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Gutter Guards
Old 10-27-2016, 06:12 PM   #1
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Gutter Guards

I recently bought a house and have two Very large maple trees in front that will be dropping massive amounts of leaves and seeds. I am considering getting a gutter guard system like Leaf Filter. It is quite expensive for me and i'm wondering if anyone has any experience with that company or other similar companies. Thank you for any advice or recommendations you may have.
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Old 10-27-2016, 06:19 PM   #2
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If you go to a local gutter company, they'll simply charge you a fortune for new gutters and gutter guards. And I'm talking $ thousands.

They're much more reasonably priced online and can be installed on your present gutters if they're in good condition.

My last house had 200' of gutter on a hip roof--and 6 sixty foot pine trees. It would take a live in gutter cleaner to keep my gutters clean. I finally took down the gutters.

I no longer am allowed to deal with gutters and installing gutter guards. I fell off a ladder one Fall day 6 year ago and broke both legs. I have no more falls left in me.
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Old 10-27-2016, 06:29 PM   #3
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Costco sells the screen type covers for a DIY installation. I've never seen anything that works for pine needles, which I have, so I leave my gutters bare.
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Old 10-27-2016, 06:32 PM   #4
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I do not know about any gutter guard systems or companies.

F hires someone to clean his gutters for $100, once or twice a year. Maybe that would be a cheaper alternative.

Or, since you are younger than he is, maybe you feel like cleaning them yourself would be do-able.
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Old 10-27-2016, 06:35 PM   #5
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I had gutters around my house and tried the cheaper screened covers. They did not do a very good job. I gave it some thought and like Bamaman, I removed all my gutters except for a small portion over the front porch. The safety issue was the main part of my decision as well as the time and effort to maintain and clean them out each year.

I don't know if there is a gutter that really works and does not ever get filled with debris. I will see what the others say...
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Old 10-27-2016, 06:38 PM   #6
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I do not know about any gutter guard systems or companies.

F hires someone to clean his gutters for $100, once or twice a year. Maybe that would be a cheaper alternative.

Or, since you are younger than he is, maybe you feel like cleaning them yourself would be do-able.
They want to charge me $2500 but that is a lifetime warranty and guarantee of NEVER having a clogged gutter. If I have them cleaned twice a year for 30 years at $100 each, that's $6000. The $2500 quote isn't looking soo bad anymore.
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Old 10-27-2016, 06:43 PM   #7
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I had a company install screen covers. They were by no means as expensive as some of the big names like Leafguard but they are not cheap diy-types either. So far they work just fine, but I also don't have trees with whirligigs or pine needles that get caught in them. I'd call around and get ideas for the various systems out there.
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Old 10-27-2016, 06:43 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Redbugdave View Post
I had gutters around my house and tried the cheaper screened covers. They did not do a very good job. I gave it some thought and like Bamaman, I removed all my gutters except for a small portion over the front porch. The safety issue was the main part of my decision as well as the time and effort to maintain and clean them out each year.

I don't know if there is a gutter that really works and does not ever get filled with debris. I will see what the others say...
My Dream House doesn't have gutters and appears to have never had them. I always thought that would be dangerous to the foundation. However, I have been keeping an eye on drainage and the foundation, and so far, so good.

Despite having had 96" of rain in the past year , the rain is not digging trenches at all so far, and the rain water just drains away from the house. I don't understand why there isn't any problem, but there just doesn't seem to be one.

So maybe this will be OK. Wait and see.
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Old 10-27-2016, 06:52 PM   #9
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Not worth it. I've never seen them actually work for any length of time.
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Old 10-27-2016, 07:05 PM   #10
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We have very large maple trees around our house, they drop lots of "bud debris" as well as the familiar "helicopter" seeds. I was cleaning the gutters once or twice per year, an un-fun and dangerous job, and not one that I wanted to keep doing when I get to be 70. We had "Leaf Relief gutter guards installed a few years ago and they have worked very well. I've never had to do anything, though while I was up on the roof for other reasons I did knock off some stuck debris (I'm pretty sure it would have blown off without my "help"). I'm a DIYer, but paying to have these aluminum guards installed was worth it, since they are going to last forever. If I'd gone with the foam or vinyl options I was considering, I'm pretty sure they would have lasted a decade or less in the tough UV environment on the roof. Plus, we got a warranty against blockage (which I have not had to use). Also. the folks doing the installation will (should?) make sure that the gutters have sufficient slope to drain the water effectively (ask if they'll do this, and if you've already been up there with a good-quality bubble level, be sure to let them know where there are problems. This will put them on notice that you'll likely check their work--it never hurts to "encourage" a good job). Quite a few homes have gutters that are not sloped properly.

Here's a good previous thread we had on this subject, with links to other threads. Be sure to shop around, the price of products and installation varies a lot.

