Monday, August 31, 2009

Ask the Engineer "What Makes Gutter Covers Work?"

Of over a hundred different gutter guard products from which to choose, they all break down into basically six different categories.
1. Screens
2. Filters, brushes, and membranes
3. Solid top gutter guards with single longitudinal fin to collect the water.
4. Solid top leaf guards with single longitudinal fin in connection with a trough.
5. Flip clean gutters, rain dispersal units...
6. Solid top with rounded front surface leading down to two rows of interspersed louvers to collect the water.

Click here to see an article describing how each type of gutter protector works.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ask the Engineer about the History of Gutter Covers

You can tell by looking at the history of gutter guards and gutter covers what to expect in terms of their effectiveness--it's a natural progression. To read an article which provides this progression, click here. The amazing thing is that even though basic designs were invented years ago, i.e. screens--there are still new designs being invented today. It's like there's an addiction to making screens work and every year of so, someone comes out with a different screen design.

I find it amazing and ask, isn't that the definition of insanity--doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results? Sure they figured out how to make the openings so small that only water can penetrate and thereby keep debris out of the gutter, but they haven't figured out how to clean off the top surface of the filter or screen.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Do Gutter Covers Clog? Ask the Engineer

Yes, in mild to heavy debris conditions all gutter covers can clog. Click here for an article I wrote a few months back that breaks down over one hundred different gutter guards and leaf guards into six basic types. It explains where each type clogs and what has to be done to clean or maintain them.

I'm Richard Kuhns B.S.Ch.E., the engineer here to tell you that there is one gutter protector that is easy to clean--the Waterloov Gutter Protection System and after you read this revealing article you'll agree that Waterloov's competition is it's best advertisement.

Ask the Engineer about the Cost Gutter Covers

When it comes to having gutter protection or leaf guards installed it's going to cost money. One would think that the cost of gutter guards would be about the cost of gutters which ranges from a few dollars a foot to about eight or ten dollars a foot in certain areas of the country. But not so, gutter guards are considerably more costly. I wrote an article that's published on the internet. Click here to read it and you'll gain an appreciation of the costs involved in getting gutter covers to and installed on your home. Basically whether its a garbage product or the best in the world, the costs of marketing, advertising... are high. You can bet that a cheap product is going to be around $10/ft. and many products are double that price which doesn't necessarily make them much better.

In fact of all the gutter covers one of the most important questions is to ask, "How can it be cleaned or maintained?" And if the salesman says that it doesn't ever have to be cleaned, then he's a green horn and is in la la land.

It's because all gutter covers and gutter guards except for the Waterloov Gutter Protection system can't be cleaned easily from the ground. Sure this might not be an issue for four, five or so years and then suddenly your investment of several thousand dollars is worthless.

I'm Richard Kuhns B.S.Ch.E., the engineer and have yet to find a product in the market place that can live up to how the Waterloov gutter guard performs.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Bargain on gutter covers

I ran across this add on Craig's list for used gutter covers. Just goes to demonstrate what I've been saying--you can lose a lot of money if you choose any product other than Waterloov. Click here for the homeowner's ad. He found out that they won't work for pine needles. And guess what, you can save a lot of money and buy the one's he's removed and find that they won't work for leaves either.

Our competition is our best advertisement--Waterloov Gutter Covers

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ask the Builder?

I've seen Ask the Builder's Tim Carter show up a lot in searches for gutter covers and on youtube. If he only knew as much about gutter protection as he knows about getting position in the web.

I happened across his analysis of the cost difference between getting gutters cleaned by a roofer and the cost of having gutter guards installed. Click here to read the article.

"I think you should call and get gutter cleaning estimates before you buy gutter protection.

Run the numbers and see if it doesn't make better sense to hold onto your money...."


Tim reasons that if you spend $2000.00 for gutter protection you probably will be better off financially after 10 years if you had a roofer clean your gutter twice a year.

Do you only need your gutters cleaned twice a year? In the fall most of our customers needed their gutters cleaned three to four times and in the spring one to two times. That changes the finances somewhat.

But when do you call to get your gutters cleaned? When you notice them overflowing, right. And when is that? After the damage has already begun to happen with soil erosion, basement leaks, etc.

