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As I mentioned in a prior post, I'm planning to add some gutters to my house. I see that there's wide variety of gutter guards available and was curious which ones are better?

As far as I can tell, there are basically two types:

  1. Covers that go over the top of the gutters and let water seep through cracks/holes in the cover. alt text

  2. Fillers that line the entire gutter (e.g. GutterStuff).
    alt text

The first option seems to make much more sense but the GutterStuff branding claims not to clog. I can't help but be skeptical.

Any thoughts?

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Have heard of the first type, but not the second so I've no idea how they compare. –  ChrisF Oct 21 '10 at 22:21
    
I use the second and it works, but stuff gets clogged in there just as easy as not having them, and with oak trees we get lots of leaves stuck. The worst part is winter when they cover easily with snow, they'd probably result in ice dams if I didn't have a snow rake to clear the roof. I'd say go with mesh... –  MichaelF May 6 '11 at 16:20

4 Answers 4

up vote 10 down vote accepted

I've not found any solution. The guards made of mesh, plastic, metal, whatever, tend to get clogged if you have trees that drop small seeds. Cottonwood is a weed around here. In the spring, the cotton goes flying around. It is impossible to get out of the mesh. I tore those style of guards out after a few years. As well, small stuff from the shingles on our house could fall through the mesh. I found a half inch think layer of black gunk lying in the bottoms of our gutters in spots, since the mesh does not stop really small stuff.

The gutter caps have a reputation as hornet hotels. Wasps can build nests underneath them, and I have a known bee sting allergy.

My solution is a simple one. Clean out the gutters twice a year. I blow them out with a leaf blower, standing on the ground. I added a couple of pieces of pvc angle to my leaf blower, with a long extension. Then I put on a hooded jacket when the gutters are dry, and blow the mess out away from me if possible. I usually get a face full or two, but that is what the hooded jacket is for.

Neighbors of ours chose to skip gutters completely when they just built their new home. But that leaves you with a need to deal with water near your foundation.

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+1 I've tried a few types of gutter guards and nothing works reliably. They either get clogged with leaves, seeds, dirt or critters. Either clean out the gutters yourself or hire a handyman if you don't like being on your roof. –  Scott Vercuski Oct 22 '10 at 10:50

Consumer Reports recently did a review of various Gutter Guards. (You can buy the issue or join their web site to see the full results.)

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine-archive/2010/september/home-garden/gutter-guard/overview/index.htm

GutterStuff scored near the bottom.

CR also said that water surface tension systems (like the Gutter Cap design Jay Bazuzi mentioned) did not work so well during severe downpours.

Fine screen mesh designs generally worked best.

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I saw some online reviews for the LeafGuard (surface tension system) that were pretty horrible. Again, most said that they work in a small rain (or when you see it in a demo) but not for heavy rains, where heavy can be a pretty normal rainfaill. –  Rich Homolka Jul 13 at 20:06

I have the caps that rely on surface tension to wrap the water around and get in the gutter. They work OK, but not all that great. If they edge gets dirty, they loose the surface tension and the water goes over. If it rains too hard, some water spills over. A big problem is that ice and snow collects on the edge, causing water to drip off and fall and then freeze in my driveway. Fortunately, I only get a few snows a year. Also if the cap is too horizontal, then water may back up into the eves, causing the facia to rot. All in all I'd say this type is not worth it.

This guy did a study on gutter guards and he recommends MasterShield. Also if you search "Gutter Guards" on his site, you will get quite a few results. http://www.askthebuilder.com/Gutter_Guard_Test_Results.shtml

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Another option is the "Gutter Cap" (http://www.guttercap.com/).

alt text

I have never seen or tried it, so I can't comment on how well it works.

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all you do is an ad for a business. there is no value in your answer. –  csmba Oct 26 '10 at 19:03

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