I recently spent more time than a rational human being probably ought to
plowing thru this same type of gutter guard/screen/filter question on
one home improvement Web site. And no matter what, the consunsus on this
subject seems to be exactly the same: When it comes to gutter devices,
save your time and money because they either don't work, or don't work
as well as the commercials lead you to think they do. If you keep your
gutters free of leaves and crap, you should have no need whatsoever for
any sort of gutter guards or screens. Otherwise, if you're unable or too
lazy to do it yourself, hire some neighborhood kid or gutter cleaning
service to clean out the leaves and maple tree whirlygigs and other glop
every spring and fall -- you'll still end up spending less over 20-30
years if hiring someone to do it for you than you would on gutter guards.
firstname.lastname@example.org (dtbray) wrote:
I couldn't disagree more. I have gutter guards over a section of gutter
where there is heavy leaf fall. The guard has kept all the leaves out.
This is the add-on kind of screen, not the "leafguard" type of gutter with
built-in guard. The gutter company charged $2/foot extra and it was well
Jedd Haas - Artist
Depends on whether you had enough pine needles spearing their way into
the screen holes and clogging up the screens something fierce -- thereby
making all that rain run over the screen/gutters and to the ground, and
potentially causing seepage problems.
I've lived in northwest Florida and have seen long pine needles and
gutter screens interacting during torrential downpours -- and the
results weren't anything I'd want happening around my foundation.
email@example.com (dtbray) wrote:
While everything seems all hunky-dory now, stand under those screened
gutters (especially if you're unfortunate enough to have a jillion maple
tree whirlygigs stuck in all the little holes) during a torrential
rainstorm and let us know how dry you end up.
But then again, it's your money -- and if you felt it was well-spent,
then peachy keen. Glad you're happy. Most people don't seem to be.
firstname.lastname@example.org (Jedd Haas) wrote:
take a piece of copper tubing that i had i think its either 3/8 or 1/2
in. and put a fitting on one end and attached it to a hose and the other
end is bendt like a hoop.. i have a one store house and dont even have
to get up on a ladder anymore.... just run the water all along and flush
the leaves out as i move along the house holding the copper tubing into
the gutter pan......
For the less mechanically-inclined, there are a few places where you can
get a ready-made contraption like Jim's that attaches to your garden
hose and will pressure-blast leaves and crud out of your gutter. One
I've seen is advertised on TV; another I've seen is available thru a
catalog outfit called Improvements (they have a regular mailed catalog
and a Web catalog; Google will find the Web one for you). They're all
telescoping or just really long for the benefit of those who own
something taller than a ranch house. Heck, I think even the Harriet
Carter catalog carries a version of it.
I think the best gutter guards are the ones that go over the top of the
gutter, closing it off and leaving only a narrow slit open under the
front edge. They rely on the surface tension of water. The water
curves around the edge and goes in, the debris goes over and off the
roof. I've tried the add on plastic version of this on a section of
mine. I have very heavy tree leaves and it seems to work fine. The
water goes where it's supposed to, even in heavy rain. I suppose a
real super cloud burst might go overboard, but that would be pretty
If I were doing new gutters, this is the type I would definitely go
In a previous posting, Usenet was endowed with the following text from
Think about what the statement above says. It suggests closing off your
gutters is a good idea, leaving a tiny slit open under the front edge.
It boggles my mind that some people will close off perfectly good rain
gutters AND pay through the nose for some snake oil product that people
believe will work better than open gutters when it rains, and make their
gutter forever maintenance free. It just proves what suckers the average
Joe really is.
In carefully controlled demonstrations, this works most of the time. I
have witnessed, on more than one occasion, a salesperson demonstrating
gutter covers in which they use pine straw or a dollar bill (to mimic a
leaf), drop it on their "running water" display, and the debris follows
the flow of water right into the gutter. One guy had to turn off the
water and use a ratchet to unbolt the cover and take the cover off to
get his dollar bill back out.
Gutter covers that use surface tension of the water will work to some
degree all of the time, but are not maintenance free and don't work well
at all in a heavy downpour or on roofs with more than average pitch. In
any event, they are not worth the ridiculous price dealers charge for
I wonder what planet you're living on. It can't be Earth. The add-on
plastic units you get at the home improvement stores are the WORST on
the market, in design and function. The curved edge is too abrupt and
water with any velocity will not make the dramatic change of direction
to enter the gutters... at least, not in large quantities. Covers with a
longer, more rounded edge handle water better, but also take in more
I'll say one thing for the people who sell gutter covers... they've got
a good gimmick going and they're milking it for everything they can...
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