Leaf Relief Gutter System

amlarSeptember 30, 2005

I used to clean my gutters myself twice a year, but we built a new house and now the gutters are just too high for me to take care of comfortably. I just paid someone $90 to clean them. After reading the posts on here I got a quote from someone to install Leaf Relief, they quoted me $780 to install them, which is $5.50 per foot. So I am thinking that means that based on two cleanings a year at $90 per cleaning, it will take me 4 and a half years for the investment in Leaf Relief to pay off. That of course is on the assumption that they work. I am curious what others think of that idea and of the Leaf Relief product also. Thanks.

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There use to be a detailed thread about Leaf Relief and other systems. I found the old thread cached on a search. I thought this thread might help you learn about Leaf Relief and other systems.

Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by jerry26 (My Page) on Sun, Mar 14, 04 at 23:19

I saw a forum posted about gutter helmet and leafguard. I have heard good and bad stories. I am seriously considering purchasing a new product called leafilter. It is a vinyl product with a stainless steel filter that keeps everything out of your gutters, even sand and shingle grit can't get in. Anyway, the price was less that the other 2 companies and it seems like it will solve my gutter cleaning problem. I want to know peoples experiences with leafilter, gutter helmet, or leafguard as far as price and/or performance.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: MrHab (My Page) on Tue, Mar 16, 04 at 7:12

In my opinion.....having seen lots of them and talked to people that have them, they don't work as advertised. I plan to use a system called Rainhandler. Have never used it myself, but have seen it on a few houses in the neighborhood and stopped to ask one person about her house and saw it, and they love it. She said her builder uses it on most of his houses. That's good enough for me.


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: WeedWoman (My Page) on Wed, Mar 17, 04 at 15:31

I have Rainhandlers; be aware that they're not the answer to everything. It's true you don't have to clean them; I have trees over my house that drop tons of flowers, nuts, etc., so the gutters were always full of something. The stuff doesn't stick in the rainhandlers much. However... they don't spread water out as much as the ads would have you believe; if you have drainage problems caused by water getting into your basement by the house wall you'd probably be better off with gutters. And I've heard that you shouldn't put them where the water splashes down on concrete, although that's not a problem I have. And if the roof is over a doorway you have to glue a diverter to your shingles. And they're not cheap.
Having said all that, I have been pretty happy with mine - I have them on about two thirds of my house. In part of the area the foundation is a crawl space, not a basement, so drainage isn't a problem. I went up and brushed leaves and debris out of the back one once last fall, but that's all - and when I had gutters there they were ALWAYS full of stuff. And I put them on my garage where there were no gutters at all, and it eliminated the 'drip line' on the ground under the edge of the roof.

I didn't really research the gutter helmets, etc, but I remember reading that thread too, and it sounded like they didn't work nearly as well as advertised, either.



RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: John_Allen (My Page) on Sun, Mar 21, 04 at 17:38

You may want to check the building codes in your area. Some city's might not allow a system like rain handler to be installed if your roof water is not diverted into a storm drain.


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: MrHab (My Page) on Mon, Mar 22, 04 at 7:02

No codes here to worry about w/that. I agree, you do have to pay attention to where the water goes and I plan to.


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: threedoghouse (My Page) on Mon, Mar 22, 04 at 9:11

We had the LeafGuard brand on our old house, and absolutely loved them. (We will be putting them on the new house, also).
If the rain is coming down in sheets, then you will get some water "over the edge" with the LeafGuard, but this is still tons better than the old gutters, because we have lots of trees, and with a big rainfall, lots of leaves come off the trees and plugged up the downspouts on the old gutters, and ALL the water went "over the edge". So we had to clean out the gutters every few weeks, yuk!

The LeafGuard is a single piece that attaches where the normal gutter goes (they make them on site to fit your house), so there are no pieces jammed up under the shingles to create ice-dams or mess with the waterproofing.

Worth looking into!


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: measure_twice (My Page) on Tue, Mar 23, 04 at 12:57

We used the cheap rolls of plastic mesh. They have worked well for 3 years. When I replace the dented rusted metal gutters with plastic, I will probably use the matching snap-in plastic grids similar to the plastic mesh.
Conditions: low-pitch roof with maple trees all around.


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: crboone (My Page) on Tue, Mar 23, 04 at 23:32

After reading through that other, long thread on gutter guards, I've pretty much decided against any of the gutter protection systems based on surface adhesion. My dad just bought the Waterfall for his home and likes it okay, but we have a lot of pine needles and smaller debris that fall all over our yard and into our gutters, so I think those gutter guards would be almost worthless for us.
Our house backs up to some tall woods, and the back side of our house is 3 stories up. Thus, our gutters stay clogged and I can't easily climb a latter twice a year or pay someone to clean the gutters for cheap. So I've been looking at several alternative systems. I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with or knowledge about these...

The first one was mentioned on that other thread, but not much comment was made about it. The 3rd one seemed to have a few good reviews:

1) GutterFilter (www.gutterfilter.net)
2) Swistun Gutter Screening (www.gutterscreening.com/gs/)
3) Leaffilter (www.leaffilter.com)
4) Leafsolution (www.leafsolution.com)
5) Leaf Relief (www.alcoa.com/alcoahomes/en/leafRelief.asp)

Thanks for any input on these.


RE: Gutter Protection Systems #2
Posted by: crboone (My Page) on Tue, Mar 23, 04 at 23:46

I just realized the first post in this thread started out asking about Leaffilter (#3 on my list above). I can't really tell if MrHab's response to it was specifically concerning the Leaffilter or just gutter guards in general. The other thread did seem to give a somewhat negative opinion of gutter guards generally, but it did not answer the question about these alternative systems (in my opinion). And I haven't been able to find any solid reviews of these anywhere on the net. Are they just too new?


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: John_Allen (My Page) on Sun, Mar 28, 04 at 23:40

crboone, we have over 100 jobs of leaf relief installed on homes in Cincinnati and have had no problems, even with folks that have pine needles. I recommend this product to all my customers. I would imagine your costs would be significantly less than the other products too.


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: crboone (My Page) on Tue, Mar 30, 04 at 0:35

Thanks, John. If you have any comments or insights to add to the below, please do.
I have found a few comments/reviews on Leaf Relief -- all positive from actual owners. I just filled out their online form for more information. A downside to Leaf Relief appears to be that they have a shorter warranty (10 yrs) compared to lifetime/20 yrs for Leaffilter & Gutter Filter. And it's recessed so they recommend clearing off the top occasionally. Not as difficult as clearing the gutters, but I still can't get on the ladder myself that high up just to do that. But the aluminum seems to offer a tighter, stronger fit than some of the other guards, and it doesn't require installation under the first shingle.

I'm receiving information from the other 4 vendors as well:

Swistun replied that they are coming out with a better product that's easier to install in 2 months, but I really don't want to wait that long if I can help it.

Leaf Solution *is* installed under the first shingle, and their installation video appears to show that it has to be nailed or pinned into its gutter clamp or frame (installation professionals may correct me if I'm seeing this wrong). I'd rather not have to go under the shingle if possible, but it appears to be the best way to get a sloping guard so that more debris actually falls off the gutter instead of piling up on top of the guard. Funny, but they have a video touting how easy the guard is to install, yet their warranty requires that an authorized, trained dealer do the installation. If you have your roof redone, the dealer has to come out, uninstall the guard, then reinstall it once the roof is done or your warranty is void. I need someone to install it anyway, but what's the point in showing how easy it is to install if only you can do it?

