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Question DetailsAsked on 6/4/2013

do gutter guards work?

I am considering having Gutterglove brand gutter guards installed at a price of $1336 for 125 linear feet. Does anyone have experience with this product? Thanks

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The micro filtration concept was pioneered by and virtually all the patents on it by Alex Higginbotham. The folks behind Gutterglove began as a LeafFilter dealer an earlier product featuring micro filtration. They then had a relavation and lo they developed Gutterglove. It uses the same concept very very fine (50 micron) stainless steel with something underneath the filter to cause the water to be drawn thru the filter. Simular to why a tent repeals water until you touch it, and then it leaks. Their single filter patent is on the "T" fitting that joins their 5 foot panels together. They have applied and been rejected numerious times to patent the gutterglove product. They do have a pretty nifty and pricey heater that can be installed under their shield to avoid ice. All that being said I am a MasterShield dealer. Alex's latest and if you believe him, the greatest. Our panel will take water like quicksand and other than valleys is virtually overrun proof. Both systems can be mounted on the angle to shed debris during and after a rain (with wind). MasterShield is much thinner (.019) and does not force the shingle up when the panel is installed underneath it. (As the much heavier Gutterglove panel does) All but one major shingle manu approves of the installation method. The warranty on Gutterglove is mostly a manu 10 or 20 years warranty against defects. This is the weakest warranty you can buy. MasterShield and LeafFilter both offer a 100% money back warranty if the gutters need to be cleaned of the materials price. All MasterShield dealers must also agree to refund any monies on a warranty claim. Transferable. Not bullet proof but unmatched in the industry. You may or may not have a dealer in your area but they also sell a do it yourself (not in 16 colors like MasterShield) for about $4.50 a foot. It is called Clean Water. As to the price you were offered I feel it is very fair for their product.

Jim Casper Dealer of 3 Million $ of Gutter Topper

Dealer of LeafFilter for 8 years

Dealer of MasterShield for 5 years and since starting it no longer sell GutterTopper

Source: www.heartlandmastershield.com

Answered 6 years ago by jccasper

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As a respectful counterpoint to JCCasper's answer - sort of the devil's advocate viewpoint, from both residential and commercial building experience (I am sure he will think I am evil for taking this view).

Gutter guards work fairly well in many areas, especially if they are smooth-topped and winds are common enough to blow off dried leaves left on them after they have washed off the roof. Leaving accumulations of organic debris on the gutterguard (which commonly happens as the water drains away to the gutter underneath) can promote rot in the fascia board and leading edge of the underlayment under the shingles. NO gutter guard will work right if debris (leaves, tree droppings, seeds, etc) are allowed to accumulate on top of it. Therefore, they work best if installed at an incline so the debris wash/blow off easier, if properly designed to not trap debris (i.e. fairly smooth surfaced with no large openings), and in areas that have heavy rains that cause heavy sheet flow off the roof and rain pounding action on the guard itself at times to clean it off. Obviously the smoother the surface or the finer openings of the gutter guard, the fewer debris will stick in it or penetrate it in the first place. That is the flaw of most designs, from coarse screening to lateral louvers or grates - they catch and hold the debris and let them decay in place, which is no improvement over just washing out the gutter periodically.

If you live in an area like I do where heavy rains and heavy winds are not common throughout the year, the gutter guard will just act as a terminal accumulation point for debris to pile up, so they need to be hosed off periodically when debris accumulate. Preferably, in areas with winter snowpack, wash in spring to remove late fall and winter debris accumulation and spring tree seeds and seed husks, and in fall before snowfall to remove the worst of the fall leaves. In areas without winter snowpack, wash after the primary accumulation periods - spring seedfall if heavy, and fall after leaves are off the trees. Also, if you have trees with fine seeds, those can block the screening or slots and need to be periodically washed off.

In areas with heavy snowpack and eave area icing susceptibility, gutter guards promote ice damming and water backup under the shingles (hence the heater systems for some brands), so that is a consideration - some people like them even if they need deicing on occasion, others prefer having open gutters which allow you to see when icing is building up, and are easier to deice with hot water without wetting the fascia board area.

Another consideration is that if your house has valleys (most have at least one), these tend to be the points of highest accumulation of debris because the valley concentrates debris from a large roof area into the valley, and the wind generally cannot clear the low-lying valley out. Therefore, you get a mass accumulation of debris coming down the valley, which no gutter guard can handle - so you typically get a big accumulation of leaves and water backup at that point of the gutter, which can cause serious roof damage and leakage.

Another point that is commonly missed is that you should (with shingles) wash your roof periodically, and the more leaves and debris you have falling on your roof (the main selling point for gutter guards), the more you need to hose the entire roof off to keep it from degrading from organic debris biodegradation and moss buildup. Therefore, since you have to wash the roof periodically anyway, it is no problem to hose out the gutters and run the hose down the downspout to be sure it is clear at the same time.

An additional consideration with most gutter guards, unless you remove them entirely periodically, is the gutter itself does not ever get cleaned out, so metal gutters will corrode or rust faster from the accumulated fine debris and mud that washes off the roof and goes through the guard with the water.

My personal preference and recommendation, is that gutter guards are more trouble than they are worth, that the fanciest types are little better than the much cheaper plain stainless fine mesh screening, and they can cause water damage to your roof and conceal other damage (like to fascia board) that you can see with bare gutters. Since ALL gutter guards require periodic cleaning, and most multi-layer types require removal of nails or retainer clips to remove and clean their interior, for my money why hassle with it - I get on the roof and hose it off once or twice yearly, washing out the gutters at the same time, and a half hour later I am done. Gutter cleaning can also be done from the ground up to standard second story height with a gooseneck nozzle type cleaner connected to a hose, though you will get a bit wet and messy that way.

That's my two bits - I will be interested in seeing any other answers that are posted, because this is one of the long-term controversies in the building industry.



Answered 6 years ago by LCD




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