Gutters and gutter guards

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Triple digit golfer
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Gutters and gutter guards

Post by Triple digit golfer »

Hi everybody. My wife and I are new homeowners and I'm a bit overwhelmed by all the maintenance that goes into owning a house. My dad has been a huge help, but I wanted to get some opinions on gutters and gutter guards.

The house is a 2 story, and even the lower gutters are about 10 feet high. I'm 5'7" and standing on a standard ladder cleaning even the lower level gutters is treacherous.

I could pay somebody $200 a few times a year to clean all the gutters. But I'm wondering what opinions are on gutter guards or screens and all the varieties out there. I've heard that NONE of them are truly maintenance free.

My goal is to keep the gutters clear, water away from the foundation, and not have to get on the steep roof several times a year.

If it would be worth it to spend $4,000 on a professionally installed system, even including new gutters, I'd do it, but I want to rule out the less expensive options first.

I was thinking of hiring a general handyman to clean the gutters and install the snap on screens that are about $0.30 per foot from Home Depot. Does anybody have experience with these?

I welcome all opinions and personal experiences with how you handle keeping your gutters clean.
RadAudit
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by RadAudit »

Triple digit golfer wrote:If it would be worth it to spend $4,000 on a professionally installed system, even including new gutters, I'd do it, but I want to rule out the less expensive options first.
OK. The less expensive option has just been ruled out, as far as I am concerned.

Get the professionally installed system, if you can afford it. We re-did the outside of the house a couple of years ago - roof, gutters, windows, siding. After cleaning gutters for 30+ years, I can say these new ones have been great, so far. No problems.
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mrc
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by mrc »

RadAudit wrote:...

Get the professionally installed system, if you can afford it. We re-did the outside of the house a couple of years ago - roof, gutters, windows, siding. After cleaning gutters for 30+ years, I can say these new ones have been great, so far. No problems.
Rad, which system did you install? I don't think they are all equally effective.
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bertilak
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by bertilak »

Do shop around. Prices vary widely, as does quality, but the two are only loosely linked. I found the best deal at Lowes, at least for my price point.

Also consider having the fascia repainted/stained/sealed/repaired/whatever before putting up new gutters.

P.S. I only got gutter guards where trees were close to the house.

P.P.S. Get the largest size gutters you can, with the largest downspouts. I got 5-inch gutters from Lowes. This is what made Lowe the cheapest because they didn't charge extra for the larger size. Everyone else added quite a bit. Thanks likegarden (next post) for reminding me!
Last edited by bertilak on Tue Aug 16, 2016 8:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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likegarden
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by likegarden »

We also live in a 2-story house. I am 76 and refused to go on the large ladder to clean the 2nd story gutter in back. So we had Gutter Helmet installed there on existing gutters. The existing gutters are moving a little over time in respect to the fixed (to roof) Gutter Helmet, which requires cleaning that gutter every few years. Cleaning is free because the Gutter Helmet people promised 'clean gutters forever'. I would suggest getting new gutters installed with a Gutter Helmet and have a larger size downspout.

In front of the house and in back on the lower level gutters I installed gutter screens from Home Depot. In front only leaves from distant trees would be a problem, but these screens keep them out. In the back the lower gutter is close to a pine which drops needles and seeds through the screen and requires cleaning that gutter once a year, which might require Gutter Helmet with a new gutter in the future. I learned no longer to place the ladder against a gutter but only against house siding.
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SmileyFace
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by SmileyFace »

On this topic - I've avoided adding gutter screens or guards as I've been warned they increase the risk of ice-damming. Is this concern unfounded?
Also- I pay only $150 yearly to have mine cleaned so the ROI of a installation would take many years - but I may not have many leaves as others.
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Flymore
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by Flymore »

