Leaf Guard gutters


I was just thinking about my horrible experience with my Leaf Guard gutters and realized that the only way I would get over it was to let others know, so you can think about this before making a decision. This is a little vindictive, but when the company could not resolve my issues, they said in the politest way, that's fine if you don't want to pay the last $1000, we'll just "ruin your credit". That scared me enough to pay, but I'm still mad.
Do the gutters work is probably your main question. The answer is two-fold. I have a dutch colonial (so a very steep roof with an overhang) and also a couple of sections of flat and fairly flat roof. The way that leaf guard attached the gutters to my flat roof was with tape and glue. I live in Minnesota. The first rain/freeze, the tape glue came undone, and I had to wait until the Spring for them to fix it. In the mean time the rain/snow melt dripped between the gutter and the roof. Their comment, it should be fine, your roof was in good shape.
The installers just replaced what was there, but they made some miscalculations, so the drain spout for the side of my house ended right at the edge of my house, not too smart. They were good about coming and moving it, but I felt they should have figured it out before. The problem is that when they do drain, they wash away my back yard, noone mentioned that, and they weren't willing to fix that. They also put the drain right in my walkway, they were too dumb to figure out that it should be a little shorter.
As far as the steep roof. The top part of the roof had no gutter, they never mentioned it may need one until I complained about the noise. The top part of the roof drains onto the top of the gutter so when it's raining I hear pinging all night long outside my bedroom window. Noone mentioned that possibility. Also, given my house, two gutters in the front would look silly.
It's been a year, the tape is coming off again, I didn't have to clean leaves out, but the edge of my white gutters is black, so I do need to clean them still.
I think the biggest problem is that I trusted the company knew what it was doing and that they would install the correct gutters for me. When I asked the guy that came to fix them (for about the third or fourth time) if they really work on a flat roof, he said they weren't the best option for a flat roof. Apparently, it's typical for them to come yearly and re-tape them, I don't think they're willing to return to my house.
Also, after I signed the original contract, the sales man told me he made a mistake of $300, and he'd offer to split it with me. They were horrible! So, the moral of the story is that you need to be a little more educated on where you want your gutters, don't let them make the decision for you. Also, don't have them installed on a flat roof, and if you live in the Midwest, avoid Midwest Leaf Guard.
I feel better already!
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Debbie,
I can feel for you but I think you need to blame the installation company, not the product. I had Leaf Guard Gutters on my house in Houston for years and they were GREAT! (But not perfect) The company that installed them did a great job adding them to an existing two story house and we never had any problems with the installation.
Our one problem was that they did eventually fill up with pine needles and the debris from the fiberglass shingles. The gravel from the shingles caused the gutters to droop some and when it rained real heavy, the gutters couldn't hold the water. I would complain about that but the company who installed the gutters lived upto their warranty. They cleaned the gutters and repaired them at no cost.
Debbie wrote:

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I've had leafguard gutters on my house for 9 years. You got screwed by a bad installer. Leafguard gutters themselves are great. Seems to me you should have sued the installer in small claims court and complained to BBB. Also if they are licensed, complain to licensing board.

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Slightly OT -
I was watching This Old House the other day and they had a crew who was bending aluminum on site for some type of leaf guard system. They looked very similiar to http://www.leafguard.com/home.asp
The crew-chief showed Steve how they worked by pouring a cup of water over a section of gutter that was laying across some saw horses. While most of the water went into the gutter, a lot of water ran over the front and dripped on the ground. I said to myself, "Self, a cup of water poured over a gutter that is laying across some saw horses is not the same thing as rain water coming off a roof onto a gutter that is attached to the house. I'll bet they work better once installed or TOH wouldn't be featuring them."
The next scene showed a section of gutter being carried up 2 ladders by the crew and mounted onto the clips. The screws were placed in the brackets and the gutters were secured. It was raining at the time and all along the length of the gutter you could see water dripping off the face of the gutter and dropping to the ground.
As far as I can tell, not only would these not collect leaves and other debris, they would not catch all of the water. It obviously wasn't raining hard enough to stop the crew from working on 30' ladders, so I can only assume that if it rained harder, there would be even more water cascading over the front of the gutter. Was I missing something or is there a trade-off between the gutters catching "no debris" but only "most of the water"?
Debbie wrote:

