Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

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Woodshark
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Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by Woodshark » Mon Jan 16, 2017 4:31 pm

After years of cleaning out our gutters, I’ve decided that I don’t want to do this anymore. One wrong slip and my retirement years could come to an abrupt stop. In the past I’ve tried the screens, the foam inserts and the mesh. They might be great for leafs but pines straw defeated all three. I’m tired of fighting this battle so I want to get all new clog free gutters clog with integrated leaf guards.

We plan on getting quotes from “Leaf-Guard”, “Gutter- Helmet” and one independent gutter company. It seems these can get very pricey. Does anyone have an opinion or recommendations what might work best or be more cost effective.

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knpstr
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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by knpstr » Mon Jan 16, 2017 4:34 pm

they have those robots that fit in gutters, they are $300. Don't know how effective they are.

http://store.irobot.com/default/looj-gu ... ml?cgid=us
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Sandtrap
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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by Sandtrap » Mon Jan 16, 2017 4:37 pm

What about pruning back, if practical, the source of the leaves and debris?

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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by dumbbunny » Mon Jan 16, 2017 4:53 pm

I bought a house that has the Leaf Guard system. I cut back a spruce limb and have no problems with needle build-up. The also have a inline strainer on the downspout just in case you get debris. Would I buy Leaf Guard if it wasn't already installed? Probably not as it is quite expensive. I would just write the check and have someone clean the gutters once a year. One of my favorite Green Bay Packers of the Vince Lombardi era, Max McGee died at 75, while blowing leaves off his roof.
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livesoft
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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by livesoft » Mon Jan 16, 2017 4:56 pm

I think you need to buy a drone w/video to fly up there and see what's going on. If I had gutters up high, I would probably just make a PVC extension to my hose w/nozzle attached and use the drone for before and after. I do have wire mesh "domes" stuffed at the top of the downspout holes which prevents them from becoming blocked. They were about $2 each at HomeDepot.

That iRobot Looj is "not available", so it probably was not successful.
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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by Rodc » Mon Jan 16, 2017 5:41 pm

livesoft wrote:I think you need to buy a drone w/video to fly up there and see what's going on. If I had gutters up high, I would probably just make a PVC extension to my hose w/nozzle attached and use the drone for before and after. I do have wire mesh "domes" stuffed at the top of the downspout holes which prevents them from becoming blocked. They were about $2 each at HomeDepot.

That iRobot Looj is "not available", so it probably was not successful.
BIL did that with the PVC works well. If a very tall house might want something stiffer like copper pipe.
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BHUser27
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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by BHUser27 » Mon Jan 16, 2017 5:49 pm

If you live in a place where it snows a lot during winter, you may be disappointed with any type of gutter cap.
There was an in-depth discussion on this here...
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=197579&hilit=gutter

likegarden
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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by likegarden » Mon Jan 16, 2017 7:04 pm

I gave up to climb up to the second floor gutters, bought Gutter Helmet, which was expensive. You should then also replace the gutter, and install a wider downspout. That Gutter Helmet needs cleaning every 4 years. I am planning to get a Gutter Helmet installed also on a lower gutter, also replacing the gutter and getting a wider downspout.

I had experience with installing wiremesh screens over the holes in gutters leading to downspouts. All debris instead going down the downspout will collect at those wiremesh screen domes and plug them up. You can try out. On the other lower gutters I have plastic perforated screens which require cleaning around the downspout inlet perhaps once a year.

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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by brad.clarkston » Mon Jan 16, 2017 7:25 pm

Woodshark wrote:After years of cleaning out our gutters, I’ve decided that I don’t want to do this anymore. One wrong slip and my retirement years could come to an abrupt stop. In the past I’ve tried the screens, the foam inserts and the mesh. They might be great for leafs but pines straw defeated all three. I’m tired of fighting this battle so I want to get all new clog free gutters clog with integrated leaf guards.

We plan on getting quotes from “Leaf-Guard”, “Gutter- Helmet” and one independent gutter company. It seems these can get very pricey. Does anyone have an opinion or recommendations what might work best or be more cost effective.
+1 for Leaf-Guard + having all new gutters designed for it put in.
It's worth the one time expenditure if you have the money.

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AAA
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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by AAA » Mon Jan 16, 2017 7:44 pm

Even with one of these gutter guard systems in place, it's still a good idea to have a close inspection once a year to check for any loose nails or roof problems.

My suggestion is to just hire someone each Fall, after the leaves come down. My guy charges $100 and is well worth it.