Use PVC pipes connected to a large shop vac bought from the local big box shop.
Been doing it for decades, works great, and we live next to a large woods lots of leaves.
Do it twice a year, once in spring and fall.
Keep both feet on the ground, and push the pipes up, turn on the vac suck out all the gunk, move it down the gutter and so on.
Use a 90 degree elbow at the end and a coupling to join pipes.
This takes upper body strength, and a bit of practice, do your push ups!
There are some negative stories about gutter guards allowing some stuff to get through then it's a nightmare to get them off and cleaned out.
miles monroe
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by miles monroe »

i had the exterior of my house redone a few years ago so i had the decision to make about some type of gutter guard system. this would be the cheapest time to install one if i were to do so. the contractor recommended a system they had been using for a couple years and said they had good results with it. of course this means the system they recommended prior to that they concluded wasn't doing the job. many horror stories on the web about these things not working, etc etc etc. i decided against it and pay someone $115 a year to do the gutters after the fall leaves are down. probably more cost effective anyway.

i am curious if anyone has tried the foam gutter fillers. they fill up the gutter, but the foam allows the water to go thru the gutter system. supposedly. i can see how these could fail. anyone?
RadAudit
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by RadAudit »

mrc wrote:
RadAudit wrote:...

Get the professionally installed system, if you can afford it. We re-did the outside of the house a couple of years ago - roof, gutters, windows, siding. After cleaning gutters for 30+ years, I can say these new ones have been great, so far. No problems.
Rad, which system did you install? I don't think they are all equally effective.
We used a local contractor, Starling Guttering, Inc., and the product was LeafGuard by Englert. It is not LeafFilter. A little internet searching can show you the difference in the two systems and you can compare them with what's available in your local area.
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Toons
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by Toons »

I have "screens" screwed into gutters.
Get them installed or do it yourself.
They work great.
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whaleknives
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by whaleknives »

I can enthusiastically recommend Englert LeafGuard gutters as being maintenance-free. My only concern in comparing systems was a Consumer Reports criticism predicting overflow in heavy rain, based on bench tests. My gutters have handled torrential downpours with no overflow.

LeafGuard uses oversized downspouts and heavier gauge aluminum enclosing the gutter, so they are more expensive than the screen cover systems. We replaced our 55-year-old gutters completely in 2015, at a cost of $35.30 per foot (2-50 foot runs, single level, with 4 downspouts and hinged extensions). I expect your two-story with multiple levels would be more. The only way to know is to get some quotes.
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tacster
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by tacster »

miles monroe wrote:
i am curious if anyone has tried the foam gutter fillers. they fill up the gutter, but the foam allows the water to go thru the gutter system. supposedly. i can see how these could fail. anyone?
I tried those foam gutter fillers. The top of them quickly clogged up with dirt and pine needles. Pulled them out, threw them away and went back to manual gutter cleaning as needed.
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BHUser27
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by BHUser27 »

OP -
Do you live in an area that gets a lot of snow during winter?
I do. We have tried the cheap screen type and expensive (ABC "hurricane leaf protector") type of gutter guards.
With both types we had significant ice-dam and icicle formation problems all along the gutters.
The ice dams and icicles were a bigger headache than cleaning the leaves out twice a year.
I did find that replacing our small (2"x3") gutters with large ones (3"x4") helped reduce leave clogging even without the guards (leaves flush out on their own with the big gutters/spouts).
miles monroe
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by miles monroe »

tacster wrote:
miles monroe wrote:
i am curious if anyone has tried the foam gutter fillers. they fill up the gutter, but the foam allows the water to go thru the gutter system. supposedly. i can see how these could fail. anyone?
I tried those foam gutter fillers. The top of them quickly clogged up with dirt and pine needles. Pulled them out, threw them away and went back to manual gutter cleaning as needed.
thank you. i saw those at costco and my first thot was that that was a great idea. then i started thinking about it and could envision several ways in which they could possibly fail. i'll stick with the manual cleaning.
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lthenderson
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by lthenderson »

I have seen others use gutter brushes and they appear to work quite well. They have bristles all around and just lay in your typical gutters. The leaves land on top, dry out and blow away while the water falls through the bristles into the gutter and flow away. Unlike foam, you can see through the bristles and dirt and needles get flushed out with the rain water. They are also super easy to uninstall if needed in the future.

