Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Engineer says "It's the design that matters?"

There are over a hundred different type of gutter covers and gutter guards. But if you look at them closely, you'll see that they break down to six basic types of gutter guards and gutter covers. What makes them work and are they effective?

Read an indepth article that looks at each type of gutter protector and discusses the pros and cons of each type.

Ultimately when all is said and done, the one design that stands out among all the others is the Waterloov Gutter Protection System.

There are several reasons why this design stands out:
1. It has discriminating louvers in its' vertical face that limit the size of debris that can enter the gutter.

2. Because of the way rain water is admitted into the gutter, the design of the louvers create eddies that constantly sweep any small debris that enters the gutter along the gutter and down the downspout making it effectively the only real self cleaning gutter.

3. Any debris that accumulates on the outside of the louvers in heavy debris conditions can easily be cleaned away from the ground with a telescopic pole and bush. It's call "suit and tie" maintenance because it can literally be done with the homeowner dressed in a suit and tie. And, it can be done in the time it takes to walk around the home. Every other gutter cover, screen or filter requires a ladder to clean and maitain them.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Don't Take Off My Gutter Covers

Recently a homeowner reported that she was getting water running down the inside of her double window and was wondering if there was something about the gutter covers that could be causing it.

She had an overhang of about 8" with a gutter hung with strap hangers--no fascia board. I told her that I'd be glad to look at the gutter but from past experience didn't expect to see any connection between her problem and the gutters and that the one way to tell for sure would be to remove the gutter covers and see if the problem still persists without the gutter covers.

She was quite adamant that she did not want the gutter guards taken off. She would not give up her gutter guards, period.

I removed one gutter cover at the point of the leak--it was a brand new roof with brand new gutters and the gutter covers were installed under the second course of roofing. There was no way that water was finding it's way into her home from the gutters. There was not even evidence of streaking on the gutters that would indicate that water was bypassing the gutters and being blown into the windows.

I gave her roof and windows a careful look and unfortunately could not locate the source of the leak, but one thing for sure, the Waterloov Gutter Cover System was not at fault.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Which Invention Will Make It?

I was watching a commercial for one of the invention service companies. The commercial showed a fellow with a successful invention and went on to say that prospective inventors should not expect the same successful results.

I realized that what they said about new inventions not necessarily being successful was true and then I thought about the field of gutter covers.

Its amazing how many patents are issued for different devices to keep gutters clean. It seems that no matter how stupid or ridiculous they are, someone will believe that some of them will work and will actually manufacture and market them. And homeowners are so desperate for a solution that they will often buy them without doing much research.

A new invention needs more than a different idea to be successful, it needs an idea that will actually do in real life what the inventor envisioned and do it economically.

An example of a patented invention that improved upon existing gutter protection technology and has proven inself for twenty years is Waterloov.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Ask the Engineer "What Happens with Storm Damage?

I received a call today from a contractor who is in charge of an insurance claim to repair storm damage to one of our homeowner's home. Approximately twenty feet of Waterloov gutter protectors needed to be replaced and he wanted to place an order for the material.

I decided to ask him if he might be interested in representing a superior performing gutter protection product.

He told me that he had never seen a gutter guard that didn't either let the gutter clog or clog itself and that he is associated with a gutter installer who uses a name-brand screen product. Even the one his associate uses clogs inside the gutter and it also accumulates debris on top of it that has to be cleaned off.

Well, I shared with him that the gutters covered with the Waterloov Gutter guard never clog inside the gutter but that in heavy debris conditions the louvers can clog.

He found my statement about the gutters never clogging inside a pretty bold statement. I didn't have to defend it at all as I simply suggested that since he's working on one of our installations he take a look for himself. He verified that the home was in a very heavy tree debris area.

As far as the gutter covers clogging, I said that I had no idea as to whether the homeowner had been keeping up with any maintenance and that if any was required it could easily be done with a telescopic pole and brush. But I was certain that the inside of the gutter was clean and free flowing.

He agreed to take the challenge and see for himself. I'll talk to him in a few days to confirm his findings.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Gutters Still Clean Inside After 18 Years

We recently received a call from a homeowner in Northern Virginia who had Waterloov gutter covers installed 18 years ago and was having some overflow problems. The dealer who installed this home had retired.

Fortunately we have a new dealer in the area who we asked to take a look at the installation because the customer needed to be serviced and even though we had never seen the installation we knew he'd be impressed with how the gutters looked inside after nearly twenty years.

John, the new dealer, called the day after he visited the customer. He was excited and amazed. "It's amazing, that house has trees all around it and the gutter are totally clean inside." He just couldn't believe it. John knew he chose the right product to represent, sell and install. "I'm going to take my entire sales team to that house just to impress them." The exterior of the gutter guards were also clean as the homeowner kept them brushed.

The overflow problem that the homeowner was experiencing turned out to be from only one of the roof valleys. The original installation used diverters which proved unable to control the large amount of valley water and was done before our ValleyFall™ product was invented to solve this problem.

Of course we were amazed that the customer waited nearly twenty years before asking for help, but we knew what to do--install ValleyFall™.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Engineer asks: "Do Gutter Guards Need to be Strong?"

Someone told me about a video commercial that shows the manufacturer of an "all-in-one" gutter guard driving his jeep onto the product and it doesn't dent. I suppose he does this to demonstrate how strong the product is.

Let me ask you, when was the last time you drove your jeep on your roof? When was the last time you stepped onto your gutter? Is it even something you might want to do?

What do gutter covers need to be that strong for? Fat raccoons? Heavy leaves?

The only impact a gutter and gutter cover sees is from a fallen tree limb. And believe me, if the tree limb hits the "all in one" gutter and gutter guard any place except where the support fastener is located (the place where the tire of the jeep was on the product) it's going to dent the top of the "all in one" system. Absolutely! And you know what? The entire length of the "all-in-one" gutter needs to be replaced if you want it to collect all the water.

We've been manufacturing the Waterloov Gutter Protection system since 1989--twenty years . In the early years the only aluminum we could use was quite thin (.019"). A few years later in 1995 we developed methods that allowed us to use thicker material (.027" the same material gutters are made from).

We changed for two reasons:
1. We figured a thicker metal would be stronger and last longer.
2. It allowed us to expand to twenty different colors.

Twenty years later we find that the early .019" gutter covers are still in service and whether a tree limb damages the thinner leaf guard or the thicker gutter guard, it doesn't matter--either one can be easily fixed or replaced. Even .032" panels get dented.

The question to ask is not, "How strong is the gutter cover?"
but, "Can the gutter cover be easily and inexpensively repaired if damaged by a fallen tree limb?"

An even more important question is, "Will it keep my gutters clean inside?"

The "all in one" gutter protector can clog inside and once that happens, cleaning it is no picnic. You're totally at the mercy of the installing company.