gutter gards revisited

skeptigirlMay 18, 2005

I tried to read through the thread on gutter gards but couldn't find what I needed. Is there a product that actually works when pine needles are the main culprit?

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fredmc

Depending on what you read there are varying opinions on the effectivemness of guttergaurds. Not to mention the expenses.

Recently we made some mondifications to our gutter system. The changes consist of ENLARGING the drain in the gutter using a preformed funnel which then allows much greater flow of water and debris down the drainpipe. There is no strainer so most stuff goes down the drainpipe. Then a section of the drainpipe is cut out and a special strainer is installed at a convenient height. So, every once is a while we just clean out this strainer.Maybe takes 2 minutes to do the whole house(10 downspouts) It works quite well, looks fine and is easy to install as well as being quite reasonable.

Fred Mc.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2005 at 11:56PM
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John_Allen

Regarding gutter guards, imho, I believe Alcoa's Leaf Relief may be one of the most effective systems available at a reasonable price. The Leaf product has been tested with leaves, twigs, pine needles, and small debris. And you actually get a 10 year no clog warranty from Alcoa. We have installed Leaf Relief here in Cincinnati Ohio and St. Louis Missouri with great results.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2005 at 9:00PM
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fredmc

I had someone e-mail me off line to ask about what I used and I thought my reply would be interesting for others as well.
"Go to http://www.precisiongutters.com/products.html to see what I used.
I used the K-funnel and the leaf catcher. I've seen other companies with similar products as well.
Interestingly, today we had a hail storm with pea size hailstones. The k-funnels allow such unrestricted flow that the hailstones came down the downspout to the leaf catcher like a thick slurry. The water continued thru the screen while the hailstones were spilled out onto the ground. I am impressed with how well these products work . At our house the water goes down into the perimeter drains so it is VERY important that no junk gets down there as I had to have those drains cleaned out this spring and it was VERY expensive. These products keep the leaves/etc out yet are VERY easy to clean out without have to go up a ladder".
Fred Mc.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2005 at 11:49PM
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scrier

Do gutter guards actually work in heavy downpours on steep roofs? It seems to me as the volume and speed of the water increases, it will overcome the surface tension and cause the water to easily overshoot the small space between the edge of the gutter guard and the edge of the gutter.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2005 at 11:56AM
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DarthSquirrel

We looked into gutter guards but the only ones that seemed effective were too expensive IMHO. Our next door neighbor has one of the solid-top ones with louvers on the outer (vertical) edge. Don't know which brand it is but they've had them for a couple of years.

From just my observation I've seen water cascading down and over the gutter guards in every heavy rain, and their roof isn't what I'd call steep. It looks like one of those tropical waterfalls you see at Disney World!

Last winter their house was very picturesque, like a Norman Rockwell painting with the longest icicles I've ever seen hanging from every inch of gutter. Lost count of the times I saw the husband out there with a broomstick trying to knock the icicles off (the ones reachable). I always thought icicles were a bad thing to have, and I'm sure the weight of those suckers could easily loosen or pull out sections of gutter. Probably why he was trying to knock them off.

Also there are dirty gray or black streaks visible on all the guards and the gutters too. Don't know if they are permanent but haven't seen the neighbor cleaning them off. Assume this is from water running across the top of the guard and then not all makes it into the gutter? If it was on my gutters it would annoy the heck out of me. Don't know if they come in colors other than white but maybe that's the answer to keeping them looking clean.