Currently though, I just use a leaf blower mounted on my back. I just walk around the perimeter of my roof and blow the leaves out of the gutter in short order a couple times a year.
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gwe67
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by gwe67 »

https://www.amazon.com/iRobot-330-Gutte ... robot+looj

No, I do not own one, but this may be an option.
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tcassette
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by tcassette »

I have installed the Amerimax plastic and mesh guards from Lowes on 2 different homes. They are less than $1 per foot and are relatively easy to install. They work fine most of the time. The issues I have experienced include: (1) heavy accumulations of seed pods and/or needles from certain trees can accumulate when wet and block the screens, causing rainfall to flow over the gutter edge instead of down into the gutter; (2) rodents going up the downspouts and chewing holes in the guards, which let leaves and debris into the gutters, and (3) the nylon mesh sometimes has come unglued from 3 or 4 pieces of the plastic base, allowing debris into the gutters. For problem (1) I have had to keep the surface of the guards swept off with either and long handled adjustable head broom or leaf blower. For problem (2), I had to put large mesh hardware cloth over the bottom ends of the downspouts. For problem (3) I had to replace those sections of gutter guard.

Regarding ice dams in cold climates, I believe this will happen regardless of gutter guards if the house insulation and eave ventilation if not done properly.
Chip
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by Chip »

I installed the Elko GuttaGards on my house about 18 years ago. These are solid aluminum covers with a curved front edge that causes the water to follow the curve into the gutter while the trash flies off the edge. The same idea as Gutter Helmet. They are finicky to install, but mine have worked well. Material cost was pretty reasonable; I think $1/LF back then, maybe $2/LF now. Plus my free labor to install. The labor is not trivial. While it's easy to install a full section, partial sections have to be cut to size and the ends of each gutter need to be boxed in to keep out birds and other critters that want to nest inside.

I have probably had to clean 5 or 6 individual gutters in the time they've been on. I have many trees and lots of them are maples. The small spinners from maples (e.g. box elders) seem to defeat the perforated screens but the GuttaGards handle them well.

One thing they do poorly is handle the high flow from roof valleys. It just flies off the edge of the gutter. In my case I'm choosing to live with it as it's not causing any real problems. But it might at a different house. I wonder if Gutter Helmet does a better job with this. Anyone have experience?

OP, you need to INVEST in a long extension ladder; something that reaches 2 or 3 feet above the highest place you want access to. It won't be cheap, but neither is a broken neck, back, arm, etc. And buy leg levelers when you get it. I have a 28' aluminum type 1A that I bought it 1988. It will last until I'm no longer willing to get on it.
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celia
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by celia »

We have a quote from Home Depot we are planning to use for gutters and the screening that goes above them to keep out leaves. I think they guarantee they will never clog (due to the design of the screen) and if they do, they will come out and clean them for free. (In SoCal I doubt they will ever clog since droughts are a bigger problem than rain.) To give you a price estimate, they use a form in our area that prices it as: (all prices are per lineal foot)

Gutters 5" $11
Gutters 6" $13
Downspouts Standard 2X3" $11
Downspouts Commercial 3x4" $13
Gutters w/leaf protection 5" $20
Gutters w/leaf Protection 6" $22
Leaf Protection Only 5" $9
Leaf Protection Only 6" $10

The "problem" with HD is that they use different companies to do the work. The first company that came out took one look at where the power enters the house (next to the gutter location) and said they couldn't do the work until we had the power going to the house turned off (as they had had one employee injured). We went back and forth with the electric company and HD to try to get them scheduled on show up on the same day but it was impossible to do. Finally, someone at Edison came out to take a look at the house. They never had a call like I was trying to schedule. (They do turn the power off for tree trimming though.) They said there was no problem with gutters being installed with the power on. We were at a standstill with HD until they said they could use another contractor.


