Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Landscaper Causes Gutter Overflow

My last entry ended with a customer who complained that all her gutters were clogged and she needed us to clean out the gutters. She also had a new bay window installed and it was leaking. She thought the gutters had something to do with it. When we arrived there, we found that she just had new landscaping and the landscaper closed off all her underground drainage outlets so the downspouts were backing up and overflowing the gutters. At the customers request we removed a gutter cover near a downspout and found the gutters to be completely open and very clean. The customers Waterloov gutter guards didn't fail her, the landscaper did because he left her with gutters that were not functional. Her problem was fixed by cutting the downspouts. and installing elbows at the bottom to drain the water away from the house. The source of the leak in the bay window was easily found to be caused by the roofing having separated from the rake board where two roofs join. Rain water was being blown in against the rake board where it entered through the roof and into the bay window below.
A section of flashing was installed to redirect any water being blown against the rake board back onto the roofing. Caulking was also used to facilitate a seal at the juncture where there was too little distance to install flashing.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Our Gutters Are Clogged And I Have Gutter Guards.

From Eavestrough
Service Call: A customer called and stated, "Our gutters are clogged."
"How do you know?" "No water is coming out of two downspouts."

We arrived and the homeowner identified the two gutters that were clogged and one where water was coming over the gutter.

Even though there were trees close by, none could be a possible threat to the Waterloov System and once up the ladder a quick visual inspection confirmed that initial assessment. The quick visual inspection showed that the customer had a new roof--only a few years old--and gutter covers that were manufactured approximately twenty years ago mixed in with gutter covers manufactured fifteen years ago--something no experienced installer would do.

The gutter covers were also not attached correctly to the gutter. It was obvious that the roofing contractor not familiar with the Waterloov System removed the gutter covers to install the new roof and then reinstalled the Waterloov covers but not quite right.

Fortunately the Waterloov Gutter Covers were not nailed into the roof--as some roofers do--and could be easily removed from the gutter. Inside there was an accumulation of debris about two inches deep along about six feet leading to the downspout. Under all the debris at the downspout were pieces of rotted wood covering the opening in the downspout. The wood was from part of the old rotted roof that was replaced.

The other clogged gutter was likewise clogged with remnants of tar paper at the downspout from the reroof job. The place where the gutter overflowed was from an upper gutter discharging on the roof and overwhelming a section of the Waterloov gutter guard. When the roofing contractor reinstalled the Waterloov system, he neglected to install a diverter system to spread out the water.

Once again, the blemish free track record of Waterloov is untarnished.
"When debris meets it's Waterloov, the war of clogged gutters is Over!"

Tomorrow, we'll be visiting a customer who claims that all of her gutters are clogged and that water is leaking in near a newly installed bay window. She claims that no new roofing has been installed.

Will this home be an exception to the rule and have clogged gutters?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Ever wonder why foam gutter inserts are so inexpensive?

Did you ever wonder why foam gutter inserts are so inexpensive?

Probably because you can't charge a lot of money for a gutter protection product that doesn't work much better than the cheapest gutter screen.  

Foam gutter inserts are suppose to keep the leaves and debris out of your gutter.  Consumers are drawn to them because of the perceived low cost and they convince themselves that foam inserts will work as well as the more expensive solid top gutters.

Well that's a physical impossibility.

Foam inserts are porous allowing the water to flow through but not the debris which is fine as long as you don't mind getting the ladder out and cleaning the debris off of the top of the foam.  How easy do you think that will be especially if you have to deal with pine needles.

Solid type gutter guards will never have to be cleaned as often as foam, brush, screen or mesh products.  Although they may cost more the solid gutter covers real value is that they perform a whole lot better. The best of the solid gutter covers may never have to be cleaned.

Failing to keep up with cleaning the foam can be embarrassing.

After spending the money for having foam inserts installed or after purchasing the foam and installing it yourself, you don't want your house to look like it has no gutter protection at all.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Cisterns Anyone?

A homeowner called from Alaska to order an additional 100 feet of Waterloov for his home.About 10 years ago he had a contractor install Waterloov gutter guards his home. He had recently added an addition to his home and he wanted to extend the gutter protection to the new section of his home.

He said that on the island where he lives, rain water is collected from the gutters and stored in cisterns. His neighbors but not him typically have to clean a foot of muck from their cisterns and are amazed at how clean and pristine his cistern is.

He said that if he wanted to go into business, Waterloov would be an easy business for him as all his neighbors would be excellent prospects.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Storm Damaged the Gutter Guards.

