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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?
Old 05-16-2006, 07:17 PM   #21
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?

We installed Gutter Guard a couple years ago. Works great for both leaves and needles.
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?
Old 05-19-2006, 02:52 PM   #22
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?

Ok,
Finally got up the guts to climb a ladder to check the gutters in the back of the house. They were always the worst at filling up with tree junk from the choke cherry trees next to and over that part of the house. Those d@mn trees shed junk all year 'round so the gutters fill up even in the summer. The results are in....no junk! There is a tad bit of gunk but that is from the dust in the air and a good rain will take care of that. Nothing on the roof; no leaves or sticks backed up and no gutters are clogged.

The only bad thing was a couple of the covers got dented over the winter due to large ice chunks that fell on them from the second story. I will need to get some heater cable on the dormers to take care of that before next winter.

BTW these are called Gutter Helmets. Expensive but worth it it I don't have to go up on a 26 foot ladder to clean 350 feet of gutters again.

Not climbing a 26 foot ladder to clean ick crap out of 350 feet of second and third story gutters......$5000

Not breaking my neck by falling off the ladder............priceless!
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?
Old 05-19-2006, 03:02 PM   #23
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?

Steve et al,

I know this will sound odd, but after many houses in many climates I found that the best thing to do is just remove the gutters. As in take'em down and paint the soffits.

Then you put lava rock or simlar along the base of the house to deflect the cascading water (the bushes hide it). Make an exception for a few feet of gutter over the entry ways only so guests don't get drenched.

No build-up, no cleaning, no rot behind wet gutters, no erosion thanks to the lava rock (gotta rake it back in place once in a while). No leaves. No splashback into the windows. We have about a 2 foot overhand from the eaves of the roof, and I am not sure how well this would work if you didn't have overhang.

Works for us.
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?
Old 05-19-2006, 03:38 PM   #24
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Steve et al,

I know this will sound odd, but after many houses in many climates I found that the best thing to do is just remove the gutters. As in take'em down and paint the soffits.

Then you put lava rock or simlar along the base of the house to deflect the cascading water (the bushes hide it). Make an exception for a few feet of gutter over the entry ways only so guests don't get drenched.

No build-up, no cleaning, no rot behind wet gutters, no erosion thanks to the lava rock (gotta rake it back in place once in a while). No leaves. No splashback into the windows. We have about a 2 foot overhand from the eaves of the roof, and I am not sure how well this would work if you didn't have overhang.

Works for us.
Would not work at my house due to location of doors, garage, widowwells etc. Also, I am not crazy about the lava rock look. We are in a very hot climate and all that rock around the house would heat up the walls even more. Nothing like some nice tall bushes and trees to block the sun to help keep the south and west walls from turning into hot griddles in the late afternoon.

Some houses here don't have gutters but they also have foundation problems because the water from the run off stays too close to the wall and goes under the foundation causing damage. Gutters direct water away from the foundation and help keep the gound from getting too saturated and soggy which allows the foundation to sink and the walls to crack...not to mention flood the basement.

I will stick with my gutters since I am already the low spot in the area at the base of a very steep cliff behind the house. Water is not my friend.
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?
Old 05-19-2006, 04:31 PM   #25
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?

The lava rock wouldn't work for me either, the reason we put up gutters was because of water running into the cellar. We have an old stone foundation and no matter what we do we can't plug the leak, the gutters solved that problem. I need to get something to either clean them with in the fall or some kind of leaf guard. Thankfully it's only a one story house so climbing the ladder is not big deal.
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?
Old 05-19-2006, 05:48 PM   #26
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Outtahere
The lava rock wouldn't work for me either
I see your point. I haven't had a basement for many years, so the rock works and is invisible due to shrubbery.

If I had a basement, I'd stick with gutters and downspouts.
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?
Old 05-19-2006, 09:06 PM   #27
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?

Most of the home repair shows i've watched, the first thing the fixit guys point out is any lack of gutters and the problems that can cause with foundations/slabs and excessive moisture near the home.

My wifes old home had no gutters. We had some problems with the foundation and excessive moisture near the home.

You really want to capture that water and redirect it at least 2-3' away from the house, if you're directing it to an area that runs downhill away from the home. If its sort of flattish, you might want to consider moving it a lot further away using a buried french drain.
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Thread resurrected for an update
Old 10-06-2007, 10:22 PM   #28
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Okay, Steve R and others who chimed in when this thread started in early 2006: Any update on your experience with gutter covers? I'm having the roof redone in the spring, and the present (not very good wire mesh) covers are coming off.

I've seen quotes of $12-18 per foot for the professionally installed reverse-curve type covers. That's more than I want to spend if it can be helped. I also want something that I can remove easily to allow cleaning of the gutters every few years, because I don't trust any cover to be 100% effective.

Right now I'm leaning toward some type of self-installed foam gizmo that fits into the gutter (not over the top). Water flows through the foam and there's a portion of the gutter near the front that is open to allow the water to flow to the standpipe. Looks like about $3 per foot plus my time (and whatever the bill at the ER turns out to be.)

Here are some links to various types of "gutter filters" that I'm considering.