Edit: I just checked with our HD quote rep and received literature that says the non-clog guarantee is for 20 years. During that time they will unclog them for free. Since HD uses different contractors each year or so, I prefer a HD guarantee instead of a contractor guarantee (who may not be in business that long.). Note: this is in So California, where it doesn't rain much.
Last edited by celia on Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Topic Author
Triple digit golfer
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by Triple digit golfer »

Thanks to all for your comments!

I got a quote for $150 to clean the gutters. Maybe I just have it done twice a year and be done with it, while monitoring the drainage during heavy downpours. Who knows how long it had been since they were cleaned. The seller just bought the house in January from a single mother of four who foreclosed. I doubt she got on the roof of a second story house to clean them out and I certainly doubt she had money to pay to have them cleaned.

I am tempted to have a company install the screens and see what happens. Then again, $150 a couple times a year isn't much and if the gutters can clog with the screens anyway, then I'll be paying the $150 whether I have the screens or not.
BHUser27
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by BHUser27 »

tcassette wrote:Regarding ice dams in cold climates, I believe this will happen regardless of gutter guards if the house insulation and eave ventilation if not done properly.
This is absolutely true about ice dams, and our insulation is not perfect, BUT we are also experiencing 2 foot long (dangerous) icicles all along the gutters after installing the expensive perforated gutter guards. In 20 years we never had a single icicle. This is caused by the snow sitting on and freezing to the guards then slowly melting over the edge instead of into the gutters. It is a huge problem for us. Removing all the guards this fall.
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SmileyFace
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by SmileyFace »

BHUser27 wrote:
tcassette wrote:Regarding ice dams in cold climates, I believe this will happen regardless of gutter guards if the house insulation and eave ventilation if not done properly.
This is absolutely true about ice dams, and our insulation is not perfect, BUT we are also experiencing 2 foot long (dangerous) icicles all along the gutters after installing the expensive perforated gutter guards. In 20 years we never had a single icicle. This is caused by the snow sitting on and freezing to the guards then slowly melting over the edge instead of into the gutters. It is a huge problem for us. Removing all the guards this fall.
Thanks BHuser for this. After talking to someone that claimed to never have problems with ice damming until he install gutter guards and your note I will just keep having my gutters cleaned out yearly.
wallygator
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Great solution if no ice

Post by wallygator »

Hi,

The screens on guards from home depot and Lowes last about 3 years. The foam ones that go in the gutter last only 3 years as well before they disintegrate. I have used both.

If Ice is not an issue I have used and recommend...They will send you a sample for free...

https://www.amazon.com/FlexxPoint-Gutte ... B00DMOJK7A

Bought direct from the manufacturer and I did my 200ft gutters for less than $200. Took me 2.5 hours. (10 ft off the ground).

I live in SC and get tropical downpours often and somehow these handle the volume with very little if any overflow. I was short 30 ft of Flexxpoint. At the center of the gutter below the longest run down from the peak of my hip roof, I used the black wire screen. It has extremely high volume capacity but does let some crap through. May be the reason I have no overflows. I will need to remove a few and vacuum a small area every 3 or 4 years.

Good luck,

Wally
Nicolas
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by Nicolas »

Flymore wrote:Use PVC pipes connected to a large shop vac bought from the local big box shop.
Been doing it for decades, works great, and we live next to a large woods lots of leaves.
Do it twice a year, once in spring and fall.
Keep both feet on the ground, and push the pipes up, turn on the vac suck out all the gunk, move it down the gutter and so on.
Use a 90 degree elbow at the end and a coupling to join pipes.
This takes upper body strength, and a bit of practice, do your push ups!
There are some negative stories about gutter guards allowing some stuff to get through then it's a nightmare to get them off and cleaned out.
I've struggled with this problem myself, I don't like heights. I'd prefer not to pay anyone to do it. I'm going to give this method a try (shop vac), thanks for posting it. Another problem is how to see whether the gutters need cleaning, except by the obvious symptoms of a clog, i.e. water pouring out of gutters rather than through the downspouts. I've toyed with the idea of using a drone to peer down into the gutters from above, or a GoPro on a stick.
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by HopefulMNSportsFan »