Gutter Filter does not have any installers in my area, but it appears to be so easy to install that almost anyone can do it quickly. They also have a lengthy 20-yr warranty regardless of who installs. The only disadvantages I've seen mentioned were from the Leaffilter site (a competitor), which said the foam can become clogged with oils, shingle grit, etc. so that it eventually does block the flow of water. I'd like to know if this is really true since they have such a long warranty. Gutter Filter also does not slope so debris will collect on top of it more readily.

I'm looking carefully at Leaffilter. They have a lifetime warranty, requiring a dealer install. I found a link with much better photos than their own website:


They really ought to have this link on their site, because the photos on the site are terrible in my opinion (as of the date of this post). This guard is not installed underneath the shingle yet appears to have a gentle slope. See:


They will actually refund the material cost of the guard (not the installation, of course) if your gutters ever clog. Pretty audacious.

I'm posting all this since I've had such difficulty finding any independent reviews for these particular products on the internet. Hopefully some search engines will pick this up so it might benefit others. Of course, these comments are just my personal observations at this point. :)


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: John_Allen (My Page) on Tue, Mar 30, 04 at 22:09

Just a few things to add crboone: If Leaf Solution installs under the shingle, this would be one reason I wouldn't have it installed, just in case my roof ever needed replaced (Alcoa's Leaf Relief does not install under shingle).
Leaf Relief can be easily removed and reinstalled should your gutter system ever need replaced.

Although Alcoa's warranty is only for a period of 10 years, their brochure states that Leaf Relief Never clogs and Never overflows. I'm not sure where you read that you need to clear off Leaf Relief but that would only apply to an area blocked by wind possibly.

Gutter Filter uses the same type of polyurethane filter that we do in our gutter protection systems. We have never had a problem with the polyurethane clogging. The polyurethane that Gutter Filter has is very pourous and shingle grit is to large to pass through.

We use to be a Leaf Filter dealer but discontinued do to a few problems. Fyi we had a problem with their nylon filter deteriorating after about a year. I don't know if they have corrected this problem but if you get a chance to see a sample of their product, pay close attention to the filter itself (the nylon above the rubber membrane). If they nylon appears fragile or appears as though it may rip easily then they may not have changed their filtering system. My guess is you are probably going to pay double or more for their system vs. Leaf Relief too.

We have been in the business since 1991 so we have had experience with many systems.


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: crboone (My Page) on Wed, Mar 31, 04 at 1:49

Thank you for that valuable information. I didn't do my homework on the cost, and sure enough Leaffilter is quite expensive ($14-18/ft per the website). I had scheduled for a dealer to come out and give me an estimate, but I may cancel it now at that rate.
I'm surprised to hear that it's susceptible to tearing though -- the website says you can "grind mud" into it and it still won't clog, but I would think the grinding action would tear the nylon if it's that fragile. Also, they claim their materials will last at least 20 years, which is the duration of the lifetime warranty.

If Leaf Relief is that much cheaper, then the shorter warranty may not make that much of a difference. If they have a dealer in my area (NC) I may plan to get an estimate. Their Adobe FAQ is what mentions having to clear away certain areas -- where there is little wind, like you mentioned. But the cost factor might narrow the field to Leaf Relief and Gutter Filter for me.

More info on Leaf Solution:

Their website says it depends upon your roof whether or not they install under the bottom shingle. They also have hidden brackets that allow for installation in the gutter w/out going under the shingle. But it's not listed as an option, so my impression is that's only for certain roofs. But does this really matter? It looks like it just slides under the shingle and that's it.

Their installation gallery is worthless, though. They just have three photos of nice homes -- you can't actually see the gutter guard on them at all. For all I know they just took some pictures out of a real estate magazine and posted them on the website.

On the technical specs page, they say that the "expanded aluminum" lasts for 20 years, giving the impression that the guards will last that long. But farther down they indicate the filter membrane will last for only 10 years. Then, the warranty page says 10 years. So their warranty is also 10 years like that of Leaf Relief (although a few statements in their warranty seem a little odd to me). I have no idea what the cost/ft is for this product.

This is just a humorous aside. I went to a home improvement show in Greensboro, NC on Saturday, and at least 5 different reverse curve gutter guard companies were represented. Every one of them had the same display with their gutter guard atop a section of gutter installed on a makeshift roof with water freely flowing off the roof and into the gutter. But guess what? No debris and no leaves were added to show how effective they were at keeping them out! Just nice smooth water that you could almost use as a waterfall display in your foyer. I would have liked to drop a handful of debris on top of them to see what would happen.


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: John_Allen (My Page) on Wed, Mar 31, 04 at 19:12

crboone, I applaud you for doing your due dilegence, it will pay off. I see so many other homeowners getting ripped off. I don't know much about Leaf Solution other than what I have seen on their web site. I do have a sample of Gutter Filter, I keep it out on my deck for testing purposes. Other advantages to Leaf Relief vs. other reverse curve products, I tell my customers are: that you shouldn't experience icecicle problems like you would with a reverse curve product (creating slippery spots on driveways and sidewalks) and you can't see Leaf Relief from the ground which preserves curb appeal.
It's funny you mention the reverse curve products at the home show, I was with a homeowner today that was considering a reverse curve product. This homeowner's neighbor next door had a reverse curve product and I pointed to a leaf sticking out of the open slot where the water enters. It was pretty obvious that debri was getting into his neighbors gutters. I don't know if this changed his mind but it was worth pointing it out.

If you decide to have someone come out and show you Leaf Relief, you could go to Siding suppliers in your Yellow pages and find an Alcoa supplier, I'm sure they would recommend a reputable company to intall Leaf Relief for you.


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: crboone (My Page) on Thu, Apr 1, 04 at 10:17

Yes, the best way to find the most satisfactory product at a reasonable cost given the debris that clogs my gutters is to become as informed as possible. I'm leery about purchasing something on little information. When I saw my gutters crammed with pine needles and other non-leaf debris, I was suspect of the reverse-curve designs. Reading the experiences of others appears to support that. It seems like *all* of the designs have at least one possible disadvantage, but the negatives to some of the products are such that they negate the reason for installing them in the first place (ie. an exhorbitant cost for a gutter guard that's difficult/costly to remove in order to clean the gutter because the guard did not perform its function). This has led some to conclude it's better just to pay a nominal fee 1-3 times a year to have the gutters unclogged rather than purchasing the guards. The only solution is to find a truly effective guard at a lower cost. Since you pointed out the cost for Leaffilter, I'm suspicious that they are in the same mark-up market as the ineffective reverse-curve designs -- even if they might work better. Their site is hyped like the others as well. I'd be more apt to just have my gutters cleaned periodically than to pay such a high price.
Alcoa does have the advantage of being an established company with a reputable name as opposed to all the copycat "as seen on TV" type gutter guard companies that are selling their products at a premium. Their website is much more professional than the others. They seem to just give you the specs with little hype. However, I would be willing to try Gutter Filter as well since the cost is so low -- it appears to be an effective solution and there wouldn't be much loss if it only worked for 3 years instead of 20. I suppose if the foam could dry-rot and stick to the gutter or crumble then it could be a problem. But maybe that's not an issue with polyurethane material.