Flexible foam: Gutter Stuff Pro - The Original Foam Filter Insert
Non-Woven Fiber: RainFlowUSA - Total Gutter Protection
Rigid Foam: Gutter Champ

Comments/experiences?
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Old 10-06-2007, 10:41 PM   #29
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I've seen quotes of $12-18 per foot for the professionally installed reverse-curve type covers.
Yowza. Is this a problem worth solving?

We've never had gutter covers on any home we've ever lived in. Once or twice a year (usually a couple days before the hurricane) I get up on our current roof with a shopvac and a garden hose. Our kid thinks it's a lot of fun. Despite the palm nuts and composition-shingle granules, we've never had a clog.

It's been a long long time since I've had to worry about ice dams. Do gutter covers make this more likely?
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Old 10-06-2007, 10:44 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
Steve et al,

I know this will sound odd, but after many houses in many climates I found that the best thing to do is just remove the gutters. As in take'em down and paint the soffits.

Then you put lava rock or simlar along the base of the house to deflect the cascading water (the bushes hide it). Make an exception for a few feet of gutter over the entry ways only so guests don't get drenched.

No build-up, no cleaning, no rot behind wet gutters, no erosion thanks to the lava rock (gotta rake it back in place once in a while). No leaves. No splashback into the windows. We have about a 2 foot overhand from the eaves of the roof, and I am not sure how well this would work if you didn't have overhang.

Works for us.
I had a boss who swore gutters were a racket and tore all off his home and put attactive stone along the dripline (nothing magic about lava rock) One area also got a french drain under the stone to keep water out of the crawl. I never had the guts to do this, but our I always had really good luck with large (6") gutters and downspouts. When our current home was built, the builder would only put in the standard (5") gutters with 4" downspouts. I cleaned them once and said "never again". With a walkout basement, I have one corner that is 3 stories off the ground. I noticed these undersized gutters have a 2" opening to the downspout, so that's a real bottleneck. Nearly all the neighbors got various high dollar gutter covers and they all had to be retro-fitted with "scoops" to keep the water from overshooting. In a heavy rain, the gutterguards overflow like mad (all of 'em). I did get a quote, but it was so expensive ($30/ft), I figured I could escrow that money and pay to have 'em cleaned with the interest, but as the trees get bigger, that plan may not work.
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Old 10-06-2007, 11:57 PM   #31
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I had "Leaf Relief" gutter covers by Alcoa put on ours. They work GREAT!!! They have never over flowed or had the rain water shoot over the top of them. They're smooth so leaves just blow off of them. In August we had 3 major rain storms come through dropping over 3" of rain in just over 1 hour each time. They handled the heavy pouring rain flawlessly! I was amazed!!! I thought for sure they would cause that much water to just blast over on to the ground! I was wrong......they handled it!

I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for leaf guards. The cost (IIRC) was about $380 installed for about 110' of gutters. It took the 2 guys about 2 hours to install. They've been on for about a year now. Also no problems with ice or snow either. Any ice or snow build up can just slide over them and doesn't get hung up in the gutters.
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Old 10-07-2007, 08:11 AM   #32
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I had "Leaf Relief" gutter covers by Alcoa put on ours. They work GREAT!!! They have never over flowed or had the rain water shoot over the top of them. They're smooth so leaves just blow off of them. In August we had 3 major rain storms come through dropping over 3" of rain in just over 1 hour each time. They handled the heavy pouring rain flawlessly! I was amazed!!! I thought for sure they would cause that much water to just blast over on to the ground! I was wrong......they handled it!

I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for leaf guards. The cost (IIRC) was about $380 installed for about 110' of gutters. It took the 2 guys about 2 hours to install. They've been on for about a year now. Also no problems with ice or snow either. Any ice or snow build up can just slide over them and doesn't get hung up in the gutters.
Those sound like the covered gutters that were present on my house when I bought it. They are GREAT. Even with our extremely rainy weather and occasional torrential rains and tropical storms here, they never shoot up or clog. I don't have to clean them, despite my large maple tree (and my mulberry tree that came down during Katrina) and they work very nicely. I haven't actually looked at mine, but they feel like a smooth plastic cover. They would be worth every penny to eliminate one more hassle of home ownership. I didn't even know they were there until a month after I bought my house, though. The sellers forgot to mention it!
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Old 10-07-2007, 03:31 PM   #33
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Yowza. Is this a problem worth solving?
If the cost is $10 per foot of gutter, the answer in my case is "no." I can get onto the roof fairly easily (it's just 8' high in some places), the pitch is just 4/12 (so it's not hard to walk on) and I have a hip roof (= lots of gutter for the given roof area). However, most of the 2 story McMansions around me have 12/12 roofs (get out the ropes and carabiners) gable-style roofs (fewer linear feet of gutter to be covered). In that case, $10 per foot might be well worth it.

But, if I can get something that keeps the gutters clean for 4-5 years at a stretch for $3 per foot, I think I'll go for it.
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Old 10-07-2007, 04:37 PM   #34
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Gutters are not too popular around here. The can get pushed off or bent by snow and ice. We just grade a decent slope around the building.
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Old 10-07-2007, 08:47 PM   #35
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Here in Fl we get torrential rains and we have a two story house. No gutters originally. Put rocks/stepping stone slabs down, but it was still messy and there was lots of erosion. We added gutters with gutter guards. They are great.
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