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Leaf Filter Review and Field Report

Reader, Mary Beth recounts her personal experience with Leaf Filter and her local installer.  She isn’t very happy with the result.

I also had the Leaf Filter installed on my house in the winter of 2009.  I live on 5 acres of pine trees.  So I thought this would take care of the pine needles.  IT DID NOT!.  The pine needles do not blow away because it is too cold and wet all winter.  I live in the Olympia, Washington area.

I called the company because the system did not work on my house.  So they sent out someone to look at them.  The day he arrived, we had a cold spell and everything was frozen.  So he took pictures.  He said he would talk to his boss.  I told him I wanted them taken off and I wanted a refund because they did not work.  Never heard from them.

So I called them again.  They told me that they only guarantee that the gutters will not clog.  They do not clog, now they do not work at all.  Now all the water just runs over them.  So now I have to have them taken off so my gutters will work again.  I am now trying to figure out what to use that might work better.

This “no clog” guarantee is quite common with all of the various gutter guard technologies.  It’s a guarantee that they can easily make and keep.  The problem for home-owners is that the guarantee is almost completely useless!  A gutter can be completely clog-free and still not work.  A gutter is not working if the rain water is cascading over the top.

When they make a “no clog” guarantee, they only mean the INTERIOR of the gutters.  If the filter, screen, curve, or whatever is on top of the gutter clogs up and causes the gutter to utterly fail… this doesn’t count.

On my own gutters, I installed this product years ago and it works extremely well.  I can’t remember the last time I had to climb a ladder and clean out my gutters.  And it can be installed for pennies on the dollar compared to any professional gutter system.

Cheap and Effective

65 comments to Leaf Filter Review and Field Report

  • C. J.

    After over 20 years of cleaning my rain gutters, I’ve finally found the perfect method of keeping them clean without the use of a dangerous ladder. I got a brand new, American Made, lightweight attachment tool, that should fit most standard 2.5″ wet/dry vacuum hoses. It is a one-piece, 60″ long, durable, pvc tool that fastens snugly onto the vac hose. When I put it into the rain gutter and turn my vac on, it literally vacuumed out all gutter debris, wet and dry junk, while I stayed firmly and safely on the ground. I saved myself money, time, energy, and most of all my own safety while doing a once nasty job that now is almost fun to do. This new rain gutter cleaning tool has been hailed as “the Best Gutter Cleaning Tool on the Market Today” and in my opinion it really is everything that other customers have said about it and more.. Check it out on their webpage and read all the comments and watch their videos and see why I’m so pleased with my find! C.J.

  • james

    I LOVE the Leaf Filter system. The Chicago area had repeated freeze thaw cycles about 3 weeks ago, NO PROBLEMS!!! Handled the weather like a champ. I asked the representative about the ice dams, if it would be an issue? He explained what would happen and it did. If water is coming off your roof then water will go through the system. They fixed my gutters then installed the system in october 2009. We have finally found something that works, with the small honey locast leaves, maple helicopters and the PINE NEEDLES. I had tried two different do it yourself types of gutter protection after originally purchasing Sears low profile all in one gutter and top in the mid 80′s. Had them replaced with regular gutters. Went to a trade show and seen Leaf Filter demonstrated, it sparked my interest. The representative came to my home and really had his information ready. He made a believer out of me with his experience in home improvement. After installation he came back and earned my neighbors business too. Best product I have seen for keeping everything out while allowing all the rain in. Something that actually works, can you believe it. Peace be with you. *

  • jim

    Leaf Filter system: install on our home ~6yrs ago and no one mentioned that the micro mesh collects fine seeds, twigs, grit, and who knows what, and then proceeds to grow moss on it! the gutters may run free of crud, but the buildup on the top of the gutters is ugly and you can’t just rinse off moss-buildup either! So someone still needs to get on a ladder to clean up another mess! and when there’s a nice layer of buildup, the water just careens off the roof onto the deck and ground, so why have gutters??

  • Michael

    Im a roof cleaner in the Washington area (pierce county) and anyway a client of mine has the Leaf Filter System and while i was ontop of their roof they had gaps of atleast One inch from panel to panel. I told my client about this and they tried to contact them about it and Leaf Filter hasnt yet fixed the problem. Horrible customer service.

