How Much Do Gutter Helmets Cost?
Gutter helmets, or gutter guards, are systems designed to protect your gutters. Nobody likes gutter-cleaning. It’s quite gross. Therefore, gutter guards can help you keep leaves and debris from creating clogs in your gutters.
The average cost to install a gutter helmet is $1,196. Homeowners spend an average of $0.90 per linear foot to install plastic and vinyl gutter helmets. It costs $3.50 per square foot to install full surface tension gutter helmets and $1.75 per square foot to install perforated aluminum covers.
We will also cover all relevant gutter installation costs, gutter replacement, guard replacement, and trustworthy manufacturers in this article. We hope you will know everything about gutter helmets at the end and feel confident about either DIY installation or hire a professional to do so.
What are Gutter Helmets?
When it comes to gutter helmets, there is a common misconception. Gutter Helmet is the name of a leading manufacturer. When homeowners talk about gutter helmets, they are most likely talking about gutter guards or gutter protectors.
About the Gutter Helmet Company
The company Gutter Helmet is the most prestigious brand for gutter guards. It also provides the most comprehensive warranty policies and even offers periodical free replacement deals for customers putting in a new roof.
Gutter Helmet works directly with a range of dealers across the nation. They also have a list of certified installers you can trust. Naturally, as a name brand, Gutter Helmet is more expensive than many of its competitors.
Gutter Helmet? No, I Think You Are Talking About Gutter Guards
As we mentioned earlier, most homeowners use the term “gutter helmets” to refer to gutter guards. It is a common misconception because the manufacturer Gutter Helmet is so big and famous.
There are many other manufacturers of different guard systems. They are more affordable, and each has its specialization products. If you want to save on installation costs, it would be wise to shop around using a search keyword of “gutter guards” instead of “gutter helmet.” That will lead you to a lot more results.
Are Gutter Helmets Worth It?
The first question you should always ask yourself is, are gutter helmets worth it? If you own rental properties and have a handyman who handles all routine maintenance, you may not need to put in any guards.
However, if you live in the house, it’s best to install gutter guards. There are a few reasons for that:
- Gutter guards don’t need regular maintenance and only need replacement every few years. Therefore, they can save you a lot on gutter maintenance in the long run.
- The guards permanently remove the possibility for birds or other small animals to nest in your gutter.
- They allow our gutters to last longer as they prevent debris and other harmful things from entering.
- They make your summer easier because the stagnant water in gutters is a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Meanwhile, there are no real disadvantages when it comes to gutter guards. The only thing you should keep in mind is gutter guards can’t 100% prevent things from entering your gutters. Therefore, cleaning and maintenance are still needed, just a lot less often.
Cost by Type and Materials
Gutter guards mostly vary in cost according to the materials they use. Below is a price comparison sheet of some of the most popular gutter guards.
Gutter Helmet Cost by Materials
|Type of Material||Cost Per Foot|
|Plastic PVC Screens||$0.25 – $1.50|
|Aluminum Perforated||$0.50 – $1.25|
|Vinyl Grid||$0.50 – $1.30|
|Helmets (Solid Surface)||$1.00 – $3.00|
|Steel Screens||$1.50 – $3.00|
|Metal Mesh Screens||$1.50 – $3.00|
|Micro-Mesh Screens||$2.00 – $4.00|
|Foam Inserts||$2.00 – $6.00|
|Full Surface Tension Covers||$3.30 – $6.00|
|Gutter Brushes||$3.70 – $5.75|
Next, we will go through each type of gutter guard with more details. We will analyze their pros and cons and dive deeper into their pricings so you can find the perfect guard for your house.
Plastic PVC Screen Gutter Guards and Vinyl Grids
Plastic PVC screens are also known as vinyl grids. They are the cheapest type of gutter guards, so it shouldn’t surprise you that they also have the lowest quality. Vinyl grids cost $0.2 to $1.50 per foot.
They can be easily cut into different lengths. Since the plastic is tucked under the drip edge, there are no fasteners needed. However, they are not designed to last, and they trap leaves easily due to the spiky edges. They are not very weather-resistant and can get blown away in extreme winds.
Perforated Aluminum Covers
Perforated alumni covers come in 4” to 8” pieces. They typically cost $0.50 to $1.25 per foot. They are one of the most cost-effective options for gutter guards because they last 10 to 20 years.
