MasterShield Gutter Guard Review

This MasterShield Gutter Guard review details the replacement of my old 5 inch rain gutters with new 6 inch wide gutters and the installation of MasterShield Gutter Protection.

Clogged and Poorly Installed Rain Gutters

The 5 inch wide rain gutters on my house were the original “builder grade” gutters that had several problems:

  • Improperly pitched (or sloped) gutters that wouldn’t drain properly and hold water.
    Matts of algae grow quickly in standing water and breed mosquitoes.
  • Poorly placed downspouts that made the water to run the full length of the house and around a corner to reach a downspout.
    The gutter would overflow at the head-end during heavy rains.
  • 2nd story downspouts that drained onto the roof instead of being piped into a 1st story gutter.
  • Sagging Gutters: For a gutter on the 3 story side of the house with difficult access, the lazy home builder spaced the gutter spikes over 10 feet apart causing the gutter to sag. Gutter spikes should be spaced not more than 4 feet apart and 2 foot spacing is recommended.
  • Gutter spikes that worked out over time due to flexing of the gutter.
    Spikes (which resemble very large nails) lack the holding power of gutter screws.

Removing the old 5 inch gutters and installing new 6 inch gutters with redesigned downspouts, proper drainage pitch and hidden hangers spaced 2 feet apart remedied the above gutter problems.

Do It Yourself Gutter Covers

My home is surrounded by a variety of Oak, Hickory, Sweet Gum and Tulip Poplar trees which shed twigs, leaves, “helicopter” seeds, flower petals, catkins, nuts and vast amounts of pollen. The roof also gets wind blown pine needles from trees over 100 yards away. The oak catkins are probably the worst, forming large tangled clumps and mats in the Spring.

I’ve tried several of the Do-It-Yourself gutter guards with mixed results.

  • The bullnose style gutter covers that wick rain water by surface tension while shedding debris kept out the worst part of the leaves, but seeds and smaller items still made it into the gutter, only delaying the gutter cleaning by a two or three seasons. During heavy downpours, the surface tension isn’t strong enough to wick the water into the gutter causing the water to overshoot the gutter.
  • The hinged wire mesh clip-on screens do a decent job and are cheap and easy to install, but don’t fit well on corners and cause leaves to pile up on the roof along the screen until it eventually rots away (in theory). I also had many problems this winter with gray squirrels running inside the gutter and flipping open the screens as they try to find a way into the attic (the drip edge flashing now prevents that!). I’d get on the ladder with a long pole and flip the screen back over. However, once the screen is flipped open, the clip moves and the screen won’t lay flat against the roof allowing leaves to slip under. This is a particular problem with high areas where my 24 foot ladder won’t reach the gutter.

Here’s the original 5 inch gutters with the clip on wire mesh screens:

Clip-On Wire Mesh Gutter Screen

Clip-On Wire Mesh Gutter Screen

Leaves and debris tend to accumulate on the flip-up wire screens. I run the leaf blower during the Fall season on the more accessible parts of the roof, otherwise the leaves would be a lot worse here:

Clip-On Wire Mesh Gutter Screen Leaf Buildup

Clip-On Wire Mesh Gutter Screen Leaf Buildup

This three-story high section of the old 5 inch gutter is reachable only with a 40 foot ladder. As noted in the photo, a squirrel has knocked open a the inexpensive clip-on gutter screen. The workman discovered the gutter was full of water and sagging because the lazy home builder skipped 10 feet between the gutter spikes. The gutter was punctured to drain the water before removing it from the house. I had noticed rain water would overflow the gutter and now I know why.

Old 5 inch Gutter and Clip-On Gutter Screen Knocked Open by Squirrels

Old 5 inch Gutter and Clip-On Gutter Screen Knocked Open by Squirrels

This is what was inside that high section old 5 inch gutter once it was on the ground. The wet matted leaves in the bottom were compressed like cardboard.

Clip-On Wire Mesh Gutter Screen Failure

Clip-On Wire Mesh Gutter Screen Failure

Clip-on wire mesh gutter screens and bullnose gutter covers are far better than nothing; it’s a tradeoff between appearance, cost, maintenance and effectiveness.

Why I Don’t Hire Gutter Cleaners

When I first bought the house, the gutters did not have any type of gutter covers and the former homeowner’s would hire a gutter cleaning company for around $250 to do the job. A rope team would climb the steep 10/12 pitch roof to blow the leaves out of the gutters. I hired gutter cleaners for couple of seasons, until I happened to be home one day and watched the gutter cleaning company at work on a neighbor’s home. The problems were:

  • The rope team would surf down the roof, damaging shingles and shedding showers of granules.
  • The ropes would snag on the roof vents; the gutter cleaners didn’t seem to care as they tugged and pulled on the ropes.
    I had a box vent broken this way.
  • If the leaf blower didn’t do the job because a twig, kid’s toy or matted leaves were stuck in the gutter, the crew couldn’t be bothered to reach a hand into the gutter to dislodge the debris.
  • At the time, I didn’t have drip edge flashing and the leaf blower would send a good deal of debris through the carpenter’s gap into the soffit.