    • I am the Call Center Supervisor for LeafFilter NW and I assure you, all calls, voice mails left and emails received are responded to same day. If someone has an issue with their system or installation we will schedule it the same day they contact us – we make sure before the call is ended that the customer has a date for when we will come out to resolve the issue which is usually within a week.

      • John Gates

        That is so from the truth it pisses me just thinking about what you say. Leaf fillter never returns calls . I have called three times . The warenty is useless.

  • Sam

    Call Your Local Dixie Homecrafters In Your Area. They not only guarantee their product works, they guarantee it for the lifetime of your home. They only use the best materials, and they put everything in writing. They come out immediately and fix any problem with the gutters or Gutter Guardian system at no cost to the consumer. They will give you the GM’s personal cell phone number if you have any problems. Give them a chance they are the best there is. Put me down as a reference (Sam Conner 865-934-8181). This will be the best decision you have ever made for your home. Plus they give you a reference list of people to call in your area that have the product installed. Plus they work with metal roofs unlike most other companies. They do not subcontract any of their work. The guardian is blended to your roof color to make it look like a continuous piece of your roof and your gutters look like crown moulding. Good luck in all your endeavors. I know it will work out for you. I wouldn’t give you my phone number unless I was 100% sure of success.

  • Jack

    I have quotes from K-guard, leaf guard and leaf filter. leaf filter is cheaper and was rated #1 on consumer reports but after reading these articles, I am concerned that steel mesh filter would clog with small particles and water actually would go over it instead of getting into gutter. Now, I am leaning towards k-guard but they don’t have good reviews either. I can’t figure out what to do? I have trees behind my back of the house. We have had horrible last winter and concern the ice build up on top and will take a while to melt during. Any suggestions? Is leaf filter a good system? Their prices seem reasonable…

    • beau leahy

      I have Leaffilter on my home and it is amazing, i have pine trees,maples. I live in the midwest and we have some cold winters not to mention ice storms..its been 5 years and i have had no i highly recommend this product to anyone who is tired of climbing ladders and tired of hearing how everyone else’s stuff neighbor had K guard installed and is not happy..i notified my sales rep and they came out and actually gave him a trade in value on his k guard..It works!

      • Ron Stocker

        Well of course you reccomend leaffilter your the salesman

      • Joann

        We live in the Midwest (st louis) and are getting a new roof and gutters. Leaf Filter by Alcoa is recommended but we are so confused about how effective it is. We have oak trees and the big stuff might be kept out but the trees leave kind of a “scum” over some cheap screens we are presently using. We have a two story so my husband really would like something on the new gutters but not a complete closed in look. So if you have any suggestions, please let me know.

    • Beau Leahy

      I had LeafFilter on my home now for 5 years..i live in the country in Indiana..pine trees and maples..we also have ice storms and some heavy snows..It work great..havent had to climb ladders neighbor had K Guaud installed about 2 years ago and was very i contacted my sales rep and believe it or not he gave my neighbor a trade in value on his K Guard system..Leaffilter is worth it!

  • Sue

    I had Leaf Filter put onto my gutters in 2008.

    Debris just sits on the “shelf” produced by Leaf Filter on my gutters. Wind doesn’t blow it off, water runs over, it piles up the roof and I have to have it professionaly cleaned off.

    I tried to explain to the company that on my home, it wasn’t working. Thier customer service, towards me, was ablsolutely dismissive. All they said was, it didn’t clog and it was installed correctly.

    I have a youtube video which shows Leaf Filter on my gutters

    • Wonderful video. I hope you don’t mind that we posted it to the main page of the site.

    • mo

      Sue…LOVED your video! I had leaf filter installed this summer. First heavy rain (just the other day) I, too, had my own water feature. I call and they said someone would call in the next few days…..not so far. That was after I had called them immediately after installation and complained that the installers (who, by the way, we pretty scarey) had torn moulding off the front of my house and replaced it with several scraps of board which were not even lined up properly….looks like crap! Someone named Kevin (this is in Portland) said….”call me back in a couple of weeks, I’m going out of town”. Incredibly dismissive! I will keep posting to this website regarding my own Leaf Filter odyssey.

    • Hey Sue,

      What happened to the video?