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Watty
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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by Watty » Mon Jan 16, 2017 7:54 pm

One consideration is how old your roof an gutters are. If they are not real new then you may have a limited amount of time before they will need to be replaced. You may want to wait until the next time you replace the roof an gutters.
AAA wrote: My suggestion is to just hire someone each Fall, after the leaves come down. My guy charges $100 and is well worth it.
+1

A downside to the gutter covers is that they are not 100% effective and you will still need to occasionally have them cleaned out. Some of them make it vary hard to clean out the gutter if they do get clogged.

rgs92
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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by rgs92 » Mon Jan 16, 2017 7:58 pm

Leaf Guard has worked well for me (about 7 years now with no problems).
I had Gutter Helmet before but it seemed to clog and I replaced it with Leaf Guard and it's much better.
You do get some big icicles with it though. That's the only downside but other than that it's great.

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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by lazydavid » Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:18 am

We had Alcoa Leaf Relief installed along with new gutters at our old house, which is very different from the typical "reverse curve" systems. Essentially it was a flat piece of aluminum with small holes in it, which was screwed down on top of the gutter. There's a lip at the outer edge to prevent overshoot. Salesman told us that anything that did sit on top of the cover would be blown off by a 5mph wind, and that seemed to be pretty accurate. We never had a gutter clog over the 10+ years we had them.

Serie1926
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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by Serie1926 » Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:32 am

Gave up many years ago!

One easy call to Mr. Sunshine and not only gutters, but windows as well, cleaned every 6 months for $150 per visit.

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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by trasmuss » Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:33 am

I went with Leaf Guard last August and am very happy. I fell twice from the ladder and found myself cleaning the gutters almost weekly since they clogged with virtually every rain. No more problems! I had tried screens, etc. before but was never satisfied.

For me it was worth the money and my only regret is that I didn't do it sooner.

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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by Toons » Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:00 am

"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

Woodshark
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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by Woodshark » Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:45 am

Sandtrap wrote:What about pruning back, if practical, the source of the leaves and debris?
I wish I could but it's my neighbors pine trees. Heavy winds carry them to us with every storm or heavy breeze.

Woodshark
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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by Woodshark » Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:48 am

rgs92 wrote:Leaf Guard has worked well for me (about 7 years now with no problems).
I had Gutter Helmet before but it seemed to clog and I replaced it with Leaf Guard and it's much better.
You do get some big icicles with it though. That's the only downside but other than that it's great.
Thanks for the response. I'm in South Carolina so ice and snow is not a big concern.

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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by carolinaman » Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:51 am

dumbbunny wrote:I bought a house that has the Leaf Guard system. I cut back a spruce limb and have no problems with needle build-up. The also have a inline strainer on the downspout just in case you get debris. Would I buy Leaf Guard if it wasn't already installed? Probably not as it is quite expensive. I would just write the check and have someone clean the gutters once a year. One of my favorite Green Bay Packers of the Vince Lombardi era, Max McGee died at 75, while blowing leaves off his roof.
I was on my roof blowing off leaves and pine needles this past weekend, age 72. I did not know that about Max McGee. Of course, I can say that I am in good condition and well coordinated, but I am sure Max was likely better in all respects. It is a good thing my wife does not read this forum!

Edit update: Max McGee did die from a fall from his roof blowing off leaves, but his wife said that he had suffered from Alzheimers for 5 years prior to his death.
Last edited by carolinaman on Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

Woodshark
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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by Woodshark » Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:52 am

trasmuss wrote:I went with Leaf Guard last August and am very happy. I fell twice from the ladder and found myself cleaning the gutters almost weekly since they clogged with virtually every rain. No more problems! I had tried screens, etc. before but was never satisfied.

For me it was worth the money and my only regret is that I didn't do it sooner.
Required frequent cleaning is my problem also. In our last house I could get by with two gutter cleanings a year. (Spring and late Fall) Our new house seems to need them cleaned every month or two.

adamthesmythe
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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by adamthesmythe » Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:33 am

When I had a house in the east I decided there was no good solution. I have moved to Arizona where we do not have gutters. Problem solved.

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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by Swansea » Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:54 am

One of my neighbors uses an extension on his leaf blower to clean the gutters while standing on the ground.

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TinkerPDX
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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by TinkerPDX » Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:05 am

Woodshark wrote:After years of cleaning out our gutters, I’ve decided that I don’t want to do this anymore. One wrong slip and my retirement years could come to an abrupt stop. In the past I’ve tried the screens, the foam inserts and the mesh. They might be great for leafs but pines straw defeated all three. I’m tired of fighting this battle so I want to get all new clog free gutters clog with integrated leaf guards.

