Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Never Clog Gutter Guarantee

Don't let the never clog gutter guarantee confuse you. The micro mesh screen gutter covers advertise that they have never had a gutter clog inside. Of course this is every homeowner's dream and is exactly what any homeowner would want from their leaf guards. But what else could clog?

What they fail to mention is that in heavy debris conditions the micro mesh gutter guards will clog and where is the clog? It's on top of the gutter where it can't be seen--only suspected when water streams over the gutter.
Take a look at this YouTube video to see for yourself in a light debris situation.

Has anyone else had any with this type of gutter protection product?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Gutters Installed with Spikes and Gutter Guards

Spikes and ferrules are probably the worst possible way to install gutter especially in the hands of an inexperienced crew. Spikes that don't hit a rafter tail depend on the fascia board only to hold the spike in place. Sometimes they even split the fascia board making it impossible for the spike to be held in place for very long.

Unfortunately with mother nature's forces on the gutter (weight of water in the gutter, wind, ice expanding, etc.) spikes work loose and when several of them loosen, the gutter drops loose from the fascia board where water just pours over onto the roof below or the ground.

This becomes a particular challenge if gutter covers that don't get nailed to the roof are installed on the gutter as they end up flapping in the breeze if the spikes let go.

A far superior installation is to use hidden hangers with screws that screw into the fascia board. Now you have both the swelling of the wood and the turns of the screw holding the gutter to the fascia board.

The good news is that when gutter spikes loosen and the gutter pulls away from the fascia board, it can be repaired. The gutter covers are removed, then all the loose spikes are removed to prevent them from interfering with re installation.

A quality hidden hanger is fastened to the gutter minimally every 30 inches and ideally 24 0r 18 inches apart. The gutter is repositioned in under all the roofing and fastened to the fascia board with the screws in the hidden hanger.

The gutter covers are reinstalled and everything is back to normal.

It's not uncommon to find that spikes have been reset several times into other positions because of past failings. Sometimes the spike gets reset into the bottom of the gutter which will leave an opening for water to escape the gutter and damage the facia. A basic solution for this is to use a small piece of scrap metal and lay it over the hole with Geocel 2030 sealant.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Ask the Engineer - Are There Really Self Cleaning Gutters?

In order to have self cleaning gutters there are two basic physical requirements:
1. Both the size and amount of debris entering the gutter have to be limited.
2. The gutter needs to be able to flush out any debris that does get in by controlling the way the water enters the gutter to create a swirling action in the bottom of the gutter.

Most gutter screens let in too much debris and because the water drips in from the top, there is no swirling.

Then there are the micro mesh filters gutter guards. They don't let in any debris and the gutter stays free flowing inside. However, on the outside, there's nothing to keep the debris from accumulating on their top side. Nothing to keep it from accumulating like a paper mache that eventually blocks the filters and renders the gutter useless. So what good is it if you have a free flowing gutter but water can't get into it?

Membranes and brushes installed in the gutter aren't much different than basic screens. Too much debris gets into the gutter and clogs the brushes or the membranes rendering the gutter clogged. Click Here for photos of these various leaf guard designs, .

The fin type gutter guards are a step in the right direction. They have a solid top and a front rounded nose (fin). However, they allow too much debris into the gutter--even full sized leaves get in.

Another variation of the fin type gutter cover adds a trough containing sieve openings (screen-like). But it doesn't take an MIT graduate to notice that just as much debris gets into the trough as without the trough meaning that either the trough will clog or the material will break down in size and enter the gutter anyway. Once again, experience shows that too much debris gets into the gutter to keep it from being free flowing and there is no flushing action.

A final variation of the solid top fin gutter covers is the Waterloov gutter protector that has two rows of interspersed louvers instead of one long fin. The size of the louvers limit any debris that enters the gutter to 3/4" in length. Thus only about 8% of the debris that enters the fin type or the fin and trough type gets into the double row louvered system. And because the water entering the gutter from the gutter guards sweeps down the front inside face of the gutter a swirling action is created in the bottom of the gutter.

This swirling action constantly keeps any fine debris such as roofing grit, fine tree debris, parts of blossoms stirred and moving downward toward the downspout where it flows down the downspout making Waterloov the only self cleaning gutter protector design in the market place with twenty years of experience in all kinds of heavy debris conditions.

The design of the louvers allow gutters to be self cleaning and the entire system requires no servicing from ladders.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Should You Be Concerned if Your Gutter Guard Clogs?

Should you be concerned if your gutter guard clogs?

The answer to this question is "Yes" and "No."

It all depends on the type of gutter cover system you have installed on your gutters. Many gutter guards and leaf guards clog where you can't see the clog and don't know about it until it's too late and you end up with a big surprise when the gutter overflows and your basement floods.

Then some gutter guards clog are somewhat visible so you know that you have to get a ladder to clean them out.

Fortunately there is one gutter protector that makes it easy to know when maintenance is needed because any debris buildup is visible on the outside of the system and easy to clean without a ladder.

Click here to read more about all the different gutter cover devices and their benefits and faults.