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
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..
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.
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.
*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
Mike, I'm curious about your experience and have some questions and
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
i picked a couple of gutter installers out of the yellow pages. i told
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
and the leaf guard was around $1300 or 14 additional. I didn't go
leaf guard to see if they were approved installers. leaf guard meant
me at that point, i just wanted gutter guards because the house is too
for me to clean the gutters easily.
install went ok. They completed the job, looked nice from the ground.
them. This was around march.
come May, i had birds. Called these guys back, and one guy returned,
on his ladder, and removed all nests. I was at work and didn't
birds returned. I duct taped my digital camera to a swimming pool
extended it out the 2nd floor windows, and took pictures of the
corners. They were
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
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
told me not to worry, they will stand behind their product and will
contractor out to fix.
lather. rinse, repeat.
finally give up and pay handyman to remove guards.
You've already lost me, Mike. Leafguard gutters are one piece.
They're not like Gutter Helmet, which is an add on to a standard K-
section gutter profile.
Second picture down is a Gutter Helmet. Is this what you had on your
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.
To summarize what I've read over the last few years about these
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.
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
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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