I did ask the neighbor once if the gutter guards were working. He said he guessed so, because water still comes out the leaders, but there's no way to tell if they're clogged or not because you can't see inside them without taking a section apart.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2005 at 5:29PM
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scrier

John - what you say makes sense. I never heard of leaf relief and just used the curved corrugated aluminum mesh guards. Aside from the obvious aesthetic benefit of leaf relief (i.e. you can't see leaf relief vs seeing a humped piece of aluminum), one of the problems I did have with the curved aluminum was that pollen balls each spring formed a dam at certain spots where the aluminum met the roof surface so once or twice each spring I needed to clear the pollen away.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2005 at 5:38PM
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skeptigirl

I tried screening the tops but as the debris built up it just caught on the screens so the clog was just higher up. Worse than that, it allowed water to back up under the roof edge. I had to take them out. The clean outs might work but we have small pine cones that get wedged in the downspout as well. And we can't just let the needles go down the drain as it definitely would fill and clog the drain field.

Additional ideas would be most welcome, thanks.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2005 at 5:28PM
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Dave_Farnham

Finding something that is effective against pine needles is important. Some products that work well with leaves do not work well with pine needles. Most pine trees drop about 1/3 of their pine needles each year. That's a lot and as you know the tree doesn't have to be right next to the house for the pine needles to drop and blow over to the house and gutter.The gutter guard that I found to be successful with pine needles and leaves is ALCOA's leaf relief. It's a solid aluminum product with fine perforated holes. The holes are still too small to allow the pine needles to enter the gutter but numerous enough to allow plenty of water to enter the gutter. ALCOA stands behind their warranty and independantly tested them against pine needles and still no clogs, and no overflows. As you do your search for solutions, I would consider leaf relief. If you can't find anyone where you are located you can email me and I will try to help you if you would like.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2005 at 12:09AM
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graywings123

Posted by: John_Allen: "Regarding gutter guards, imho, I believe Alcoa's Leaf Relief may be one of the most effective systems available at a reasonable price. The Leaf product has been tested with leaves, twigs, pine needles, and small debris. And you actually get a 10 year no clog warranty from Alcoa. We have installed Leaf Relief here in Cincinnati Ohio and St. Louis Missouri with great results."

But perhaps, John, you are the teensiest bit biased on this subject. After all, look what appears on your member page:

"My names John Allen I am a home improvement contractor and a developer of a gutter protection product, for aluminum and box gutters. You can visit our site at www.leaftite.com
I live in: Ohio My zone is: Ohio
You can visit my home page at: http://www.leaftite.com.";

And lo and behold, Leaftite = Leaf Relief

    Bookmark   May 25, 2005 at 7:56AM
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tgstaub

Hi Folks:

I'll expose my bias right up front (sorry John Allen). I'm Tim Staub, and I own Elko Products, the maker of the Elko GuttaGard. Since 1983, we've sold more than 20 million feet of GuttGard nationwide.

The gutter protection market is the biggest consumer rip-off in the home improvement market. Folks (mostly older folks and women) are paying thousands of dollars to get a piece of metal put over their gutters. New gutters cost about $2.50 - $3.00 per foot. But gutter protection costs from $8.00 - $25.00 per foot.

GuttaGard can be installed by a DIY'er with nothing but a butter knife . . . for about $1 per foot. It's solid aluminum (no holes, no mesh, no mess) and it can handle at least 6" of rain per hour (the average rainfall in the US is 30" . . . only Louisiana gets more than 6" of rain . . . per MONTH!). With the new Gutter Genius clip, it can handle gale force winds without dislodging.

Check us out online (google "GuttaGard" and you'll find us). We have a free online publication called "The Consumer Guide to Gutter Protection" that will enlighten and hopefully entertain you as well.

Call our toll free line and ask for me. I'll be happy to talk with you directly.

Best Regards,

Tim Staub
President
Elko Products Company

    Bookmark   June 7, 2005 at 9:33PM
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panhead

I also had gutter helmet installed,they are ICE MACHINES which would be ok if I sold ice or we were in hell! Oh wait,these things have made my life hell. What a waste of money.I have ridge vents and soffit vents they still claim lack of venting is the cause but also state they are not venting experts.I called after the very first snow and they still couldn't get out to see the byproduct of their product.They came in May! All these companies know there is a problem with aluminum snow and sun, without sun I don't get hardly any icicles my house is overbuilt with 6" walls and more than enough insullation and venting,they just fail to fully disclose what you might be in for,and our safety and satisfaction means nothing to them compared to our money.I am currently involved with the bbb and am going to go to arbitration.People need to speak up and try and unite around this blatant misrepresentation of these products

    Bookmark   September 24, 2005 at 10:20AM
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halds

I would like to see recommendations from users of these products. I have a couple of concerns about Leaf Relief system...