Flymore wrote:Use PVC pipes connected to a large shop vac bought from the local big box shop.
Been doing it for decades, works great, and we live next to a large woods lots of leaves.
Do it twice a year, once in spring and fall.
Keep both feet on the ground, and push the pipes up, turn on the vac suck out all the gunk, move it down the gutter and so on.
Use a 90 degree elbow at the end and a coupling to join pipes.
This takes upper body strength, and a bit of practice, do your push ups!
There are some negative stories about gutter guards allowing some stuff to get through then it's a nightmare to get them off and cleaned out.
I just did the same thing but attached to a leaf blower. Works like a charm!
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AAA
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by AAA »

We had screens installed over our gutters years ago, but I still have someone come out at the end of Fall to service the gutters (for around $100). My reasons are:

1. Sometimes the screens will pop up so they need to be re-installed.
2. Sometimes the gutters will need to be re-attached in places.
3. They check for problems - for instance last time they saw an issue on the roof.

No matter what system I had, I would still have them checked once a year.
BIGal
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by BIGal »

Many good suggestions to choose from.....I would ask some of the neighbors what they use and what is effective...since weather does have an impact on how they perform over time. When we had a new steel shingle roof installed on our 7/12 pitch I decided (at age 60+) that having gutter guards professionally installed was a safety factor that was well worth the investment. Whatever you do, keep safety in mind because a fall from a ladder or a roof can be fatal.
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F150HD
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by F150HD »

Triple digit golfer wrote:

I welcome all opinions and personal experiences with how you handle keeping your gutters clean.
Get a ladder standoff, this helps a lot. Not this specific one, but the one for the ladder you have. WIth this, the standoff can sit ON the roof which puts you above the gutter to clean it.

https://www.amazon.com/Louisville-Ladde ... BXBFSB2DEP

I use screens from Menards/Home Depot, the ones with screen on top else pine needles (as well as leaves) get thru

https://www.menards.com/main/building-m ... 555478.htm

With Gutter Helmet I always feared Ice Dams (Im in MN) so I'd never go that route personally.

+1 on getting the largest gutters possible if you're getting new, they allow more debris to go through. Tho if they're not sloped correctly, it won't matter. Once an install is done, spray water up on your roof, then get out the ladder and check to see that ALL the water has drained. If it hasn't, they need to be resloped.
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Longtermgrowth
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by Longtermgrowth »

I can tell you from experience that the leafguard ones (solid aluminum piece covering the gutter on top that wraps down at the edge) can get a good amount of pollen stuck right at the edge where the water would drip inside. This causes a lot of the water to drip over the edge as if there is no gutter there. If you don't mind a percentage of water overshooting the gutter or sweeping the edges a number of times in the spring, they are good besides that.
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by Church Lady »

I've toyed with the idea of using a drone to peer down into the gutters from above, or a GoPro on a stick.

Hand mirror from Dollar Tree on a stick!
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Nicolas
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by Nicolas »

Church Lady wrote:
I've toyed with the idea of using a drone to peer down into the gutters from above, or a GoPro on a stick.

Hand mirror from Dollar Tree on a stick!
Thanks but the gutters I need to check are pretty far up there, not sure I could see that. But I can try it.
Kiter
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by Kiter »

I have to clean gutters throughout the year at multiple homes ....Never have found gutter guards to work in all applications and some times require me to remove to clean ..which is more $$ .Ice dam issues also .
protagonist
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by protagonist »

I have a Victorian house.