A homeowner usually can’t inspect the high inaccessible gutters or see what’s happening on the roof, so there’s rarely any penalty if the gutter cleaner company fails to use due care or does a poor job.

Why Choose MasterShield Gutter Protection?

There are a huge variety of gutter covers on the market in almost every conceivable configuration including brushes, foam filters, bullnose style surface tension and screens. How to did I choose MasterShield Gutter Guards? I made my decision by studying numerous online reviews, manufacturer product and warranty specifications:

Ultimately, I choose MasterShield Gutter Guards because:

The MasterShield Gutter Guard is composed of interlocking sections about 47 inches in length and is available in a variety of colors to match your home:

MasterShield Gutter Guard

MasterShield Gutter Guard

MasterShield is about 9-1/4 inches wide. The left side slides under the shingles and over the roofing felt. The stainless steel micro-mesh allows rain water through while keeping out debris and shingle granules. The break on the far right is a drip edge to keep water from streaking/staining the gutter.

MasterShield Gutter Guard - Top View

MasterShield Gutter Guard – Top View

Bottom view of the MasterShield Gutter Guard showing the support ribs for the steel micro-mesh:

MasterShield Gutter Guard - Bottom View

MasterShield Gutter Guard – Bottom View

Mastershield Atlanta – KTL Home Improvement

MasterShield Gutter Protection is professionally installed by authorized dealers. A great product won’t make up for a poor quality installation. After contacting MasterShield for a quote, I received great service and quality workmanship from MasterShield Atlanta – KTL Home Improvement, the MasterShield authored dealer for the Atlanta, GA area.

Kevin Bowers, Owner & General Manager for Mastershield Atlanta – KTL Home Improvement, was very helpful in a review of my home’s existing gutter system and recommending design changes to fix the home builder’s gutter problems as noted at the beginning of the article. He explained that the old 5 inch gutters would need to be lowered to match the steep roof slope for optimal MasterShield Gutter Guard performance. The clincher was the quote for installing new 6 inch gutters was only about 10% more than just the MasterShield alone. He explained it’s almost easier to start fresh and install new gutters compared to lowering and adjusting the old gutters. It was a deal I couldn’t refuse knowing the problems with the old gutters.

Kevin and his crew arrived on time and completed the job at the quoted price, which included the replacement of a rotted section of fascia board with rot-proof PVC fascia board at a reasonable extra cost. I spoke with Kevin’s crew and watched as they worked. It was clear they had a well-practiced system and were meticulous in their work.

MasterShield Gutter Guard Protection Cost

The MasterShield installation on my home required 2 days and consisted of:

  1. Remove the old 5 inch gutters.
  2. Caulk the old gutter spike holes in the fascia board with Geocel sealant.
  3. Replace a 12 foot section of 1 inch by 8 inch rotted fascia board with PVC fascia (at my request).
  4. 256 feet of new 6 inch gutters with hidden hangers spaced 2 feet apart.
  5. 24 feet of new downspouts tied into the lower gutters.
  6. 256 feet of MasterShield Gutter Guards.
  7. Big Mouth Valley Blocks at the inside corner roof valleys for high flow areas.
  8. 1/4 inch wire mesh screen on all open elbows to keep out the critters.

I also received a MasterShield Limited Lifetime Product Warranty and 25 year KTL Home Improvement dealer workmanship warranty.

The cost for the MasterShield Gutter Guard was comparable to the other high-end professionally installed gutter guards. Your cost will depend on the total feet of material, complexity of your roof (my roof is high/steep with many ridges, valleys and cornice returns), new gutters and/or downspouts and any trim repairs.

MasterShield Gutter Protection Installation Process

A section of the old 5 inch gutter and flip-up gutter screens:

Old 5 inch Gutter and Clip-On Gutter Screens

Old 5 inch Gutter and Clip-On Gutter Screens

The new 6 inch gutters are now installed with hidden gutter hangers. Sections of MasterShield Gutter Guards are slipped under the shingles, interlocked and fastened with screws:

MasterShield Gutter Guard Installation with New 6 inch Gutters

MasterShield Gutter Guard Installation with New 6 inch Gutters

Completed MasterShield Gutter Guard installation:

MasterShield Gutter Guard Installation

MasterShield Gutter Guard Installation

The old 5 inch gutters and flip-up screens:

Old Gutters and Screens

Old Gutters and Screens

The same view with the new 6 inch gutters and MasterShield Gutter Guards:

MasterShield Gutter Guards

MasterShield Gutter Guards

The MasterShield Gutter Guards are covered with aluminum end plates to prevent birds, squirrels and other rodents from getting inside the gutters. Plastic coated 1/4 inch heavy gauge wire screens are installed in the exposed downspouts to block access from these areas. Nice attention to detail!