And how quickly does your a roofer get to your house to clean the gutters? Does he drop the job he's on and come the very next day to do an hour's worth of work on your home for only $75.00? No, he gets to you within a week or so unless you want to pay for an emergency service call.

And did you now that every time you have someone on your roof you have insurance exposure issues?

Wouldn't it better more sense to have your gutters clean all the time, not just twice a year. I don't think Tim considered the cost of cleanup and repair of water damage, caused by gutters that were clogged, that happened while you were waiting for the roofer to clean your gutter.

Quality gutter protection isn't just an expense it's also an insurance policy on your gutters.

If you're the kind of person who thinks it's cheaper to pay for doctor visits instead of getting health insurance because your in good health then you'll probably continue to have your gutters cleaned.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Filter Type Gutter Guards and Leaf Guards

If you've been following these posts, a few weeks ago I provided some video of one of the gutter filter systems installed on a gutter in heavy debris conditions after only three weeks.

I found some great photos taken by Portland Gutter Cleaning of what can happen with mesh filter and foam type gutter protectors.

Pictures of mesh or foam gutter guard










How do you easily clean them from the ground?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Water is Leaking in My Crawl Space--Gutter Covers

A customer that we installed Waterloov gutter protection for twenty years ago called to request service. It seemed that water was leaking into a crawl space. We had been there ten years before at the customer's request to brush the gutter protectors.

Upon arrival at the house we noticed that the openings in the gutter covers along the portion of the house with the crawl space were matted over. Three minutes later, the openings were brushed from the ground and completely open once again. Brushing a little more frequently would have prevented the possibility of the gutter covers causing water in the crawl space.

We did however notice some damage to several gutter covers from fallen tree limbs. Sometimes when the panels become crushed from tree limbs the openings are shifted from being in the vertical plane to being in the horizontal plane which means debris can fall and wash into the openings. It's amazing that just this shift in orientation can sometimes pass enough debris to clog a gutter.

A half hour later we had removed all the damaged gutter guards, repaired and reinstalled them. Much to our liking, the gutters were clear and open inside in spite of the deformed gutter guards. We also checked the downspout to make double sure there was no problem and the downspout was completely clear after twenty years of service.

One thing we did find interesting is that there was moss growing on the gutter covers in the front of the home--first time in twenty years that I've ever seen it. Following is a video tape of the service call.



Can you imagine a gutter cover working that well for twenty years in heavy debris conditions?

Friday, August 14, 2009

All In One Gutter and Leaf Guards

Are you considering an "All-in-One" gutter guard which combines a gutter and a gutter cover in one unit. This seems to make a lot of sense--particularly if you need new gutters.

But read on, I've never run across this many people in one place complaining about a gutter protection company. click here

In addition to the comments on that site, you also want to know that there are some considerations you need to be aware of with this type of product. If the "all-in-one" leaf guards are dented the entire length of gutter needs to be replaced. So instead of getting a bill for a few dollars to replace or fix a dented Waterloov Gutter Cover, you'll need to pay roughly $20 per foot to replace the entire length which could total hundreds of dollars.

Again, our competition is
our best advertisement.

The Ideal Gutter Guard

If I asked twenty people what the ideal gutter protector would be like, this list might be the top ten answers:

1. It would clean the gutter for me before installation.
2. It would install itself.
3. It would catch all the water from the roof.
4. It would never let the gutters clog.
5. It would never let icicles or ice dams form.
6. It would never blow out or need to be replaced.
7. It would never need any maintenance or need to be cleaned.
8. It would serve as a drip edge.
9. It would keep the water so clean that it could go into my cistern
10. It would drop dollar bills at night for you to pick up in the morning.

Which answers are unreasonable? Which are reasonable?

The Waterloov Gutter Protector may not drop dollar bills or install itself, but once it is installed, it will do the best job of collecting all of the rain water, keeping gutters free-flowing, and keeping your rain water clean for cistern and irrigation use. Yes, it is maintenance free for over 85% of its homeowners and for the other 15% it's the easiest leaf guard available to maintain.

video

Our competition is our best advertisement.