1. It may filter out small debris, but it would appear to be very suspetible to clogging from dirt and dust, and grit from the shingles.... that stuff does not blow away. It takes getting up on a ladder and power washing the gunk out of the holes. Second it seems that it would fascilitate ice dam formation in the winter.

IMHO the best solution is to install the largest diameter downspout your gutter can accommodate...

What say you?

Hal

    Bookmark   September 27, 2005 at 3:41PM
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ritaotay

Well what ever you do DON'T get LeafGuard gutters, especially if you get snow or rain...

They are guaranteed to never clog and they never will BECAUSE NOTHING GOES IN THEM! Everything sits on top!!

Now these are a one piece system, all .32 gauge aluminum, no holes or ridges like the Leaf Relief systems... They are slightly curved on top and the black walnuts do roll off, eventually, but the twigs and leaves stay there until they've started rotting and have stained the gutters...

I take that back some rain will trickle down into the gutters and drips, very loudly, in the over sized down spouts, it can be heard from 60 feet away... It's been a year and I still get a lot of 'over spray', as they call it... The first few months I actually had water lines all around the house...

Forget it in the winter time... I had FIVE FOOT long icicles hanging off the gutters on the second floor and ice dams you wouldn't believe... And this was after a lousy 2 inch snow fall....

I got royally screwed paying $7000. for these ' top of the line' gutters... If I had it to do over again I would just put up regular gutters and pay someone to clean them... Even if it cost $150. each year.

Rita

    Bookmark   September 27, 2005 at 5:45PM
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tommyw

I just get up on the roof twice a year with my backpack blower and blow all the 'stuff' out of the gutters.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2005 at 6:02PM
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halds

Home improvement stores also sell an extension that connects to your garden hose to water blast junk from the gutters. They are inexpensive and work very well for single story applications, but you should wear a raincoat.

Hal

    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 2:40PM
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Dave_Farnham

Leaf Relief's holes are big enough that they do allow the shingle grit to wash right through. Shingle grit is still very small and dirt will also just wash through. I have seen it on a house that has a steeper pitched roof (Cape Cod) and although there was snow on the roof, there was never icicles hanging from them. I have watched the roof for well over a year, almost going on 2 years and still haven't detected any icicles. But I too, was skeptical at first but so far they appear to be working well AND with no hanging icicles. I don't think there is a perfect product out there, but so far this one seems to be doing pretty well.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 11:56PM
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ritaotay

Dave the Leaf Relief system sounds like it's working for you and I'm glad... But they wouldn't work for me... I also have black walnut and hickory nut trees and the edges that connect to the gutters is just enough to keep the nuts from falling off... Sigh... If the ice dams are bad again this year I think I'll just remove the whole gutter on the second floor...

Rita

    Bookmark   October 5, 2005 at 10:27PM
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cingrp

Rita,

Another idea for eliminating the ice this winter would be to install de icing cables. I thought it might be worth mentioning to help your ice problem.

Cingrp

    Bookmark   October 6, 2005 at 8:01AM
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ritaotay

Thanks Cingrp, I have thought about the de icing cables but... I'd have to put them on the roof as well as in the gutters... So far the lowest estimate is $1500. for two, 100 foot, 600 watt cables with temperature/ice controls that won't quite cover the whole area.... Then there's the added expense of installing yet another outside outlet and finding a way to keep the squirrels from eating the cables... lol

Hmmm, perhaps I should post a question about the de icing cables....