As to Leaf Solution, I have a few bad vibes from reading their website which have not been offset by any good reviews from customers. I don't believe I can trust the salesman to ease them. :) Showing expensive houses on their installation page without being able to see the guards really bothers me.

I guess it boils down to this: sort through all the hype and show and get to the brass tacks.

One other product I didn't mention previously is one that a friend of mine uses. He said he installed one of the Brookstone gutter guards several years ago, and he recently checked his gutters (while painting and preparing his house to sell) and found them to be clear. So, that's one more I will look into before I make my final decision.

Well, I guess I've sorta taken over this thread from the original poster -- I have no idea whether this dialog has been helpful for him or not. Hopefully it will be a catalyst for others to do their own research at least.


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: tmflem (My Page) on Thu, Apr 1, 04 at 10:52

I think your questions and your analysis have been very helpful. I did a lot of research a few months back and came to the same conclusions that you have come to. I even had John Allen out to give me a bid for the Alcoa product (he happens to be close to me) and if I can finally convince my wife to do it, I would still like to have him out to put the LeafRelief product on my house. I like having the Alcoa name on the product because I know that they'll be around years from now if I ever need service and the price seems more reasonable considering the cost of materials/installation.
That said, my wife's main concern is similar to your concern. She figures it would have to be a pretty big breeze that will carry the debris off the surface of the LeafRelief guard, mostly because of that "lip" on the front of the piece. I can see her point, but I think brushing off the top of the guard would be much easier than scooping out debris from the gutter.

But, your problem is the same as mine--it's two stories up and I don't want to be on the roof in the first place, so it doesn't matter if I'm brushing off the top or scooping out the gutter. My question is this: does anyone know of a telescoping broom type of product that would allow you to brush off the top of those guards from ground level?

The whole gutter guard thing is a real conundrum. After all, gutters are there to "catch" something... I think that no matter how hard you try or how much money you spend, you're going to catch more than water in the gutter.


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: crboone (My Page) on Thu, Apr 1, 04 at 16:31

The Leaf Relief installer called in response to my filling out the form on the Alcoa website. He said he charges $4/ft, installed, for the product. When John Allen said above, "My guess is you are probably going to pay double or more for their system vs. Leaf Relief," looks like the "or more" was right. At $14-18 per foot, Leaffilter costs more than 3-4 times as much.
The installer explained that Alcoa doesn't cost nearly as much because they're not a franchise like the other gutter guard companies. Instead, he's a contractor who buys the Leaf Relief guard from a local wholesaler of Alcoa products. So, looks like with these gutter-toppers you pay out of the nose for the hype and competition between them, but the product is actually inferior. It's the opposite of "you get what you pay for" in this instance.

At $4 per foot installed, I doubt the Gutter Filter foam would cost much less. I believe it was around $2.50 per foot for a DIY installation. The 2 Brookstone products are about $1 to $1.25 per foot, so they would be even cheaper. However, one of those models is simply a reverse-curve design. It turns out that's the one my friend has, so he must not have the same problem with smaller debris since his gutters are clean. (The other model is plastic or vinyl with holes and a mesh screen covering the holes -- another filter type). However, I mention it because Brookstone's reverse-curve model is effectively the same (or similar) to the other systems, and yet it's barely over a buck per foot. Hmmmm. Talk about mark-up on the others!

Anyway, it appears I'll be going with Leaf Relief. So thank you, John, for your input -- you saved me from having the coronary I would have had if the Leaffilter dealer had given me an estimate without my knowing the cost! A coworker is now considering the Gutter Filter for his house because he can install it himself fairly easily.

By the way, the contractor I spoke to had switched from Waterfall to Leaf Relief. He said he hasn't gotten any callbacks on it yet.

That's a good idea about the telescoping broom -- I'll check and see if I can find anything like that. But, I'd wait to see if I need it before I bought it. :)


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: John_Allen (My Page) on Thu, Apr 1, 04 at 22:11

Crboone, keep us posted on the performance of the product after you have it installed. I'm still waiting for someone to complain, I haven't had anyone yet (not to say that someone won't). If I come across a telescoping broom I'll post the link.


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: crboone (My Page) on Fri, Apr 2, 04 at 8:37

Ok, I will. It may be awhile before the real test comes -- my entire back yard was covered with pine needles sometime last fall. I had to mow them into lines and then rake them up, there were so many. If this thread fills up I'll start another one to post the results.
Hey, if no telescoping broom exists, maybe we could invent one! :) Actually, I've seen similar devices -- a telescoping hose/wand, telescoping tongs and a telescoping rake -- all for cleaning the cutter from the ground. But apparently they only reach one story, not enough for me.


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: tmflem (My Page) on Fri, Apr 2, 04 at 16:55

For that telescoping broom, how about a swimming pool brush? That's the best I could come up with...


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: crboone (My Page) on Mon, Apr 5, 04 at 10:28

That might work. But a broom reaching 2-3 stories might be unwieldy unless it were extremely lightweight.


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: crboone (My Page) on Mon, Apr 5, 04 at 11:50

Just an FYI -- they're supposed to install Leaf Relief today. They had another job close by this am.


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: John_Allen (My Page) on Mon, Apr 5, 04 at 21:49

Good for you Crboone. I want to stand corrected on the Leaf Filter system. I had an appointment with a homeowner tonight, Leaf Filter had been their just before me. Apparently Leaf Filter has changed their nylon filter to a stainless steel filter. I'm glad to hear this since we were having problems with the nylon. I still don't think that the price that Leaf Filter dealers are charging is justified. They can advertise that even a grain of shingle grit won't enter your gutter but shingle grit is not what clogs your gutters, leaves, twigs, pine needles, and small debris do. That's all I have to add, good luck with your system.


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: crboone (My Page) on Mon, Apr 5, 04 at 22:35

Maybe *they* felt justified in charging that price by at least giving better quality filter material. ;)


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: crboone (My Page) on Tue, Apr 6, 04 at 22:51

Well, Leaf Relief was installed today (a day later than originally planned). Another benefit of the Leaf Relief, I found, is that it looks classier than the others if there happens to be some guttering that you can see from the window, which I happen to have in a couple of places. My house is a brick colonial so it looks nice. Should I ever need to sell the house, it should make a good selling point. If I had a digital camera I'd post the photos somewhere!
I do expect some debris to accumulate atop the guard since it's flat. I'll be curious to see how much the wind blows off over time. It gets a little windy here on a semi-frequent basis. The guard doesn't look quite as recessed as I expected from the photograph, so I can see how slight winds would be enough to blow most debris away. It took 4 hours to install about 130 feet of guttering for 2 installers (including cleaning them out).

I'll post more updates as they come.


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: John_Allen (My Page) on Wed, Apr 7, 04 at 22:25

Here is a link to a gutter cleaning tool you can use from the ground that some of you were looking for, the pole isn't included but it gives you suggestions on where to buy them. According to this site you can clean your gutters as high as two stories. It only comes with 12' of rope, so I would imagine you would have to add more rope to the existing rope to reach two stories. I would think this tool would be ideal for any of those that have Leaf Relief and are concerned about any debris resting on top.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gutter Sense


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: tmflem (My Page) on Fri, Apr 9, 04 at 14:32

Thanks for the link, John. I'll check it out.


