What has been the experience with Leaf Guard and similar gutter systems? I
don't doubt that they do what they promise...keep leaves and debris out.
What I question is whether the water will go in as it is supposed to.
The water is supposed to cling to the curving top and enter the gutter
while the leaves just continue over and fall to the ground. Seems to me
that in a heavy rain the water will just go flying over the edge, too.
That would defeat the purpose of having gutters in the first place. What's
They can take a lot of rain - so that shouldn't be your concern. They
also do a great job keeping leaves and even pine needles out. Their
weak spots are that they don't deal well with a large volume of
channeled water (coming from a valley), and they tend to develop large
icicles which can be problematic over doorways and such.
Neighbors w/ them (not sure which of the multiple varieties, but I've
heard it about all) took them off after a few years--they would clog on
the maple "propellers" and oak flowering detritus in E TN to the point
of clogging entirely. In that neighborhood area the pines weren't
dominant so can't comment on the efficacy w/ them.
I have a similar system on my gutters. I have gutters on four sides due to
the shape of the roof. Had the gutter system for about 14 years. It does
an excellent job. No leaves in the gutters and they drain well.
I have the "Gutter Stuff" foam filters in my gutters, and used screened
covers before that. So far the foam filters have been working better than
the screens did. The screens would fill up with pine needles, then water
would pour right over the outside edge. I still get build up on the foam
filters, but water is able to drain through into the gutters.
Both systems work well in light to moderately heavy rains. But if we get a
really heavy downpour, the flow is heavy enough that the water shoots right
off the roof bypassing the gutters entirely. However, for the rare times
that occurs it's not really a problem.
The one exception is where roof valley's dump into a gutter. The heavier
volume of water would pick up more debris, which clogged the gutter faster,
and water would pour right over the gutter in moderate rains. The screen
and foam filter both acted the same. The solution was to add a "dam" on the
outside edge of the gutter at that point (I used a piece of metal flashing
inserted into the gutter between the foam filter and gutter). Now the water
comes down the valley, hits the dam, and flows to each side at a lower
velocity. I've been running this setup for about two years with no overflow
since I installed it.
I like a product called "Gutter Brush". It handles leaves and seeds very
well -- don't know about pine needles.
It's very easy to install and over the 9 years that I've had it in, I've
taken sections out from time-to-time just to see what kind of crud builds up
underneath. There's a layer of dirt, but no wads of rotting vegetation that
might clog the eaves or downspouts. Maintenance is minimal. I just flush
the gutter from the dead end if I think of it every year or so.
Of what importance would it be that, in a heavy rain, water
would just go over the edge? Maybe at a building entrance,
that could be an issue, if rains that heavy happen often.
Of more concern to me, would be the idea that rain-soaked
leaves would be supple enough to simply flow like water, and
folow the curve right into the gutter.
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