The gutters that are easily accessible to me with a hand-held leaf blower I clean myself with a leaf blower (corded model, under $50 at Home Depot) after the leaves drop in the fall. It's sort of fun.

Those that are not easily accessible to me I have paid a handyman to clean every year to every couple of years depending on condition. I have had no problem with this. I forget what I paid but it is not much- definitely worth more than the risk involved with high ladders and sloped roofs.

I researched various gutter guards, even cleaning robots, all sorts of stuff like that, and have not found a mechanical solution that seems reliable.
Last edited by protagonist on Thu Aug 18, 2016 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
daveydoo
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by daveydoo »

Triple digit golfer wrote:I'm 5'7" and standing on a standard ladder cleaning even the lower level gutters is treacherous.
Please don't do it yourself, despite what others have safely and/or successfully done here. A fit, competent, can-do-anything co-worker is in the ICU after doing something similar. It's easy to tell if there's an actual issue -- water overflowing the edges during a big rain, or a drip line on the ground and mud spatters on your siding. Then pay someone $300 to clean your gutters. Imo, the guards make cleaning harder, and none of them are foolproof (I had them for years 'til they eventually got ripped off in wind storms). We used to have no trees higher than our house but the "protected" gutters would still clog with cast-off shards and algae from the shake roof.
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Triple digit golfer
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by Triple digit golfer »

OP here. I decided against any gutter guards or screens. I'm going to have them cleaned and serviced for $200 (includes replacing some brackets, etc.). I'll see how things look after fall. If I'm getting a ton of leaves, I'll reconsider.

I noticed yesterday after a brief but very hard downpour that I had about two inches of water standing in the gutters. I guess they are not sloped properly. I will have them check that as well.
tomd37
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by tomd37 »

Yep, no gutters of any type are going to do any good for you if they are not sloped correctly and sized properly for your conditions. In addition the downspouts must also be sized properly. Good luck!
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by FrugalInvestor »

I once lived where it rained a lot. We had mostly evergreen trees which, although evergreen, still shed lots of needles which would clog up my gutters regularly. I looked at a lot of different types gutter screens and my concern was that particularly during hard rains the water would not run through the guards and shed the leaves but run over them on onto the ground, thus defeating the purpose of gutters.

I ended up changing to larger downspouts (3x4 instead of the more common 2x3) and adding leaf filters like the one pictured at the top of this page....

http://www.neiltortorella.com/gutter-downspout-filter/

The larger downspouts allowed the leaves to flow down the downspout instead of getting stuck where the downspout exited the gutter and the filters would then catch the leaves. I would then manually empty the filters, usually after each hard rain, especially during the fall months.

This worked very well for the evergreen needles. It may or may not work as well for broadleaf trees.
Have a plan, stay the course and simplify, but most importantly....Ignore the Noise!
blgaarder
Posts: 62
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by blgaarder »

Agree on the large gutters and downspouts.

We had 2x3 downspouts and "normal" size gutters.

Had 3x4 downspouts and larger fittings on the gutters that they fit into.

Haven't have to clean out gutters in ten years or more and we have a tall Norway maple near the house.
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ClevrChico
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by ClevrChico »

Flymore wrote:Use PVC pipes connected to a large shop vac bought from the local big box shop.
Been doing it for decades, works great, and we live next to a large woods lots of leaves.
Do it twice a year, once in spring and fall.
Keep both feet on the ground, and push the pipes up, turn on the vac suck out all the gunk, move it down the gutter and so on.
Use a 90 degree elbow at the end and a coupling to join pipes.
This takes upper body strength, and a bit of practice, do your push ups!
There are some negative stories about gutter guards allowing some stuff to get through then it's a nightmare to get them off and cleaned out.
Same here, I shop vac my regular gutters out. I have a cheap Craftsman kit made for this purpose. I can do this from the ground, no ladder needed.

