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Old 06-07-2011, 05:35 PM   #1
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Gutter guard question...


I live in a small bungalow and we are in the process of remodeling the basement. The lack of gutter guards or gutter protection causes the gutters to clog constantly from pine needles and leaves and other organic material. The water not draining away from the house has caused some water problems in the basement. When the gutters are not clogged, no water gets in the basement. I had an estimate for gutter guards installed by a local company and they said 4$ a foot. This would be close to 1000 bucks for someone to install cheap plastic around my house in less than a few hours! Does anyone have a suggestion for an affordable product that stops most debris from filling the gutters? I have looked online, but I don't know what products work the best. I am willing to dish out a few hundred bucks max, but not 1000 bucks. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

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Old 06-07-2011, 09:45 PM   #2
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Given your situation and the debris you describe? Those gutter screen things that fit over the top of the gutters will require you are up twice as often to clear them. And the plastic ones may last you a year or two.

True gutter systems like you have in mind get installed parallel to the roof line, not the the tops of the gutters. As the water and debris rushes down the roof the water stream gets separated into the gutter and the stuff keeps sailing on its way to the ground by the roof line. In theory at least.

Anyhow, you are not going to accomplish much helpful with $100 dollar or two budget in mind. Sorry.

Isn't there some hungry teenager with health and accident insurance you can pay to clear your gutters every couple of months?

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Old 06-07-2011, 10:18 PM   #3
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It's the pine needles that are the problem. I've had the same plastic covers on mine for over 10 years, so longevity is not an issue with me. They do sell a version with screening covering the holes that might work for you. Buy a few and try them out to see if they work.
When I first bought the house I was up there every few weeks in the Spring cleaning out the Oak and Maple tree droppings. Once I put the covers on, I clean them every 3 years or so.
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Old 06-07-2011, 10:54 PM   #4
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I've got metal cover on mine and they guy that installed them said that the screens for pine needles were really expensive. You might be out of luck, but you can try to get a bid form another company.
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Old 06-08-2011, 12:17 AM   #5
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Yup, the pine needles are the problem in this. Bet the tree is beautiful though. I would one in my front yard once with a family of nested owls. Never saw a mouse near and it was like Christmas every day. And when it coned, the kids what knock on the door and ask if they could have some.

That restoration involved my first experience with total permiter pump on demand supported drainage. Gutters became irrelevant and I took them off. Of course I needed a code variance or two for lots of things. That basement remains dry as a bone. It was never that close to the flood waters near anyhow so I know, all the moisture was coming off the roof.
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:55 AM   #6
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Go to this link at "askthebuilder" -
{http://www.askthebuilder.com/184_Gutter_Guards_-_Do_They_Really_Work.shtml}
Good info concerning all kinds of gutter guards.
I've dealt with a lot of them - sadly: most really don't work that well.

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Old 06-08-2011, 07:55 AM   #7
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I had the same problem with my gutters, so I removed most of the gutters. Problem disappeared. This was ten years ago, so I can state with authority that there is nothing magical about gutters, as long as the grade of your house is downward and away from the house, the water will simply flow off your roof, hit the ground, and be directed away.

Removal of the gutters also cured my ice dam problem, at least I haven't had a problem in the last ten years. Now, if you collect the water as they do in Bermuda, this obviously does not work. And if your ground slopes towards your house, this does not work. And you may want to consider putting a roof diverter over your main entrance so people standing there do not get wet in a rainstorm. But other than that, the solution is free.

I still have some long gutter screws, free for anyone who wants them.
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Old 06-08-2011, 09:59 AM   #8
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You get what you pay for. A hundred dollars wont buy you much for gutter guards. Those plastic inserts with screens clog relatively easy and crack within a few years. If you plan on living there long term, invest in some decent aluminum gutter guards if clogging is a typical occurance.

As for the thought of not having gutter or downspouts..hmm.. thats fine if you live in a shack somewhere, but if you live in any type of decent house, the gutters help direct the water back to the downspouts which can then be directed away from your house. If you dont have any, be prepared for erosion directly under the roof line, and over time that erosion could lead to the water coming back towards your foundation creating even more problems.

You could also invest in larger gutters with larger downspouts with gutter guards so that anything collecting in the gutters can be easily washed down with a normal rain or garden hose during the spring & fall cleaning.
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Old 06-08-2011, 03:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiscbldr View Post
You get what you pay for. A hundred dollars wont buy you much for gutter guards. Those plastic inserts with screens clog relatively easy and crack within a few years. If you plan on living there long term, invest in some decent aluminum gutter guards if clogging is a typical occurance.

As for the thought of not having gutter or downspouts..hmm.. thats fine if you live in a shack somewhere, but if you live in any type of decent house, the gutters help direct the water back to the downspouts which can then be directed away from your house. If you dont have any, be prepared for erosion directly under the roof line, and over time that erosion could lead to the water coming back towards your foundation creating even more problems.

You could also invest in larger gutters with larger downspouts with gutter guards so that anything collecting in the gutters can be easily washed down with a normal rain or garden hose during the spring & fall cleaning.
This post is fraught with mis-information.
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:17 PM   #10
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Wicbldr, I live in a two story colonial, may be a shack by your standards, but pretty common around here. As I stated, I removed most of my gutters ten years ago. No erosion, no washout, no problem. The history of gutters is very interesting, you can look it up, and you will find that gutters have gone in and out of style over the last three hundred years in the U.S., and certainly were not common features of houses in Europe prior to that.

Erosion is not a problem if you have plantings or gravel under the dripline. I can state this with complete confidence because I have had no gutters for ten years over most of my house, and there has been NO EROSION. Only about 10 percent of the houses in my town have no gutters, which I attribute to the fact that it is considered standard practice to install them, without really thinking about exactly why you are paying for them, and what exactly they accomplish. There are many things in your house that serve no useful purpose, but are there because "that's the way we do things around here". I simply suggest opening your mind a little, and consider exactly what you get for your gutters.
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:46 PM   #11
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look up the gutter brush. works great for me
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Old 06-08-2011, 09:23 PM   #12
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Thanks for the gutter brush suggestion. It looks like a good choice.
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasongilliland View Post
Thanks for the gutter brush suggestion. It looks like a good choice.
Hi Jason - I just googled the gutter brush... looks like about $4/ lin ft.
I put some of these on:
http://www.homedepot.com/Building-Ma...atalogId=10053

Not perfect but better than nothing. My place is surrounded by very large pine and cedar trees so I know what needles are. These things will keep the needles out of the gutter but do need cleaned off every couple of months or so. The needles gather on top of 'em. My place is one story so I can blow them off with my shop-vac from the ground. Shop-vac makes a gutter cleaning gooseneck attachment you hook to the blower side of a large shop vac.
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Old 06-09-2011, 07:00 AM   #14
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They will work fine and last for years. And for the price point, you can't beat it.
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Old 06-09-2011, 08:29 AM   #15
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i've heard decent reviews about RAIN FILTER, it's a foam insert you stick in your gutter that lets water pass through, but nothing else. No tools necessary to install.


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