I have both Rhino Gutter Guard and MasterShield Gutter Guard installed on my home and compare the two products in this review. Both are excellent stainless steel micro-mesh products that work well, are only available through authorized dealer/installers and cost about the same. Each product has certain advantages however neither product is entirely maintenance free.
Rhino Gutter Guard System
The Rhino Gutter Guard system consists of the following items:
- A – End caps that close the gap between the gutter guard and the end of the gutter to keep out squirrels, birds and other critters.
- B – Downspout caps that are fastened to the end of the downspout to prevent critters from crawling up the downspouts.
- C – Rhino Gutter Guards.
The Rhino front edge is screwed to the gutter lip then back leg is screwed to the fascia board:
Closeup showing how the micro-mesh and reinforcing wire grid are folded & crimped into the aluminum body. The manufacturer describes it as their patented “hemming” process:
Rhino top side:
and a look at the bottom:
Rhino Gutter Guard and MasterShield Comparison
The following table summarizes the basic differences between Rhino and MasterShield gutter guards (click on the image for a larger view):
The most obvious difference between Rhino and MasterShield gutter guards are the length and width. MasterShield is wider because it slides under the shingles to automatically adjust to the slope of the roof. Rhino Guard is narrower to match the width of the gutter and should be installed with a 10 to 15 degree slope when screwed to the fascia board:
Rhino Guard has a larger micro mesh surface area which suggests it may be less prone to clogging if matted debris piles up (see the following photo). What I’ve observed during heavy rains is water falls through the micro mesh on both products within the first inch or so of travel:
MasterShield has a corrugated aluminum construction (or “louvers“) compared to the Rhino aluminum frame and expanded wire grid. Both products are well made and strong:
My home has 6 inch gutters and Rhino Gutter Guard is also 6 inches wide:
MasterShield is 9 1/4 inches wide. It’s wider than the 6 inch gutters because it installs under the last row of shingles and has a drip edge (right side starting at the 8 1/2 inch mark) to avoid water stains on the gutter face:
Rhino versus MasterShield Gutter Guard Micro Mesh
Both Rhino and MasterShield gutter guards feature a stainless steel micro mesh that lets rain water flow through but keeps out leaves, pine needles, shingle granules and other debris. MasterShield’s micro mesh is noticeably finer compared to the Rhino gutter guard. In my experience both products easily handle the heaviest downpours without overflowing so I can’t say which size mesh is better:
Product Warranty Comparison
The Rhino and MasterShield Gutter Guard basic warranty terms are compared in the following table. The warranties differ in the fine print but in practical terms are very similar. It’s clear that each company stands behind their product with very long warranties. Given the average length of home ownership is about 13 years the difference between a 20 year and limited lifetime warranty is usually much longer than most people’s planning horizon.
The warranty exclusions for clogging due to tars and oils that leach from (especially new) shingle roofs, pine sap, moss, mildew, bird droppings, roofing sealants, paint, etc. actually makes sense. The warranties state reasonable maintenance is required to remove tar, sap and matted fine debris. A best practice is to cut back overhanging trees to avoid dripping sap and eliminate the shady/damp areas to let the sunshine dry out the roof to prevent moss and mildew growth.
The problem I’ve had with both products is localized clogging below high-flow roof valleys that dump large amounts of tree debris and tar/oil leaching from the new shingle roof. Cleaning the gutter covers is simple but I’ve asked the dealer to install large catch basin miters or valley guards.
The gutter guard market is highly competitive with a large number of products on the market in just about every style and configuration imaginable. The all metal construction micro mesh products are far superior in my opinion. Pricing data is limited because MasterShield and Rhino gutter guards are sold and installed only by manufacturer authorized dealers. In my experience you can expect to pay in the $15 to $20 per foot range for either product furnished and installed.
This article is continued in Rhino Gutter Guard Performance and Maintenance.
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