A homeowner calls and reports, "A tree fell on my roof and destroyed the gutters. The roofing company hired a gutter company to replace the gutter and the Waterloov system, but did it wrong, we need you to fix the problem."

When the gutter guy was here, the homeowner told him how to install the gutter covers but he was a "know-it-all" and did it his way. He didn't give the homeowner valley-fall which they had before, but instead used useless diverters and even though there was a gutter cover installed correctly on one length of gutter, he chose to  reinstall them his way which was the wrong way so the lip of the gutter guard is on top of the gutter lip instead of under it."

Sure enough, he installed two runs of the Waterloov Gutter Guard wrong and his valley treatment was nothing more that solid splash block that actually directed water into the valley instead of away from the valley.

Two hours later--it was high and required a 40ft. ladder--the Valley Fall System was installed and the two runs of gutter removed and reinstalled correctly.

Shame on contractors who don't heed basic instructions or at least look at what's already installed and simply repeat it.

Friday, June 4, 2010

I Was Happy With Waterloov on the Back of My House.

A Waterloov Customer called in recently to ask for a quote to have Waterloov Gutter Covers installed on the front and back of her home. She said that she had it on the back of her home which gave me the impression that she had moved and now wanted it on her new home.

I measured her home and while talking with her I learned that she had had Waterloov on the back of the home that I was measuring. I asked, "What happened to your original Waterloov?"

"I had a new roof installed a couple years ago and the roofer tried to reinstall the Waterloov gutter guard but he messed it up when they took the shovels to rip off the roofing and couldn't reinstall it. So he gave me another gutter cover and it has never really worked."

I looked closely at it and found it to be the WaterFall gutter cover. I told  her, "The product he gave you can be very difficult to remove from your gutters. In fact some people when removing it end up destroying the gutter. I'm going to have to charge you $2 per foot to remove it."

This was an insult on top of another insult. The first insult was that she had purchased her first Waterloov in the early 90's for about a third of what it now costs and then she'd have to pay $2 per foot to have her roofer's mistake (installing a product that didn't work) removed.

But there was no question in her mind, she knew what worked (the Waterloov Gutter Covers) and what didn't work and was hoping she could get her roofer to remove his mistake and hopefully save her $2 per foot.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

My gutters are overflowing

The customer's phone call went something like this. 
"All my gutter around my home are over flowing with your Waterloov Gutter Covers."

We asked, "Did you have a new roof installed lately?"

She replied "Yes, just a couple months ago. The roofer took off the gutter guards and reinstalled them."

Seems obvious as to what the problem is--roofing debris got into the gutter and wasn't cleaned out before the Waterloov was reinstalled. Cutting corners and not taking the time to do a job right is never a good idea, the roofer and customer blamed the gutter covers when the real culprit was an employee of the roofing company who either didn't care or was too rushed to make sure the gutters were free of debris from the roofing job.
Sure enough, in each gutter a few small pieces of tar paper and shingle had drained to the downspout and clogged them up. It would have only taken twenty minutes to service the entire home except for the fact when the roofer reinstalled the gutter guards, he nailed the rear edge of the panel into the roofing which required extra time to pop the nails in order to remove the panels over the downspouts.

Another service call the same day resulted in finding roofing debris from a roof that was replaced two years ago finally making its way to the downspout.

Once again, the Waterloov Gutter Protection System retains it's impeccable no clog history.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Spaldeens and Gutter Covers

I ran across a great column in the Albert Lea Tribune by Al Batt that shows how important it is to have gutter covers if you play with Spaldeens.

