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Old 02-13-2006, 07:10 AM   #1
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leaf free gutters icicles and ice dams


Leaf free gutters were installed on our home about a month ago in January. The brand is K-guard. They look very nice. That's where the good news ends. During recent rain storms when we had very warm weather here in northern New Jersey, I watched the rain go over the "helmet" and trickle down the front of the gutters and behind the gutters, then onto the ground. The installer said there was silcone on the gutter system and as it wore off, the gutter would work as outlined in the brochure.

Now I have a real problem on my hands. The warm weather left and we've had regular winter weather move in. Our house is the only one on the block with icicles that are 1 to 3 feet long suspended on the gutters. Worse, are the ice dams that are moving up under the shingles. Additionally, there's a hazardous icing condition on our front steps caused by the dripping ice. (I can't wait till the masonry begins to split apart from the freezing and thawing.)

We never had this problem with the prior conventional gutters. Now the installer wants to sell me a defrosting system for the gutters. I know where this is headed. Besides the additional cost for the heating system, there will be the ongoing cost of electric to heat the gutters. Finally, the gutters drain to the curb by underground pipes. I'm sure we'll have a back up of ice from the curb to the leaders.

I wish I had put conventional gutters on the house with screens to keep out the leaves. Has anyone else had these problems with Leaf Free gutters?

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Old 02-13-2006, 07:19 AM   #2
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leaf free gutters icicles and ice dams


I once replaced some of the leaf-free gutter systems because the winter following their installation was a bad snow seaon. The melting of the snow above the heated space and re-freeze over the unheated eave produced a wall of ice hanging down from the roof instead of a normal ice dam and big long icecicles. I tired to tell the homeowner that you will still get ice damming with the new gutters, and advised him to insulate and properly ventilate the attic space. He didnt listen, and was upset for some reason that he got ice damming the following year.

The ice damming isnt caused by the type of gutter, but by insufficient attic insulation and ventilation.

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Old 02-13-2006, 08:20 AM   #3
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leaf free gutters icicles and ice dams


Ice dams are not always made from inadequate ventilation. It can be made on many roofs just from the sun hitting on the higher part of the roof. Then it goes down to the eave where the new gutters slow it down enough to freeze in the shade. Don't get me wrong, most of the time it is caused by heat loss, but not always.
Your best thing to do is install a heat tape on the roof or have someone install it for you. Just did one a few weeks ago and it works good.
Your problem is partially caused by the gutters.
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Old 02-13-2006, 08:43 AM   #4
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leaf free gutters icicles and ice dams


Thanks for your comments regarding ventilation and ice dams. However, the roof was just re-done prior to the leaf free gutters being put on. There is a roof ridge vent the full length of the roof and soffit vents the full lengths of the eaves. I basically have a "cold attic space." The amount of ice is extraordinary. I now have a 1" thick ice sheet on my front steps. None of this occured prior to putting up these gutters.

I called the installer this morning and asked that he remove them. They are, by far, the biggest mistake I've ever made. (And an expensive one at that.)
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Old 02-13-2006, 10:07 AM   #5
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leaf free gutters icicles and ice dams


To make sure I'm not mis-representing the icing situation, I just drove around my neighborhood. I checked every house with Leaf Free gutters. (I know they're Leaf Free because the installer gave me the addresses when I was shopping.) Every one of those houses have the same icing problems I do. Houses with conventional gutters do not.

Last edited by bluemetro; 02-13-2006 at 11:21 AM.
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Old 02-13-2006, 05:00 PM   #6
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leaf free gutters icicles and ice dams


How much snow did you get?
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Old 02-17-2006, 01:21 PM   #7
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leaf free gutters icicles and ice dams


For the last snowfall we got abot 4" to 6" inches in this area. I really don't believe the snow amount has anything to do with the icing problem. I've had icicles forming on these Leaf-Free gutters since they were installed. Doesn't matter how big a snow fall.

The company that installed them came out a couple of days ago and pryed off the top of the gutter to allow the melting snow a better pathway to the inside of the gutter. Looks like hell where they pryed them up. They claim they'll be back in the Spring to clamp them down again. I'm just wondering if I have to go through this every winter.