  • Jack

    Thanks, Sue for the video. It was eye opening. Still debating which way to go. Consumer reports still keep rating leaf filter the top compare to leaf guard, k-guard etc. Leaf filter does not clog (as they told) but what good it would do if water goes over the filter? I would love to see a response from Leaf Filter here and see what they have to say…

  • Jack

    Moreover, is it true what no system is perfect? Hence, just the pick which is has the least issues? I need to have gutter guards installed sometime soon before peak fall season starts.any recommendations/suggestions? I would appreciate the inputs…Thank you!!!

  • Joe

    I am in the same boat as Jack. Need to have gutter guards installed sometime soon before peak fall season starts. I was also considering Gutter Shell, but haven’t seen any comments on that…anyone?

  • Judith

    Thanks, Sue!
    I just had a Leaf Filter sales rep at my house and I felt good about it all. I asked about debris sticking to the mesh, and I was assured that nothing can adhere to it. I was also told that any lingering debris would be removed by the next big wind.

    Glad I took the time to check this out before giving him the go ahead. My estimate is $2890 for my house which is 157 linear feet. However, unlike you, I ‘d not be very kind if I spent that much money to help the squirrels and plants!

  • roger

    I just contracted leaf filter to do my house. 200ft. I also just sent my local rep that video and I asked for a response from him. lets see what he says.

    • Anthony

      I had the Leaf Filter “Field Manager” over to give the demo, etc. I have 134 feet of gutters all straight, no turns. I was amused while watching him labor over 5 minutes with pencil and calculator arriving at a price. He came up with $4,225.00! The flyer had a coupon for $250, and he immediately threw in another $250 “senior discount.” It still seemed very high to me ($3,725), so I said that I couldn’t do it. He then came up with another tactic – mine was a small job, he could fit it on when the crew was down, but I had to be on alert for a “last minute call” to install. Now the price was $2,750!

      He immediately got on the phone and called a crew manager, and arranged for an actual date – after having said that they would call me when time freed up(!). I signed a contract, which allowed for cancellation within three days.

      Finally, I read these posts on the internet, called the 800 number. They told me that they could do nothing and that the Regional manager would have to call me. In the meantime I sent the contract back with CANCEL written over it (certified mail), as the field manager originally had said I could do.

      The Regional manager finally called 5 days later. He expressed disappointment in my cancellation and then offered to do the job for $1,300! This must be indicative of how they lead customers into getting the highest inflationary price from them at first. Who really knows what a real price is?

      What kind of company that claims they’re number one uses tactics lower than that of used car salesmen? This turned me off more than the false product claims.

  • Robert

    Jack, I have to tell you that video cracked me up! But I have had my LeafFilter for a few years now and I love it. It does exactly what they said it would do and I have plenty of cedar, fir and a big maple tree’s around my house. I do get plenty of stuff that ends up on my LeafFilter but it blows off just like the stuff blows off my roof. Look at any roof out there that is under trees and you wont find debri all over the roof. You will see a wind line of debri that has blown down the roof. So the LeafFilter is almost like an extension of the roof.

  • Robert

    And they were rated # 1 by Consumer Reports!
    You can’t beat that.

  • chuck

    Jack you are right, no system is perfect, but you can say that about any product not just gutter protection. I believe you mention consumer reports review? Do not rely on it, the test was flawed, which is why if you compare the ratings published in the magazine with the ratings on the website they are different. I know at least one of the products was installed in correctly by CR. That is the first flaw and only caught becaise of photos since removed from website show bad insataltion. Also the design of the test on such a small roof surface reduce the amount of debris flowing in the water, resulting in screens and filters not cloging, on a normal roof you would have the debris from the roof flow onto the screens and filters, although the gutter may not clog the screen and filters will and the result is the same, clogged gutters and clogged filters and screens both cause water damage to your home. check out the waterloov dealer, no clogs by physical design. And it is the only product that you can maintain from the safety of the grown. How do you maintain the other products? If they say they don’t need maintenance read the warranty? They all do. They just hide the fact behind legal double talk..

    • Jonn

      Let me work for waterloove! every company that is not rated number one is always claiming some type of test flaw..from what i read in Consumers report they ran the test for 16 for 16 months they got it wrong? I dont think so..LeafFilter is rated #1 so get over it waterloove guy!

