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
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.
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
"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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
them so it was actually more work.
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