Wednesday, August 12, 2009

All Gutter Guards and Gutter Covers Require Cleaning

The fact is that in mild-to-heavy debris conditions all gutter covers, gutter guards, or gutter protectors are going to require cleaning. Rather than look at product videos showing new gutter covers--usually on models with flowing water or with graphics of leaves rolling down a roof and off the gutter guards--look for videos showing how gutter covers, gutter guards, and leaf guards are cleaned after they've been in service for a few years. Try to find videos of servicing after ten, twelve, fifteen or more years.

Go to YouTube and search for gutter guards and gutter covers. Ignore anything with less than five years of service. You'll find many videos showing gutter guards that have failed in as little as one year compared to others that don't. The real proof of effectiveness is how well the gutter guard will work after many years of service.

In this video I'm looking at how the premiere micro mesh gutter cover performs. Their website makes incredible claims and I wanted to see for myself. After just one month this is what I found.



The piece of metal between the Waterloov gutter cover and the micron mesh filter is a temporary bird shield to keep birds and squirrels from getting into the gutter.

I'll keep checking to see if the debris on the micron mesh blows away or builds up over time and affects the water flow.

My Leaf Guards are Dented

A customer called recently asking for help. "I have three Waterloov gutter covers that have been hit by fallen branches and they're dented, can you fix them?"

After fifteen years of service (installed 1994) there were three damaged leaf guards. Within a half hour all three gutter protector panels were removed, repaired, and reinstalled. Having extra time, I examined the rest of the gutter covers which showed a buildup of crust on the front surface. This buildup can prevent all the water from being collected. On the other side of the house the louvers of many of the covers were almost completely closed off.

The homeowner told us that he brushes the gutter covers--only problem was he did it after the gutter covers were dry. With a hose handy the gutter protectors were wetted, brushed, and re tested. They caught ever drop of water and the homeowner now knows to brush them just after a rain fall.

The amazing thing is that inside the gutters, it was clean and open--even after they were brushed.

He asked about how our system compares to the "all-in-one gutter guard his neighbor has. One important feature we pointed out was that dents in the "all-in-one" can't be repaired, they have to be replaced at a tremendous cost of about $1,800 verses less than a fifty dollars in labor that he paid to have us repair his gutter guards.

Can you imagine, removing, repairing, and replacing three damaged gutter covers, cleaning debris off a roof, and then brushing over 300 linear feet of gutter in less than a half hour and for less than $50 in labor? And this is the only service needed in fifteen years of service?

Again, Waterloov's competition is it's best advertisement.

Friday, August 7, 2009

I Have a Leak in My House

After 9 years, a customer with Waterloov gutter covers called to report that he thought his gutters were clogged with roofing debris from a new roof he had recently installed. Water was somehow getting into his first floor ceiling.

His house had a flat second floor roof with no eave meaning any water that overflowed the gutter will run down the siding and into any opening it could find.

Inspection of the inside of the gutters found it and the leader completely clear. However, there was a crusting on the louvers of the Waterloov gutter covers. When we ran water on the roof we found that there was considerable overshooting because of the crusting. He had noticed the crusting but paid no attention to it. And quite frankly, I've seen a lot worse. But the problem was that he had no eave line so any water that bypassed the louvers would run down his siding.

A few swipes from our brush atop the telescopic pole cleaned the louvers--it was the first time in nine years that they were brushed--after which they caught every drop of water.

Our customer was very happy with our findings and service. He subscribed to an inexpensive maintenance agreement to keep the overshooting from ever happening again.

No other system in the market place can be serviced this easy without using a ladder and only once in nine years? Wow!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Ideal Gutter Protector

Found an article about finding the ideal gutter protector titled, Guide to Gutter Protection by Patrick (no last name). He says that finding an ideal design is a challenge--particularly one that will collect valley water. He notes that every product has limitations.

He also notes that pine needles are a challenge for most products. He suggests that it's best to look for a product that has been in service for many years.

The actual article doesn't recommend any particular gutter cover or gutter protection product. The Waterloov gutter protection system fits the bill for all the concerns--collecting valley water, having a 20 year reputation, superior design... As I read the article I was hoping that the writer would take the time to research our product. But then I checked one of the links in the article and it went to a single fin product.