      • Andy

        Let me guess you work for leaf filter which mesh screens have proven time and time again to fail. Leaf filter is just a Home Depot cheap mesh screen that anyone could install and still get the same poor results. WATERLOOV is clog free after 16 plus years on any home and continues to be the most ingenius design on the market. Too bad their money is not spent on mainly marketing like the rest because they would be on every smart and informed homeowner’s gutter system if they only knew. Everyone checkout waterloov on youtube and you get a good idea of what really works. Get over it Leaf Filter guy because 1960′s technology does not work in 2010.

  • Mike

    Has anyone tried Gutter Glove? They make compelling promises but as we know talk is cheap.

  • Rob

    I had leaf filter installed on my house and within 6 months the water was pouring over the edge of the gutter in streams because of buildup of grit, pollen, needles, etc. I got no where with them and so went through BBB who finally sided with the company against me so I am stuck with $3000 worth of junk sitting in my shed out back. I would recommend to everyone to steer clear of leaf filter and their crappy company and product.

  • George

    The Leaf Filter rep is coming to our home this evening. I have concerns about the mesh clogging, but it seems there is no perfect solution. Any tips on what to say to the rep?

    • Ask him to clarify their no-clog guarantee. They love making that guarantee because it’s the mesh that clogs and not the gutters. Nobody cares if the gutters are free and clear if the water is pouring over the top. See if you can get it in writing that they will come clean the gutters if the mesh clogs such that water visibly overshoots the gutters.

      • Tom

        Isn’t true that this site has been started and managed by a competing gutter protection company? I find it interesting that the admin that moniters this site has such a bias opinion of different products being mentioned. These companies do thousands of installs every year and yet over the reviews of just a 10 or so of unhappy customers. People are making negitively, incompetent, and poor judgment calls with such little information. The internet is such a dangeress tool in the wrong hands. Good or bad reviews, I think its all B.S. I rely on non-bias reviews like BBB, C.R. Bottem Line Secrets mag., Building Product Magazine. Good luck and don’t believe in everything you read……

        • Team

          Hello! I’m just a guy with a web site. I work as a web developer and have nothing to do with gutters other than the fact that I’m sick of the ridiculous claims and quotes that run rampant in this stupid little industry. I want to help people solve their own problems. I see the internet as an equalizer. If you want to end the bad reviews, SATISFY YOUR CUSTOMER!

    • John Gates

      It dosent matter what you tell them they do not honer there warenty

  • Lori

    I just contracted with LeafFilter to put up new gutters. Are you all saying that the surgical screens clog and I will have to still go up and clean out the screens? I have 3 business day to cancel so I’ll need an answer promptly.

  • Rob


    As I stated above, the mesh on my leaffilter clogged up within a few months and the water simply poured over the edge of the gutter. Leaffilter is a terrible company to deal with after the sale. They were also very hard sale when they came out (tried to get me to sign the contract immediately).

  • Olivia Kingston

    Well I really dont understand why almost everyone is so negative towards LeafFilter..I have had the system for almost 2 years now and I have an abundance of pine trees..and the LeafFilter has worked great! I have not had to clean my gutters water is pouring over and its doing exactly what they said it would do..I live in Ohio..maybe the Northwest has more moss growing problems than other’s! I would recommend LeafFilter to anyone who is tired of cleaning out there gutters!

    • Helen Angell

      Olivia, I live in Ohio, too. The folks I bought this house from gave me their Leafilter guarantee papers. I was going to contact Leafilter because the water is now running over the top of the gutter, but after reading these comments, I’m not going to waste my time. Glad I didn’t pay almost two grand for this product. When I have the house pressure washed I’ll have them clean the gutters, too. It’s probalby clogged with those seed things from the maple trees. These were installed in 2004, so I guess it took quite a while to clog.

  • Jack Cross

    I can’t figure out why anyone would be negative towards the LeafFilter either! I have had it on my home for 4 years now and I have never had to worry about cleaning my gutters. I used to clean them out 10 times per year, but now they’re protected. People- Would Consumer Reports Rate a Product #1 if it didn’t work?

