guard is a DIY installation, how easy is the buying process? We looked for shipping costs and shipping time, as well as where the product can be bought from.

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