LeafFilter and LeafGuard are two of the biggest names in the gutter guard space, and they are also two of the most commonly compared gutter guard companies. To help you determine which product is right for you, we compared LeafFilter and LeafGuard’s gutter protection systems across five key metrics: performance, installation, cost, warranty, and reviews.
For an in-depth look at the differences, continue reading below. To quickly summarize our findings, we prefer LeafFilter’s design, performance, and warranty over LeafGuard’s. As a gutter guard company, LeafFilter also receives more favorable customer reviews across a wide range of online sources.
Gutter Guard Type & Performance
The biggest difference between LeafFilter and LeafGuard is that they are actually two entirely different types of gutter guard. While LeafFilter is a micro-mesh screen that sits on top of your home’s existing gutters, LeafGuard is a one-piece surface tension “gutter system” that includes both the gutter and the gutter cover. While LeafFilter is designed to be used with your current gutters, LeafGuard requires an entirely new gutter system to be installed.
For a complete discussion of the differences between the various types of gutter guards, refer to our complete guide. But to summarize, micro-mesh gutter guards like LeafFilter do an excellent job blocking even the finest debris (including pine needles and grit from roof shingles) from entering the gutters, while still allowing water to pass through. When made with high-grade materials (like LeafFilter’s stainless steel design), these guards can last for decades without deteriorating. The biggest complaint of micro-mesh screens is that, depending on the location, they can require cleaning to prevent algae buildup. Because of this, the product doesn’t completely eliminate the need for gutter cleaning.
Surface tension (or reverse curve) gutter guards like LeafGuard are meant to last just as long, while requiring less frequent cleaning. It’s important to note, though, that debris can collect on top of any gutter guard, including both micro-mesh and reverse curve, which is one of the biggest complaints of gutter guards in general. The downside to surface tension guards, specifically, is that in heavy rain, water will often pour right over the top. As mentioned above, LeafGuard includes both the gutter and gutter guard, which can be a plus or minus depending on your needs.
For most applications, we prefer the performance of LeafFilter’s micro-mesh design over LeafGuard’s surface tension system.
LeafFilter vs. LeafGuard Design
Gutter Guard Installation
Both LeafFilter and LeafGuard require that their products be professionally installed. Neither is designed to be installed by the homeowner (like DIY foam gutter guards). Because of this, the installation experience is similar across the two companies. For more information on how to install gutter guards yourself, see our complete gutter guards guide.
When LeafFilter professionals come out to the home for an installation, they will clean and realign your existing gutters before installing the LeafFilter gutter guards. One thing we really like about LeafFilter is that unlike some other products on the market, LeafFilter does not require that the shingles be lifted during installation. LeafFilter instead uses hidden hangers that are screwed directly into the fascia board. When installing gutter guards, this method helps prevent damage to the roof and avoids interfering with roof warranties.
Even though LeafGuard includes both the gutter and cover, the installation process is similar. Like LeafFilter, LeafGuard does not interfere with the shingles in any way. The product mounts directly to the fascia board. For most homes, the LeafGuard system can be installed in about a day, and includes removing the old gutters.
Neither LeafFilter nor LeafGuard publish their prices directly online. This is mainly due to the fact that these products can’t be purchased and installed by the homeowner. Instead, each installation is custom and performed by the company, with materials and labor charges depending on the size and structure of the home. So when determining how much will each of these gutter guards cost, interested customers should reach out to the companies directly for a free estimate.
That being said, LeafGuard tends to be more expensive than LeafFilter due to the fact that LeafGuard is an entire gutter system, while LeafFilter provides only the cover. So for homeowners with functioning gutters who are just in need of a gutter cover, LeafFilter will be the less expensive option. For homeowners that need both gutter covers and new gutters, LeafGuard will likely be more affordable than buying both products separately.
To put it simply, LeafFilter has a far better warranty than LeafGuard. LeafFilter’s warranty is easy-to-understand, comprehensive, and lasts a lifetime. LeafGuard’s warranty, on the other hand, is less comprehensive, has far more provisions, and generally leaves the customer feeling less protected.
To summarize, LeafFilter offers a 100% money-back guarantee that your gutters will remain free of debris (i.e. a “no clog guarantee”) and that your home will not sustain any interior water damage as a result of clogged gutters. The warranty is valid for the life of the home and is fully transferable to subsequent homeowners in the event of a sale. This is the type of lifetime warranty we like seeing.
Unlike LeafFilter’s broad lifetime warranty, LeafGuard’s warranty is more narrow in scope. It protects against the gutters blistering, cracking, chipping, etc.; however, it doesn’t offer a money-back clog free guarantee like LeafFilter. The company instead puts that responsibility back on the installing dealer: “Should your LeafGuard gutters become clogged for any reason, it is the sole responsibility of the installing dealer to provide proper resolution.” Additionally, while the LeafGuard warranty does last for the lifetime of the original owner, if it is transferred to another party, the warranty becomes prorated and also reduced to 50 years.
Reviews & Customer Satisfaction
Both LeafFilter and LeafGuard are BBB-accredited businesses, and both have received an A+ rating. The A+ rating means that, in the eyes of the Better Business Bureau, both companies do an excellent job interacting with their customers and responding to feedback and complaints. While the BBB rating is consistent across the two companies, the average customer review rating does differ significantly.
LeafFilter currently has nearly a 4 out of 5 star rating, across more than 3,500 customer reviews. This is a much stronger rating than most other gutter guard companies. In going through these LeafFilter reviews, you’ll find that customers are generally highly satisfied with how well the gutter guard functions, a pleasant sales experience, and the lifetime warranty. The smaller number of negative LeafFilter reviews generally mention the high price point, as well as an installation process that fell short of expectations.
LeafGuard currently has a far lower customer satistication rating, at just below 1.5 out of 5 stars. In addition to the price point, dissatisfied customers often point to the professional installation process and warranty issues as reasons for the low ratings of the gutter guard system. The large number of negative LeadGuard reviews is a major drawback to consider.
Where to Buy
Neither LeafGuard nor LeafFilter gutter guards can be purchased online, at big-box retailers, or at your local hardware store. Both companies sell their products directly to consumers, and perform the installation. As discussed above, neither product is going to be a good choice for DIYers interested in less expensive options that can be purchased and installed independently.
Both LeafFilter and LeafGuard have locations throughout the United States; however, the states they serve and number of locations do differ. LeafFilter offers far more locations than LeafGuard, at 128 locations across 41 states for LeafFilter versus just 59 locations across 36 states for LeafGuard.
Neither company has locations in Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Montana, Wyoming, or the Dakotas. For customers in New Hampshire or Vermont, LeafGuard is going to be the better choice, as LeafFilter does not have locations in those states. On the other hand, for customers in Delaware, Maine, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, Rhode Island, or West Virginia, LeafFilter will be the only available option and will likely be the best gutter guard company to work with.
LeafFilter vs. LeafGuard Locations
LeafGuard vs. LeafFilter: The Final Verdict
To summarize, both LeafGuard and LeafFilter offer quality gutter guard systems. However, given that LeafFilter utilizes a micro-mesh screen that works with the existing gutters, costs less, and receives more favorable customer reviews than LeafGuard, we think LeafFilter offers the best gutter guards for most homeowners. That said, for those needing to replace their entire gutter system, LeafGuard is worth considering, as it can be less expensive than purchasing gutters and gutter guards individually.
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