Keeping gutters clean?

OK guys, what works? I've searched a bit, seen things like Gutter Helmet that look great, but let's face it - if they won't tell you the price anywhere, you know it has to be damn expensive. Is there an inexpensive solution that works? I think it would be a lot cheaper to set aside money to pay someone twice a year to clean your gutters than it would be to buy some of these solutions. TIA
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jeffc wrote:

I use the plastic grids that snap onto the front edge of the gutter with the other end tucking under the first row of roof shigles. They work fine for me. My parents have the wire "rounded top" screens that hinge open for cleaning access to the gutter (hint right there). I can't recommend them. Unsightly and always coming out of place or hinging over on their own.
No solution means "never" cleaning the gutters, but good screens can make it a once a year thing.
One of my bosses has gutter helmet and says they are junk (as a gutter). Hard enough rain and the water shoots right past the edge and onto the ground.
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if your downspouts dont drain to a open spot be more concerned with the underground part getting clogged...
digging is hard work
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I have these " My parents have the wire "rounded top" screens that hinge open for cleaning access to the gutter " and I like them.
I never have this problem with them. " I can't recommend them. Unsightly and always coming out of place or hinging over on their own." Everybody's experience is different.
I sort of agree. Trouble is, once a year cleaning can be more difficult with a year's worth of crap collected where the mesh touches the shingles. "No solution means "never" cleaning the gutters, but good screens can make it a once a year thing."
One thing they will pass through is pine needles. They can shoot right through like little arrows.
Richard
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jeffc wrote:

Sears sells an attachment for your shop vac that includes extensions and a hook and nozzle. You can hook it up to either blow (with the nozzle) or suck and use it from the ground on a one story house. I find that if you don't let it get too bad this works really well. I have screens on my vacation cabin and fell it would be better without them and to just clean them a few times a year with the shop vac.
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jeffc wrote:

Sometimes, it pays to get the best. We had a home in the Carolinas and about 6 acres of Southern Pines. We had gutters, and even with 1/4" mesh, the gutters and mesh would clog 2-3 times a year. After a couple years, I gave up and had Gutter Helmet installed. The installed price was about $4/ ft. as I recall. The material is heavy gauge aluminum, and the clips to the gutter can be easily removed if you ever have to clean them out. After over 6 years of no clogs, I decided to look into the gutter nearest the area most heavily clogged before Gutter Helmet. It was clean as a whistle. The Gutter Helmet extends up the roof a bit, and fits beneath the second course of shingles, as I recall. That is part of its design, and adds to its strength.
The secret of Gutter Helmet is that it uses the surface tension of water to carry it around the curve and let it run backwards into the gutter. Leaves, pine straw and other debris falls off the drip edge, but the water carries on around and into the gutter. In a very heavy rain, the Gutter Helmet can't handle the volume of water, so some spills straight down to the ground, but this is a minor problem.
Mark
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I have to disagree with your praise of Gutter Helmet. They only work if the pitch of your roof is right. My previous house had roofs with various pitches and most places it did not work. Plus it led to the damage of some shingles. Leafguard gutters do work in my experience on my current house. They are gutters with built in guards using the same principle as gutter helmet.

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I had Gutter Helmet on my last house. It did not work. Very expensive but depends on the pitch of your roof so it is a poor idea. Screens don't work either.
I've had Leafguard on this house for 9 years and they work great. In the worse corners you get a little overflow during the heaviest downpours but the leafguards act like sky slopes and the water lands far from the foundation if there is an overflow. Figure that leafguard gutters cost 3 times regular gutters. All corners are done by hand and that adds up plus they recommend oversized downspouts.

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I have cedar gutters which don't have internal hangers. I made a 10' Air nozzle with a length of 1/2" copper pipe, a ball valve, and a few PVC threaded fittings for adjustable end nozzle direction. I just walk around the house, sliding the nozzle along the gutter, and blast the crud out from the ground. The whole thing runs off my air compressor.
I've tried gutter screening on my garage, which has aluminum gutters with hangers. It kept the leaves out, but pine needles and madrona berries from my neighbors trees would quickly fill the gutters anyway, and I had to remove all the screening to clean them so it was actually more work.
Bob
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What works is killing every tree within 25' of your house.
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wrote:

Think my neighbor would mind?
Bob
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