Okay, I have been waiting for this post for some time now. It is a follow up to my previous post, “Cleaning Gutters & Installing Amerimax Gutter Covers.” If you visit that post, you can see some comments going back and forth concerning these gutter covers and other gutter covers in general.
I had these gutter covers installed in June of 2008. When I had them put on, the installer really didn’t want to do it. He said that he hated these things and was always taking them off of people’s gutters. I believed him because when I looked in the back of his truck, there were piles of old wire leaf guards. Also, he is a gutter cleaner, so if everyone got gutter covers, he would be out of business.
There are some issues that drive people away from gutter covers. I would say the two main issues are ice buildup and pine needles getting stuck in the covers. Some of the comments in my other post describe six foot icicles. I will tell you about my experience with these gutter covers and then I’ll talk about icicles.
Do you want the verdict? Okay, here it is….SUCCESS.
We went through the summer, autumn and winter and all that we have to show for it is one oak tree leaf stuck in the gutter cover. That’s right, one leaf stuck in the whole gutter system. During the winter, we had a few six inch icicles over the front door. That’s it. These gutter covers didn’t cause ice buildup in the least and handled the heaviest of rainfall. Also, leaves slid off with ease. We have many oak trees around the house and I watched the leaves come down on many occasions. We don’t have any nearby pine trees, so I can’t comment on the pine needle issue.
Let’s talk about icicles. Please read this short article on what causes ice dams and icicles found here.
As I said above, I had some comments describing huge icicles that were allegedly caused by gutters or gutter covers. The truth of the matter is, if a house is properly insulated, you won’t have an ice problem. Ice dams and icicles are caused by warm air leaking through the ceiling of your home and warming the roof. When that happens, the snow melts and water runs down the roof to hit a cold gutter or gutter cover. The water freezes and causes an ice problem. Ice dams and icicles are a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself. The real problem, is heat loss.
Since the house we live in is properly insulated, we didn’t have any ice problems. I will tell you that we live in Connecticut and had about five or six nice snow falls. A few of them were about 12″ in depth. This is valuable information when trying to compare locations with ice issues.
So there you have it. My conclusion is…if your house is properly insulated, go for it and get some gutter covers. It will save you money on gutter cleanings and will make life easier. If you have an insulation problem, get the problem fixed before you install gutters or gutter covers. If not, you may find yourself outside one snowy night tearing them off your house in a frenzy.