  • carolyn

    You are correct, you don’t ever have to clean out your gutters. Nothing gets in after a while, not even water so you have the cascading waterfall off your roof over your gutters. May as well not even have gutters on the house. I have vacuumed them, hosed them off and they are still clogged with pollen and tiny things that have fallen off the trees.

  • rdemick

    I had Leaf Guard gutters installed over 5 years ago and couldn’t be happier! I live in a wooded area that deposits tons of fir needles and fir cones & leafs and before I got Leaf Guard I went up on my roof at least 8 times a year and still couldn’t keep my gutters from filling up. The Leaf Guard system works wonderfully and yes a small amount of debris enters the gutters, but seems to wash out as promised. They look great too and are made of much heavier material than other gutters. I know those “screen” systems wouldn’t work. One fir or pine needle hangs up in the mesh and they would start to build up in no time. Just the air-borne dirt, pollen and moss would clog those screens every year! Yes your gutters might not clog, but all the rain water will just run over the gutter and drop by your house. Not good!

  • Been there

    The fact of the matter is the pitch of your roof and the amount of sunlight your gutters are exposed to during the day determine whether or not a gutter guard of any type will work as advertised. Houses with a Steep roof or steep valleys require a splash guard to deflect the water back into your gutters which defeats the purpose of a gutter guard. Unless the sun and wind hit your gutters right you will eventually have mold growth or foreign objects that just don’t get blown off your gutter guards.

  • Frustrated with LeafFilter

    Wish I had read all this before paying $2653 for our LeafFilter installation. I live on a wooded lot and a home that is three stories off the ground so the maintenance of our gutter system is difficult. Had a company out 4-5X/year for $75 each time. Now I am told by LeafFilter that I will still have to clean off several times a year because it is true….although debris does not go into gutters, it sits on top of filter and blocks water from running into gutters. So it will take me about 14 years to recoup my cost of LF since I am only saving 2-3 gutter cleanings a year. Then I will still have to pay for maintenance.

    New marketing line for LeafFilter – With Leaf Filter – NOTHING gets in your gutter – not even water!

  • JohnnyM

    Glad I laughed at the Leaf Filter rep who measured our gutters at 400+ linear feet from the ground, then proceeded to quote me $17,000 to replace my gutters and install Leaf Filter, since my current gutters would not accept their product. He dodged the question of what to do with debris, said it would ‘dry out and blow off’

    I’m still laughing at that one, and from the above post, glad I saved my money for my 2x/year $250 each cleanings…better more reliable results.

    At your own risk people!!!!

  • Sarah

    Wow!! Watch out for the “Gutterglove Guy”. My husband and I have checked out Leafgaurd, Leaf filter both reps that came to the house were great, they were informative, did their pitch and left us with the price to make a decision and call back…and then the Gutterglove guy showed up. This guy says he is the owner, he measured our home and when it came time for the demo, he started putting the presure on immediately. this guy talks loud, he’s like 6’5′ obviously tans, and has highlights in his hair. I swear the price on his products changed like 3 different times. I feel like he was so desperate for the sale that he would’ve just given it away. We don’t buy from people like that, even though the products made sense, he was over the top.

  • Victor L

    Hi, all. Just got the LeafFiler system installed yesterday. I live in NJ, and have a small 1-story house (823 sq. ft.) and a large detached garage (625 sq. ft.). Initial observation is that the installation was not as advertised… ONE person arrived at 0900 and didn’t leave until approx 8 PM. Also, after giving my check I did not receive any paperwork, such as the infamous transferable lifetime warranty.
    I hope this system works! I just had a new roof installed in March and the gutters were absolutely filthy and no longer aligned to drain properly. So I thought this was a wise investment to compliment my new roof and to save me the time and money to fix the current gutters. Let’s see what I think in a year from now (after the fall and winter), as there’s no way I can afford to have this done all over again. Wish me luck!

    • janis

      How are things working in NJ Victor? I just got an estimate and am considering Leaf Filter.

    • Patrick L

      I am also in NJ and just got a qoute and signed a contract yesterday for $2000 for 130 feet. This was the 3rd price and install was to be this week I am trying to cancel. Did you use LeafFilter from East Rutherford? HAs the system worked? Please reply asap.