Wire Mesh in Gutter Downspout to Keep out Critters

Wire Mesh in Gutter Downspout to Keep out Critters

Update: Will MasterShield Keep the Gutters Clean?

Fast forward over 2 years since I wrote this review and I’m having a gable roof and screened porch built over the wood deck. The gutter is removed and the eave cut back for the new home addition:

Gable Roof Porch Construction over Wood Deck

Gable Roof Porch Construction over Wood Deck

The construction crew stacked the gutter and MasterShield gutter guards at the far end of the deck. There’s a thin film of yellow tree pollen and dirt inside the gutter but no leaves, seeds or twigs:

MasterShield Gutter Guard Removed for New Construction

MasterShield Gutter Guard Removed for New Construction

The next photo is a closeup looking inside the gutter. Very admirable performance after 2 years and 3 months of service! The minor amount of shingle gravel and debris in the gutter is due to disassembly and lying open a couple of days. The narrow rubber self-stick gasket on the right edge of the gutter prevents rain water from wicking under the MasterShield gutter guards and streaking the gutter face:

MasterShield Gutter Guard - Clean Inside after 2 Years

MasterShield Gutter Guard – Clean Inside after 2 Years

This product review is continued in MasterShield Gutter Guard Review – Part 2.

Thanks for reading,

Bob Jackson

Copyright © 2016 HandymanHowTo.com   Reproduction strictly prohibited.

16 Responses to MasterShield Gutter Guard Review

  1. Richard Rawson July 1, 2014 at 11:34 am #

    A very helpful, comprehensive review! Thanks for taking the time and making the effort!

  2. Bill October 13, 2014 at 10:26 am #

    Is Master Shield as effective when used on a flat roof? Looking at this site it would appear that it is used only on roofs that have some pitch. Thanks.

    • Bob Jackson October 13, 2014 at 1:50 pm #

      The problem with flat or low pitch roofs in general are leaves, pine needles and other debris tends to sit in place instead of sliding off. It’s a challenge for any type of gutter cover. Lowering the gutters to create a slope will encourage debris to slide off the gutter covers. Ask the MasterShield installer what works best for your roof.

  3. Lynn January 18, 2015 at 3:52 pm #

    No where do I see a discussion on line of the fact that this is a totally inappropriate product in climates that get freezing rain or snow. The mesh freezes solid; water then overshoot the gutter completely and falls near the foundation. We’re having a terrible pooling problem during our first winter with this product and are afraid we’ve traded one problem (leaves in gutters) for an unexpected one which can threaten our foundation.

    • Bob Jackson January 19, 2015 at 10:27 am #

      Hi Lynn,
      Freezing gutter guards is normal. The problem is your foundation/yard drainage and not the gutter guard.

      Did you read “The Issues with Wet Snow and Gutter Guards” on the MasterShield website?

      “When you mix wet snow and gutter guards, the snow is still sitting on top of a frozen, solid metal surface. Gutter guards will freeze when the temperatures drop. If there is no rain or snow when the temperature drops, not a big deal, the gutter guards are “frozen”, but they’re dry.

      But if there’s frozen rain or wet snow when the gutter guard has frozen, it’s not going to accept water. Where’s the water going to go? In our case, it’s going to drip off of our drip edge and onto the ground below. And it will do the same with every other product on the market as well. Wide open mesh screens like they sell at the big box stores may be the exception; all the wet snow will just wind up turning the gutter into one long ice cube tray. The weight of all this ice is the reason you see homes where the gutter has pulled away after a winter.”

      The solution is to correct the foundation drainage or install gutter heaters. If it were me, I’d address the foundation/yard drainage because standing water from heavy rain is a year round issue.

      Disclaimer: My product reviews were written without MasterShield’s prior knowledge or involvement. Nor do I receive compensation, referral fees, etc. from MasterShield, it’s distributors and installers.

      Thanks,
      Bob

    • Val December 29, 2015 at 11:07 pm #

      Was your problem ever corrected in any way.? I just purchased gutter guards and water is cascading over the edges. I’m ready to ask that the gutters be removed and get a refund.!

  4. james wilkins February 17, 2015 at 7:20 pm #

    I am having problem with water running over my mastershield . I have a metal roof

    • Bob Jackson February 17, 2015 at 8:36 pm #

      Have you discussed the issue with your MasterShield authorized dealer/installer?