One neighbor with guards gets large ice dams. Other neighbor has to occasionally still clean his out even with guards.
edge
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by edge »

I bought a house with gutter guards. They seem to be insufficient for capturing all the water during heavy rains and cause overflow. I am going to have to remove them and/or get larger gutters and new guards.

I had more simple perforated screens at a previous house that worked far better.
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Flymore
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by Flymore »

Nicolas wrote:
Flymore wrote:Use PVC pipes connected to a large shop vac bought from the local big box shop.
Been doing it for decades, works great, and we live next to a large woods lots of leaves.
Do it twice a year, once in spring and fall.
Keep both feet on the ground, and push the pipes up, turn on the vac suck out all the gunk, move it down the gutter and so on.
Use a 90 degree elbow at the end and a coupling to join pipes.
This takes upper body strength, and a bit of practice, do your push ups!
There are some negative stories about gutter guards allowing some stuff to get through then it's a nightmare to get them off and cleaned out.
I've struggled with this problem myself, I don't like heights. I'd prefer not to pay anyone to do it. I'm going to give this method a try (shop vac), thanks for posting it. Another problem is how to see whether the gutters need cleaning, except by the obvious symptoms of a clog, i.e. water pouring out of gutters rather than through the downspouts. I've toyed with the idea of using a drone to peer down into the gutters from above, or a GoPro on a stick.
This is crazy, but I've actually grabbed my PVC pipe and shop vac and run out in the rain and cleared a clog!
Otherwise, I just clean the gutters twice a year - once in spring and once in fall after the leaves are off the trees.
Nicolas
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by Nicolas »

Flymore wrote: Sun Sep 11, 2016 3:46 pm
Nicolas wrote:
Flymore wrote:Use PVC pipes connected to a large shop vac bought from the local big box shop.
Been doing it for decades, works great, and we live next to a large woods lots of leaves.
Do it twice a year, once in spring and fall.
Keep both feet on the ground, and push the pipes up, turn on the vac suck out all the gunk, move it down the gutter and so on.
Use a 90 degree elbow at the end and a coupling to join pipes.
This takes upper body strength, and a bit of practice, do your push ups!
There are some negative stories about gutter guards allowing some stuff to get through then it's a nightmare to get them off and cleaned out.
I've struggled with this problem myself, I don't like heights. I'd prefer not to pay anyone to do it. I'm going to give this method a try (shop vac), thanks for posting it. Another problem is how to see whether the gutters need cleaning, except by the obvious symptoms of a clog, i.e. water pouring out of gutters rather than through the downspouts. I've toyed with the idea of using a drone to peer down into the gutters from above, or a GoPro on a stick.
This is crazy, but I've actually grabbed my PVC pipe and shop vac and run out in the rain and cleared a clog!
Otherwise, I just clean the gutters twice a year - once in spring and once in fall after the leaves are off the trees.
In June this year I bought a Gutter Viper. I connect it to my gas-powered leaf blower and it does a fantastic job, I'm so glad I have it. Initially I tried to connect the exhaust of my heavy-duty shop vac but it wasn't forceful enough, but when connecting the leaf blower it works great.

I've got a two-story house and no way am I going to climb up there, and I don't want to pay anyone $135 a throw to do it, either (minimum charge, I checked). The Gutter Viper mounts to a telescoping pole to reach the high elevations. (I bought my pole from Home Depot, it was cheaper than from the Viper Tool Company).

I've now cleaned my gutters three times since June and I'm going to do it again before winter sets in as not all the leaves have fallen yet. (If I do it myself I can do it anytime I please). When one of my upper gutters becomes clogged rain leaks into my living room so I'm super-incentivized to keep them clean.

I think the concept of blowing leaves and crud out rather than vacuuming it up is superior. I don't want to be constantly unclogging a pipe connected to a vacuum cleaner.