Rita

    Bookmark   October 7, 2005 at 12:44PM
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cingrp

Rita,

I was just looking at the egutter.com web site and they have 100' de icing cables for $82.90 each. I'm surprised by the prices you've received....seems a little high. I've installed these cables before and it's not that difficult. I've seen some folks run an extension cord out of there garage for example if their is no electric from the outside. I'm not sure how many people have had problems with critters like squirrels eating through the cable but it's a concern I suppose. I hope you find a solution.

Cingrp

    Bookmark   October 7, 2005 at 4:49PM
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franjoy

We had the Gutter Cap system installed on our house 3 years ago and we have a HUGE ice problem and not just icicles. If snow builds up on the roof it eventually freezes. When the weather starts to warm, huge slabs of ice break free and crash to the ground. The slabs are large enough to kill anyone standing nearby. One slab demolished a wrought iron rail. Although we experienced the snow build-up/freezing before installing the gutter protection, we never had the falling ice issue. Cabling the whole roof with de-icing cables would look awful. If ice is a side effect of gutter protection, we should be told that up-front.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2005 at 1:05PM
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John____Allen

franjoy,

I agree, de icing cables can be unsightly and require extra unnecessary energy costs. I know with some reverse curve systems, it says in small print "if ice cicles form on the gutter protection that this is a sign that the product is functioning properly". It would be a good idea for anyone checking out these products that lives in a cold climate to check each system to see which one performs best under ice conditions.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2005 at 5:27PM
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lesliew

We simply had screens installed on the gutters, and then we wound up with ice dams. The roofer says they didn't necessarily CAUSE damming, but they definitely contributed. We now have no screens, we took them all off. On one of the other forums, someone suggested the gutter cleaning kit for a shop vac. if you have a ranch, like we do, you can easily reach the gutters and suck the leaves out. Around here, we'll probably have to do it on a weekly basis! The pine needles are a year-round event.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2005 at 6:55PM
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jibba

Fredmc,

I think you've provided the product and answer to my drainage problems.

Thanks very much,

Jibba

    Bookmark   November 3, 2005 at 3:14PM
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fredmc

I'm reposting this from last May as I think it is a good low cost solution to the leaf/gutter problems. To see what they look like go to http://www.precisiongutters.com/ and look at the k-funnel and the leaf strainer.

Depending on what you read there are varying opinions on the effectivemness of guttergaurds. Not to mention the expenses.

Recently we made some mondifications to our gutter system. The changes consist of ENLARGING the drain in the gutter using a preformed funnel which then allows much greater flow of water and debris down the drainpipe. There is no strainer so most stuff goes down the drainpipe. Then a section of the drainpipe is cut out and a special strainer is installed at a convenient height. So, every once is a while we just clean out this strainer.Maybe takes 2 minutes to do the whole house(10 downspouts) It works quite well, looks fine and is easy to install as well as being quite reasonable.

Fred Mc.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2005 at 9:49PM
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mary_228

I'm happy to learn about the Leaf Relif System and am planning new roof and gutters for next spring. My issue is more with the birds making nests in the gutters! And this has been with screens up there. I guess they just push them aside a bit and voila! Perfect spot for a nest!

    Bookmark   November 14, 2005 at 10:59AM
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glennthreeg_rocketmail_com

where did you find the large drain funnel and the "special strainer"

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 3:17AM
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tony41

I always wanted to use plain old window screen to cover my gutters. Went by LOWES & found they have 3' plastic covers. At least 4" fits under last row of shingles front side snaps onto gutter. Top of the cover has the plastic perforated with holes similar to Gutter screens that have been around forever but underside has actual screen wire. So I bought 200' & covered all mine. So far the wind has blown the leaf build-up away. But when it don't I can stand on the ground with stick/pole of some discription & knock them off. There can't be much go past sceen wire? Next spring will tell if I'm pleased or not.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 11:15PM
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mjt189

