Unorthadox gutter protection idea

marloniusMay 27, 2010

I have an unusual gutter situation with an attached carport and patio roof. I have a similarly unusual idea to deal with it but want to be told if I'm being crazy.

Both structures are corrugated aluminum, attached just below the roof of the house, with an adequate slope away from the house. At the far edge of the structure there is a gutter attached to the underside of the roof in such a way that it is impossible to clean out the debris by hand. A powerful leaf blower does only a so-so job.

Additionally, there is a downspout that drains directly onto my driveway and two downspouts that drain immediately adjacent to the patio and thus cause flooding of the patio. (I wish I could ask the builders what they were thinking)

So I'd like to run the downspouts into buried PVC pipe to prevent flooding and further water damage to my concrete, but I don't have a good way to prevent leaf debris from getting in using any of the commercially available gutter guards (they just won't fit into these irregular gutters).

My plan is to fill the gutters with pea gravel or crushed drain rock and find some way to cover the downspout openings to keep the gravel in. I don't think I could get landscape fabric or another silt barrier in there (I can't fit my hands into the gutters), but I guess I would have to attach a few cleanout holes to the downspout drains and use them frequently. The gutters are relatively small and appear to be actual structural members of the carport/patio cover so I don't think the weight would be an issue.

I feel like this has a decent chance of working but would like opinions because

a) when we eventually sell this house I don't want a home inspector to think I'm insane

b) since I can't even fit my hands in the gutters I won't be able to undo this.

c) I can't find any evidence online of this having been done before (although I can't imagine I'm actually the first person to think of this).

I'd appreciate any advice/opinions and alternative solutions.


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hard to picture the layout, but if it's between the house and one of the other structures you might consider whether that gutter is necessary.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 7:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Unless there is very little roof area contributing to the gutter volume and/or it rains very little, water running into the gutters will probably overflow.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 7:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You want your gutters to be as open and clear as possible.
Putting a gravel "filter" into them would not work as air borne soil (dust) and decomposing leaves, etc would soon clog them. Well, soon enough. Heavy rain would overflow them even if they weren't clogged.

I'd just use 4" PVC for the rain drains and have some wash out ports or cleanouts installed , as many as needed. 4" PVC will take anything a gutter down spout will put into it.
Given that it is sloped properly. 1/4 inch per foot is an aggressive slope for buried water drains.

Alternately, use a spun material, not unlike those 3M scrubbies pads, but on a larger scale, to cap the gutters in question. Cut strips of sufficient width and bend it into a U shape and pop into the gutter, legs down. The tension in the material will cause the legs to spring against the gutter sides. This leaves your guttering mostly open for water and the tops mostly closed off, certainly for leaves.

Material of this type is used in industry in a lot of applications. Various openess, densities, etc. for filtration of both air and liquids. The one I'm familiar with is used in primary water filtration banks in a tertiary filtration plant. Its grey, if that helps. ;)

I've seen it installed such that the up side is attached under the roofing material and then it comes down and into the gutter, an L shape instead of my U shape. I prefer the U as you can remove it easily and back flush.

Sorry, didn't mean for this to get so long.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 1:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There is a foam product called Gutter Stuff that uses this approach. (I've not used it, so no personal experience.)

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 8:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've seen the foam stuff or something similar, and think that might be the way to go, you'll still probably need to remove it and rinse it occasionally to remove the dirt but it's dense enough to keep leaves etc out. Seems clever to me.

Gravel would be much, much too heavy, but I like your thinking. Unfortunately, it'd rip the gutters and maybe the fascia off.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 4:02AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Landscape fabric will just clog. Can you fit the lightbulb-shaped screens made for the tops of downspouts in? Metaxa's suggestion sounds good.
I had an area with the similar problem of shingles overhanging the gutter & using the downspout screens with the cheap vinyl gutter toppers (the ones with diamond shaped holes and also a layer of netting to block the smallest debris) that just slide under the bottom shingles worked quite well.

Seems to me that rolling up any kind of medium scale netting or hardware cloth and placing it in the gutter would work to keep most leaves out--but might have to be pulled out periodically to clear of small debris like maple flowers.

Unfortunately my roofer talked me into installing permanent gutter guards--and the leaves & stuff just sit on top of them, so I still have to climb up to clear them. No better than what I described above after all that expense.

I've never had a problem with clogging of the pipes from the downspouts to the street--it's been over 14 years since installed.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 12:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Dear marlonius . Did you ever find a good resolution for the carport gutter debris situation? I too have the same issue with my mobile home. The gutters are enclosed and nearly impossible to clean. I've been searching the web and not having much luck. Any ideas you have found that worked would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 5:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"My plan is to fill the gutters with pea gravel or crushed drain rock and find some way to cover the downspout openings to keep the gravel in".

There isn't a gutter on the planet that will withstand being filled with gravel, let alone filled with gravel and rainwater. Prepare for a major failure if you pursue.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 9:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

speaking of gutters....yesterday I saw Orkin
installing a leaf guard like described above
(scrubbie type material)
they had also removed old insulation &
installed new fresh insulation in that house.

personally I didn't know Orkin did this type
of work. can't say I was impressed with them
using tubes of roofing adhesive between the
copper gutter & the slate roof...

anyone hire Orkin to do more than kill/treat pests?

ditto on gravel being too heavy.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 11:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Pump or drum strainer. Many different types and sizes to choose from.

Best thing I have found for doing what you want. Just place it over the downspout drain opening in the gutter. Drill a small hole in the top edge of the gutter and another in front. Use two small extension springs to hold it in place.

Only drawback is they need to be cleaned often during the Fall.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 10:55PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
what type of contractor needed for this?
What type of contractor is needed to replace a rotting...
How to fix 1" gaps in drywall seams?
We recently bought our home (build in 1938). One of...
Garage door
Something strange happened last night. We were watching...
Pouring a new driveway
Hello everyone, first time poster. I'm ready to sign...
Cellulose Insulation - Do we really need the blower?
We have 8 to 10 packages of cellulose insulation that...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™