Single Fin products are terrible at clogging gutters and crusting in such a way that they can't be easily cleaned as shown in the following video:


In fact the crust goes directly into the gutter along with debris as shown in this video

and contributes to clogging the downspout. So when you read the article go to Waterloov.com for the answers. Also go to youtube.com and search for Waterloov and you'll see how easily the system can be maintained and how the gutters actually look in heavy debris conditions after fifteen years.

Click here to read the article or if the link doesn't work go to:
http://www.guidetogutterprotection.com/05/08/2009/the-perfect-gutter-cover/

Again, our Competition is our Best Advertisement, for when Debris Meets its Waterloov, the War of Clogged Gutters is Over!TM

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Are Gutter Protectors Worth the Investment?

That's an interesting question and if you click here, you'll find an article that may answer the question. Yes, gutter protectors or gutter covers can get expensive and the interesting thing is that the one's often installed by professionals can be about the same pricing. So if you're going to invest, doesn't it make sense that the product you choose is going to full fill your expectations? Why take a risk?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Gutter Covers and Leaf guards

Noticed a couple article you might be interested in reading:

Gutter Covers and Leaf Guards That Do Not Collect all the Rain Water and

The Truth Revealed About All Gutter Guards and Gutter Covers

The last one even has a comment from a person who is either a happy homeowner who has a competitive product or is a representative of a competing product.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Tree Debris Can Be A Real Mess For Gutter Covers

Here's a gem.

The guy who did the video taping did this after just one year of service and I have no reason to doubt that period of time. What the video demonstrates is that tree debris can be a real mess.

I love all the videos you see of brand new gutter guards or leaf guards on a clean roof and new gutter with water being circulated over the gutter protector. The videos make so much sense until you realize the nature of leaf debris. Leaf debris is not like coffee grounds as the filter gutter guards would have you believe. It deteriorates and becomes a crust that adhere to anything whether it be made of aluminum, plastic, or stainless steel. And this crust is impenetrable by water. The video below shows how the crust accumulates on the fin type of gutter guard.

In fact a crust will accumulate on all types of gutter guards--even the Waterloov gutter system. The difference is in how they are cleaned or serviced. With the single fin example the fellow is cleaning it with a stick. But he might have--I say might have because a brush has to go deep into the fin and that might not be possible--been able to clean it from the ground with a pole and brush if he had the Waterloov System. The best time to do this is just after it has rained and the crust is moist. Look at the video and see for yourself.



The big difference is that by brushing the single fin type, all that gunk would go into the gutter causing it to clog whereas with the Waterloov system, the gunk is knocked away from the gutter guard by the stiff bristles of the brush being released by the louvers as the brush is moved across the louvers--nothing gets inside.

In the video below the gutters are located directly under a canopy of a dogwood tree and generally get brushed only once every two years or so.



Again, our competition is our best advertisement for when Debris meets its Waterloov, the war of clogged downspouts is over!

Flip and Clean Your Gutter instead of Gutter Covers?

I love youtube--I find the most interesting videos like the one for the flip/clean gutter. They have this very attractive gal demonstrating how to flip a single story gutter and a 2nd story gutter. It all looks very fine. And it's nice the way the debris in the gutter just drops out of the gutter. But before getting excited about the product it's important to ask a few questions.



What happens if you forget to flip the gutter for a couple weeks and the downspout clogs up and you end up with a full gutter of putrid water by the time you remember to flip it? It might be a great idea to wear a rain coat to protect yourself from a potentially gunky mess?

And what about a hip roof where the gutters go all around the house? They can no longer be continuous and you'll need more downspouts.

And what happens when the flip gutters warp? Will they lock in position or will you be stuck with a gutter hanging down?

And how will they work 9, 13, 15 or 20 years after they're installed? They don't show you that, why? I know the product has been around for at least 10 years. Look at a product that can show positive results after nine and fifteen years in heavy debris conditions.



Remember, every gutter on your house will need to be flipped on a regular basis.
Remember, you only need to have standing water in a gutter for four days before it could be a source for West Nile Virus outside of your bedroom.

With the Waterloov Gutter Protection System less than 15% of homeowners need to brush the gutter guards and if you forget to brush them--no big deal--you'll never end up with a putrid mosquito breeding mess in your gutters. Most of those homeowners who do need to brush their systems, it's not the entire house--just the problem areas.