I would like to add my two cents regarding gutters shields and ice damming . I had a product called Master Shield installed on my gutters in November . I live in New Jersey in an area which gets hit the hardest during snow storms. We had a snow storm last weekend with about 9 inches of snow and today noticed water leaking into my house which is coming from the gutters . I called the company and the owner came right out to check . He said that it is ice damming and the gutter protection had no impact on the condition. My response is that last year with no gutter protection I never had leaking into my house . Last winter was very snowy and cold in NJ. So while reading the various responses to ice damming and gutter protection it is apparent to me that there is a connection.Just short of removing the gutters entirely does anyone have any suggestions.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2005 at 6:23PM
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cogic

I have had the Leaf Relief guards on my home now for nearly a year. I really like them even though they are unseen from the ground. However, during early spring, they collected a lot of debris from my nearby oak trees. The guards kept working even during the heavy spring rains. I have discovered that a little maintenance is necessary to keep the guards working effectively. Has anyone else had similar results?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2006 at 4:58PM
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mary_228

cogic: I'm delighted to hear of your satisfaction with Leaf Relief. I'm having it installed on my house but have been very worried about all the debris from overhanging trees. Did you have to clean off the surface in areas you could reach? Or did the wind take the stuff off eventually?
How was the winter? Any big icicles?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2006 at 8:24PM
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cogic

Thanks for your response, Mary. I cleaned off the guards using a blower during the month of May after all of the blossoms had fallen. The oak blossoms are porous and allowed the rain to pass through the gutter system. However, during the fall, the leaves did blow off the guards with help from the wind. Winter had no effect on the guards. I saw no icicles at all.

I hope that you will be pleased with the guards as I am. For their low cost and low maintenance, there is no need to worry.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2006 at 11:48PM
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behaviorkelton

I just bought an older house that had metal mesh gutter guards. I am considering just buying those mesh things that cover only the downspout hole and leaving the rest of the gutters open. That way, maybe I'll be able to do frequent maintance just at those spots on the gutters with occasional use of the leaf blower to clear the open gutters.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2006 at 10:27AM
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mary_228

behaviorkelton: Are you thinking of the kind with a lightbulb shape? We put those in, but we'd just get a back up of debris at each corner, and since the roof is too high for us to deal with, we'd have to call the window washing guy to clean it out for us. We still had plenty of soft wet debris sitting in the bottom of the gutter that had to be scooped out with a trowel, then blast the butter clean with a hose. And birds still made their nests in the gutters :( The ultimate clog!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 8:49AM
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behaviorkelton

Exactly...the ones that are shaped like a light bulb. I read somewhere in these forums that gutter gaurds can be just as big a hassle as no gutter guards.

Just to prevent too much stuff from going down my gutters, I thought it would be nice to have a gaurd just on the downspouts to prevent clogs there... and it's easy to get on my roof, so I can do regular checks of the system.

My downspouts are connected to some sort of underground pipe that carries the water away... it would be a bigger pain if those were clogged.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2006 at 5:37PM
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mary_228

Here's an alternative for you.

We have the same system, carrying the gutterwater underground and exits the "system" far away from the house.
Just put a filter over the part where the downspout enters the drain and then remove that for periodic cleaning. No climbing!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2006 at 3:30PM
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behaviorkelton

Good idea! Actually, I am going to try to run a different underground system. Not sure. The current one is cement and may be leaking. I'm new to this house, and the first order of business is to keep it dry.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2006 at 4:57PM
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cogic

Mary 228, did you get the new Leaf Relief gutter guards? If so, what do you think of them? After the fall season, give me a holler.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 9:05AM
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axg9504

Before we put in my Leaf Guard system, we used to vacuum our gutters using a shop vac and a curved hose end that fits into the gutter. We have a 2 story house and we did the top roof by hanging out of bedroom windows. There was just one section above the fireplace where we had to climb up a ladder. We only had to do this twice a year during the fall and spring. If we had a ranch this is what I would use.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 9:38AM
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cogic

