Thursday, August 8, 2013

What to do before and after getting a new roof on your home!

Getting A New Roof Can Cost Thousands in Gutter Guard Damage!
Can Your Roofer Destroy Your Gutter Guards and Cost You Thousands of Dollars

Like they say oil and water don't mix, often times roofers and gutter guards don't mix either. In fact, roofers can do thousands of dollars of damage to gutter guard systems.

Many gutter guard systems such as the Waterloov Gutter Cover system can cost several thousand dollars to protect gutters from clogging with tree debris.

Often when the homeowner asks the roofing contractor about what to do about the gutter protection system on their home, the roofer will say, “Don't worry about it, we'll take care of it—we know what to do.”

What they are really saying is, “If you don't call your gutter guard contractor, you're taking a crap shoot with us because we don't know diddles about how to replace the system so it will work properly.”

What kind of mistakes can roofers make? The better question is, “What mistake will they make?

“With over twenty years of experience, I've seen all types of mistakes, says Richard Kuhns, President of R.K. Industries manufacturer of the Waterloov Gutter Guard.

Some mistakes are made because roofing is laborious heavy work. A pack of shingles weighs nearly seventy pounds per bundle. Sometimes, the shingles are lifted onto the roof with a spider (special fork lift). Sometimes a conveyor belt is used to get them onto the roof and the sometimes they have to be carried up a ladder which is leaned against the gutter.

When they are carried up by hand, gutters and gutter guards suffer. The gutters get dented and the gutter guards can easily get squashed.

If the roofer is not removing an old roof and simply going over the first roof, a mistake often made is that the roofer nails the under course of the roof through the shingle, gutter guard and into the roof. Of course if no damage or crushing of the gutter guards occur, there's no problem, but if the gutter guards are crushed or the gutters damaged, the gutter protectors won't work—tree debris will enter through the flattened louvers and clog the gutter. Additionally crushed gutters covers are rather ugly with a new roof.

Result: Depending on how the gutter covers were nailed into the roofing, the gutter guards have to be sheared in order to remove them. In this case, the gutter guards are totally destroyed and complete replacement is necessary at a cost of over $20 per foot. Often times the roofer has already been paid and getting reimbursement for the destroyed gutter covers is a challenge.

Sometimes, using a pry bar, the nails can be removed from the shingle and gutter guard in order to remove it and fix it or replace it. While not cheap, it's a better alternative to replacing the entire gutter guard.

Typically roofers will install the under course of the new roof at the same position the roof being covered is. However, in a rare case the roofer installed the under course of the new roof at the top edge of the gutter guard leaving the old roof and gutter guard to protect the first ten inches of roofing above the gutter.

Result: Water got under the gutter guards and old shingles and rotted out the entire fascia board. The rotted fascia boards had to be removed—very laborious since the rotted wood had no integrity making its removal very time consuming. A full width of gutter coil has to be installed beneath the new roof as flashing as an option to feathering in roofing shingles. The homeowner had a major expense to replace fascia, install flashing, new gutters and new gutter guards simply because of an ignorant roofing contractor.

In many cases, the old roofing has to be removed in order to install a new roof. In this case, roofers often remove the gutter guards. Sometimes they don't have the right tools and simply rip them out—not easy to do and it totally destroys the gutter guards.

Often times a lot of roofing debris gets into the gutter and instead of cleaning out the roofing debris, the roofer re installs the gutter guards. Again, sometimes the nail the gutter guards to the roof making it very laborious to remove them and clean the gutters of roofing debris. If the homeowner is lucky, the gutter covers are not nailed into the roofing and removing the debris left in the gutter is fast and simple with a small trip charge and a half hour or so of labor.

Another mistake roofers make when reinstalling the gutter guards is that they don't install the end-caps correctly.
Result: the following spring gutters are overflowing because birds have gotten through the end-cap and built a nest. Again, if the gutter protection system is nailed into the roofing, it can be very laborious and expensive to have the bird nests removed. Other wise, it's a small trip charge plus a half hour or so of labor.

Another mistake roofers make is that when they reinstall the gutter guards, they overlap them too much and end up short a few feet. One roofer, rather than purchasing more gutter guards, wanted to finish the job and get paid right away so what he did was to bend a piece of aluminum to look like the gutter guard. And where there were supposed to be louvers to collect the water, he took a permanent black  magic marker and drew in louvers. The homeowner had no idea as to why water was not being collected in that section of gutter.

Another mistake roofers make is the same mistake that Consumers Report made when they first tested the Waterloov gutter guard and that is they install the front lip of the gutter guard on top of the lip of the gutter instead of under the front lip of the gutter. This causes massive overflow of water.
Again, if the gutter guards are nailed into the roofing, it's laborious and expensive to fix. Otherwise, it's a trip charge and up to about 5 hours of labor to remove and reinstall the gutter guards.

Another mistake roofers make is that when they reinstall the gutter guards, if the home has valleys, they don't reinstall the water diverters or install them incorrectly. Usually this isn't a big problem and at most it's a small trip charge plus a half hour of labor to install diverters.

Yes, just as oil and water don't mix, roofers and gutter guards rarely mix. The best advice for the homeowner is to call the gutter guard contractor to remove and reinstall the gutter guards.

Richard Kuhns B.S.Ch.E. Engineer and inventor of good gutter guards at better gutter guards at and the best gutter guards at and

1 comment:

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