Devices to keep leaves and other tree debris from clogging your rain gutters.
It is important to keep your gutters working so water drain down around your foundation causing leaks and cracks. Roof damage and mosquitos (west nile virus) can also be a problem.
Professional installation of gutter protection systems can cost from $1-2,000 ($20-$30/ft), so paying to have them cleaned once or twice a year may be cheaper.
There are several web sites, (e.g. NC Review, BobVila.com,) which claim to have reviews of gutter protection systems, but they all tested a limited number of the available choices and didn't have any consistent recommendation.
After reading most of the reviews and trying a couple of systems, my advice would be not to spend a lot of money on a fancy system, because they all require some maintenance, several times a year. You will have less stuff to clean out with them than without, though.
Some choices are:
GutterFilter (www.gutterfilter.net) Swistun Gutter Screening (www.gutterscreening.com/gs/) Leaffilter (www.leaffilter.com) Leafsolution (www.leafsolution.com) Leaf Relief (www.alcoa.com/alcoahomes/en/leafRelief.asp) GutterStuff (www.gutterstuff.com) Gutter Guardian GuttaGard LeafFilterGutter Glove was best of self installed ones at Consumer reports and recommended by Gutter Guard Reviews - NC Review, which seems to be an add for them, but it was $9/ft.
Consumer Reports rated the Amerimax 85198 almost as good at $0.30/ft.
I used them and they required removal of small debris occasionally, and strong winds will blow them out.
Rain Filter from Costco (called GutterStuff on their web site) Got mixed reviews.
Posts at ths.gardenweb.com/forums/ 2004
I saw a forum posted about gutter helmet and leafguard. I have heard good and bad stories. I am seriously considering purchasing a new product called leafilter. It is a vinyl product with a stainless steel filter that keeps everything out of your gutters, even sand and shingle grit can't get in.
In my opinion.....having seen lots of them and talked to people that have them, they don't work as advertised. I plan to use a system called Rainhandler. Have never used it myself, but have seen it on a few houses in the neighborhood and stopped to ask one person about her house and saw it, and they love it.
We had the LeafGuard brand on our old house, and absolutely loved them.
I didn't really research the gutter helmets, etc, but I remember reading that thread too, and it sounded like they didn't work nearly as well as advertised, either.
I installed GutterStuff on my house last fall and was so impressed with it that I became a distributor of the product. The product is terrific and can be installed by the local homeowner or by contractor.
GutterStuff forum at 37signals.com/
HandyANDY 31 Jan 06
Gutter stuff is by far a superior product and we now insist on recommending it to all our clients. Gutter Stuff is the best GUTTER FILTER we have ever come across. www.gutterstuffcanada.com
many thanks and see you next year when your gutters clog.