We plan on getting quotes from “Leaf-Guard”, “Gutter- Helmet” and one independent gutter company. It seems these can get very pricey. Does anyone have an opinion or recommendations what might work best or be more cost effective.
Rather than screens/etc. on top, we got downspout leaf catchers - like a clean out for your gutter downspout. Way cheaper, (can't compare effectiveness as we've never had gutter screens). Like this: http://www.precisiongutters.com/leaf-catchers

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Will do good
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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by Will do good » Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:16 am

Woodshark wrote:
trasmuss wrote:I went with Leaf Guard last August and am very happy. I fell twice from the ladder and found myself cleaning the gutters almost weekly since they clogged with virtually every rain. No more problems! I had tried screens, etc. before but was never satisfied.

For me it was worth the money and my only regret is that I didn't do it sooner.
Required frequent cleaning is my problem also. In our last house I could get by with two gutter cleanings a year. (Spring and late Fall) Our new house seems to need them cleaned every month or two.
My house is the same, in the growing season I need to be on the roof blowing the leafs before heavy rain every 2 months.
I need to be smarter and stop going up to the second floor roof, pay someone else to go up or use of of those blower extensions, I learn so much for fellow BHs

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Smorgasbord
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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by Smorgasbord » Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:32 am

I've tried a couple gutter covers and a blower attachment, but none of them see to work very well, so I am considering just going back up on the roof with a fall arrester type harness commonly worn by deer hunters.

Woodshark
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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by Woodshark » Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:26 pm

A note to all the "I've heard that story before but it would never happen to me" folks here.

Well, it did happen to me many years ago. I was in my early 40's. Still thin, agile, limber, a rock climber and firmly in the camp above. One afternoon I was cleaning off the roof over our sun room before an upcoming rain storm. The roof was at a slight pitch so I had no real fear of falling off......... But.... I.... did.

Slipped on some mildewed slimy pine straw and off I went. Almost two stories down. I broke one leg (tib & fib), shattered my ankle on the other leg and also broke my left arm. It took two surgeries and several months before I was out of a wheelchair. It was 10 months before I was walking without crutches. Not well mind you, just walking. It took over 5 years for me to be able to lightly jog again. It's been 16 years and that ankle still hurts, almost every single day.

So yeah, it can really happen to you. Accidents really do occur. Even to those of us that think we are athletic or "not that old".

Now I only get on the roof using a secured safety rope and harness. Once bitten, twice shy.

Back then we could not imagine buying expensive gutters with built in leaf guards. Now it seems the sensible thing to do.

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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by jfn111 » Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:42 pm

I had leaf guards installed 6 or 7 years ago. They work great and I don't miss climbing up on the roof. :shock:

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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by MathWizard » Wed Jan 18, 2017 4:54 pm

livesoft wrote: .... I would probably just make a PVC extension to my hose w/nozzle attached and use the drone for before and after. ...
I did this. Shop Vac with a bag inside, and a long PVC pipe with two 90's on the end top form a "J".
The long PVC pipe is plenty strong enough, but this does strain the back if you do this for long.

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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by Ged » Wed Jan 18, 2017 4:59 pm

AAA wrote: My suggestion is to just hire someone each Fall, after the leaves come down. My guy charges $100 and is well worth it.
This is what I do - every fall I pay a lawn guy to come out and de-leaf my lawn and gutters, and power wash the north side of my house which accumulates green stuff on the siding.

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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by burt » Wed Jan 18, 2017 6:48 pm

Ged wrote:
AAA wrote: My suggestion is to just hire someone each Fall, after the leaves come down. My guy charges $100 and is well worth it.
This is what I do - every fall I pay a lawn guy to come out and de-leaf my lawn and gutters, and power wash the north side of my house which accumulates green stuff on the siding.
+1
Hire someone.
Someone young, agile, coordinated ... and insured.
Falling on the ice is bad enough, falling off a roof is bad scary... you might live.

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gmc4h232
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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by gmc4h232 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 7:19 pm

Stihl makes a device that prevents leaves from clogging gutters. My model is MS 261-C....

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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by Geneyus » Sun Jan 22, 2017 6:24 pm

carolinaman wrote:
dumbbunny wrote:I bought a house that has the Leaf Guard system. I cut back a spruce limb and have no problems with needle build-up. The also have a inline strainer on the downspout just in case you get debris. Would I buy Leaf Guard if it wasn't already installed? Probably not as it is quite expensive. I would just write the check and have someone clean the gutters once a year. One of my favorite Green Bay Packers of the Vince Lombardi era, Max McGee died at 75, while blowing leaves off his roof.
I was on my roof blowing off leaves and pine needles this past weekend, age 72. I did not know that about Max McGee. Of course, I can say that I am in good condition and well coordinated, but I am sure Max was likely better in all respects. It is a good thing my wife does not read this forum!