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: solvehere (My Page) on Sat, Apr 24, 04 at 11:39

There is also another website that has a do it yourself product for under $1.50/ft to include delivery. Easy to install. The website is http://www.gutterguard.com
Good luck!- Solvehere

Here is a link that might be useful: Gutter Guards- Do it yourself


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: bibolette (My Page) on Sun, Apr 25, 04 at 10:50

Thanks for this thread and all the research. I too have been searching and researching and couldn't find definitive answers to whether these gutter guards work. I also have a very tall 3 story house on a slope, surrounded by trees, so there's no way we are getting on the roof to clean our own gutters.
We need to replace the gutters, but I've been holding off until I could decide what to do about gutter guards. I think I'll look into Leaf relief now.
Please let us know how things pan out for you.


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: crboone (My Page) on Tue, Apr 27, 04 at 22:04

We've had a few heavy rains so far. I believe I mentioned this before, but there's a sloping roof that extends below our MBR window which terminates at a section of gutter, so I have a bird's-eye view of a small section (maybe 6-8') with the guard on it there. This section had a lot of pine needles in it prior to installation, so it's a good testing point. During a rain recently, some heavy water ran down the roof onto the gutter -- one side seemed particularly heavy. But I didn't notice any water careening over the edge of the gutter. I really need to go outside next time to view it from there to know for sure.
One thing I expected, which has turned out to be the case, is that some pine needles and tiny whirligigs are on the Leaf Relief here and there. However, the amount isn't nearly enough to block the guard at this point. I'm still waiting to see if it accumulates or whether the wind keeps it clear.

It seems fairly certain (and obvious) that debris will accumulate on this guard as long as there are no days windy enough to clear it off. But once the winds come they might clear the guards in quick order. Whether or not the debris will cause problems, for how long, and whether it can become so heavy that most typical winds cannot clear it all off remains to be seen. In the Fall, when it practically "rains" pine needles here, I'll see if the debris overwhelms the guard and needs to be cleared off by hand. I hope it doesn't since most of the guttering is too high for me to reach, but that would still be better than clogging the gutter itself. Still, that might dissuade some from purchasing this product if they want a guard that stays clear on top if it also keeps the gutters clear and is reasonably priced. I'll do my best to keep you updated on my personal experience with Leaf Relief.

- Ryan


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: PeterH770 (My Page) on Fri, Apr 30, 04 at 12:21

I contacted Alcoa thru their website and had a guy over for an estimate. I contacted them specifically about Leaf Relieve. Instead of Leaf Relief, the contractor showed me "their" gutter system, Gutter Cap. I guess the lesson is to be specific in what you want, and if they don't have it, don't waste your time. Their gutter system was the most expensive I had to date, and I still haven't seen Leaf Relief!


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: John_Allen (My Page) on Mon, May 10, 04 at 22:40

If anyone needs a decent internet view of the Leaf Relief product you can visit www.alu-rex.com
Alcoa is a distributor of Leaf Relief a.k.a Gutter Clean Systems


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: pixburd (My Page) on Wed, May 12, 04 at 8:29

I had horrible gutter problems (and then a wet basement) from a maple tree that dumped 3 times a year, first seeds, then stems, and finally leaves in the fall. I went the low cost route with those 4 ft plastic covers from HD about 50 cents per foot ... has worked great for 3 years! ... no clogs and no cleaning!


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: Mswift1 (mswift1@aol.com) on Thu, May 27, 04 at 21:20

I installed GutterStuff on my house last fall and was so impressed with it that I became a distributor of the product. The product is terrific and can be installed by the local homeowner or by contractor.
GutterStuff was on the market before GutterFilter.
For further information you can see Gutterfoam.com or contact me at 570-586-3986.

Marty Swift

Here is a link that might be useful: http://Gutterfoam.com


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: randbrag (My Page) on Fri, May 28, 04 at 23:53

I have huge oak trees along with birch, crabapple, etc. We love the shade, but it does come at a price. I had wire screens on my gutters and they were worthless. Just pulled them all off and pitched them and am actively seeking something better. Had Gutter Helmet come out today for an estimate. Not cheap, but it appears they stand behind their stuff. The most appealing feature to my currently uninformed mind is the fact that the forward lip of the "reverse curve" extends beyond the lip of the gutter seemingly making it very difficult for debris of any significant amount to make it inot the gutter. I need to do something soon as I don't want to have to clean the gutters again, ever! Please advise on any disadvantages or bad press of Gutter Helmet specifically or of the solid/reverse curve gutter protection systems. Meanwhile, after reading all the i9nformation in this Great Forum, I'll be researching the other products listed here as well.


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: acerchio (My Page) on Sun, May 30, 04 at 9:55

Randbrag...I just received an estimate on the gutter helmet system as well. It was running about $18.00 - $20.00 per foot. I liked what I saw and it seems as if the system makes sense. It might be tough to justify the price since it is almost double the competition...but the product appears to be double the product of the competition as well. I was concerned about curb-appeal but went to several houses in the area with the helmet. It looked fine. I plan on ringing a few doorbells to see if the homeowners agree with the sales guy.
Have you heard some bad press specifically on the gutter helmet? If so, what??


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: John_Allen (My Page) on Wed, Jun 2, 04 at 21:42

Randbrag, last time I checked, the gutter helmet does require some maintenance. I've read in their literature that you must spray the nose of the helmet occasionally to keep it functioning properly. If you do not keep the nose clean, the helmet may malfunction allowing debri to enter your gutter.
I have installed Leaf Relief on several folks homes here that visit this forum, and I'll let them post if they desire on it's performance, competitive price, as well as the Alcoa no clog, no over flow warranty.


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: korat (My Page) on Fri, Jun 4, 04 at 14:20

Hi, all. I'm new and was very interested in all of your posts to this thread. This is a mixed message so forgive me if I am posting a hybrid incorrectly. I'm hoping someone can advise which, if any of the leaf guard systems would be better for my own situation, as well as any gutter recommendations: Maples, elms, so lots of whirligigs and seeds,and shingle grit, not to mention leaves. The current old-type screen is lousy. My house is 1 1/2 stories, and there are only two places where the gutter is fairly difficult to access except by a tall ext. ladder. My roof is steeply pitched in two places, with valleys on each. Only the front one is a problem. Some people who have looked at this (when they show up that is) say the valley is the cause (the water overrun did not occur when I first bought the house), and I should put in some type of strip to divert it which I think would make it run off the side instead of into the gutter. I think the gutter needs replacing, unfortunately. It is not sloping correctly in spots, and seems to have pulled away since water runs behind it down to my porch (who knows what it has done to the wood under my siding). I also noticed that the holes into the downspouts are sticking up, and leaving water standing in the gutter even when it is sloped correctly (trying to hammer into place doesn't help).
Is it worth it to get a 6" width gutter, or stay with 5" and get a larger downspout? As to the gutter guards, the Leafilter, Gutterfoam or the like, Leaf Relief, K-Guard (all in one product) and Gutter Helmet sound pretty good. However, I know a couple of these are expensive, and each has it's drawbacks. Leafilter sounds good since it keeps out mosquitoes and other nasties. I would like to know if any of you have personal input on the amount of water each of these will handle or allow to flow. I've seen the hype at each of their sites.



RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: John_Allen (My Page) on Fri, Jun 4, 04 at 23:05

Hello Korat, You were asking how much water flow some of the gutter protection products handle. I know Leaf Relief has been tested, and will handle up to 301" of water per hour based on a 20' run ( I know that is an enormous amount of water but that is how much it will handle). I'm not sure about the other systems.
As far as your valley problem, a divertor and / or 6" gutter will probably help your situation. Since the 6" gutter is an inch wider it should catch more water and is deeper which will handle the major down pours. How long is your 5" gutter now? Depending on how many square feet of roof you have on the problem side of your house will determine what size gutter, and how many, or what size downspouts you will need. A 2"x3" downspout will handle 600 square feet of roof and a 3"x4" downspout will handle 1200 square feet of roof. Usually the rule of thumb is 2 downspouts for every 40' on a 5" gutter with a 2"x3" downspout and 2 downspouts for every 60' on a 6" gutter with a 3"x4" downspout.

A couple of divertors in your valley could slow the water down to help eliminate the overflow problem. If you are considering Leaf Relief as one of your choices for gutter protection you may still have to clean out your inside corners occasionally and any other areas that doesn't get much wind.

If water is leaking behind your gutter you may want to find out if you have a gutter apron / drip edge / or flashing installed (a 2"x3" gutter apron is recommended). Most aluminum gutters (k style) are designed with the back higher than the front, so if there are any overflows water will spill over the front of the gutter not the back.

For the money I would upgrade to a 6" gutter it usually doesn't cost that much more than a 5" gutter, roughly a dollar more per foot installed would be my guess. I would also insist on hidden hangers with screws (at every rafter tail or truss) so you don't have to worry about hammering in those nails anymore. Hope this helps.


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: randbrag (My Page) on Sat, Jun 5, 04 at 0:20

Acerchio: No, I've not heard anything really negative towrd the gutter helmet (GH) in particular. I've read hear and there where folks say that no system is perfect, that GH is too expensive, etc. The logic behind the design of the reverse curve (RC) systems like GH seems reasonable, i.e. surface tension. I'm concerned about runoff, though the fact that the GH design is one of the few RC designs that actually extends beyond the forward edge of the gutter making it nearly impossible for solids to enter. I like that, but that feature could also lend itself to possible runoff issues. The money is a thing, but if the GH or something else works like it claims it does and I don't have to fight the tree debris any longer, its a good investment for me.


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: randbrag (My Page) on Sat, Jun 5, 04 at 1:12

Does anyone have any experience to GutterDirect.com's Leaf Pro MX. Its a reverse curve system that appears to run about $3/ft. and carries a non-prorated, transferable, lifetime warranty. (I just requested a copy of the warranty to review the "fine print"). The design seems sound, but I was wondering if anyone has it installed or knows of those that might.


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: korat (My Page) on Sat, Jun 5, 04 at 11:14

John, thank you so much for your prompt reply, and it does help. I have called a couple of people to get estimates, so it gives me a little more knowledge during the discussions. It's a pretty big, steep roof. Wish I could draw a picture on the message board, I'd show you! How can I describe this? Looking at the front of the house, the right side of the roof is kind of like an A-frame, i.e. it goes up to a high point from front to back (the 1/2 story part), and no gutter. From the end of that to where the roof over the porch starts is 11.6' (a gutter extends for a part of that). The rest of the roof (behind the porch) is not as tall, dissecting the high part in the middle and running from side to side. The offending valley is at the intersection of the two main roof sections on the front, where the roof over my front porch starts, which slopes out from the horizontal roof (the back valley is steep,too, but not a problem). The porch gutter is 8.2' across the front of the porch. The porch extends out from the main part of the house 8.1', but not as far out as the A-frame part. The lower roof from the end of the house to the intersection is 30.3'. Does that make it any clearer? Only if you wouldn't object, I could send you a picture, since it's hard to describe. This problem has only occurred in the more recent past, so the overflow may be due more to the gutter's fault than the roof's, but both may be to blame. The gutters don't appear to have a higher back - I have no idea how old they are. I appreciate your sound advice. Would the diverter possibly cause water to go off the side of the porch down to my foundation?
Sounds like Leaf Relief handles a LOT of water, which is great for my house. I will check with the manufacturers/ distributors on the others. I was interested in Leafilter and Gutterstuff primarily because they advertise keeping mosquitoes out, and we've seen a lot of those lately, probably 'cause the gutters have standing water in them. If that is eliminated then mosquitoes may not be a problem, and any of the guards will do.


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: JohnFonage (My Page) on Sun, Jul 18, 04 at 18:45

A couple of points I'd like to add to what I've read here while I am also shopping for gutter guards:
1) The Waterfall system does have inserts that prevent pine needles from entering...so if that's your issue, you shouldn't discount the system completely. It seems decent and affordable.

2) This was pointed out, but bares emphasis. My understanding is that all of the systems will eventually need maintenance. You ought to plan to check your gutters at least every 5 years if you have some kind of gutter guards. If not more often than that. When you're buying you need to consider whether the ones that are guaranteed for life aren't going to end up costing you more than the yearly or bi-yearly maintenance you would have needed without them. For instance, Gutter Helmet may be guaranteed for life, but you do pay for that guarantee, and you should consider whether its worth it. I read on another website that ones like this are hard to maintain if you have to.

3) There are many competing brands out there. The list is very long and prices vary. There are a few popular brands that haven't been mentioned here yet. For instance one my neighbor has is Gutter Tunnel which is completely hidden from view. They haven't had it long enough to say much about it, but it looks like so far, so good. That one uses two screens or filters inside the gutter. The logic seems sound.


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: PeteC (My Page) on Tue, Aug 3, 04 at 11:43

I have been trying to decide which way to go on my gutters. I am leaning to LeafGuard because of their cleanout warranty. They will clean the gutters if they ever clog. I know someone who has had the local company do this because they have a lot of pine trees, as do I. This warranty is also transferable (for $100), which would make it a great selling point for the house.
The initial cost is high ($2700 for 185' of gutter, 73' of downspout, 5 miters, 2 diverters), but long term it seems worth it as I don't have to do any work myself to maintain the system.


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: crboone (My Page) on Thu, Aug 5, 04 at 0:39

This is just my opinion, but at the cost of $2700 you would go for quite awhile before it would actually be worth it, because you could pay someone a comparatively small amount to clean out your gutters on a yearly basis for a long time before you would reach that 2700 dollars. If gutters or gutter guards cost so much that they are way over the amount to have them cleaned, they just aren't worth the price. Also, many if not most of the gutter guards have some kind of warranty against clogging as well. There are several options out there for far less money. Again, just my opinion.


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: PeteC (My Page) on Fri, Aug 6, 04 at 10:24

Thanks crboone,
I currently only have gutters (6" K-style) on about 40' of my roofline. So I need to have a lot of gutter installed anyway. I had one estimate for standard 6" K-style of around $1700 for the rest of the roof. I haven't priced what it would cost to add a gutter guard, but it would push the total a lot closer (or over in some cases) to $2700.

