Joe chimes in with another Reader Report, this time we get a little expert advice and then an endorsement of the GutterMaxx Leaf Protection System. Here is Joe’s lengthy report:
The main problem I have found for using ANY cover with your standard open tray gutter is that this type of gutter installation has major flaws.
First of all, it is never installed with a drip edge on your fascia board (thats even if you have a fascia board at all, if not, your troubles are compounded… will touch on later) A drip edge is designed to keep water off of your roof line wood surfaces (fascia board, rafter tails, roof decking) otherwise they will begin to rot, eventually causing you to spend thousands of dollars on a roof line repair. The reason a drip edge is never used with a standard open tray gutter is that the spike or screw has to penetrate it in order to mount the gutter to the home, thus rendering it useless.
(Image above courtesy of Gutters911.com)
Often, we see a gutter mounted directly to the rafter tails with no fascia at all! With this type of scenario, the only surface to attach the gutter to is the end of the rafter tails. In summary, the standard open tray gutter installed on 99.9% of all homes is the cheapest system a builder can put up on a home to get it sold.
Drive around any neighborhood and soon you will see this type of gutter pitching, leaning, falling off etc. So explain this to me. If an open tray is eventually going to cause damage to my home and quite possibly fall off, what good is putting a cover on it? Now you get it!
From what I have seen with many no clog gutter systems out there, is that ONLY GutterMaxx stands tall. It is installed with fascia, with a drip edge, the gutter tucks up under the drip edge and the nickel plated screws that mount the system to the home are below the drip edge as not to penetrate it. The hoods have two ways for the water to enter the system, which causes a flushing effect keeping debris in the stream. And since the internal brackets are elevated, once it enters the stream it is a clear shot out to the downspout.
This system is also the only system designed under the premise that stuff will get in! That’s why it works so well… it was designed to handle debris and not try to keep it all out! Listen to LeafGuards ads and you will hear something like this, “Keeps ALL debris out that can clog your gutters”. Really, ALL? In other words our system can stop nature, think again.
If you look into the history of no-clog systems you soon discover that LeafGuard was the first attempt at extruding a gutter on-site with a hood on it. It was designed and patented by K-guard approximately 16 years ago. They franchised it and low and behold LeafGuard was born. K-guard gave the franchise owners a 2-year no-clog warranty. Later, the franchises extended that to lifetime to build a book of business.
After putting the system up for about 5 years they discovered that the system had some major flaws.
- It was too small, it actually will fit inside a standard 41/2″ open tray gutter. So installing it with a thick roofing material became difficult.
- The design would not allow the use of a drip edge, and we have already seen what that causes. When this was discovered they started to put caulking on the back of the gutter when they installed it. (A short term solution at best)
- It clogged! what a no clog system that clogs, heaven forbid, remember the nature issue! When they went out to unclog it because of the Lifetime warranty the discovered another problem.
- It was very difficult to access because of the one piece design. Once installed it was like a soda can! And finally,
- Damage issues, if the hood was damaged the owner was forced to buy a whole new run of gutter! Yep, a one inch dent could cause the owner to purchase a new 40′, 50′ 60′ etc piece.
Imagine getting a ding on your car door, you take it in to get fixed and the repair place gives you a quote that makes you pass out. Then you learn that to fix the door ding you have to purchase a new hood, the other doors, all the quarter panels, the trunk, everything because its all connected. One piece is great on paper and in theory but in reality – not smart.
So after discovering and dealing with all these design set backs, they went back to K-guard and asked them to design a system to replace the first attempt. They did! the GutterMaxx system was born. Now, it was not called that when it was presented to the LeafGuard franchise owners obviously because it was going to be their new product. K-guard looked at the problems and solved them all because, like I stated earlier, they figured out that you cannot stop nature but you can control it to an extent.
No, the system is not perfect, but what it does along with its crown molding type majestic appearance backed up with Lifetime warranties from K-guard, it is without doubt the best system available to date. Oh! why isn’t it Leafguard? Well, when they found out that they would have to re-tool at a cost of $65,000 per truck per franchise owner plus re-do all their advertising from a one-piece system to a two-piece system, they turned it down. K-guard decided to market it themselves through dealers across the country. Smart choice.
When it comes to price, well guess what, with gutters and so called leaf-free hoods etc, YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!
Wow! There’s some interesting history there. We can now begin to see how these product are all connected.
We’ve got downspouts that are permanently connected to underground pipes, so if GutterMaxx really is designed to allow some debris into the system, it may not work for us. We need a system that will not allow leaves or large fragments into the downspouts.