Axg504, how long have you had the Leaf Guard system? Do you have to do any maintenance now? Was it very expensive to purchase?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 3:07PM
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irisf

I have just gotten an estimate for Master Shield screens for $19 a linear foot. This seemed very expensive to me. Are they worth the price? Is this guy trying to rip me off? Does anyone have experience with this product?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 7:21PM
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mary_228

irisf; FWIW, the Leaf Relief system is $5-7 per foot installed!

cogic: I'm looking forward to getting mine, but first I have to get the chimney repaired, then the new roof, finally the gutters! Hopefully long before fall....

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 7:17PM
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irisf

Does anyone know of a company in northern NJ who installs Alcoa's Leaf Relief?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 8:45PM
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mary_228

Just go on the Alcoa website for Leaf Relief and find the contractor information request form. That's how I found the guy I'm going with. He was able to generate a list of at least 30 homeowners where he's installed Leaf Relief over the past 3 years (I called about 15 to check satisfaction and saw it on one house in my town).

Most gutter companies who use Alcoa products can get the Leaf Relief product. It can be installed on top of existing gutters or as part of a new installation.

I don't mean to promote it as I don't have it yet! But at least you can start your own research.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 9:38AM
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gardenworm

I HAVE TALKED WITH ALOT OF FRIENDS WHO ARE NOT HAPPY WITH THERE GUTTER PROTECTION AFTER IT HAS BEEN ON THERE HOMES FOR A YEAR OR SO. MANY OF THEM HAVE LEAFGAURD OR GUTTER HELMET. THE PROBLEM SEEMS TO BE THAT THEY STILL NEED TO CALL THE COMPANY'S UP TO CLEAN OUT THERE GUTTERS, BECAUSE PINE NEEDLES AND OTHER SMALL LEAFS ARE CLOGGING THEM. I BOUGHT CLEAR WATER GUTTER PROTECTION A YEAR AGO FROM BJ'S WHOLESALE CLUB AND HAVE HAD NO PROBLEMS. IT SEEMS TO ME TO NOT GET LEAFS TO GO INTO THE GUTTER YOU NEED THE FRONT NOSE OF THE SYSTEM TO PASS THE FRONT OF THE GUTTER. MY FRIENDS ARE ALL BEFORE THE FRONT EDGE OF THE GUTTER OR EVEN. I GUESS THIS IS WHY CLEARWATER HAS A MONEY BACK NO CLOG WARRANTY.
BY THE WAY YOU CAN GET THE PRODUCT ALOT CHEAPER IF YOU BUY IT FROM BJ'S THEN GOING THROUGH A DEALER.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 11:04AM
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cogic

Gardenworm, What is the clear water gutter system? How does it differ from other gutter systems?

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 1:04PM
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jasper_60103

fyi.
I did a google and found their website...

Here is a link that might be useful: clear water gutter

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 1:56PM
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gardenworm

THE CLEARWATER GUTTER PROTECTION SYSTEM HAS A CLIP THAT IS PLACED EVERY 2-3 FEET INTO YOUR GUTTER AND IS DRILLED THROUGH THE UPPER BACKSIDE OF THE GUTTER INTO THE FACIA BOARD. THIS PROCESS MAKES YOUR GUTTERS 5X STRONGER, AND LETS THE NOSE OF THE COVER COME OUT ABOUT A HALF INCH FROM THE FRONT END OF THE GUTTER. ALL THE OTHER COMPANIES THAT I SAW NAILED THE COVER INTO YOUR ROOF TO SUPPORT IT. I HAVE READ ON OTHER SITES THAT PEOPLE HAVE HAD PROBLEMS WITH LEAKS IN THERE ROOFS BECAUSE OF THIS. CLEARWATER ALSO A MONEY BACK GUARANTEE IF THE SYSTEM DOES NOT WORK. THEY SAID THAT THEY HAVE INSTALLED OVER 25,000 JOBS WITH NOT ONE CLAIM TO CLEAN THE SYSTEM BECAUSE ON A CLOG.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2006 at 11:14AM
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cj2000

gardenworm, is the clearwater system expensive. How much did you have to pay for it. I am new to the forum and appreciate all the info. I have been able to gather

