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Ralph Wiggum

Gutters

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The plastic gutters on our house are total junk and I am about ready to rip them off. I'm looking for some advice on what to go with. I want good, aluminum gutters--not some DIY plastic Menards specials--I've got those and they suck. I would like something to keep the debris out of them, too. We have maples over the house and they are messy!

Also, roughly what am I looking at pricewise per foot? I basically just need two straight shots with a couple downspouts--no corners. Just want to have some idea what it will cost in order to soften the blow when I get a contractor out for an estimate.

Thanks

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We put on the Leaf Guard gutters about 5 years ago because our house in under maples and pines (big mess). We love them and have not had to even think about cleaning them. They are more costly, I'm thinking it was about $10 per ft., and worth it.

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We have the Gutter Helmet of MN products on and they work great! They do the gutters and the cover system. I'd only be guessing now at price as I'd have to look it up and as it's been a couple of years now, with the metal prices going through the roof any cost probably wouldn't be a good comparison. As I look to the right on this page there is a link to their site. Hmmm.

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We have Leaf Guard on our house too. Of all the things we've done over the years, I consider it the best $$ we've spent on the house.

We needed gutters on the cabin recently and they were the first call I made. They didn't service the area however, so we contracted KGuard to do it. They did a very nice job. Very similar product to Leaf Guard. They had a flat price for downspouts, not as per foot. This was nice as we got extra long downspouts (to get the water well into the woods) for one flat price.

About the same price I believe. My advice is to pay the up-front cost (which is a bit more), but you'll be happy. I haven't worried about our gutters for a long time.

Hope this helps.

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Are you looking to do the gutters yourself or hire it out? If a DIY job, there is a company I've bought seamless gutters from for smaller sections (12-15') that I could haul on my ladder rack of my truck. I don't know how the prices compare to other places etc. but you could do a goggle search for something like Home _____ and replace the home with something like roof. I think they also have a gutter cap system. I just got 2 - 12' sections and 3 downspouts and screws for under $100.

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You have to figure about $6-$7 per foot just for gutters. The downspouts are about the same per foot and there may be some misc. charges for punching holes for downspouts.

As for the leaf guards and helmets, they may work for some, but from what I have seen and heard I wouldn't have either one. It's easier to clean them out. They will fill up with dirt and mud eventually, so you may as well keep them open so you can clean them. The leaf guards and helmet possibly can cause problems with ice and snow. Just my opinion and experience. To each his own.

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I cannot agree with Roofer on the Leaf Guard gutter problems. Before I installed them I would clean my gutters once in the spring, once during the summer and a minimum of twice in the fall. The Leaf Guards have never clogged in the five years since they were installed. They use a larger than normal downspout which is part of the reason. I've never found a buildup of debris at the base of a downspout either so that tells me the junk runs off the top like it's supposed to. Leaf Guard guarantees they will clean them for you if they EVER get clogged. I know a guarantee is only good as long as they are in business but I'm not concerned. As for ice, we've had far less ice build up with the Leaf Guard gutters than with the 40' solid block of ice in our old open style gutters.

The Gutter Helmet as I recall is an ad-on product that is installed over your existing gutters and slides under the shingles. If your replacing your gutters anyway this system would require two installs.

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I believe you echo and not saying you are wrong.

Here are some quotes from contractors

"Not to argue Ed but I clean 47+ homes a year under maintenance contracts with and without various types of gutter guards and find the opposite to be true. There is no water pressure to speak of inside the gutter trough so the muck builds up creating a thick soup that is a breeding ground for mosquito's.

Once the tree dander, seed pods and some types of small leaves get wet on the screens (and drip partway through) the liginin and proteins act like a mild glue and it will not blow off easily and usually pull off in papery sheets when dry.

I have also done the water test for the "unbelievers" to show how the runoff actually shoots right over the top of the gutter guards (steep roofs are the worst of course)

Water jumping over the gutters at the valleys is an easy fix and a nice add on. I can't figure out why the installers don't just add the deflector to begin with on all inside corners."

"Gutter guards are rubbish in my opinion. I've seen more residential roofs that have been destroyed at the point where the screen/guard meets the first corse of shingles then I care to remember. They make the home owner think they no longer need to maintain their gutters becuase there's no need to clean the gutters out.

But what happens is the debris gets stuck right at the point where the screens/guards meet the shingles. After two or three years the organic material begins to decay and breaks down the roofing material. In some cases I've seen it completely destory the exposed shingle, the starter, and begin to rot the decking and fascia boards."

"I don't have them on my house either, but some consumers feel they MUST have them, or else, God Forbid, they may have to clean out their gutters ocassionally."

"I found that bees/wasps tend to enjoy them very much also. Seem to always find this out the hard way on roof jobs. I specifically tell clients I charge extra to deal with them on roof replacements."

Again, not saying all situations are the same, just pointing out some things that can happen. smile

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We live in a woods and all out neighbors have gutter problems, I have no gutters, just well graded landscaping and have had zero problems.

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