Gutters/Leaf Protection

I've been planning to have our gutters replaced for some time. They are not in the greatest shape (lots of slope problems), and collect a lot of leaves and pine needles because they only have screens protecting the gutters.
My plan has been to replace the existing units with some sort of solid gutter cover...
So, I got estimates from 3 sources. One of 'em got ruled out completely because the price was the highest of the 3 and the offer was "good right now only". I don't care what you're selling, I smell a sham or a sucker deal when the offer is "only good right now".
I realize that none of these systems is perfect, and some debris may get into the gutters anyway. I also realize that some water may come over the top of the system in hard rains, particularly in places where roof valleys meet the gutters. Even with these problems, I think the top cover is a better solution than me climbing a 25' ladder 3 or 4 times a year and reaching into a filthy, wet gutter to remove debris.
Anyway, what experiences have people had with Gutter Guard, Leafguard, Gutter Helmet, etc?
Thanks in advance..
KB
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Leafguard works perfectly for me for both pines and hardwoods. Been up on my house about 10 years and still perfectly clean. I had Gutter helmut in my last house. A waste of money. Just made the gutters more difficult to clean. The only problem with leafguard is that they are very expensive. One guy posts here that they did not work for him at all and birds built nests in his Leafguard gutters. I asked him to post a picture but he never did. I am in NC. My father on Long Island with 6 large oak trees on a tiny lot also had Leafguard installed as well as several neighbors and they all worked well. They were cheaper on Long Island than in NC but I have oversized downspouts whereas on Long Island they put in regular downspouts. Also corners are expensive and my house has tons of them.

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That's been my experience as well. Leafguard works just fine. The only people who I've ever heard bad mouth them were from a roofing company that, surprise!, did gutter cleaning in the fall. I nearly fell out of my shoes when they told me how much one gutter cleaning crew made for the company in a week.
The Leafguards I've put up over the years have never clogged, and never had birds build nest in them. That's _got_ to be an old wives' tale. I suppose if you never get rain it could happen, but the first rain and the nest would get washed away. Birds aren't that stupid.
I've had them under big pine trees and I thought that the needles would build up and require periodic cleaning, but that hasn't happened. I guess the needles just wash away in the next big rain. I've checked on gutters that I had installed on one project 12 years ago and the only thing in the bottom of the gutter was dust. Owner has never had the gutters cleaned.
R
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*I* posted on here that i had bird nests in 4 corners of my home, and also explained that i felt it was due to a faulty installation of the leafguard system. all corners were open. the gutter installer was a fly by nighter, came back once and did a quick and dirty fix that fixed nothing, after that i contacted leaf guard directly, was told don't worry, we stand behind our products! yeah right. nothing ever happened, no one ever came out to look at them, and i ended up pulling them all off and now am much happier with my open gutters and no birds.
I don't think i'm the person who was asked to post any pics. never heard that request.
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wrote:

Mike, I'm curious about your experience and have some questions and observations.
You mentioned that the gutter installer was a fly-by-nighter - how did he get the Leafguard gutters? They're proprietary gutters and work in more or less protected areas, so was the installer the same person that you bought the gutters from? Or did you have Leafguard come to your house, roll the gutters to length, and then you had the fly-by- nighter install them?
If the installer wasn't a Leafguard contractor, then I can understand Leafguard's unwillingness to correct the other contractor's mistakes. If it was a Leafguard contractor, they should have obviously stood behind their product. You mentioned phone calls. I've found that it's often necessary to leave that paper trail in case push comes to shove. Did you send them a strongly worded letter, certified and return receipt requested? I usually indicate a copy to my lawyer (or make a lawyer up!) on the bottom of the letter.
It seems a shame to rip down $1600 of gutters unless the entire installation was botched. Were the uncapped corners the only problem? If so, Leafguard would have been more than happy to mail you the caps and you could have installed all four in about half an hour.
I don't understand how anyone could put up gutters and not cap the ends. I also don't understand how you would pay someone for an incomplete job. What happened and how come you didn't object and withhold payment?
R
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i picked a couple of gutter installers out of the yellow pages. i told them both i wanted gutter guards and gutters installed on my new house. The first team came by and they seemed alright. I think the gutter were @1500 and the leaf guard was around $1300 or 14 additional. I didn't go check with leaf guard to see if they were approved installers. leaf guard meant nothing to me at that point, i just wanted gutter guards because the house is too tall for me to clean the gutters easily.
install went ok. They completed the job, looked nice from the ground. I paid them. This was around march.
come May, i had birds. Called these guys back, and one guy returned, got on his ladder, and removed all nests. I was at work and didn't witness.
birds returned. I duct taped my digital camera to a swimming pool vacuum pool, extended it out the 2nd floor windows, and took pictures of the corners. They were open.
contacted leaf guard. they asked the same question you did - who installed. Not on approved list. LG had not idea how they got the product, but confirmed from my pictures in *was* leafguard.
I said, ok, send me the corner pieces and i'll get them installed. She told me there are NO corner pieces. Correct instll would have overlalpped on the corners.
told me not to worry, they will stand behind their product and will send approved contractor out to fix.
lather. rinse, repeat.
finally give up and pay handyman to remove guards.
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wrote:

You've already lost me, Mike. Leafguard gutters are one piece. http://www.leafguardofasheville.com They're not like Gutter Helmet, which is an add on to a standard K- section gutter profile. http://www.harryhelmet.com/products.html
Second picture down is a Gutter Helmet. Is this what you had on your roof? http://www.b4ubuild.com/special/gutters/gutrgrd3.shtml That seems to be what you are describing. Leafguard has one and only one profile and there isn't an option to have the gutters uncovered.

I thought you were talking about uncapped ends when you said the corners. You mean that the gutter turns a corner and that that was somehow open. It definitely is starting to sound like you had Gutter Helmets, and _not_ Leafguard. The Gutter Helmets, sitting on top of the roof and standard gutter, would have to be overlapped like you mentioned to cover the corners.

Leafguard _does_ make corner pieces so you don't have to miter the gutter, but you can miter the standard profile if you want.

Leafguard gutters are a one piece section and they're supported by proprietary plastic brackets that are installed inside the gutter. Removing the "guards" on a Leafguard gutter would require cutting the aluminum lengthwise just below the roof edge. That would be one major pain in the ass to do.
I'd appreciate it if you could post links to some of those pictures showing the bird nests so we could see exactly what is what.
R
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mike_0 snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com says...

Holy house thieves, Batman! Unless you have one *hell* of a house you got raped!

Yikes!
I think I would have had a lawyer remind them of their agreement.

Likely the best solution anyway, but one that cost a bundle.
--
Keith

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i stand corrected - i had leafProof and not leaf guard.
sorry for the misrepresentation.
i could also be off on my pricing, was throwing so much $$ around building the house its all a blur now.
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wrote:

OK, Mike, I thought you might be mistaken. Since the OP will be basing his decision at least in part on what he reads here, I thought we should clarify things.
R
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To summarize what I've read over the last few years about these systems is:
They all work about the same, not all that well, but not terribly either. Your gutters WILL still require cleaning, maybe even once a year, certainly every other yea, and don't believe any guarantee that they will come out and do it for you - it just ain't gonna happen.
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I've got leafguard also, and haven't had to clean the gutters in 5 years. However I do have to wash out the leafguard water slot periodically. I live in a woods and the maple tree seeds get caught in them. My roof slop is 3.5/12, I think with a steeper roof pitch I wouldn't have this problem. Also in the winter I get ice damming where I didn't before they were installed. I think somebody sells them with a heat tape installed for that problem.

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for anyone using these things:
do you also need the downspout wireframe lightbulb stoppers that need cleaning out periodically?
I am just wondering if this extra precaution is pointless.
-
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Are you talking about the Leafguard styple of gutter? If so, you couldn't get the mousetrap inside the gutter and there's nothing for them to catch. So, no - they're pointless.
R
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Nope. Just the gutters do the job.

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Slightly OT post here...but related to cleaning gutters...
We've had the same mailman (Dave) for close to 25 years. He has seen us go from newlyweds to parents of 4 kids. The oldest are 20 & 18, both boys. He's seen the boy's progress from their walkers to their bikes to their cars.
Last Saturday I was up at the top of my 28 foot ladder cleaning the gutters, just like I've been doing twice a year for 25 years. As Dave was delivering the mail, he walked past the ladder and said (with a completely straight face) "Someday your boys will be old enough to do that for you." The dead pan delivery was so perfect I nearly fell off the ladder with laughter.
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