    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 8:09PM
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mary_228

Update on my new (Sept 26) Alcoa Leaf Relief installation for anyone interested:

Extremely heavy rain last night washed tons of leaves off my roof onto the surface of the gutters. There was no overflow of water over the top of the gutters even with the gutters covered with leaves. Apparently the water is able to run under this debris. I am very pleased thus far.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 12:34PM
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MistressJoy

A perennial topic of interest! This summer when re-roofing I had Alcoa's Leaf Relief put on after research (thanks to homeowner's postings). So far, so good. Leaves should start really falling in a couple of weeks, and I'll see how it performs. After what is supposed to be a cold and snowy winter, I'll know if I have problems with ice damming as well (sure as heck hope not). Ice damming seems to be a problem with some of the solid surface guard systems.

Now to throw out a potential problem/dilemma. I have to fix my parents' house in the mountains of North Carolina, way back up in the woods. I wanted the contractor to put on Alcoa's Leaf Relief, but he said that in their area, the systems with mesh and holes get clogged with heavy pollen in the spring which forms a solid, nasty surface. This brings up the issue that certain types of guard systems might very well perform differently in different parts of the country.

Anybody out there in heavy spring pollen areas experience this type of clogging and solid film pollen deposit problem? The contractor recommended Elko's Gutta Guard, an old-school, inexpensive solid surface system using the "surface tension" method where water runs over the bullnose edget into the gutter. Supposedly there should be no overshooting. However I am not sure whether these original systems allowed wet debris to simply wash into the gutter.

More opinions and experiences please!! Actual hands-on info is very valuable.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 3:28PM
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gardenworm

It seems to me that the Clearwater system is about the same price as most of the other systems on the market. I know that my friend paid a little more per ft for gutter helmet then I did for Clearwater. I also bought my system through BJ'S wholesale club, which gave me a 30% off the normal selling price. I would recomend going to the local BJ'S and getting a price from them. Anyway you look at it you can't beat a no clog money back warranty . Good look with your project.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2006 at 9:25PM
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robmill3r

Has anyone looked at or used rain away? It looks like a good solution. Not to mention it may actually be more enviro- consious (not channeling water and allowing it to restore ground water on your property).

We removed our gutters and have not put gutters back on our house because we have a tin roof and don't want to have to get up there on that slick thing and maintain gutters. It'd be nice to have something to divert or disperse, though.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2006 at 10:26AM
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rickyrosy

I am having clerawater gutters installed this week and now I am scared. Winter has passed how did clearwater hold up? Any ice? roof leaks?. Would you have them do it again?

Thanks

    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 8:59PM
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dpasvoss_hotmail_com

Leaf Guard gutters are great at keeping out the debris, but...

I HAVE A WARNING FOR THOSE IN SNOW STATES: There is no way to prevent ice formation - no matter how well insulated and ventilated your attic is. If the temperature and sunlight conditions are right, the snow is going to melt, and re-freeze on these "ice maker" gutters.

We never had ice damming problems UNTIL WE INSTALLED LEAF GUARD GUTTERS. I am sure it is possible that some ice formed inside our gutters, but the extent of ice formation now is SHOCKING.

If you think about it, this makes sence, the hood over the gutter is a thin piece of metal, with air flowing over and under - when water trickles down due to snow melt from our black-shingled (heat absorbing) roof, and hits this air-chilled metallic surface, it freezes - as do the water droplets that hang from the metalic edge of the gutter hood.

The opening between the hood and the gutter is quickly sealed off because of this icing, and then you have a perfect storm for ice formation. If you've never seen ice damns on your home before YOU WILL ABSOLUTELY see them after you have these gutters installed.