Here's a link to the company. I have no financial interest or any other connection except that I'm a customer. https://vipertoolcompany.com
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Flymore
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by Flymore »

That does look interesting, but I think I'll just keep using my old PVC. :D

Thanks
Smoke
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by Smoke »

I used to do the climb on a ladder wear gloves and hand clean them, got older wiser, currently use a leaf blower with an attachment to blow them out during a dry spell from the ground.
When I get tired of that I will figure the costs :moneybag of those gutter guards vs how much it costs to have someone clean them out periodically.
5k goes a long way in paying for years of having someone else do it. :beer
Arguing for the sake of arguing is something I am not going to engage in.
NextMil
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by NextMil »

In case no one mentioned at $4k, gutters cleaned at $200 a pop twice a year break even is ten years. FWIW in a HCOL area I pay $75-125 twice a year, and my landscaper lets me know when I am due. After exploring all other options exhaustively I decided I am happy to pay someone for my two story. YMMV.
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Feb29
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by Feb29 »

My gutters get locust leaves and branchlets, regular-type leaves, spruce needles, spruce cones and bird nests. Over the years I've tried many different DIY products including foam, and several types of plastic covers with perforated holes. I've ended up ripping them all out because they all failed due to one type of problem or other. The foam was the worst: the gutters all filled up and spilled over because the foam severely restriced the flow. I ripped them out after the first rainstorm.

Last summer I installed EasyOn gutter screens on half the house. After checking them throughout the year, I have determined that they work great for me. I just bought more and finished the remainder of the house two weeks ago.

I got the Easy-On gutter screens from Costco (36' box for $70). They are a stainless steel mesh screen that keeps EVERYTHING out, yet handles ANY amount of water falling into it. They are easy to install yourself. You can check out their website: EasyOnGutterGuard.com.
Nicolas
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by Nicolas »

Feb29 wrote: Sat Oct 27, 2018 6:20 pm My gutters get locust leaves and branchlets, regular-type leaves, spruce needles, spruce cones and bird nests. Over the years I've tried many different DIY products including foam, and several types of plastic covers with perforated holes. I've ended up ripping them all out because they all failed due to one type of problem or other. The foam was the worst: the gutters all filled up and spilled over because the foam severely restriced the flow. I ripped them out after the first rainstorm.

Last summer I installed EasyOn gutter screens on half the house. After checking them throughout the year, I have determined that they work great for me. I just bought more and finished the remainder of the house two weeks ago.

I got the Easy-On gutter screens from Costco (36' box for $70). They are a stainless steel mesh screen that keeps EVERYTHING out, yet handles ANY amount of water falling into it. They are easy to install yourself. You can check out their website: EasyOnGutterGuard.com.
This looks interesting, it's cheap, and from your recommendation, effective. But I've read, even in this thread, that gutter covers or screens lead to ice dams and icicles, have you had any problem with that? I'd consider them but not for my current house as we won't be here that long. Maybe for my next house.
mariezzz
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by mariezzz »

Flymore wrote: Tue Aug 16, 2016 9:12 am Use PVC pipes connected to a large shop vac bought from the local big box shop.
Been doing it for decades, works great, and we live next to a large woods lots of leaves.
Do it twice a year, once in spring and fall.
Keep both feet on the ground, and push the pipes up, turn on the vac suck out all the gunk, move it down the gutter and so on.
Use a 90 degree elbow at the end and a coupling to join pipes.
This takes upper body strength, and a bit of practice, do your push ups!
There are some negative stories about gutter guards allowing some stuff to get through then it's a nightmare to get them off and cleaned out.
Excellent advice. I may try this.

Do you have a 2-story house (my gutters are about 18 feet up). I concerned about whether the shop vac suction will be strong enough (a post a few up mentions this was a problem).
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whodidntante
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by whodidntante »

If it's that much of an issue I would probably cut some trees back.
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five2one
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Re: Gutters and gutter guards

Post by five2one »

Shop vac with extensions or pressure washer with extensions.
Don't forget downspouts and hoses to get water away from foundation.
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