Perforated aluminum covers are easily installed and work great with fasteners. They can also be easily removed and cleaned. The only downside is that they have larger grids and therefore smaller particles may still get through.
Steel costs $1.50 to $3.00 per foot. Steel screens are more durable than aluminum covers and don’t bend or dent as easily. They come in pre-cut sections and are extremely easy to install.
They only last five to ten years, but most brands offer a lifetime warranty. Also, if you powder coat the steel screens, they can last double the lifespan.
Metal Mesh Screens and Micro-Mesh Screens
These mesh screens come in steel or aluminum and cost $1.50 to $3.00 per foot. They have the smallest grids, and therefore keep out almost all debris except for small seeds.
Foam Inserts Gutter Guards
Foam inserts cost $2 to $6 per foot. The wedges are usually 5’ wide and 8’ long. It allows water to filter through without letting leaves and debris in. They are more expensive than other options because they keep your gutters clean for a longer time.
However, since the foam will be soaked with water, the inserts may freeze during the winter seasons. They may also encourage mold and moss growth.
Full Surface Tension Covers & Gutter Helmets
The real gutter helmets typically cost $3.30 to $6.00. They are one of the most popular guard protection options among homeowners. They are made of solid metal pieces that completely cover the gutters.
Gutter helmets completely prevent anything from falling into the gutter, however, debris and seeds will slowly build up between the helmet and the gutter’s front lip.
Also, the water is diverted using a downward curve on the helmet. Therefore, heavy rainfall may cause water to overshoot because the design isn’t meant for excessive water flow.
On average, gutter brushes cost $3.70 to $5.75 per foot. They are made of twisted wires or a rod with metal bristles, like regular brushes. That way, water can pass through while debris will be stopped by the brush part.
Most professionals don’t recommend gutter brushes because they need to be removed periodically to be cleaned. That’s extra work and extra maintenance cost the homeowner must pay.
Gutter Guard Installation Cost Factors
Like all roofing projects, a few factors significantly affect the cost of your gutter helmet installation.
These factors include:
- The height or story count of your home
- How many corners do your gutters have
- How steep your roof is
- Total gutter length
- Location and climate
Height and Accessibility
Installing gutter helmets on anything higher than a single-story home will cost you extra. In general, a contractor will charge $1 to $1.50 per linear foot for each additional story. If you have multiple stories, try to only install gutter helmets at the second story or higher.
Gutter System Design
The more corners you have, the more complicated the installation is. Contractors will charge extra for any gutter system that has multiple corners and turning points.
If you have multiple rooflines that are steeply pitched or have a 90-degree bend, your contractor will charge you more for the job. Because those roofs are more dangerous to work on.
Gutter Helmet Installation Cost by Length
Gutter length is the main factor that will affect your installation price. The relationship between average labor cost and gutter lengths is listed in the following table.
Cost of Installation by Length
|Length||Average Labor Time||Average Cost|
|50 FT||1 Hr||$150|
|100 FT||2 Hr||$300|
|150 FT||3 Hr||$450|
|200 FT||4 Hr||$600|
Location and Climate
Where you live can affect how much your contractors charge. If you live in a remote area, you may also need to pay for a traveling fee. In addition, try to work on nice, decent weather. Any projects in extreme weather conditions will cost you extra.
Naturally, if the weather is too dangerous, you won’t be able to hire anyone to do the job and you may need to pay more afterward to clean and restore your gutters first.
Can You Install Gutter Guards Yourself?
Fortunately, gutter helmet installation is one of the easier jobs that a homeowner can handle by himself. Unless your product comes with professional installation, you may consider DIY the gutter helmet installation to save.
However, keep in mind that this could be a project that takes up to two full days to complete, depending on the product you purchased. And some will mandate professional installation, especially the more expensive and prestigious brands.
How To Install Gutter Guards
First thing first, make sure you have all the tools you need. For gutter guard installation, you will need:
- Box cutters or utility knives
- Screwdriver or power drill
- Miter box
- Self-taping metal screws
In general, you should be able to cover all tool expenses for less than $80. These tools will be a good long-term investment if you plan on doing more home remodeling in the future.
There is also a possibility that you may break a shingle or two while installing, so make sure you get some roofing putty as well. Again, if this sounds too challenging, don’t hesitate to find a professional!