So far, purchasing these gutters was a big mistake.
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Old 02-17-2006, 07:22 PM   #8
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leaf free gutters icicles and ice dams


You have NEVER had icicles before these gutters?
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Old 02-18-2006, 10:12 AM   #9
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leaf free gutters icicles and ice dams


No, I never had icicles before these gutters. Believe me,I'd remember if everytime I looked out my window I'd see 3' to 4' icicles hanging from my gutters. Also, I'd remember if I stepped out my front door and nearly broke my neck on a 1" thick accumulation of ice from dripping icicles hanging from my gutters.

Till the manufacturer acknowledges they have a problem and fix the design and rectify the problem on my house, I can't reccommend these gutters to anyone in a state that produces freezing temps and snow.
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Old 02-18-2006, 11:33 AM   #10
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leaf free gutters icicles and ice dams


Thats odd. In every area I have ever visited with temps below zero and snow cover, I have seen ice dams and cicles....gutters, no gutters, K gutters, half rounds, covered gutters, box gutters, etc. If you get enough snow, melt during the day and freeze at night, you will get ice dams and cicles, no matter the gutter type.
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Old 02-19-2006, 02:08 PM   #11
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leaf free gutters icicles and ice dams


Well if when the new roof was installed they put ice and water shield under the starter shingles above the gutter you shouldn't have any damage to worry about. I had new gutters put on my house when i had it redone new vinyl new all. soffits new roof. I didn't have the leaf covers put over the gutters. I had to clean them out like 8 times so far. Ok maybe not 8 but at least 4. I remember one day i was home it was raining hard and water was overflowing in the new gutters. I go and get a ladder out of garage in pouring rain and there were leaves glogging the gutters. I was upset because there i was pouring rain cleaning the gutters...LOL

Last edited by 747; 02-19-2006 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 02-20-2006, 06:38 AM   #12
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leaf free gutters icicles and ice dams


I have ice and water shield under the first several rows of shingles. Also, the roof is fully ventes, both at the ridge and under the soffits. Attic is insulated. So there's a cold roof. Never had an icing problem till I put the Kguard LeafFree gutters on the house.

Again, I drove around my neighborhood to see what was happening on othe Leaf Free systems. All had major icing problems just like mine. Other houses with conventional gutters had no icicles.

You can't poke holes in reality. Purchasing these gutters was a mistake.
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Old 02-22-2010, 03:05 PM   #13
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leaf free gutters icicles and ice dams


Although this a terrible winter for central va, my new K Gaurds failed to stay attached to the soffit due to ice damns. The K-Gaurd manager said I would have to pay 600 to 800 for a repair. Why did I pay so much money for 'worry free' gutters? I would never recommend K-Gaurd to anyone. It is a scam and a rip off. There is no such deal as a warranty with them. The manager said that they were not responsible for ice damn damage. If the gutters were so great they would need to be repair already. Would any one out there recommend I find a handyman to help make the repair? It seems the gutter only needs to be refastened to the soffit.
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Old 02-22-2010, 04:43 PM   #14
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leaf free gutters icicles and ice dams


Quote:
Originally Posted by bluemetro View Post
No, I never had icicles before these gutters. Believe me,I'd remember if everytime I looked out my window I'd see 3' to 4' icicles hanging from my gutters. Also, I'd remember if I stepped out my front door and nearly broke my neck on a 1" thick accumulation of ice from dripping icicles hanging from my gutters.

Till the manufacturer acknowledges they have a problem and fix the design and rectify the problem on my house, I can't reccommend these gutters to anyone in a state that produces freezing temps and snow.
I think a possible reason why you've never had icicles until you had the cap installed is because all the melting snow used to fill your gutter.

Now, your gutters are empty as the water accumulates and freezes as icicles on top of the caps.

I've always been suspicious of gutter caps because they always talk about leaves, but never about winter conditions.
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Old 02-22-2010, 05:09 PM   #15
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leaf free gutters icicles and ice dams


I wish i could figure how to post my pics but they are to large a jpeg. I have no gutters on my house and the rafters are square cut with no soffit on the overhang. I had last week a 4" thick/tall slab of ice dam across my roof overhang with snow piled up behindith 4' icicles.
without gutters

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