  5. Glenda Lynch March 17, 2015 at 10:06 pm #

    We currently have a cedar shake roof but are replacing it with high definition shingles and want to install gutter guards on our existing gutters. Trying to decide between Leaf Relief or MasterShield on our colonial style house. Would greatly appreciate pros/cons of both please. I’ve seen several videos and read the reviews. It is basically just the flat vs. sloped? thanks!

    • Bob Jackson March 18, 2015 at 4:53 am #

      MasterShield has performed well on my home. I can’t speak to Leaf Relief because I’ve no experience with that product.

  6. Dennis Gallagher April 30, 2015 at 4:58 pm #

    Bob, i have been getting est. from LEAF FILTER,LEAF GUARD AND GUTTER GUARD. They all wanted to play the “pricing game” starting around 7400 ans working down to 2750. this makes me mad. I came upon Mastershield by accident. He came out (250 miles) and gave me and est. it included replacing 5″ with 6″ gutters and installing the Masterguard system. No wheeling and dealing,no buy now price etc. After he left I found your site and it appears that the product lives up to his claim.
    We have terrible hail here in SC do you know of any problems related to that with Mastershield ?
    Thanks for your web site I have saved it for future use.
    Dennis

    • Bob Jackson April 30, 2015 at 7:39 pm #

      I don’t like the pricing games either. My MasterShield installed quoted just two prices: 1 – Gutter guards only, and 2 – with new gutters and redesigned downspouts. New gutters are a minor portion of the total cost and my home really needed new gutters and downspouts.

      I think a hail storm will destroy the roof shingles long before it bothers the MasterShield guards. The all metal guards are springy and average size hail bounces off. Not to say I would expect it would hold up to baseball-size hail stones that will dent just about anything.

      I’ve just added a performance update at the end of the original review that may be informative.

      Thanks,
      Bob

  7. Eric B. May 21, 2015 at 1:26 pm #

    Your review made for very interesting reading, however your ‘cost’ section at no point actually mentions the cost. What is the per foot installed cost of the shield itself? That shouldn’t vary all that much as long as the installation is pretty straightforward. The fact that you don’t mention your cost (and you require commenters to submit their email address) makes me a little suspicious that your very well done page is just another advertisement for the product. Sorry if I’m wrong. Please fill in the blanks here for those of us seriously considering what appears to be a very effective product. Thanks.

    • Bob Jackson May 22, 2015 at 10:20 am #

      Hi Eric,
      I’m unaware of published price sheets for any of the major gutter guard products that are sold and installed only through authorized dealers/installers. The price per foot that I paid 3 years ago in Atlanta area may or may not be relevant to what it sells for in Minneapolis. It’s simple enough to obtain local quotes and compare.

      > is just another advertisement for the product
      As I written before, I was not asked to write a review and received no compensation nor commission… which is unlike some other DIY websites. I do give enjoy giving credit to great products.

      > and you require commenters to submit their email address
      HandymanHowTo.com runs on WordPress and uses the standard WordPress comment form which asks for your e-mail address for several reasons:
      * To notify you when a reply is made to your comment.
      * To eliminate SPAM comments by automated bot networks.

      Your e-mail is never shared, sold, disclosed to 3rd parties or used for any other purpose.

      BTW – I had Rhino Guard installed on the new enclosed porch addition to my home because that’s the brand sold by the general contractor. I paid $15/foot and will be writing an independent review soon. So $15 to $20 per foot still appears to be the market price.

      Thanks,
      Bob

  8. Stephen April 1, 2016 at 8:49 am #

    for anyone that finds this, I’ve had mastershield gutter guards installed through 3 falls on my house in the sandy springs area. Kevin at KTL was fantastic to work with. He measured and left me a finished price in roughly a half hour. Explained the process, and like Bob, recommended gutter replacements in a few spots at a very small extra cost.

    I also got a [ED: competitor’s name redacted] demonstration/time share sales pitch which was the most infuriating experience of my life. If you read this, DO NOT CONTACT [ED: competitor’s name redacted]. I don’t work for KTL, I have no affiliation with them other than they installed the product at my house a few years ago.

    Due to surrounding tree cover, I had to get my gutters cleaned 2-3 times a year to keep from overflowing. Since then, I’ve had no issues with any accumulation of any kind on the gutters. they’ve worked as advertised.

    My finished cost was around $1600. Oh, another [ED: competitor’s name redacted] issue. Their linear foot “estimate” was about 25% more than the KTL/Mastershield estimate. [ED: competitor’s name redacted] rep that was here was just outright dishonest, high pressured, and rude.

    • Bob Jackson April 2, 2016 at 3:12 pm #

      Hi Stephen,
      I redacted the competitor’s name because in your comment because I don’t want this site to be a complaint board. Please use Kudzu.com or Google Reviews for that. However I don’t doubt your bad experience with the other guys.

      Glad to hear MasterShieldATL / KTL Home Improvement LLC took good care of you!

      Thanks,
      Bob

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