The Pros and Cons of Micro-Mesh Gutter Guards

micro-mesh gutter guard installed in a house gutter

A lot of people who detest cleaning gutters are turning to micro-mesh gutter guards. They prevent debris buildup, pest infestations, and mold growth. Great, but wait! Before you make this investment – and they are a little pricey – you should understand the pros and cons of micro-mesh gutter guards.  

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What Are Micro-Mesh Gutter Guards?

Micro-mesh gutter guards fit snugly atop gutter openings and feature thousands of tiny holes that filter out debris but allow rainwater to flow into gutters. The holes can be as small as 50 microns in diameter, making them barely visible to the naked eye. They are available in various colors, sizes, and materials, including aluminum, stainless steel, and plastic. Stainless steel is the most popular because it’s the most durable. 

You can install micro-mesh gutter guards on all types of rain gutters and roofs. To install them, slide the long side of the frame under the roof shingles and attach the other side to the outer edge of the gutter with screws. If you have a metal roof, attach the long side of the frame to the fascia board. 

And, spoiler alert, though expensive, micro-mesh is generally considered the most effective type of gutter guard as it can filter debris of almost all sizes, making it easier to clean your gutters

Note: All micro-mesh gutter guards aren’t the same, as the performance will vary depending on the size of the mesh holes. Some meshes have extremely small holes that filter out even tiny pollens and pine needles. But, if your region receives frequent heavy rain, they won’t be a good option as they can’t catch water effectively.  

Pros of Micro-Mesh Gutter Guards

micro-mesh gutter guards blocking debris from entering the gutter
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1. Durable

Micro-mesh gutter guards, especially those made of stainless steel, are highly durable. They can withstand strong winds and even impacts with small tree branches. They also don’t rust and can easily last for over 20 years. 

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2. Easy Gutter Maintenance

If you install micro-mesh guards, gutter cleaning will become a lot easier. You won’t have to deal with increased debris buildup and pests, as the guards will keep them in check. 

It’s important to know that micro-mesh guards don’t eliminate all gutter maintenance (more on that below). No gutter guards do. Even with them, we recommend you clean your gutters at least once a year, although the job will be much easier if you have micro-mesh guards.

3. Protect Your Gutters

Because micro-mesh gutter guards prevent debris buildup, your gutters won’t experience the same corrosion due to stagnant water as gutters without guards. They also prevent mold growth and keep pests out of your gutters

If you live in a cold region, micro-mesh guards can also prevent ice dams from forming in your gutters. 

4. Enhance Curb Appeal

Micro-mesh guards look great on any gutter system and can enhance your home’s curb appeal. The guards blend well with your roof and aren’t noticeable from the ground. Micro-mesh guards are available in many colors, so you don’t have to worry about matching the color of your home or roof. 

5. Handle Heavy Rain

Micro-mesh gutter guards with 30-micron mesh holes handle heavy downpours exceptionally well. They draw rainwater into the gutters without letting them fall off to the ground. 

As mentioned earlier, if your region receives heavy rainfall, don’t opt for micro-mesh with 50-micron mesh holes. It’s simple physics – smaller holes don’t allow water to filter through as quickly as larger holes. 

6. Come With a Warranty

Most micro-mesh gutter guards come with warranties of at least 20 years, and some offer lifetime warranties. The warranty usually covers manufacturing defects but won’t cover external damage caused by heavy winds or fallen tree limbs.  

Cons of Micro-Mesh Gutter Guards

leaves in house gutter
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1. Expensive

Micro-mesh gutter guards are pricey. If you want an affordable option, consider plastic micro-mesh, but it’s not as effective or durable as stainless steel. 

Plastic micro-mesh guards typically last 5 years, while stainless steel lasts more than 20 years. When you factor in the lifespan of the guards, stainless steel is actually cheaper, but the initial investment is significantly higher. 

2. Difficult To Install

DIY installation of micro-mesh gutter guards isn’t easy unless you have experience working with gutters. You have to slide them under your roof shingles and then attach the other side on the outer edge of the gutter with screws. If you don’t have a shingle roof, the process becomes more complex as you have to attach the guards to the fascia board. 

3. Not Completely Maintenance Free

Micro-mesh gutter guards can significantly reduce the amount of gutter cleaning, but they aren’t maintenance-free. Also, since micro-mesh gutter guards form a flat surface, you’ll occasionally need to sweep or blow the debris that collects on top of the guards. 

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Cost of Micro-Mesh Gutter Guards

Micro-mesh may be the best gutter guards. But there’s no denying the fact that they are expensive. Even if you opt for plastic micro-mesh guards, expect to pay around $2.50 per linear foot. Aluminum costs about $5.50, and stainless steel can cost you $7.50

DIY micro-mesh gutter guard installation is very difficult unless you have experience working with gutters. If you hire a contractor, they will charge about $3.50 per linear foot for installation, but the price can vary depending on the height of your home. 

If you have 150 linear feet of gutters, expect to pay about $1,125 to purchase stainless steel micro-mesh guards. If you hire a contractor for installation, you need to spend an additional $525

Where to purchase mico-mesh gutter guards 

You can buy micro-mesh guards from Amazon or The Home Depot. You can also purchase them from your local home improvement store. 

Here are some of the best micro-mesh gutter guard brands. 

Other Options To Consider

installing a leaf gutter guard
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  • Mesh gutter guards have larger holes than micro-mesh but can block most debris while allowing water to flow into the gutters. They last long and are easy to maintain. Mesh guards cost between $1 and $3 per linear foot. 
  • Foam gutter guards are inexpensive but not the most effective as they only block larger debris. They are lightweight and easy to install but don’t last long. They need frequent cleaning to prevent mold growth. Foam guards cost between $2 and $4.50 per linear foot. 
  • Bottle brush gutter guards feature bristles that block larger debris but not smaller ones. They are easy to install but difficult to clean. Brush gutter guards cost between $3 and $4.50 per linear foot. 
  • Screen gutter guards filter medium to large debris while letting water flow into the gutters. They are lightweight and easy to install. Screen gutter guards typically cost between $0.50 and $3.50 per linear foot, depending on the material. 
  • Reverse curve gutter guards, unlike other guards, don’t capture debris. Instead, they move them off the gutter and allow water to enter from a slotted opening on the outside. They are effective but need professional installation. Reverse curve gutter guards cost between $3.50 and $7 per linear foot.  


How long do micro-mesh gutter guards last?

Stainless steel micro-mesh guards – 20 years
Aluminum micro-mesh guards – 15 years
Plastic micro-mesh guards – 5 years

How often should I clean my gutters?

Clean your gutters at least twice a year, during early spring and late fall. If you have micro-mesh gutter guards, cleaning them once a year during late fall is sufficient. 

How often should I clean micro-mesh gutter guards?

You can clean micro-mesh gutter guards once a year when cleaning your gutters. Use a leaf blower or broom to remove the debris collected over the guards.  

Conclusion and When to Hire a Pro

Micro-mesh gutter guards drastically reduce debris buildup on your gutters. They make gutter maintenance easier and protect your home from water damage. Though micro-mesh guards are expensive, they can increase the lifespan of your gutters, helping you save money in the long term.  

If you need help choosing and installing the right gutter guard for your home, don’t hesitate to contact local gutter pros.

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Abdul Wadood

Abdul Wadood understands that gutters aren't something to be compromised with. He informs homeowners about the importance of installing a gutter system and helps them maintain it in good shape. When free, you can find him exploring the world.