  • Frank C

    Leaf Filter is fantastic. Nothing can get in and there are no gaps between my sections. If this happened you should call them to have them fix it under their warranty-they will. If you have a problem I know you need to talk to the owner of your distributorship or in my case I had a question for their corporate for my area Hudson, Ohio and they were very quick to respond.

    In the Cleveland Ohio area where I live the winters are brutal and we have at least 2 thaws a year and sometimes it gets to 70 or so in Jan. or Feb. and I have not had any problems in 2 winters. I have a little more than an acre of nothing but trees of all kinds and it meets and exceeds my expectations. I am a Consumer Reports subscriber and was pleased to see that after a decision was made that they rated it number one last fall.

    Product works as it should and I am very happy with it.

  • Donnelly

    On May 31, 2011, Leaf Filter sent a sale representative, to our home in Seattle to give us a quote on replacing gutter on our house. He explained to us the whole job involves replacing our gutter system including install new downspouts for the whole house. We have a section of the downspout in front of our house, that is a black tube connected to the drain. Leaf Filter sent out their installation people, and the first team told us he would not replace that portion of the downspout after the installation is already finished. We disagreed, they came back and took out that section of the downspout, making the area connect to a another downspout further down the gutter. That fix did not work as the gutter clog after the first rain after the gutter was installed. Leaf filter then sent out another team to reinstall the downspout but still not replacing the whole portion. After spending thousands of dollars on our gutter, we are still having this black tube under our front door. Had we known that from the beginning, if the sale representative and installation people inform us prior to installation that a portion of our downspout could not be done, we would have NEVER chosen Leaf Filter. We feel that Leaf Filter had falsely advertised their product and service to us. There was constant miscommunication between management and the installation team. We had a terrible experience with Leaf Filter and would have never chosen the to use the company had we known it would cost us so much time and stress.

    In addition to the above, Leaf Filter originally did not install the gutter as promised as well. The rep said that flashing would be installed, and after the first time out, flashing was not installed. The installation people told us that it was checked as necessary, so they didn’t feel it was needed so they didn’t do it. It was something we specifically asked the sale representative and told him we wanted that to be done. So, we had to spend extra time getting them to come out and install flashing. Because the flashing was installed after the gutter was already in place, I have reservation about how well that was done. I am certainty concerned about the job. In addition to the above issue, I have spent so many hours on this job, something I did not expect to have to be doing when I hire Leaf Filter. I expected them to come out and do their job as promised. Leaf Filter does not provide good customer service, terrible communication within the company and not a company I would ever recommend to anyone else.

  • D Purvis

    Sales person was very nice(BIG SURPRISE HUH!), installer was rude and got Belligerent with my wife when she would not sign the inspection sheet, she was sick and was not suppossed to leave the house, I told the sales person that when I purchased the system the installer needed to come when I was home, he did not. The installer did not put the end caps on and left big gaps in the ”filter”. So far it seems to work ok but it is after the leaves have fallen and we have not gotten much rain.

  • John W

    My parents had gotten leaf filter on their home about a year ago. While I thought it was a waste of money because I can still clean my gutters they have found it to work great. It lasted the winter and the intense summer heat. It lasted through the hurricane that battered the east coast. It handled the rainfall that the hurricane had as well. I bit the bullet and got leaf filter installed on my house in sept as I have better things to do the sit on my roof lol. So far it has worked well for me I dont live in a densely wooded area but there are tall trees that some how deposit their junk in my gutters. It was raining today and it worked as intended. Im happy with the product.

  • Barb V

    Just purchased Leaf Filter for $4326. This is for 200 feet of Filter. Ranch home with hip roof. First heavy down pour it worked perfectly. Comments on the screen clogging and mold concerns me but since this may occur every five years or so I think I can hire someone to clean them. Nothing is totally maintenance free nor is there anything that doesn’t need some maintenance to keep it looking nice and working properly.

    I am hoping that clearing and cleaning gutter once in five years will be better then 4 times per year.

  • gutter guy pro

    You are a liar. We are not in your area. The product shown is one of the worst on the market. If installed properly, leaf filter works exactly how it says it does. When the screen falls off into your gutter and completely clogs it, I hope you change this comment.

  • V, King

    I had leaf filter installed 8 months ago and the tech that installed the leaf filter system came and got me to inform me that he could not install the fitler system were the

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