We were playing a baseball game called 500.
In this game, one batter hits the baseball and everyone else attempts to field it. If a fielder catches a ball on the fly, he is awarded 100 points. If he snags it on one hop, it’s worth 50 points. A ground ball is 25 points, as long as it is still rolling when corralled. If a fielder errs, he receives corresponding negative points. When a fielder accumulates 500 points, he becomes the batter. The game works best if you have plentiful players.
The problem was that there were only two of us. We were a couple of skinny boys, one from the city and one from the farm. He was the son of a doctor. I was the son of a farmer. We were so thin that no one ever suggested we should eat more salads. When I wore a red necktie to church, I looked like a thermometer. Fortunately, the two of us were problem-solvers. We came up with a workable solution.
My friend had a Spalding Hi-Bounce Ball. It was pink in color. He called it a “Spaldeen.” It had more bounciness than the typical rubber ball. We came up with a plan where one of us would toss the ball against the outside of the second floor of our farmhouse and then we would compete to see who could catch the ball. The one who controlled the Spaldeen would be the next to throw it against the siding. We figured a game to 5,000 would be appropriate. That way we could work on our baseball skills and our math skills at the same time.
Al Batt
Few houses were constructed for this type of activity. I don’t know what the builders were thinking. Our house was built to be not quite as nice as the barn because jealous dairy cows don’t give as much milk as haughty ones.
We were tied at 1175 each when it began to rain. We didn’t mind the rain. We weren’t going to rust.
We kept playing and then it happened. The Spaldeen became stuck in the rain gutter. It’s always something. That wasn’t an insurmountable predicament. It had happened before. I had climbed onto the roof many times to retrieve balls. I had the home field advantage, so I didn’t think of asking my friend to get the hidden Spaldeen — even though it was his ball and I could have presented a reasonable argument that it was his duty to do so.
I had experience. I had climbed on the roof before when it was raining. The wooden shingles became very slippery when wet, so it was good that a Spaldeen seeker had some familiarity with placing shoes on slick shingles.
I had fallen off the roof a year earlier on a similar rainy day. I was seeking a ball lodged in an eaves trough that day. I had hit the sidewalk wrong. It’s difficult to hit a sidewalk right. I broke a foot. I heard my father moving about inside the house and, not wanting to bother him with my problems, I’d tried to run, but I couldn’t. A broken foot reduces mobility. I remember when Doc Olds told me that my foot had healed enough that I could climb the stairs to my upstairs bedroom. What a relief that was. I was getting tired of having to clamber up and down the drainpipe.
I was thinking about that fall when I fell again. I did a tuck and roll when I hit the ground. I pretended that I had meant to fall. I jumped up and said, “Ta-da!”
My friend laughed. My father, who had just entered the yard, did not.
My father had been a little crabby. He was worried about the price of soybeans and had taken to biting his fingernails. That is not a good practice for a farmer who works with animal exhaust. In order to cure him of the habit, my mother had hidden his false teeth. That left Dad a wee bit cantankerous.
He checked me over and finding me to be unbroken, began to lecture me.
“How many times do you have to fall off a roof before you learn to stay off it? We just got your broken foot paid for! I know why you didn’t send your friend up there. He wouldn’t have gone. That’s because a doctor’s kid knows better than that. You know why, don’t you? Because a doctor keeps the best children for himself. Didn’t you learn anything from last year’s fall?”
I replied, “I must have learned something, Dad. I got three feet closer to the ball than I did last year.”
Hartland resident Al Batt’s columns appear every Wednesday and Sunday.

Waterloov gutter cover would have kept the Spaldeen out of the gutter and saved Al a trip to the hospital.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Gutters Clogged with Gutter Guards on Them?

The phone call this week went something like this:

"We've had your Waterloov Gutter system since the mid 1990's and are having a problem. Water is overflowing from the gutters in the front of the house and the back of the house. With all the rain, we've gotten some rain in our basement. Please come and fix the problem."

When asked if there was any visible debris on the louvers of the gutter covers the answer was, "No."
Uh oh, is this the first house to have it's gutters clogged? Both front and rear--that would be a rarity.

When we arrived, the homeowner pointed to downspout on the front lower gutter that had become dislodged from the bottom of the gutter. He asked if it could be repaired and thought the gutters would be due for a flushing since this was our first visit in over ten years when he had tree limb damage.

Just to check things out, the endcap was removed and what was revealed was a thirty foot length of gutter that was completely clear and open. Ten minutes later, the endcap was reinstalled, the gutter discharge elbow fastened to the gutter and one problem was taken care of.

Inspection of the short gutter on the rear of the home likewise resulted in an open clean gutter, but there was one area in the center of the gutter where the louvers on the outside of the gutter cover had become blocked.
Because of a trellis they weren't easily visible. Five minutes later and the end cap replaced and the louvers were cleaned.

For peace of mind, upper gutters were also inspected and found to be totally clear and open. Two minutes of instruction on  how to brush his lower rear gutter by the trellis and the service call was complete in less than a total of twenty minutes.

Waterloov's reputation for clog free gutters remains unblemished and our 75 yr old customer now knows he can easily maintain them.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Do Gutters covered by Gutter Covers ever clog?

Please read this post in it's entirety.