Re: going without gutters. A lot depends on the type of foundation one has. A house built on a slab is one thing, but a home with a basement and with typical slope of soil away from the home (i.e. less than the recommended 1" per foot) will benefit a lot by having gutters, downspouts, and piping to take the water well away from the foundation.
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Old 10-27-2016, 07:25 PM   #11
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My neighbor paid about $8k for new gutters with leaf guards. I clear mine with a leaf blower several times a year. That's gotta stop.
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Old 10-27-2016, 07:31 PM   #12
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Re: going without gutters. A lot depends on the type of foundation one has. A house built on a slab is one thing, but a home with a basement and with typical slope of soil away from the home (i.e. less than the recommended 1" per foot) will benefit a lot by having gutters, downspouts, and piping to take the water well away from the foundation.
Oh!! Well maybe that explains it. My house is built on a slab, and also the soil slopes away from it so water never collects near the slab. Maybe that is why I haven't had any problems due to the lack of gutters (yet?). I'll still keep an eye on things.
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Old 10-27-2016, 07:59 PM   #13
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I don't think any gutter guard is perfect. Leaves will eventually get caught up in just about any system. If you live in a one-story home, seriously consider buying a ladder and cleaning the gutters yourself. I clean mine out in late fall once all the leaves are off the trees. I don't bother in the spring. If climbing a ladder is not for you, then hiring the job out once a year would be my route. I would certainly not install gutter guards until you have lived through a full fall season and determine how much of a problem them maple trees are. Depending on wind direction, many of the leaves might just blow out.
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Old 10-27-2016, 08:19 PM   #14
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I had a local company replace my gutters and it was not that expensive. I forget exactly how much, maybe a little over a thousand.

He put this cover system that is basically a flat metal with holes in it that is screwed to the side of the house and clips over the gutter that he made with some sort of forming machine.

This has worked great for two years now. He told me that I could just go up and run a leaf blower over the top once a year, but I have not had to do that. My roof is not very steep and I can climb up on it one story at a time by going on my porch roof first. I go up and inspect every six months or so. I also have to climb up and shovel snow when we get two or three feet on top.

The guy told me that he would come and do an inspection-tune-up for about $100. I guess that would blow the top off and make sure they are still at the correct pitch in case of having been bent by too much snow or ice.

I think if you look around for small one-man companies you could find someone that does a good job and is reasonable.
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Old 10-27-2016, 09:36 PM   #15
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I installed some inexpensive plastic mesh gutter guards in the early summer... they seem to do a decent job of keeping the leaves out of the gutters. We had some of the same type earlier that were not stiff enough and ended up in the gutter... these are more substantial and bow upwards so the leaves seem to bounce off it and fall to the ground.

Time will tell but so far so good.
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Old 10-27-2016, 11:34 PM   #16
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You could install various diy type of protection, and evaluate which one works the best for your situation.

I've seen plenty of houses without gutters and since you should always have the land slope away from the house, they really are not needed, except perhaps over a doorway/walkway.

Not having them helps to avoid ice buildup backing up onto the roof in cold climates
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Old 10-28-2016, 05:34 AM   #17
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We bought a house that was surrounded by trees in 2003 and had LeafGuard gutters installed.


My daughter lives in that house now. We have never cleaned the gutters and have never had a problem.
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Old 10-28-2016, 05:48 AM   #18
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I've tried several kinds, but none were satisfactory in the long term.
Our houses have been surrounded by maples and oaks, and the amount of stuff that filled the gutters, both Spring and Fall, was amazing. It either clogged or bypassed all the different gutter guards I had.

Assuming your house actually needs the gutters (see posts above), I used two cleaning techniques that worked. My gutters were only about nine feet off the ground, so I just walked around the house and cleaned them. Generally twice in the Spring and twice in the Fall.

One method was a long extension with a U-bend on the end that fit on my leaf blower. I could just direct that airflow into the gutter and blow the crap out of it.

The other method was the same, but a long wand with a U-bend that attached to my garden hose.

Both techniques actually worked, but there was a lot of nasty stuff blown out of the gutters while doing it. I had an old pair of coveralls and big hat I wore while doing it, to protect myself from the overspray.
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Old 10-28-2016, 07:55 AM   #19
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See what consumer reports has to say:
Gutter Guard information from Consumer Reports
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Old 10-28-2016, 03:11 PM   #20
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When built addition and placed new roof on it also replaced roof on rest of house. Gutters on old house had screens, never worked well, no pine trees. Splurged and went with new surface tension 5" gutters around the whole house, most 2 story. Best $2800 I ever spent. As for not taking it in a deluge, I don't see a problem. There's one place on by deck where a lot of second story water drops and yes, it flies out a bit if it's really heavy. I'll take that over never having had to clean any gutters in now over 10 years. As for DIY I'd never attempt it on the majority of my house, gutter is about 24' off ground; same reason I didn't want to clean them any more.
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