IT GETS WORSE: We had these installed on our Wisconsin home in November, and just a few weeks later we had a few large snow falls and then some very sunny weather - with temps below freezing. The ice formation on our brand new gutters was ASTOUNDING.

We called, and they told us that this meant the gutters were working - that ICE is not LIQUID WATER and the gutters are meant to keep out everything except LIQUID WATER. Their response to our concerns so obviously well rehearsed that we soon realized that this was a major problem with these gutters.

To be sure, the icicles hanging over the gutters were 2 to 3 feet long - I had to drive through ice to get into my garage. More significantly, the ice forming directly on top of the gutter hood was 4 to 5 inches thick.

IT GETS EVEN WORSE: Within a few days of expressing our concerns to Leaf Guard, and being told that the gutters were working, weather conditions got much warmer - the snow on our roof began to melt rapidly, and the flow washed the ice formations (4 to 5 inch thick ice spanning our entire roof line) off of the top of the gutter hood.

Fortunately nobody was killed - because had someone been standing in the wrong place at the wrong time THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN SEVERELY INJURED OR KILLED.

Unfortunately I have a working greenhouse attached to my home. It was demolished.

We spent the rest of the winter trying to keep the ice from forming on the gutters using a roof rake. Most of the winter we were okay, but there were mulitple times where the ice formed - and multiple occurances of SLABS OF ICE FALLING FROM OUR ROOF LINE.

SUMMARY: Leaf Guard gutters are great at keeping the debris out - we have a wooded lot and just got through spring with the gutters performing marvelously.

However, if you live in a state where there is regular snow accumulation (ZONE 4 or lower is my guess), the YOU SHOULD ABSOLUTELY AVOID BUYING THIS PRODUCT AT ALL COSTS.

There are other alternatives that do not prevent water from making it INTO your gutters during winter.

AND BY THE WAY - EVEN THOUGH THE WEB SITE AND THE CONTRACT YOU SIGN STATES: "Leaf Guard Gutters neither help nor hinder the formation of ice", YOU CAN BE SURE THAT YOUR ICE PROBLEMS WILL REACH EPIC PROPORTIONS AFTER YOU INSTALL.

BUYER BEWARE.

NOTICE: If anyone else has has similar problems, please post to this message board.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 11:00AM
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hulseyvm_comcast_net

I'm thinking of having Master Shield gutter guard installed on my rancher. I live in the mid Atlantic area and I am concerned about snow and ice. Anybody have any thoughts on this. Also, it seems pretty pricey.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 9:30PM
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denise_m_morrow_gmail_com

I have leafguards and this year has been quite snowy, with lots of icicles forming. Well, guess what, a 3' one broke off the 2nd story gutter and cracked a skylight on the lower floor. I'm so pissed. I have had nothing but problems since installing these LeafGuards 5 years ago. We have replaced the roof (thinking it was leaking - probably a damming issue), put in a french drain and sump pump after water failed to be delivered away from the house in heavy rains, and replaced the siding since the gutters couldn't keep water off the siding and it leaked inside. All started with putting on LGs. Thousands of dollars wasted.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 3:33PM
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ionized_gw

Consumer Reports published a report last September.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 7:22PM
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neilw

Living in NJ, I must sadly confirm the ice problems with LeafGuards. As I type this, water is dripping into my kitchen due to extensive ice damming on the roof above. I do have extensive icicle formation every year.

To be fair, I see lots of icicles on lots of houses around here, and they don't all have LeafGuards. But it's looking like the ice damming problem is really bad, and I'm now actually thinking of having them removed and just eat the cost. Unfortunately, I haven't figure out what to replace them with yet.

In warm weather they have performed splendidly (even in heavy downpours), but this ice problem is far too destructive to let continue.

Oh, and the CR report from last September is completely useless for snow states, because they didn't look at performance in the winter.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 12:35PM
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