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SteveR - gutter covers?
Old 03-09-2006, 02:58 PM   #1
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SteveR - gutter covers?

Hey Steve,

I was looking at some of your previous posts and saw a sentence that you installed gutter covers.* Do they really work?* *DH is suspicious, and thinks they would clog up anyway.* We live around a LOT of trees, and he cleans the gutters at least a dozen times per year (leaves, and those little helicopter things that come off the maple trees).* What brand did you install, and did you do it yourself?

Thanks,
CJ
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?
Old 03-09-2006, 03:53 PM   #2
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?

it depends on the type of cover and whats being dropped on them.

Generally, they work on big stuff like leaves. Not so well with small stuff.

I've done pretty well with the little wire "light bulbs" you stick in the gutter into the top of the downspout. prevents the downspouts from clogging and allows water to flow even if the gutters are jammed.

I have some plastic webbed covers I put on in the early fall, then I take them off after everything drops. Wasps like to build nests on the underside of them, sometimes leaves build up on top and back water up under the edges of the shingles (may or may not be a problem), and eventually you'll need to do some cleaning in there and have to take them off. Some are hinged for that purpose.
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?
Old 03-09-2006, 04:00 PM   #4
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
If this organic debris that does enter the gutter is not cleaned out on a regular basis, you end up with a layer of goo and muck in your gutters.
Yummy. On our roof it's composition-shingle granules mixed with palm fronds and the occasional (hopefully dead) centipede. I use a shopvac.
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?
Old 03-09-2006, 04:34 PM   #5
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?

Hmmm...seems like your favorite device is the shopvac while mine is the 20lb sledge. Probably some joke in there about sucking and pounding.
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?
Old 03-09-2006, 05:15 PM   #6
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?

I had some gutter guards installed last year as a cost savings measure. The cost savings was me falling off a 30 foot ladder onto concrete and breaking my neck. They seem to be working so far. It is too early to tell since it is still winter here (snowing today) so there are ice dams in the gutters right now. I will have a better idea in the Spring how well they held up and will do an inspection to see what is in the gutters.

These are not the chicken wire things you stick in the downspout or the wire mesh sections that slip on top of the gutters. These are attached to the roof above the gutter and extendfrom the roof to just over the outside edge of the gutter. They have a rounded design at the outside lip to prevent stuff from getting into the gutter while allowing water to travel over the lip and into the gutter. I talked to several guys in the area that had them installed before I had it done so confidence is high that they will keep me off a ladder for years to come.
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?
Old 03-09-2006, 05:17 PM   #7
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute n' Fuzzy Bunny
Probably some joke in there about sucking and pounding.
Hm, I wonder what that joke could be.........
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?
Old 03-09-2006, 05:57 PM   #8
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?

We installed Guttercap 12/03.* It has done a good job keeping the gutters free of needles and Magnolia leaves (before all the gutters needed cleaning at least two times a year).* The one issue we have is that the needles leave dirt along the face of the cap which provides a medium for alge (or whatever that green stuff is) and husband hasn't figured out how to scrub it.

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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?
Old 03-09-2006, 06:16 PM   #9
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?

We installed the steel mesh gutter covers last summer, after catching a clearance sale at Home Despot.

A few weeks ago I tore them off the house and threw them away. They weren't holding on to the gutter very well, and once every 4 to 8 weeks a storm would blow one of them off the house. Plus, where they rested against the roof, small bits of leaves, seeds, and other decaying muck was starting to collect and discolor the shingles.

I'm going with the leafblower + PVC pipe contraption from now on.

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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?
Old 03-09-2006, 07:58 PM   #10
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?

cj

We live in Ohio - In my last house I tried the wire bulb that fit in the top of the downspout and was disappointed with the performance - in this house we also have tall trees with large leaves close to the house and until I installed the gutter covers, I had to clean the gutters several times a year - you kinda get the hint when it is raining hard and water is gushing out of the ends of the gutter.*

Since then I've regularly checked the gutters and have found that there is no build-up of 'stuff' there.* We have basically oak, maple, sycamore, and locust trees nearby.* There are no fir trees nearby.*

I bought the cheap perforated plastic covers that were at the front door at Lowes one fall day three years ago.* We havent lost a single piece in any of the windstorms.* I believe it cost under $50 for our two-story 3200 sq ft condo.* *

Like SteveR, I'm planning on keeping off the high ladders in the future as a cost saving measure.

JohnP
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?
Old 03-09-2006, 08:43 PM   #11
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?

Like JohnP, I bought some inexpensive plastic gutter covers at Lowes.* I think they were under $2 per section (each section is about 2 feet long if I remember right) and they clip to the gutter.* *They have a wire screen layer underneath a top plastic piece that has holes in it, maybe a quarter inch in diameter.* Very easy to install.*

I have a lot of trees behind my house and before installing these, the gutters filled up with leaves every year.* Friends told me that these cheap type of gutter covers would not do the job, but they've been up for 3 years and I have not had to clean a gutter since.* I have checked them a couple times to see if the wire screen is getting clogged with granules from the roof shingles, but so far, so good.
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?
Old 03-10-2006, 09:57 AM   #12
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brat
We installed Guttercap 12/03.* It has done a good job keeping the gutters free of needles and Magnolia leaves (before all the gutters needed cleaning at least two times a year).* The one issue we have is that the needles leave dirt along the face of the cap which provides a medium for alge (or whatever that green stuff is) and husband hasn't figured out how to scrub it.