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Only thing I've been able to determine in the postings here over the past couple of year is that some work, many do not, the only thing caught for sure is your money by some salesman's claws. I'm not ready to buy yet.
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wrote in message

I had so much stuff in my gutters before that the leaves were turning into dirt and maple trees were trying to grow in the gutters. I now have a gutter guard (not that brand name) and everything is fine. I think it all boils down to your installer people.
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The only answer I can give you is that I lived in Houston for over 30 years and you won't find many places in the country that get more rain or a greater amount of rain in short periods of time. I had experience with both standard gutters and the leaf guard gutters. Based on my experience, the standard gutters were better at water collection that the leaf guard system as long as your standard gutters were kept perfectly clean and clear. The main problem was that it only took a couple of leaves to start blocking the system. Once a few leaves got in place, the standard gutter system was essentially worthless.
The leaf guard system would during heavy rains allow some water to drip over the gutter but the overwhelming amount of the water went into the gutter as it should. It drained consistantly well for many years before I had to have it cleared out. So, if you must deal with the trees, the leaf guard gutter is a worthwhile purchase.
DerbyDad03 wrote:

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By the way, reasons I had to have it cleaned out were two fold. First, we put on a new roof and the fine gravel from the shingles would move with the water over the guard and into the gutter. Once in the gutter, the flow was not fast enough to move them to the down spouts. Secondly, we had over 40 trees on our lot, many of them pine trees. The pine needles would on occasion flow over and into the gutter if they were parallel to the gutter. Once inside, they would not move down the drains. Over many years, they along with the roof gravel caused the gutters to clog. The company who installed them gave us a guarantee and they honored it. We called, they sent out a crew who cleaned them and refinished them.
BobR wrote:

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Mine catch all the water except in an impossible corner where no gutter would catch it. And the leafguard are still clean after 9 years. Where it misses the water it acts like a sky lift and the water goes out way far from the foundation. It only misses in the worse corner during horrible downbursts.

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It depends largely on the pitch of the roof. Gutter covers (hoods, helmets, whatever) are NOT efficient at collecting rain water runoff from roofs, unless the roof has very little pitch. The faster the water runs off the roof, the less efficient the gutter covers will be at collecting rain water.
The main purpose of any gutter protection is to prevent the gutters from getting clogged to the point where they overflow. No hood, cover, helmet or guard is going to stop everything from getting into the gutters. The problem with the gutter cover products is this: when rain water does enter the gutters, it doesn't do so with enough force or velocity to unsettle the sediment and move it down the slope to the downspout.
That is why I like the Steelco gutter screen (http://gutterscreen.net ). The are quality made, rigid mesh screens that keep large debris out of the gutters, attach securely, and don't restrict rain water from flowing into the gutters. In a good downpour, the velocity of the water helps control sediment buildup.
Like any other gutter protection product, occasional maintenance may be necessary, but, generally speaking, the screens don't have to be removed to service the gutters. A water hose is all that is needed. In my view, it is the best product out there for rain gutter protection.
JM
In a previous posting, Usenet was endowed with the following text from

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oh puleeeze!!! It rains a lot around here and water comes down from the gutters thru the downspouts just fine. I have a lot of trees (pine and leafy) and in 8 years the gutters still run free. I have tons of linear feet of gutters around the house (one story) on all 4 sides. Also across porch roof that is part of the main roof, and also the 2 car garage which is part of the main roof,too. I mean they are all linked together into one massive roof area.
It's all in who installs them!
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Please see my post in the thread titled "gutter guards - think these will work?" the leaf guard company responded to my phone calls by promising me a free fix from an approved local installer, obviously just to get rid of me. No one ever showed up, their guarantee was not honored, and their product was a disaster for me. Can't believe they are still in business.
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