How to Install Gutter Guards

Gutter guards can save homeowners a lot of time and money. Follow these steps for a DIY gutter guard installation.

How to install gutter guards depends on the type of gutter guard. Some, like foam gutter guards, brush gutter guards, or mesh gutter guards, are easy to install DIY. Installing other types, like reverse curve gutter guards or micro-mesh gutter guards, is tougher and usually a job better left to a gutter pro.

Obviously, if you’re looking to put a complex gutter guard system on your home, how to install these gutters guards is simple. Call a gutter professional near you to do the work for you. Your gutter guards will be installed correctly and likely will come with a warranty.

The easiest-to-install gutter guards are foam gutter guards and brush gutter guards. Pick the right size, get out your ladder, and place these gutter guards inside your gutters.

Snap-on vinyl mesh gutter guards (or similar snap-on gutter guards made of a different material) are a middle ground in the level of skill required to install gutter guards.

If you choose to go the DIY route with easy-to-install, snap-on gutter guards, we’ll show you how to do this in 6 easy steps.

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How to Install Snap-On Gutter Guards

The quality of a good snap-on gutter guard comes down to the material and design of the gutter guard. The majority of gutter guards are made of stainless steel, aluminum, or vinyl. Stainless steel types tend to be the most durable and long-lasting. Vinyl mesh DIY gutter guards are more affordable and more common.

Snap-on gutter guard costs are comparable to most other gutter guard systems. The overall cost of gutter guards depends upon the material you buy and the amount of gutter guard needed to do the job.

Tools you’ll need to install gutter guards DIY include a ladder, utility knife, putty knife, screwdriver, tin snips.

Pro Tip: Buy a small section of gutter guard to test out before investing in all your material. Install the test piece, and make sure that it is the quality that you need.

Step 1: Read Instructions

The warranty that comes with your gutter guards can be quickly voided due to an incorrect installation, so stick to the product’s specific steps for installation.

Steps 2: Lift Shingles and Slide the Gutter Guard Into Place

Insert a putty knife between the shingles and underlayment. Lift the shingles just enough to insert the edge of the gutter guard. Be careful not to damage the shingles or the plywood underneath. If a shingle happens to crack, slide the gutter guard section into place and use the putty knife to apply roofing cement over it.

Never leave a cracked shingle unsealed. Rainwater will infiltrate the crack and could damage your roof and seep into your attic.

Aligning the gutter guard section with your roofline, continue to lift the shingles and slide your guard into place until you’ve reached the end of the first section. 

Step 3: Clip the Guard Section Onto the Gutter’s Lip

Align the outer edge of the gutter guard section with the outer rim of your gutter. Clip the guard over the gutter’s lip and snap it into place. This step may vary by product.

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Step 4: Overlap Your Sections

Repeat steps two and three to install the remaining gutter guards while overlapping the sections by a half inch, unless directed otherwise. Most manufacturers recommend overlapping your guard sections by a half inch to 1.5 inches. Check your installation guide for specific instructions. 

Step 5: Cut Miter Joints to Connect Corner Gutters

Measure a 45-degree angle into the end of a guard section. Ensure that the side which slides into the roofline faces inward and the one that connects to the gutter faces outward.

Mark the angle and trim the end of the gutter guard section with tin snips or a utility knife. Repeat this step to cut the corresponding angle into another guard section. 

Step 6: Trim the End of the Guard Section

You’ll most likely end up with a section of guard which needs to be trimmed to fit snugly. Use a good pair of tin snips or a utility knife to trim the end of the last gutter guard section.

FAQ About How to Install Gutter Guards

Can I install gutter guards myself?

Gutter guards can be installed by homeowners with general handyman skills. Some gutter guards are more difficult to install than others, so do you research and make sure to read all gutter guard reviews. 

Do I still have to clean gutters that have gutter guards?

Gutter guard or no gutter guard, it is a good practice to clean your gutters once or twice a year. The purpose of a gutter guard isn’t to keep every single piece of debris from getting into your gutters, but rather to increase the water flow rate. 

Therefore, gutters and their gutter guards need to be maintained properly. The good news is, cleaning is less time consuming when your gutter guards are working properly. 

When to Hire a Gutter Guard Pro

Installing gutter guards can be tricky work, and sometimes it’s better to leave it to a professional so you have confidence that the work is done right the first time. Or maybe you just don’t feel comfortable standing on a ladder to install or clean your gutters and gutter guards.

We make it easy to find gutter guard professionals near you to handle all your gutter needs. With just a few clicks, you’ll get quotes in minutes.

You’ve got gutter and gutter guard questions. We’ve got answers.

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Main Image Credit: IndyEdge / Canva Pro / License

Madeline Hoppe

Born and raised in Tampa, FL, Madeline Hoppe is a customer service expert with a deep respect for the written word. In her down time, she enjoys low-key nights watching movies with her family or heading to one of Tampa Bay's local beaches on a summery day.