What would be a cheaper, but still effective solution in my case. I am open to all ideas.




RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: Paloma2001 (My Page) on Fri, Aug 6, 04 at 19:11

Sure you could pay someone to come clean out your gutters, but I have to do mine 3-5 times a year. That would start to add up after a while. I was hoping to go with Leafguard, but apparently they aren't into my area yet. I had a quote from GutterTopper and it was over $18 a foot to ADD a cover to my existing gutters. I think not! I don't know what to do now. I thought about GutterFilter, but I have a lot of acorns and those won't just blow off like leaves. Sigh.
$2700 sounds pretty good for the amount of stuff you are getting, esp if it's only $1000 more than the gutters. One broken bone from falling off a ladder costs more. Stitches from cutting your hand on the gutter can run a couple hundred bucks. But, it's your money.



RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: crboone (My Page) on Fri, Aug 6, 04 at 21:57

Oh, I didn't realize you had to add gutters anyway, which of course has to be factored into your cost analysis and ultimate decision. I suppose everyone has to consider their own circumstances and compare the costs for cleaning vs gutter guards vs an entire gutter system. I have about 130 feet of gutter, some of it 3 stories up, so cleaning it myself was out of the question. I could pay someone slightly less than $100 per cleaning if I had to, but I opted for Alcoa's Leaf Releaf that cost around $500 (installed). Others have recommended even less expensive ones, but I liked the look of Alcoa's guard and there are some places where it can be seen from the windows. It has a classier look along with functionality, unlike cheaper plastic. But for me, to shell out big bucks for highly marked-up, franchised guards was out of the question. That's really the issue for me -- some products on the market are entirely too expensive (and with some, the gutters still have to be cleaned occasionally and removing the expensive guards is a burden -- thereby adding to the cost/frustration of cleaning when it has to be done). Had I paid $18 per foot, it would have cost a total of $2340! That would equal about 12 years of twice-yearly cleaning or 23 years of yearly cleaning (at the current rate). Obviously $500 for a guard system that's just as effective (in my opinion) was a better choice in my situation.


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: hartshaven (hartshaven@mindspring.com) on Sat, Aug 7, 04 at 15:27

Everyone, the only solution that prevents mosquitoes from breading in your gutters is GUTTERFILTER, and 60% or more of the mosquitoes in your neighborhoods are coming from gutters.... Mosquitoes are territorial an want to hang close to the water source, and you would too, if you doubled your weight, you would not be flying 20 blocks looking for a breeding area, it is right above your heads guys


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: URSpider (My Page) on Tue, Aug 10, 04 at 4:24

Crboone- it was good to read your post about LeafRelief by ALCOA. I called ALCOA to get a referral to a distributor here in Maryland. They gave me exactly 1 name and seemed reluctant to give me any others. Sure enough, I have left several messages for the company whose name they provided to no avail. No response. I'm calling ALCOA back tomorrow to get another name. At least I know it's worth the effort if you're happy with their product.


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: mkousen (My Page) on Wed, Aug 11, 04 at 11:06

I also am looking to replace my present gutter covers which are aluminum inserts under the shingle and then resting on the lower lip of the gutter. We are heavily wooded with oak trees and numerous wildlife which dislodge the 3 ft sections of covers. Debris and plant life quickly accumulate. Gutter helmet has quoted $3400 for 236 ft plus two 3x4 downspouts. That works out to about 15/ft since the contracter gets his covers from the local franchise company and then undercuts them by not charging for the cleaning work.
One neighbor purchased Waterfall for 1.25/ft and had it installed by a local contracter. Permaflow is the consumer name for the same item. It is vinyl and inserts under the first shingle and then clips to the lower gutter lip. He has had no problems for 4 years. I suspect the cost will run about 4/ft. A contracter is coming over to give a quote.

My feeling is that the gutter helmet will probably prevent less debris into the gutter but the cost is not acceptible. There does not appear to be any objective studies comparing covers. Anecdotal evidence will have to suffice.

Does anyone else have any long term experience with the Waterfall? Is the area heavily wooded?


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: tgstaub (My Page) on Sat, Aug 21, 04 at 4:42

I would encourage anyone looking at gutter protection systems to look at Elko GuttaGards. This is the company that makes the reverse curve panels for Brookstone catalog, as well as Improvements.
It sells retail for about $1/ft., and can be installed by a professional gutter installer for about $2.50-3.00/ft. It works on the same principle as Gutter Helmet and many other products, but it's very inexpensive and very easy to install. There are no screws, no drills, and no complicated brackets.

You can buy GuttaGard at Do-It Best centers, or at Brookstone or Improvements, or at www.guttersdirect.com. I looked at every system you can imagine, and this product works, requires no maintenance or cleaning, is simple to install, and is invisible from the curb . . . and it's not unappealing from upper windows.

I'm a cheapskate . . . why spend $20/ft. if you get better performance for $1/ft.? GuttaGard has a small website at www.guttagard.com.


RE: Gutter Protection Systems
Posted by: Khloris (My Page) on Mon, Aug 23, 04 at 21:51

We installed Waterloov and in a way I'm sorry we did, because:
1. In a heavy rain (like the thunderstorms we get fairly often all July and August), it can't handle the heavy flow, and so watching from inside the house it looks as though I'm in a cave behind a waterfall. Pretty, but bad for the plantings all around the house (creates

    Bookmark   September 30, 2005 at 9:19PM
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The worst mistake I ever made was getting LeafGuard gutters.

The trash from the trees just sits on top of them and they cause ice dams. Being a one piece system with a solid 'lid' the air flows through the gutter freezing anything that lands on it... Unfortunately the shingles above them get warm and melt the snow and you end up with five foot icicles hanging off your gutters.

If you feel you must get some sort of gutter system talk to at least 3 people in YOUR area who have them.


    Bookmark   October 1, 2005 at 4:34PM
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Hi Rita,

Just curious, is Leaf Guard doing anything to rectify your problem. I know if you were my customer I would be doing whatever I could to make it right. Just wondering if Leaf Guard is making any attempts to correct your problems?


    Bookmark   October 1, 2005 at 7:16PM
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Personally, I don't think there IS anything they can do about it. It is an innate defect of the product. I wonder if they ever tested them in a cold climate.

There is not a gutter guard in the market that effectively works.

I went to home improvement store and purchased an attachement for your hose that water blasts junk out of the gutters without having to get on a ladder. It only takes a few minutes every few months to keep the gutters clean and functional. Best part was it was free with rebate!

And it works 100% better than any gutter attachment I have tried.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 2:35PM
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Cingrp, unfortunately halds is right, there is nothing they can do... That's why they only guarantee that they will never clog... It's hard for anything to clog when nothing goes in them... As for customer service... Well, I have been trying to get then back out here all year to do something about one of the corners, the seam is loose and it leaks.... They went through all the regular excuses, it was too cold out, it was too hot out, they were short of help that day and on and on... Then they came up with a few original ones.... The repair guy and to go to a funeral, his wife's, uncle's, steps son's cousin passed away and the funeral was in Las Vegas... The best one was..... While I was sitting here with five foot icicles, he couldn't make it out for another two weeks because he sold so many systems he got a free cruise!

