Anyone have any experience with gutter filters? These are foam "space
fillers" that let water drain through but keep leaves and other stuff out.
I'm considering using them unless I hear negative reports. Thanks, Jim
Wouldn't the foam essentially "fill-up" the volume of the gutter and,
although the water will move through the foam, it will move a LOT slower
than free-running water. I think the foam-filled gutter will not be able to
carry a sufficient amount of water per minute. Also, if the surface of the
foam is essentially at the height of the top of the gutter, I think the
momentum of the water coming down the surface of the roof will largely flow
right over the foam and over the outer edge of the gutter. All the more so
when the foam becomes quickly saturated with water.
From one 300 square foot section of my roof, I watched a 55 gallon drum fill
in five minutes. I figure that 11 gallons per minute spread over 300 sq ft
is a rate of more than two gallons per hour falling on each square inch of
roof surface. Granted this was a typical summer downpour, but it was rather
disconcerting to have to run outside in that downpour to remove the pipe
carrying water from the downspout to the drum and reconnect the pipe
sections which dump the water into the underground pipe leading to the storm
Like all other systems it may work under some conditions, but not
others. I would tend to believe it's problem would be fines. The small
specs of stuff that would get into the system and over time fill it up.
Also as Bill noted, unless the design made allowances for it, it is likely
that it would have a difficult time handling high flow events.
The one thing that does work is Leafguard gutters with a builtin
cover. Unforturnately in some areas of the country they cost 3 times
more than regular gutters. I had add-on "helmets" added to existing
gutters in my previous house. They were worthless. Leafguard works
well. Even during the heavyest rains where they cannot handle all the
water, they shoot the excess out about 6 feet from the house wall.
But for the most part most of the water goes down the gutter the way
it should and it stays clean.
Nothing works perfectly with pine needles. With any gutter protection,
there has be a large enough space for water to pass through, and
anything large enough to let water pass through will also allow pine
needles to pass through. Gutter covers (hoods) are no exception. Just
about any gutter protection will slow the accumulation of pine needles,
but eventually, they get through.
In my experience Leafguard gutters do not let the pine needles in.
The top completely covers the gutter and the water only gets in
because it adheres and goes around and under the cover via surface
tension and drops into the gutter. The needles cannot do it.
However, like I said previously, in a torrential storm they can be
overloaded but in that case the water they cannot handle seems to
shoot out 6 feet or so from the foundation of the house.
Yes. Therein lies the problem. Completely covering the gutter
drastically reduces the gutter's efficiency in heavy rain. Keeps a lot a
debris out, but then the gutters don't work well when you need them the
most... in a downpour.
In a perfect world, maybe. Liquid adhesion works ok in light to moderate
rains, but in a downpour, forget it, especially if you have a steep
Bull crap. That's nonsense. They can, and do. Gutter hoods will reduce,
but not eliminate, pine needles in the gutters.
That's fine, IF all that water drains away from the foundation. If not,
that $15 per foot was a huge waste of money, and you'll be pumping out
the basement when the rain stops.
I've seen dealers demonstrate the product you mention at home shows and
watched the pine needles (much to the dealer's embarrassment) follow the
water right into the gutter. Not only will pine needles get IN the
gutter, but they sometimes clog the narrow opening that the water is
supposed to go through, rendering the whole mess rather useless. But,
hey, the look good!
I suppose we all have opinions on these products, but I submit that
competitive products, such as premium quality gutter screens, offer
similar gutter protection against clogged downspouts and maintain open
gutters for better rain carrying efficiency, while costing a fraction of
the price of high-end covers.
I had a product called "Gutter Helmet" put on one of the houses I own. For
1. The house is in an area with a lot of willow trees, and in one half year
of owning the house I had to clean the gutters three times. The first time
the gutters plugged, water backed up enough to enter the house causing water
damaged ceilings, and almost pulled down the offending gutter.
2. A friend of mine had it installed and loved it. Swore by them and said if
I didn't like them he would pay for half of the cost.
The salesman was honest with me, telling me that it wasn't cheap........he
was right! But he also said I would never have to clean my gutters again. If
I did they would pay to have it done. Some of the expense was to have all
the gutters replaced with continuous runs of one piece gutters, which are
Alcoa products, heavier than what most companies use, which I had confirmed.
