I am really tired of cleaning out our gutters every year. Over the years I have seen various commercials for gutter
guards, leaf guards, gutter screens and whatever.
Has anyone got any recommendations or warnings on the variety of "solutions" currently on the market?
They would be good where I live now ... lots of big leaves. However, in
my previous house, we had lots of Maple trees and the springtime seed
would hook in the opening and line up like little soldiers. I literally
had to pick them out one by one. I now have Gutter Helmets and they
seem to work real well.
On Wednesday, October 26, 2016 at 10:47:08 PM UTC-4, Gordon Shumway wrote:
the screen guards are a waste of money. had them on my moms house. true they keep out large leaves, but small stuff fragments and gets under the screen.
so you have to remove thescreen to clean the debris out.......
True, but it means cleaning the gutters every 3-4 years, instead of
every year. Still an improvement.
There are gutter-cleaning robots on the market now, but reviews are
mixed as to how well they perform. I've watched video - the debris is
flung out in all directions, meaning some of it lands on the roof,
where it will eventually blow/wash back down into the gutter. And the
more crud that's in the gutter, the worse the robot performs. Figures.
I've imagined a hinged gutter system, where one would use a pole to
reach up and unlock the gutter at both ends, let the gutter hang free
on its hinges, hose it clean, then use the pole to push/relock the
gutter back into place. Or maybe gutters with removable bottoms, where
you'd slide the bottom out from one end, let all the crud drop free,
then slid the bottom back into place. I dunno - there's got to be a
I've tried various things with mine. I have the HD screens on lower
gutters where most leaves go and when drainage slows down or stops can
climb a short ladder, lift end screen and remove blockage at end.
Sometimes a lot of gunk will accumulate and I have to remove several
screens to clean.
I cannot reach the 2nd floor and when one clogged, I hired the Gutter
Guys just for the 2nd floor. The 2nd floor in back had gutter replaced
that blew off in a storm with one of those lip guard type guards and
they rip those off and leave off to clean.
I figure in a year or so I will need a new roof and intend to get new
gutters at the time. I'll see what roofer recommends.
I heard about the cleaning robots but how do you get them up there?
Also like the Roomba who I find do not actually use suction but just
sweep, all these things do is sweep.
I once made a section of PVC 4 inch pipe with an elbow to try cleaning
with my leaf blower. It was not all that great.
They make (or you can make your own) a U-shape attachment for a hose
which allows you to water jet debris out of the gutter. Not sure how
well it works, but in theory it appears as if it will do the job, though
could be messy splashing all around.
Several Halloweens ago wife asked 81 year neighbor about missing teeth
and he said he had fallen off the roof. I'm not a lot younger than
that. My roof climbing days are over. Better a mess coming down on me
than me coming down a mess.
Best thing I ever did was have my eve troughs removed. Between the fall leaves and the winter snow/ice, they were a maintenance headache.
To replace them, I had a shallow trench ( 12" deep x 6' wide ) dug the along the length of the house (front and back). Next the trenches were lined with rubber pond liner and filled with pea gravel. Both trenches drain off to a dry well about 75' from house.
I did the same thing on two homes that I own. The first one was a one-story
ranch style home. There were some problems and damage to the existing
gutters and downspouts, so before replacing them I decided to just remove
them all and see what happens.
A neighbor said that if I did that I would end up with deep ruts in the
ground along the line where the rain water drops off the roof. He was
somewhat right, but not completely. Along the back of that house, there are
some narrow ruts or pits in the ground but nothing significant. Along the
front of the house, not so much, but the grass grows better in the front
than the back which reduced the amount of "rut effect". And, over the back
door there is the problem of having to walk through a waterfall while going
in and out if it is raining. I may be able to create some type of fix for
that issue by putting up some kind of diverter piece on the roof to divert
the water away from the section over the door, but I haven't bothered to try
The second home that I did this on is a 2 1/2 story older style home. That
one has a huge oak tree in front that belongs to the County so I cannot
remove the tree. The tree produces tons of leaves and acorns and always
created a huge mess with the gutters and downspouts. Interestingly, for
that house, the issue of the "ruts" is almost nonexistent. I think that may
be because even though some of the waterfall drops from two floors up, the
amount off roof area receiving rain on each of the 4 sides is less so less
rain water pours down on each side.
Maybe something like that would be a "fix" of some sort for the rut issue
that my no-gutter, no-downspout, solution created.
But, the bottom line for me is that for these two homes -- which are
subjected to tree leaves and acorns etc. -- my no-gutter, no-downspout,
solution seems to work well.
And, for homes where I have no tree issues near those homes, leaving the
gutters and downspouts in place is no problem and works well.
Still feel like a 40 year old, in fact I'm in better shape than I was
at 40. I have a split and I'm pretty sure I'd break more than teeth
if I fell from most parts of the roof.
But I use a back pack blower and have no reason to get closer than
a couple of feet from the edge.
Lots of my neighbors use lawn services and handy men for all the
home maintenance jobs. My feeling is, when I get there, it's time
to move into a rental. I'm going to keep at it until I can't.
If I kill myself falling of the roof, I win. No long slow
painful death in a hospital bed. (Yeah, I know, I could get injured.)
I'm a believer in exercise. I swim a mile or more 3 times a week.
Roofs are easy.
That mess that comes down is leaves and water. That stuff falling
into my face and down my back is just too nasty for me. I get out
the ladder, and get up there and do the job.
Those jets make a horrible mess. In the past, I've had excellent success using a long, flexible hose attached
to a powerful shop vac. You can buy hoses for shop vacs that are similar to the kind you find at self-service
It also helps to have a son, grandson or great grandson to do the ladder work..........
I attached 2 2" quarter turn electrical PVC elbows to a wand segment and with a couple more wands I use the shop-vac to suck out the gutters from the ground. Two things though. First, it's a 1 story house. Second, the "leaves" were from a juniper tree. These leaves are stringy and break into pieces about the size of sand on contact. The gutter would fill with this stuff at least twice a year. That tree is no longer "available".
On Thursday, October 27, 2016 at 6:32:00 AM UTC-5, Frank wrote:
Welllllll, maybe it's the product you are using or the type
of trees around your house. But I can say what I've been
using has been fantastic. No junk in gutters and no clogged
downspouts which means no standing on ladders and throwing
rotted leaves and twigs to then be picked up or mulched.
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