Edit update: Max McGee did die from a fall from his roof blowing off leaves, but his wife said that he had suffered from Alzheimers for 5 years prior to his death.
I'm a 33 year old police officer, and I won't get on my second story roof. I've seen at least two cases of people falling off of two story roofs, and one of them didn't make it. The one that did make it was air lifted by helicopter after he fell off the roof and laid in the driveway for almost an hour. A neighbor came outside and saw him laying there in a pile in the driveway. I'd rather pay someone to clean my gutters on a ladder.

I tried one of those hose attachments that sprays the leaves out of the gutter. Then I went into the attic and saw that I sprayed water all over the rafters and insulation. Most attics have cracks between the shingles and gutters to let the house "breathe".

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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by abuss368 » Sun Jan 22, 2017 8:22 pm

In our prior home, we purchase from a company called Gutter Guard. We were happy. I do not like heights and your right as one gets older it is much to risky.
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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by BIGal » Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:19 pm

Our roof pitch is 7/12...3 years ago we had our asphalt shingles removed after a hail storm and replaced with steel shingles...and hadhttp://leafproof.com system installed. I no longer get on our roof for any reason...too dangerous. You are on the right track...decide on a system and have it installed and stay off of your roof, period.

Woodshark
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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by Woodshark » Tue Jan 24, 2017 6:17 pm

So far I've went to a home show at the local convention center. There were many gutter guard systems on the showroom floor. I've ruled out the micro-mesh SS screen covers because pine pollen (it's like yellow snow in the spring) clogs them up so easily. The following week we've gotten quotes from Leaf-Guard and Gutter-Helmet. After some bargaining, both quotes are expensive but still within a couple of hundred dollars from each other. I'm leaning towards Leaf-Guard right now but giving myself a week to consider it before committing.

TRC
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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by TRC » Tue Jan 24, 2017 9:09 pm

A lot of the leaf guard gimmicks can promote ice damns in the winter. Just hire someone to clean them for you.

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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by jumppilot » Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:41 pm

Any gutter company in town will be able to clean your gutters for you. I pay a local place $150 a year to come out and clean them. The crew usually consists of late teen/20 something young guys who are still bullet proof.

If I fell off a roof, my career could potentially be over. See the previous poster who fell off his roof.

Very much worth the money!

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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by Dwayne » Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:59 pm

My home is a split entry, so parts of the gutter are 10 ft above ground and others are 20 ft. I used to climb a ladder and scoop out the leaves, then a fear of falling (actually, hitting the ground hard ) asserted itself. So for a couple of years I paid to have the gutters cleaned periodically. Unfortunately, the leaves refilled the gutters soon after. I needed a better solution.

I spent some time researching gutter cleaning tools that would allow me to work from the ground. I tried blowers (air) and wash wands (water). I didn't like either style. Then I found the "Gutter Sense" tool. It looks like a big set of salad tongs that attach to a long painter's extension pole. It wasn't expensive so I gave it a try. I like it. It's a little tedious, but it gets the job done. It's paid for itself by allowing me to clean the gutters (several times per season) without paying someone to go up on the roof.

Amazon sells it for $28 (https://www.amazon.com/Gutter-Sense-Cle ... tter+sense). I think it's a bargain. You can buy a painters pole at your local home center or hardware store if you don't already have one in the garage. I have two because I needed a very long pole to reach the portion of the gutter above the driveway.

There is a pair of YouTube videos showing how to use it. Here's a link to part one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RV87tdSG4Ow

Dwayne

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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by Goal33 » Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:04 am

Unless you've made a profession of it you probably shouldn't be on your roof. When I worked in the ER it was full of folks like you taking on projects like this. I'd rather pay a few hundred than fall from a ladder or roof.
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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by littlebird » Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:16 am

adamthesmythe wrote:When I had a house in the east I decided there was no good solution. I have moved to Arizona where we do not have gutters. Problem solved.
I live in Arizona and I have gutters; very large ones, in fact. What I don't have much of, however, is leaves. :D

Woodshark
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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by Woodshark » Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:39 pm

Thank you all for your replies. After a lot of research, consideration and bids from contractors/companies I decided to go with Leaf-Guard. With some bargaining, they came up with the best price, had the most honest salesman, and I think had the best system for us. I will cry when I write the check but I hope (Fingers crossed) to never have to get on the roof and clean gutters again.

Atilla
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Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

Post by Atilla » Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:59 pm

I risk life and limb 2-3 times a year. Extension ladder on a 2nd floor deck going up 2 more floors to the roof. The view is nice from up there. I avoid doing it on real windy days. But I used to heat my house with wood and can pull the engine out of a Camaro, so take it for what it's worth.
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