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Complete OT: Your choice of gutter guards

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  • Complete OT: Your choice of gutter guards

    Please feel free to delete this message since it's completely off topic.

    I need to choose leaf guards for my gutters. My house is in the woods (mostly, oak), and the gutters get filled very quickly. Some of the gutters are hard to reach (too high), and constant need to clean them becames a burden. I live in IL with cold winters and a lot of snow.

    What type and brand would you recommend? I'm sick and tired of the manufacturers' ads and installers' tales and would like to get an honest opinion based on actual long-term use.

    Thank you!
    Last edited by MichaelP; 05-20-2010, 02:30 AM.

  • #2
    The leafguard brand one I have heard good things about on the weekend radio handyman shows.

    Edit: Looks like that is a complete gutter system.
    Last edited by macona; 05-20-2010, 02:52 AM.


    • #3
      I use a water hose attached to my wife. I don't know why but she loves to hose out the gutters. We had shields I'd installed but after 3 years she removed them and went back to hosing out the gutters. To be honest, I think she looks damn fetching standing on an orchard ladder.


      • #4
        Decisions, decisions.

        I have been looking into such things myself. Around here, we have many trees that seem to drop stuff in gutters.

        One item is Gutterguard. I have seen this product not work around here. In light rains it does seem to work but in a heavy downpour the water skates over the area that is supposed to redirect it into the gutter. The result is similar to having no gutter at all.

        There is a type that is made from a wound steel core with bristles between the windings. It looks similar to a few round brass brushes that I have in the shop, just bigger. This works well here. The only drawback is that you have to pull them out, shake them off and put them back in the gutter once in a while.

        The last type that we have here is a foam insert. The foam insert keeps the gutter filled and does not let anything into the gutter but water. I was worried that the foam would hold water in the winter and make my gutters a frozen trough of water. I have been told by neighbors that they have not had this problem. As I think about it, the foam would take up space so in theory if the gutter did freeze, it should be lighter than a gutter full of ice only. Cleaning the foam type off requires a leaf blower. Blow along the top of the foam to get rid of the derbies. This needs done only on occasion because the prevailing winds here seem to blow off the leaves automatically. Easier than removing the bristle type. The down side to foam is that I have no one to ask here about long term testing. Does the foam handle the sunlights uv rays well? I just don't have an answer to that.

        I am looking at the foam inserts though. In the end I think that they will be a bit easier to deal with.

        Last edited by rockrat; 05-20-2010, 09:16 AM.
        Civil engineers build targets, Mechanical engineers build weapons.


        • #5
          its your american flat bottomed allu gutters ..

          i had no trouble with the old round bottom ..i got the above installed ..and have to have them cleaned at least once a year.

          all the best.markj


          • #6
            Rock, I'd definitely stay away from the foam fillers. Any foam will become clogged shut with small debris and algae and require, first, removal and laborous cleaning, then replacement. I was an avid aquarist in the past and dealt with foam filters extensively.


            • #7
              No gutter guards are the best! I hate them! I also live somewhat in a woods and have tried all different kinds of guards and haven't liked any of them. Either the water just runs over them, the leaves get stuck on them and the water runs over them, pine needles get stuck in them and even go threw them which in turn you still have to pull them off and clean the gutters. The snow and ice always ruin them. They are always popping out or lifting the shingles. They make perfect mosquito hatcheries. I have nothing good to say about gutter guards.


              • #8

                Had good luck with these.


                • #9
                  None of the above

                  I have the same problem, with 4 large post oaks overhanging my North Texas home. They cover 3/4 of the roof. Those danged trees are always dropping something. I tried the screen things with little luck.
                  I recently had a metal roof installed, and the house painted. In the process I had all the gutters removed. I intended to put up new ones, but I've about decided I don't need them at all. We've had a number of heavy downpours and so far no problems with drainage. I may add some concrete along the drip areas, but even that doesn't look urgent.


                  • #10
                    Are the gutters installed correctly? They should be installed such that if the pitch of the roof was extended, the outer edge of the gutter would not be above this line. This allows a way for snow to be shed from the roof without "damming" the gutter flow. It also helps shedding debris. Of course this will not solve the problem entirely but it definitely helps.


                    • #11
                      We installed gutter helmet on our eavestrough to help with leaves and snow sliding off the steel roof. Basically a contoured cap that directs snow and debris off the roof and directs light and moderate flows of water into the eavestrough below. So far the eavestrough haven't bent in the 5 years they've been up, but the installers extended the eavestrough under the eave of an adjoining roof for the dormer over the front door creating a short length that water never runs into. Sounds innocent enough, until the birds started nesting there. Now from nest season until the hatchlings leave, the wall below is splattered with bird droppings. I can't get in to clean the nest material out because there is less than 1/2" between the lip of the eavestrough and the lowest edge of the gutter helmet.
                      Design to 0.0001", measure to 1/32", cut with an axe, grind to fit


                      • #12
                        I just had the Gutter Helmet guy out Monday to give an estimate on 54 feet of gutter helmet for my existing seamless gutters. The want $22.00 / foot installed. They clean all gutters, reseal endcaps, refasten with internal stainless steel hangers,(the gutters are spiked now) install black gutter helmets with no clog warranty and all that. I have Norway Maple on one side of the house and White and Red oaks on the other, lots of heavy leaves and those blasted strings and helicopter seed pod things. Eaves are beyond the reach of my 28 foot extension ladder so IF they clog, it will be their problem. I'll post in the future about how they work out.


                        • #13
                          I've also been considering some types of gutter leaf guards. Anything I do install, however, would prevent me from using my favorite method of cleaning my gutters; blowing them out with a gas powered leaf blower. Last season, I walked out on the roof along the gutters and blew them out. The blower works fine for dry leaves, and not quite as well for wet, packed leaves.
                          This season, for safety , I've decided to stay off of the roof, and try to make an extension for the leaf blower so I can do the job from ground level. All of my gutters are first storey height. It seems to me that cleaning out gutters from ground level would be easier if the gutter supports were mounted entirely under the gutter, and did not bridge over the top . The supports would have to be stronger than normal supports to provide strength to the gutter . Sounds like a good home shop project.


                          • #14
                            Big mouth gutter drain

                            I installed a plastic screen over the top of the gutter and it was an improvement.

                            However an assortment of small stuff would still accumulate and clog up the small gutter hole that drained the gutter.

                            I found the "big mouth" gutter drain on the internet and installed them on all my gutters. No more clogs. The stuff just goes down the tube. No more clogs.

                            Here is a link. There are several vendors offering this product. This is only one of them. Do a search on "big mouth gutter".




                            • #15
                              Not sure if it's an option, but you could replace the gutters with this:


                              All of the gear, no idea...