Here's a pic to give you an idea what I put up with last winter... I was leaning out the upstairs window, the gray area on the left is the underneath of the gutter...

So now when anyone speaks of gutters I tell them of the terrible time I've had with LeafGuard gutters.... And.... Every time it snows I put out their sign with a big red and yellow arrow pointing to the icicles.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 10:47PM
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Leaf Relief is a product by ALCOA. It does come with a 10 year warranty not only on the product itself but guaranteed not to clog or overflow. As a company they do stand behind the warranty. That should pay off any investment each year for several gutter cleanings.

Sorry to hear about your bad experience with Leafguard and certainly the installer. Is there another Leafguard installer in your area that you could contact that might help you in the repair of your gutter itself?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 11:42PM
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Thank you Cingrp for posting that thread. I remember seeing that a long time ago but could not find it. Very helpful. I would love to have heard from some of those people in terms of the long term usage of Leaf Relief. It sounds great on paper but do the leaves and needles blow off of it or do I need to go up there to do so. My roof is too high for me to comfortably go on to so that is what I am trying to avoid. If Leaf Relief works then I can avoid getting up on the roof and after 4 and a half years be saving money over having the gutters cleaned. If it does not then I have thrown money away which I hate doing. Any more thoughts, I have to decide shortly.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2005 at 9:16AM
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Hi Amlar,

I have Leaf Relief on my house and the main trees I have to deal with are pine trees and maples. I have one (pine tree) that sheds really bad in the front along with a maple tree that sheds the maple tree seeds (whirly birds). I also have two pines in the back of my house too.

I live in an area where the condo association is suppose to keep the gutters clean and when I first moved in I had to clean my gutters out every month. After numerous calls to our association and poor response in getting them to come out and clean our gutters (because our basement kept flooding out), I decided to have Leaf Relief installed. I've had the product on my home for about 2 years now and it's working great.

My next door neighbor decided to have it put on too because she was having the same problem (a wet basement - due to clogged gutters), our units are attatched. Since we have had the product on, we haven't had anymore floods in our basement. I can also see the top of Leaf Relief from one of my windows. I can see where a few pine needles and maple seeds may sit from time to time but for the most part, all the debris seems to blow off and any small debris that has layed on top has not caused a problem with any clogs or overflows. Any way, that's my experience, hope this helps.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2005 at 5:45PM
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Since you have had the product installed for 2 years, can you comment on winter conditions? Do you get icicles, etc?

    Bookmark   October 22, 2005 at 10:59PM
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Hi Mary,

When we have had very long periods of sub zero temperatures, I might get a few small icicles but for the most part I don't get any. And my neighbors that have the reverse curve systems, they have the long dangling icicles hanging from their gutters for most of the winter.

I like the fact too that I don't get any of the heavy ice and snow build up inside my gutter which use to pull my gutters loose.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2005 at 10:21PM
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I've had Leaf Relief installed for about a year 3/4 and have had no problems. A little debris does collect in some areas, but it doesn't keep building up. Most of it blows off or whatever. So I haven't had to have the gutters cleaned like before. No problem with icicles yet either.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 11:04PM
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Yes I've been out many times during heavy rain falls; including the torrential rains we've had during the Katrina storm. No overflows here with my Leaf Relief system (for over two years now). My basement use to flood all the time when my gutter were clogged with pine needles and maple seeds. I haven't had a flood or any overflows since I've had my Alcoa Leaf Relief system. And quite frankly this system doesn't cost near what some of the other systems do, plus it's guaranteed not to clog. Email me and I'll give you my address. Your more than welcome to stop by during the next heavy rain.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2006 at 6:19PM
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Brushworks Spectacular Finishes

Leaf Relief will not clog..however, there is no guarantee that your gutter will not clog.

Small debris like needles, shingle granules, seed pods, etc. pass through the holes in Leak Relief. That debris then slows down the gutter flow and will build toward the spout end, clogging it in less than one year.

cingrp, pull off a section and inspect the gutter tray. Take a picture and send it to us.


    Bookmark   March 28, 2006 at 7:41AM
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Hi Michael;

My digital camera has been acting up lately, but I will check the gutter and take a picture the first chance I get. If I can figure it out; I will post the results on here.

You said: "Leaf Relief will not clog..however, there is no guarantee that your gutter will not clog.

Small debris like needles, shingle granules, seed pods, etc. pass through the holes in Leaf Relief. That debris then slows down the gutter flow and will build toward the spout end, clogging it in less than one year.

Just for your info. I've had Leaf Relief on my gutters for over two years now; under major shedding pine needles and no clog or overflows.

If you go to the link below you will find that Alcoa does guarantee the gutter from clogging or overflowing for 10 years; and it is guaranteed against your gutter filling up with debris and blocking the downspout. Look at section #4 and you will see the guarantee. I read over all this warranty stuff before deciding to put the product on my gutters.

Crboone has posted in the forum recently too; he had the same problem I had and he reports his system is still working good too. :)

    Bookmark   March 28, 2006 at 8:55PM
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I purchased Leaf Relief gutter guards in October of 2005 to be installed over my existing gutters by a contractor. They cost me $625 for 136 feet of gutter space. They performed really well during the fall. However, during the early spring of 2006, oak trees that surround my home covered them with blossoms. The guards continued to perform very well even during the heavy rains of April. There were no overflows or gutter blockage. I am yet pleased with the guards even though I was told that they would require little to no maintenance to keep them functioning properly.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2006 at 1:02PM
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Is anyone familiar with a product called GutterGard? It seems to vary from the Gutter Helmet type in that it has a series of surface-tension entry slots (two small ones, then the larger one). We got a quote, for about 40' of gutter and two 20' downspouts, of $930.

I'm still trying to find a message describing how someone attached plastic Lowe's or HD solid covers (with surface-tension slot) to vinyl gutters using sheet-metal screws. I bought 5 of them (each 4' long)the other day, for $3.85 each, and have three of them just tucked under the shingles. Maybe I'll figure out how that other poster screwed them down.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 10:05PM
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Just wanted to clear some topics up on gutter guards. Any company selling a reverse curve product is near the end! The reverse curve patent was started over 100 years ago and that being said there our many better solutions out to keep your gutters cleaned. I read a post about a 1/4 way down that was making fun of a company for showing how easy a product is to install but in order to warranty it they wanted it installed by a authized dealer... that makes alot of sense. A product is as only as good as its installed, well that is mostly said on the new mesh products like www.leafsolution.com and leaffilter. If everything is installed correctly then leafsolution is te best thing on the market. It is a all aluminium base product with a stainless steel membrane that doesnt even allow single grit to get into your gutter. It keeps out bugs,birds and any tree fallin object. The system was installed on my home in the gutter with some brackets. I have 40 yr shingles and didnt want that to mess with the warranty of my roof so they used a siding break and made the product lay ontop the gutter. All i can say is i havnt cleaned or had to mess with my gutters in 2 yrs plus and its the best choice i ever made. it cost me aroind 8.50 afoot installed and it was worth every penny!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 6:00PM
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I'm glad to hear so many people have had good luck with their gutter systems... However. I still say the LeafGuard system is a total waste of money... For what I paid for the system I could have had someone come out twice a year and paid them $100. each time for the next 20 years...