Brat,
Here the humidiy is pretty low much of the year so algae is not an issue on them. The design of these things is such that stuff just slides off and has no chance to get into the gutter. Time will tell on dust and other stuff building up but for now I am thrilled to not have to clean 350+ feet of gutter full of crap and water every fall.
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?
Old 03-10-2006, 10:46 AM   #13
 
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?

Quote:
They have a rounded design at the outside lip to prevent stuff from getting into the gutter while allowing water to travel over the lip and into the gutter.
If you do need to clean the gutter, what do you do?* Can you fold or bend them up?

On the two-story part of our house I tied a rope around my chest as a safety line, and cleaned the gutter from the roof side, with DW holding the other end of the rope just in case I fell. Sounds kludgy, but I think it was safe (I know "Aren't you the guy who fell off he ladder last year?"). She took up the slack, so it would have been hard for me to go over the edge, and I think with the friction of the roof, she could have lowered me to the ground slowly if I fell.

I'll bet most people don't even bother with this. One neighbor has an entire garden growing in his gutters.

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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?
Old 03-10-2006, 10:54 AM   #14
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveR
Brat,
Here the humidiy is pretty low much of the year so algae is not an issue on them.* The design of these things is such that stuff just slides off and has no chance to get into the gutter.* Time will tell on dust and other stuff building up but for now I am thrilled to not have to clean 350+ feet of gutter full of crap and water every fall.* *
Couldn't agree more. *A slide off the roof on one side of the house could easily result in a free fall down to a high bank with risk of ending up in a thicket of poison oak. *We installed roofer's tie-downs to prevent an accident but I never want to find him dangling on a rope.

Leaves and needles slide on over the gutter, surface tension pulls the water into the gutter. *Works great. *

We haven't needed to clean the gutter.* If we needed clean out muck I predict that my husband would create a goose-necked attachment to the hose to sluse down grit (Rube Goldberg and he must have attended the same design school).* We have had several episodes of heavy rain this year, nature may have done the job for us.

Any home near a body of water, particularly one with trees nearby, will have algae (or moss) on surfaces not treated by a retardant. *Look at the specs of exterior paints, most have an algae retardant. *The retardant doesn't work forever, however.
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?
Old 03-10-2006, 11:05 AM   #15
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
she could have lowered me to the ground slowly if I fell.
"*sniff sniff* He SAID it was safe but I couldnt hold him. And now he's gone. *sniff sniff* Now where did he keep that will..."

Quote:
I'll bet most people don't even bother with this. One neighbor has an entire garden growing in his gutters.
Wont they be surprised when they find out that water has backed up in behind the soffit and or siding and started some nice rot in the walls, or the water thats been dumping next to the foundation has caused a shift, cracking, or drawn in termites. A good save of a little time or money every year.

When I watch that show "house detectives" where people buy homes without inspections and THEN want to find out what they've bought (aka "morons"), almost always they turn up problems related to missing, insufficient, blocked or undiverted gutters, then they fix the problem. One guy had an innovative way to solve a house that was 'sitting in a hole' and taking too much water around the foundation...At each downspout location, they cut a small hole into the house, routed the end of the downspout into the crawlspace, and connected them to the city sewer system.
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?
Old 03-10-2006, 11:24 AM   #16
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute 'n Fuzzy Bunny
... One guy had an innovative way to solve a house that was 'sitting in a hole' and taking too much water around the foundation...At each downspout location, they cut a small hole into the house, routed the end of the downspout into the crawlspace, and connected them to the city sewer system.
I bet he wished that hadn't been shown!!!* Storm water in a sewer line is a big NO NO!!!* That means that the sewer plant treats storm water, not only increasing the volume, decreasing it's overall capacity, but altering the biological process that treats sewage.* *It could be masked in a system with a lot of storm water leakage into the lines, in our district plant we could quickly ID the culprit.
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?
Old 03-10-2006, 11:38 AM   #17
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?

It might have been a storm sewer connection, I saw the show some time ago. Although in some areas of the country it was SOP to hook up to the regular sewer if a storm sewer was unavailable. Given that i'm not familiar with building codes in all areas of all 50 states, perhaps its still legal in some areas.
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?
Old 05-14-2006, 01:59 PM   #18
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?

I was wondering if anyone has had time to figure out which of these guards really works. I just helped Dad clean out my gutter that was clogged. in the pouring rain and we're expecting 4+ more inches over night. Any one have any luck with any of the products?
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?
Old 05-14-2006, 07:46 PM   #19
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?

I installed those plastic gutter guards from Home Depot last summer and have had no problems so far. Perhaps it's too early for me to make a conclusion but as of now they appear to be working well.
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?
Old 05-15-2006, 10:51 AM   #20
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Re: SteveR - gutter covers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnP
cj

We live in Ohio - In my last house I tried the wire bulb that fit in the top of the downspout and was disappointed with the performance - in this house we also have tall trees with large leaves close to the house and until I installed the gutter covers, I had to clean the gutters several times a year - you kinda get the hint when it is raining hard and water is gushing out of the ends of the gutter.

Since then I've regularly checked the gutters and have found that there is no build-up of 'stuff' there. We have basically oak, maple, sycamore, and locust trees nearby. There are no fir trees nearby.

I bought the cheap perforated plastic covers that were at the front door at Lowes one fall day three years ago. We havent lost a single piece in any of the windstorms. I believe it cost under $50 for our two-story 3200 sq ft condo.

Like SteveR, I'm planning on keeping off the high ladders in the future as a cost saving measure.

JohnP
wtf do you need to take care of gutters for on a condo? i always thought the idea of a condo was no outside maintainence....

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