I was speaking with one of our installing dealers just this morning who informed me that he had inspected a home where the gutter was found to be clogged inside. He said, "This is a job we installed three years ago, and this is the first gutter in twelve years that I've found was clogged and overflowing. It was clogged with pine needles. I don't think it was the fault of the Waterloov system--I think it wasn't cleaned properly in the first place. My parents have had the gutter covers on their home for ten years and they live in a pine forest and there's never been a problem."

Now if this fellow had only installed ten homes in twelve years, it wouldn't be much of a testimony. No, not at all. But considering he installs 500 homes a year for the last twelve years, (over 6,000 homes) that's quite a track record.

I replied that his experience is typical and that out of the thousands of jobs I'm personally familiar with, I can count on one hand the number of gutters I've found clogged.

"And to think," he added, "the other so called gutter cover companies have full time crews just cleaning out gutters that get clogged. Waterloov really is the best gutter cover in the world"

Can't get a better testimonial than that, right?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Winter Leaf Guard Damaged by Ice

 We've had a unusually brutal winter in the Mid Atlantic states.

A customer called to tell us that her gutter had been pulled off her home along with the gutter guards from her slate roof. Another homeowner a few miles further north call with a similar problem.

If gutters aren't as secure as they should be, extreme snow or ice loads can pull gutters away from the facia even to a point where they fall off of the house.

Considering that many homeowners in the same area lost parts of their roofs and gutters to fallen trees, our service calls were pretty light.

One customer called to complain of icicles hanging from her gutters--easy solution--install heat tapes. They sell them in Home Depot and Lowe's. Ice and icicles can a problem for all homeowners--not just because they have gutter guards.

Because most gutter covers like Waterloov keep the ice from forming inside of your gutters, the ice that can form on the outside of the gutter and cover is a good indicator that your house has been loosing heat through the roof for years costing you money and wasting precious fuel.

It's well known that if the temperature is below freezing the snow that melts on the roof will refreeze when it reaches the eaves and can form ice dams or icicles. The solution is easy in theory but difficult in execution--keep the roof package cold by eliminating sources of heat and maintaining sufficient ventilation.

Sometimes gutter covers can be oversold with promises of miraculous results. Customer dissatisfaction tends to occur when customers weren't told upfront by the salesman how gutter covers work in the winter. Unrealistic expectations can cause bad feelings and unhappiness.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Gutter Covers And Steep Roofs

Will gutter covers work on a Mansard (very steep) roof?

Maybe,  many gutter guards are not recommended for very steep or very shallow roof pitches greater than 12 on 12 or lower that 3 on 12.

How about your gutter covers, can they be installed on a mansard roof and how is it done?

Yes, the Waterloov Gutter Guards have been installed successfully for twenty years on Mansard roofs.

The Waterloov leaf guards can be installed on any  pitch of roof even almost vertical. The gutter protectors are installed either by bending the back of the waterloov gutter guards to match the near vertical roof and slid in under the roofing shingle or a ledge can be installed against the roofing with the rear edge of the Waterloov leaf guards laid on top of the ledge.

The Waterloov panels can be manipulated in the field or modified during production to fit any roof pitch and just about any gutter location.

Contact the manufacturer for specifics at 1-800-841-RAIN or by e-mail

Friday, March 5, 2010

Removing Your Waterloov and Regretting it Later.

Received a call from a customer in Maryland (my old stomping grounds). He's had Waterloov for several years but been having a problem with a valley and had never called us to fix the problem.

A gutter guard company making their rounds in his neighborhood had convinced him their system would work better. It made sense to him at the time and he had them remove Waterloov from the gutters connected to the valley and install their system.

Guess What?

A year later he called us because he was disappointed with the other guys product which not only didn't fix the valley problem but now his gutter is clogged. He's very sorry that he hadn't called us to find out about our Valley Fall treatment for valleys.

His gutters that are still covered with Waterloov are not clogged, only the gutter with the different product is clogged.

This is the second person within a year that has made the mistake of having his Waterloov removed only to deeply regret it later on.