Not only do I have to put up with ice dams, icicles and avalanches of ice and snow coming down on me in the winter, I have piles of leaves on the tops of the gutters in the fall...

In the winter I have to go out there, every time it snows, to sweep the snow off the gutters... In the spring I have to sweep the debris from the trees off the gutters.... In the summer I have to actually go out there, at least twice, and wash the gutters because of all the gunk that sticks to them and sweep the leaves off in the fall.... Any my latest gripe, have wasps nesting in my gutter system.

Something else to think about... Regular gutters collect leaves and debris but with a capped gutter system the mess has to go somewhere, it usually ends up on the porch, bushes and flowers...

To my way of thinking we'd be better much off with wider, regular, gutters.


    Bookmark   August 21, 2006 at 12:11AM
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Have you considered having the Leaf Guard gutters replaced by another brand, such as Leaf Relief?

    Bookmark   September 7, 2006 at 4:24PM
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I've ordered the Gutterbrush test kit, $39.99 for 12 feet, and the Sheerflow Gutter Filter 13.95 for 15 feet, from Brookstone.com

I will be testing these out this year, and see which one works better before deciding to do the whole house.

I have lots of pine needles mostly, so I will see how these products handle that.

My roof is too steep for me to be going up there every year.

I'd liket o hear anyone elses experience with either of these products.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2006 at 6:08PM
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Someone earlier in the thread asked about the Gutter Pump.

I bought a few at Home Depot for a couple of bucks.

I am not sure that they work that well.
They do block the gutter, but unless you have a torrential downpour, you're not going to get the siphoning effect,
since the Gutter Pump is not submerged.

What I find works just as well, is the plastic mesh,
you just roll it up, and put it in the downspout hole,
and it block large debris from clogging the downspout.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2006 at 2:01AM
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I'm doing some tests of the various gutter products,
before doing my whole house.

I'v bought some solid vinyly gutter covers,
Amerimax Solid Gutter Cover.
Got them from Home Depot, $2.99 for 4 foot length.
They have a reverse curve, and also the nose bends upward on a premolded bend line.

So far they look to work o.k.
I did some test in the shower with cedar needles, pine needles, and dirt, which is mostly what I get.
Also did a few leaves.
The big particles slide right off.
The smaller dirt particles seem to go through though, which might be ok. It's really the needles that I am concernced about.

I'll see how it functions over the next year.

There is also some plastic GutterWorld guards witha a nylon filter. These are $1.98 for a 3 foot lenth at Home Depot.
Looks like these would block small dirt and grit,
but might get clogged up.

Anywyas, I am testing 4 products now :

Sheerflow Gutter Guards
Amerimax Solid Gutter Guard
Gutter World Gutter Filter

These are all pretty cheap solutions,
we'll see how they perform.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 5:04PM
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    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 8:38PM
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Just ripped it out. I did a small (20') test gutter for over a year. While it eventually sheds most leaves, key word being eventually, it DOES NOT shed needles, tree flower buds, whirly gigs, or that stringy crap that comes from oaks in the spring.

This product is NOT WORTH THE MONEY

    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 10:35AM
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I've had Leaf Relief for a year and a half. So far, so good. I have mostly oak leaves. They land on top of the screen and blow away when it's windy.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 7:57AM
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I, like most of you have tried several gutter covers. My house has several large trees near it, some are the sweet gum trees that have these prickly balls about 1" in diameter. They will clog your downspout or gutter quickly, it only takes 2 or 3 of them to completely stop the water flow. I have tried some of the reverse flow models but maple tree "helicopters" pretty much eliminated them and I would have had to lower my gutters to make them work properly. I have also tried wire mesh etc. and all have some drawbacks.

I installed Leaf-Relief guards on my house myself. They are relatively easy to install. They are very well made, come in 10' lengths instead 3'or 4' and I think they will be the best thing I have tried so far. The lip on the front seems to be a trap for debris but if you watch the cover work, the lip acts as a guide to prevent the water from going over the gutter during a heavy rain. My only issue so far is that my 2-story house has a lower roof over my garage. The builder ran downspouts from the upper roof to the lower roof and the upper roof drains directly onto the lower roof. During a heavy rain the water runs over the top of the Leaf-Relief guards. They can't absorb that much water quickly enough. I e-mailed alcoa and they said that the upper gutters should drain directly into the lower gutters not onto the roof. This is really not that big of an issue, there has to be a substantial rain to overflow this and it is only in an area of about 1 foot. Considering the cost ($3 ft.), I think this will work as well as anything else. There is going to be some maintenance with any of the gutter covers and these will probably be a minimum of effort to maintain. They do still work even if there are leaves on them and they stay relatively clean on their own but will certainly need to be brushed off occasionally, that's better than what I've been dealing with for the last 15 years or so.

I hope this helps some of you, I have been dealing with this for a long time, it has gotten so bad for me that I lately have had to clean the gutters everytime rain was predicted in my area.


    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 8:26AM
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Thank you Mike912. We have the same two roof design. The Leaf Relief would not work for us.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 5:12PM
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It's 2 1/2 years now with leaf relief and I am pleased. I also have a two roof design that discharges to the gutter over the garage and haven't seen a problem with overflow. It would not be hard to extend the downspout from the upper roof down into the lower gutter to eliminate that problem. I wouldn't eliminate leaf relief just becauses of a two roof design.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 8:21AM
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Found this thread looking for a appropriate leaf guard for my own home. Love to have those threes around but they shed pretty much leaves and I hate climbing up, not comfortable up there. I have seen a different design leaf guard I wonder if you guys have experience using it if so I would appreciate your feedback, check it out here; Easy Flow

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 8:17PM
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If it has holes they WILL become clogged by debris.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 4:12PM
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I purchased Rhino Diy at Costco's over the weekend and installed them yesterday. You can just look at it and tell that it works. It has a smooth mesh that won't even let sand in. The install was a little time consuming, but it did not bother me. I feel pretty good that my gutter cleaning days are finally done! Thank you

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 3:32PM
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So, it has been almost 10 years since I had leaf relief installed. We had some gutters that were not draining 100% so I called the company. It seems that over the 10 years some debris had gotten through the system (we live in the woods). They cleaned out the clogged area and checked out the whole system - for no charge. Everything is fine. I highly recommend leaf relief!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 12:39AM
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I am glad someone has found Leaf Relief to be adequate.

Since I had that system installed, I have been cursing the company at least 3 times a year, for that is how often I have to climb up to clean off the clogged Leaf Relief guards. The maple flowers, then the seeds, and finally the locust leaves and pods just sit on them and pack under the edges of the shingles. Doesn't matter which side of the house, either -- north, south, east, west (our prevailing winds tend to be northwest or southwest) -- the debris does NOT blow off.
I suspect poor installation may be worsening the issue since the guards angle down toward the house rather than away, but that is how the gutters are. But, the tilt is slight. I don't think that having them flat would prevent the packing under the shingle edges when the wind blows them there or the rain carries them there. Then the debris on the exposed portion sticks to the packed in stuff...

I definitely do not recommend. It was a waste of my money for sure!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 4:17PM
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