Seamless Gutters — an Alternative to Gutter Helmets
In recent years, there has been a more popular option for gutter protection. Seamless gutters come with leaf guards. As the name suggests, these gutters come in one-piece and are pre-protected. They only have a small opening for water to go through.
They look nicer and work more efficiently. Naturally, they are a bit pricier. In general, seamless gutters with built-in leaf guards cost $30 to $60 per foot. The pricing varies further according to the material.
Seamless gutter costs by material
|Material||Cost per Foot||Average Installation Cost on a One-Story Home|
|Vinyl||$30.77||$4,615 – $6,153|
|Coated Steel||$31.77||$4,766 – $6,354|
|Aluminum||$37.77||$5,666 – $7,554|
|Copper||$58.27||$8,741 – $11,654|
Gutter Helmet System Accessories
If you want to go one step further, there are accessories you can add to your gutter system. They may be costly, but are helpful in the long run. Some popular accessories include:
- Heated Gutter Guards
- Downspout Screens
- Downspout Extensions
They either protect your gutter helmet system or lower the frequency you need to clean your gutters.
Heated Gutter Guards
Heated gutter guards are popular in colder climates. They cost $10 to $15 per foot. Basically, they add a heating cable to prevent snow and ice from building up on your gutters in the winter.
Another option is heat tapes. Heat tapes begin at $77 per 100 feet and you lay them inside the gutters. Whenever heating is needed, you simply plug them in.
Each downspout screen costs as low as $2.50. These screens help water to keep flowing while collecting leaves. They are also extremely easy to clean. All you need to do is take them out and dump the leaves and debris.
You don’t want all that nasty water near your house, do you? A Downspout extension will direct the gutter water away from your foundation.
They are usually made of vinyl and cost $8 to $15 per linear foot. You can easily install downspout extensions yourself.
How Much Does Gutter Cleaning Cost?
Like we mentioned at the beginning, having gutter helmets doesn’t mean you never need to clean your gutters. You just do that less frequently.
As of 2020, gutter cleaning costs $75 to $350 each time. This price changes according to the size of your home and the accessibility of your roof, similar to gutter helmet installation costs.
How Much Does Gutter Replacement Cost?
We hope you don’t come down to this, but at some point, you will need to completely replace your gutters, with or without gutter helmets.
For removal and disposal, be ready to pay somewhere around $100 upfront. You can try to remove the gutters yourself, but a professional installer will charge you extra if you made any mistakes during this process.
Now, to install or reinstall gutters, you will pay about $1,200 for a regular one-story home or $2,000 for two stories or more. This price may go up depending on the type of gutters you are using.
Alternatively, you can install the gutters yourself following our step-by-step guide.
Do I need to replace the gutter helmets when I get a new roof?
Typically, you will need new gutter guards when you get a new roof. However, there are ways to protect them. If your gutter guards were installed by a certified professional chosen by the manufacturer, call them. They may be able to remove the guards without any damage and reinstall them when your new roof is done.In other cases, many manufacturers will provide free gutter guard updates for customers getting a new roof, such as the renowned Gutter Helmet. Check with their customer service to see if you qualify.
Does gutter helmets need any maintenance or cleaning?
Yes, they do need cleaning, the same reason why your gutters will still need maintenance done even if they have guards on top of them. In general, mesh guards and gutter covers are the easiest to clean, and brushes are the hardest.If you are hiring a professional to clean your gutters already, check to see if he offers guard cleaning as well. Most contractors do.
How do I know if my gutter guard system has a warranty?
Check the product manual if you still have it. If not, go to your manufacturer’s website. If you purchased your gutter guards from a third-party retailer, either give them a call or directly go to the distributor for more information.Most name-brand gutter helmets provide a warranty. Some even provide lifetime warranties.
Can I clean gutters and guards myself?
Of course, and you don’t necessarily need a ladder to do that. You can use a pressure washer or even a vacuum to easily clean your gutters. If you are climbing onto your roof to work on your gutters or putting a ladder against the roof to reach higher gutters, make sure you are doing the right thing.
With a deep passion for content and creative writing, Xiao Faria da Cunha finds a strong sense of accomplishment in creating quality home guides that resonate with homeowners. When not writing, you can find Xiao creating art masterpieces.
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