The Valley Fall valley treatment was designed to control water in roof valleys without compromising the gutter covers ability to keep the gutter free flowing

Friday, February 26, 2010

Icicles and Ice Dams with Gutter Guards

I received a call from a customer with icicles. She was not very happy and blamed it on the Waterloov gutter covers she's had since 1994.
I don't really know what the big deal is about. I've had icicles on my home even before I installed the Waterloov gutter guard nearly twenty years ago. And I have ice dams too. My home is a ranch and the icicles have at times gone all the way to the ground.
But I understand why I have icicles--I literally have no ventilation in my attic space which is used as a living space.
Click here for the technical explanation.
The only good news is that icicles are not limited to the Waterloov system--they happen with all gutter covers. The best way to deal with them is by installing heat tapes.
For me personally I'd rather knock off a few icicles a couple times a year than clean my gutters three or four times a year. But actually I'm so lazy that I rarely bother knocking off the icicles.
I did notice that because of an ice dam, a short portion of my gutter is being pushed away from the house. It's actually the gutter covers that are keeping the water from flowing in behind my gutters. I had new gutters installed about fifteen years ago, so I guess I really can't complain.
That gutter has handled quite a few ice dams since then.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Ask the Engineer about Keeping Downspouts Clear

I received the following email today.

"I’ve read your excellent article on each type of rain gutter cover and their pros and cons. Good gutter covers, usually professionally installed, do work well but none are perfect in terms of keeping everything out and/or needing some sort of maintenance from time-to-time.

I have been in the rain gutter business for over 17 years and have come to the following conclusion: As long as the outlet in a rain gutter is clear, water will ALWAYS flow out of that gutter. Conversely, a gutter can be pristine clean but if the outlet is clogged water will NEVER flow out of that gutter. It’s all about the outlet.

I have also concluded that good gutter covers combined with the ability to check and/or clean an outlet quickly, easily and safely creates “the best of both worlds” for the homeowner. You see, if a homeowner has good covers, then the ONLY area in the gutter they need to be concerned with is the outlet.

To that end I have developed, manufactured and presently sell a product that enables users to check and clean their outlets – 1, 2 even 3 story – in less than 1 minute from the safety of the ground. The SpoutOff makes good covers better. Functionally the covers are better because the outlets can actually be checked (looked into) so the user knows FOR SURE that their covers are working.

From a sales point of view, The SpoutOff overcomes the objection (often not stated) of “How do I know FOR SURE the covers are working? An intelligent user understands that if their outlet becomes clogged, damage will occur but they will not know until the damage manifests itself, and then it is too late… all because they cannot “see into” their covered gutters. Bee hives are the best example here… bees get into covered gutters, build a hive, the bees leave, the hive stays and eventually works its way down and clogs the outlet – not good!

Although we approach making gutters work (meaning always moving water away from a building) differently from covers, The SpoutOff does not compete with covers but rather complements covers making the covers better and providing the user with the best “system” for moving water away and knowing their gutters are working.

I truly appreciate your clear and objective view on covers and welcome your thoughts on The SpoutOff… the good, the bad and the ugly – you can’t hurt my feelings as this is how I continue to learn."


Go check out his product.  It seems that no matter how much I write about Waterloov or how many videos I take of the product after even 15 years experience, people just don't believe that gutters and downspouts remain totally free and open with Waterloov Gutter Covers installed, but they do remain clean and free flowing.

This was my answer:

"Thank you for your reply. I'm glad that someone is reading the articles. If you knew how truly effective the Waterloov leaf guards are, you'd never waste your time or money patenting anything else. Who in the hell living in a million dollar home wants to have to wonder about his downspouts? See it's all about removing any uncertainty about clogging inside and being truthful about what might happen to the gutter cover itself, i.e. they all clog preventing water from getting into the gutter.

I'm sorry to offend you but your invention is like inventing umbrellas for fleas as far as Waterloov gutter guards are concerned--I'm sure the Gutter Helmets and Gutter Toppers might need it. If you truly want to solve clogged rain gutter problems, you'll use the best gutter cover--Waterloov gutter guards--and never have to wonder about downspouts.

If I had to tell my customers that in addition to the Waterloov gutter covers in heavy debris needing occassional maintenance on the outside that they also should check the downspouts, then I might as well sell them any one of the useless hooded products that claim to never clog inside and never even mention to them that they will need to service the gutter cover itself.

Be energized, healthy, and well,

Richard Kuhns B.S.Ch.E."

Monday, January 4, 2010

Ask the Engineer about Using a Brush System to Keep Gutters Clean

After over twenty years I'm amazed that there are still people trying to invent a better gutter guards than the Waterloov Gutter Protection System.

The video below shows a new gutter brush product.

Can you imagine what this product will look like after a year of service? After collecting a year's worth of tree debris? Yes, someone will have to go up a ladder (I thought the idea of quality gutter protection was to keep people off ladders), pull out the brush and clean it off. Now can you imagine cleaning off a brush full of putrid yuck?

I don't think this inventions is an intelligent choice for the homeowner wants to eliminate climbing a ladder to clean his/her gutters.