See-Thru Window Cleaners
4936 Yonge St. #521, Willowdale, Ontario, M2N 6S3
(416) 225-6378

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Comparing Amerimax Hinged Gutter Guard to GutterFilter®

Installation notes

It should be noted that Amerimax Hinged Gutter Guard's recommended installation method is to clip the screen on the edge of eaves and simply flip the guard on to the shingles. While this installation method avoids the water "skating" problem mentioned below, it makes the screens much more susceptible to removal by wind (or simply being flipped by wind) and does not provide any closure at the point where the screens meet the shingles (which can allow even medium to large debris to pass under the screens). Therefore Hinged Gutter Guards are installed as suggested but instead of simply resting against the roof, the screen is tucked under the first row of shingles (which increases the likelihood of water skating over top and can also create a small valley just before the screen. You can decrease the skating problem by only overlapping a portion of the shingle onto the screen (the more screen the water must cross over, the less likely it will be able to skate the full surface) but this can seriously detract from the product's appearance.

GutterFilter® can be installed above or below the eavestrough hangers, but I recommend always installing above the hangers as this avoids creating depressions in the product (where debris may be inclined to sit) as well as providing a much nicer appearance and smoother top (allowing the wind to blow debris off more easily).

For the rest of this page I will refer to Amerimax Hinged Gutter Guard as "screens".

Cost of Installation

Screens = $2.25 - $3.00 per linear foot (depending on installation complexity)
GutterFilter® = $5-$6 per linear foot (depending on installation complexity)
*Price does not include cleaning eavestroughs (which is required prior to installation).

Effectiveness with large leaves
Screens = 8 out of 10

If installed correctly this product will keep virtually all large leaves out of the eavestroughs. However in some installations leaves can accumulate on the roof above the screen which may require them to be manually removed (although in most cases wind will remove them).

GutterFilter® = 9 out of 10

Large leaves almost always dry up and blow away. However in some protected areas (including some roof valleys) the leaves can accumulate requiring them to be swept off.

Effectiveness with small leaves / maple keys and similar sized things
Screens = 5 out of 10

Some small debris will pass though the openings on screens and begin to accumulate inside the eavestroughs. Most of this will travel through and out the downpipes but in time will build up at the downpipes or along the eavestroughs resulting in clogging. (The amount of time varies with each installation)

GutterFilter® = 9 out of 10

These things will generally not be able to penetrate the openings in GutterFilter® and will usually dry up and blow away.

Effectiveness with tiny debris / some seed pods / pine needles
Screens = 3 out of 10

Screens may keep out some of this tiny debris, but in reality most stuff smaller than the opening in the screen will simply pass right through it and the larger pine needles will likely get stuck in the openings.

GutterFilter® = 8 out of 10

Almost none of the normal seedlings or pine needles will make it through GutterFilter®. Pine needles may however get stuck in it which can cause a blockage on top of the product over time. This would require the top to be swept off.

Appearance
Screens = 5-8 out of 10

In virtually all cases the screens are clearly visible from ground level and can stand out particularly against a dark roofing material. A very good installation with very light roofing material can go "almost" unnoticed. But edges almost never align perfectly with each other and thus gives a slightly ragged appearance.

GutterFilter® = 10 out of 10

This is invisible from ground level when installed correctly.

Ease of cleaning under the product once it's been installed
Screens = 5-9 out of 10

Depending on circumstances it may be as simple as spraying through the screening to flush out the debris. Otherwise you simply lift the screens as necessary to clean or flush under them.

GutterFilter® = 7 out of 10

In most cases you can simply lift the GutterFilter® out of the eaves and flush through that opening (and under some of the other pieces without removing them) then replace that piece. Be VERY careful to put the pieces back EXACTLY where they came from..

Frequency of cleaning once installed
Screens

You will "probably" have to clean the eaves just as often as you did prior to installing the screens (although in many instances if you were cleaning twice annually you could likely get away with once annually). However the amount of "stuff" to be cleaned out would be significantly decreased.

GutterFilter®

You will probably never have to clean "below" the GutterFilter® in the time you own the house. The size of the debris that actually gets through GutterFilter® is so small that it either flushes right out the downpipe or takes a VERY long time to accumulate to any significant degree. I would recommend flushing under them after 10 years (although they should continue to function well beyond that even without any flushing).

 

Total Score
Screens = 26-33 out of 50 (average 60% efficiency)

Definitely has it's uses, However this is primarily a stop-gap with limited applications.

GutterFilter® = 43 out of 50 (average 86% efficiency)

Nothing is perfect. Use this as a permanent solution (keeping in mind that it may require minor maintenance).

 

My opinion of the purpose of each product
Screens -

GutterFilter®