The bracket are installed every foot, and all the aluminum is colored almost
exactly like the trim.
Anyhow since they have been on I have had zero problems with them, no plugs,
no backups. We recently had a huge snow storm and while there were icicles
the flow of air under the helmut keeps the snow from developing ice dams.
The slightest rise in temp. or sunlight and water is dripping from the
downspouts. I haven't had the luck of checking during heavy downpours, but
it was explained to me about the way the product has bends and baffles to
slow the flow of the water so that a majority of the water can flow into the
gutter, (still to be proven), but as of right now I am ecstatic with the
I'm glad you're happy with the product. It would be a shame to pay the
high cost of that product and not be happy with it. My whole point,
really, is that the same results could have been achieved with a premium
quality gutter screen (Steelco, for example) at a fraction of the cost.
But, if money is no object... ;-)
I installed GutterFilter myself over a year ago, so I have now been
through all seasons, and we had a lot of pine straw this year... No
clogs, it must be flowing really well even in the big storms, and I
have been watching it.
How did you do it yourself? The dealer claims it has to be
installed be a dealer/contractor at 10.00(us) a foot.
Where did you buy and how much does it cost to manufacture?
I asked three home depot's in my area (upstate NY) no one has
this product. They sell a roll of foam, approx, 1/2" x 5" wide.
This will sag over time. I like the gutter filter, but a
dealer has this market... Hal brewster roofing, 10$/foot. I
find lots of web site for "gutter stuff", but none will sell to
a homeowner. Sounds like a great mail order business... :-)
Roger Shoaf wrote:
At 10 bucks a foot that pays for a lot of gutter cleanouts. Go back to your
hardware store and look for screen material. Nor window screen but
galvanized wire with spaces 3/8 to 1/2 inch. Cut this into strips a little
longer than your gutter is wide and bend down any sharp points and stuff one
edge under your shingles, and hang the other end over your gutter. You
might snip loose a wire every 4 inches or so and tuck that inside the
About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
In a previous posting, Usenet was endowed with the following text from
Better yet, just order from www.gutterscreen.net. They are made from the
galvanized wire with 3/8 mesh, very affordable and easy as hell to
install. Much easier than cutting the wire to the right size and
manipulating it into place.
I have to agree with Art. These devices that rely on surface tension
work very well. I've seen them on peoples homes who are satisfied with
them. I've tried the retrofit version, which aren't even as good, and
even those work pretty well, with none of the problems you claim. Even
in a heavy down pour, the water goes around the curved edge and into
the gutter. I'm sure you could come up with a cloud burst that might
come once every 10 yrs and last 10 mins that would be too much for it,
but so what, nothing is perfect.
I've seen lots of people discredit the screens as being ineffective,
particularly for pine needles or other debris that eventally clogs
them. IMO, of the alternatives available, the devices that rely on
surface tension are by far the best. In fact, some of the companies
here offer lifetime free cleaning of the gutters if necessary.
In a previous posting, Usenet was endowed with the following text from
They may work well for certain applications, but the "surface tension"
concept is NOT a panacea. They work best on low pitch roofs, but the
high cost and difficulty in maintenance are a significant drawback.
There are other products that work about as well, don't reduce gutter
efficiency and make it easier to service the gutters, should they need
And I have removed them from the roofs of homeowners who were not at all
satisfied with them.
The laws of physics in your neck of the woods must work quite
differently than those in my part of the world.
IF the screens have a weak point, it is pine needles, but that all
depends on what you expect. Pine needles are also a problem for gutter
covers. The difference being, getting them out of gutters with covers is
a major pain in the ass. Not so with screens. There is only one
manufactured screen that I would use, and that the ones I discovered a
few years ago, Steelco screens. In my view, they are the most practical
gutter protection from several different perspectives.
That comment sounds suspiciously like something a gutter cover dealer
would write in a news group...
There's another great clue. First, they tell you your gutters will never
need cleaning again, then they sell you a bunch of overpriced covers and
promise to come clean them out when they get clogged up. LMAO !! What a
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