You might be asking: why is MasterShield so much better than Gutter Helmet? Many of the same reasons you would want to choose MasterShield over LeafGuard apply to Gutter Helmet as well. You can find our page about MasterShield vs. LeafGuard. Since Gutter Helmet and LeafGuard work pretty much the same way, let's actually begin by answering perhaps the most common question people have about Gutter Helmet, which is “What is the difference between Gutter Helmet and LeafGuard?”
Looking at Gutter Helmet vs. LeafGuard, it's clear they have a LOT of similarities. In fact, LeafGuard and Gutter Helmet are more similar than they are different. They even make similar claims about durability, material, paint, warranty, rainwater capacity, curb appeal, and amusingly – uniqueness.
Both are made of aluminum and both brag that they're able to handle more rain than the highest record rainfall ever recorded by the U.S. Weather Bureau. LeafGuard claims 32 inches and Gutter Helmet claims 22 inches. Leafguard also notes that “This process is unique and it's patented” while Gutter Helmet “has a unique, multi-patented design.”
The similarities don't end there but differ in one amusing way. Gutter Helmet claims its product “is essentially invisible because it is designed to blend into your roofline” while LeafGuard claims its “attractive design enhances the look of your home.” Is this true? Here is what LeafGuard (left) looks like compared to Gutter Helmet (right) on unsullied, brand new installations:
Whether or not you think LeafGuard “attractively enhances” the look of your home or Gutter Helmet is “essentially” invisible is a matter of your own opinion.
Now that we've covered many of the ways Gutter Helmet and LeafGuard are the same, we can better understand how Gutter Helmet and LeafGuard are different. The biggest difference is that LeafGuard replaces your existing gutters, regardless of their condition, and installs its own “seamless one-piece” gutter. Meanwhile, Gutter Helmet is a hood-like cover that installs over your existing gutters, usually under the second row of shingles. In effect, Gutter Helmet is just the top hood of LeafGuard, slid between the roof shingles.
This has a few different implications. First, LeafGuard will always be more expensive than Gutter Helmet. It has to be because they both use the exact same material (aluminum); but LeafGuard uses a whole lot more of it because they have no choice except to replace your existing gutters while Gutter Helmet can fit its product on top. This is often an advantage for Gutter Helmet. After all, we've just looked at how very, very similar both products are. Therefore, most consumers who do the same research will ask themselves “why should I pay so much more for LeafGuard when Gutter Helmet works exactly the same way?”
Well, it turns out that Gutter Helmet's installation has some drawbacks compared to LeafGuard's installation. Because LeafGuard and Gutter Helmet are so similar, they share many of the same drawbacks. However, some drawbacks are unique to Gutter Helmet.
Here's a Gutter Helmet corner. This image is directly from the top of Gutter Helmet's own “about” page
This photo is really helpful because it showcases one of Gutter Helmet's biggest problems: how it deals with corners. Look at that pile of leaves. It's stuck there, and it's not even wet (because this is a fresh install with some dry leaves dropped in for a photo). But when it does get wet, it will form a big soggy mass that will block up that little corner drain. After that, rain and debris are going to waterfall over that corner like moss monster crawling out of a lake. It will look like this:
The picture below also shows one of the unique drawbacks to Gutter Helmet compared to LeafGuard. Because of how Gutter Helmet gets installed, it commonly changes the angle of the roof at the gutter line. You can see here how that has flattened this person's roof, even causing shingles near the edge to look sunken in compared to the shingles higher up. And as we mentioned before, you can see how the corner is really a mess now, with debris and water now running down the face of the gutter. Although LeafGuard has the same problems in corners, it does not change the angle of your roof at the edge:
Another unique drawback to Gutter Helmet compared to LeafGuard is that Gutter Helmet has a really, really hard time installing on any home with an “unusual” roof. If you have a slate roof, a tile roof, a metal roof, a flat torch-down roof, a wood shingle/wood shake roof, or a roof with a pitch steeper than 4/12, Gutter Helmet may not even work at all.
For example, for slate, tile, and wood shake roofs, if Gutter Helmet can be installed at all, their installers will need to pry apart the first row of your roof at the edge with a crowbar! Those roof materials don't bend and allow Gutter Helmet to slide up under them otherwise.
Gutter Helmet can be installed on some metal roofs. However, it runs into one of the same problems as LeafGuard does with metal roofs. And it's the same reason neither Gutter Helmet nor LeafGuard work well on very steep roofs: water speed.
With reverse-curve systems, water speed is the most important variable. If the water is shooting down quickly, it will simply ski-jump off the roof down to the ground.
Still trying to decide between Gutter Helmet and LeafGuard? We've got a better idea? Consider MasterShield. MasterShield is the most effective gutter guard system available in the market today and we can install it on your home. Contact us today and schedule your free estimate in Portland, Vancouver, Gresham, and nearby!