If you do not want to pay thousands of dollars for professionally installed solid gutter guard systems that work on fancy scientific principles like water adhesion, then you should consider making and/or installing your own gutter guards. This variety of gutter guard is a mesh or screen that covers the top of a gutter opening. The small holes are large enough to let water through, but they block leaves, pine needles, twigs, helicopters, acorns, etc. from getting into your gutters and wreaking havoc.
You can make your gutter guards entirely from scratch by buying some chicken wire or vinyl mesh on a roll and a few gutter clips. The first step is to measure you gutter system carefully. You want to know how wide they are so that you can cut the mesh just a little bit larger. You also need to get accurate measurements of the length of each section. However, you do not want to make one long piece of gutter guard to fasten on and cover the entire length of the house. Instead, you want to cut as many three to four feet sections as you will need so that you can overlap the pieces a little still cover the entire length.
Cutting the pieces can be accomplished with a pair of wire cutters or snips. When you come to the corners you will have to do a little more cutting. For outside gutter corners you can cut the screens on an angle so that they come together nicely at the corner. There is no need for overlap here. However, if you come to an inside corner you should allow the straight pieces from the long sections come all the way to the end and overlap each other. The reason you want extra protection here is that an inside gutter corner is usually at a spot where the eaves of your roof come to a valley. Debris collects here and is funneled toward your gutter system. Extra gutter guards are always welcome in these situations.
The gutter clips are fasteners that hook into a loop or hole in the mesh or wire screen and then slip on to the front of the gutter system. Once the gutter clips are in place, you can lay the mesh over the bottom of the shingles on your roof. You can make sure the vinyl mesh or chicken wire stays in place by using small thumb tacks in you shingles. This overlapping of the shingles and gutter screen will make sure there is no way for debris to fall into your gutters.
An alternative to cutting your own sections of gutter guard out of chicken wire or vinyl mesh rolls is to buy premade gutter screen pieces at your local hardware. These pieces are usually made of aluminum which will not rust and are already in three or four foot sections.