If you have ever gone through the agonizing process of dealing with gutters, you would certainly know that it’s…well, agonizing.
Here’s one for you. Have you ever realized that every single gutter cover company claims they are the best? It actually gets comical after a while. They all seem to have the “latest patented technology” and all have 100% effectiveness. Wait…some of them go the honest route. They tell you that no gutter cover is 100% effective. They say that you will still have to climb up that ladder at least a few times a year.
Well, what is someone supposed to do when they have to maintain gutters that are about 40′ high? There ain’t no way this old man is getting up there.
It’s the same old story. These are the things I deal with when I move to a new house. I guess it’s only been twice now, just try to ignore that. Each time, I go around and figure out what needs to be done. I just do it. I don’t wait. The longer I wait, the more something rots or gets clogged or prices go up. Plus, I like doing these things. I have a certain affinity for “systems.” I like to watch things work. Who else takes pictures of gutter cover installations?
Here is my situation. We have about 136′ of gutter. They are all clogged with oak leaves. There are no pine needles. When it rains hard, the gutters fill up and overflow. This makes my face turn red. There are two reasons why I don’t pull out the big 40′ ladder and clean them out right then and there…one being I don’t have that 40′ ladder and two being I don’t like the feeling of lightening running through my body.
The whole reason for gutters is to stop the rain from pouring down and the water sitting against the house foundation. This keeps the basement dryer. Gutters are very good, but we, as a species, have yet to perfect a cover that stops debris from filling them up and stopping their functionality. You would be amazed at how few leaves to takes to clog a gutter.
You are lucky I didn’t have this blog when we moved into the other house. I went through this whole fiasco then. I would’ve dragged you through it with me. The difference there was the highest gutter was about 14′. That was nothing. If I tried to climb a ladder to reach parts of the gutters here, I probably would get “shaky leg.” If you have ever climbed something high, you know what I am talking about. I remember one time I was at the very top of a 100′ oak tree and my leg started to shake. I guess that’s the body’s way of telling you to get down.
Since I am not about to do the gutter thing here, I decided to call some professionals. I had a gutter cleaning company come over yesterday and they gave me a price of $125 to clean them. That was fair, but the problem is that the cleaning really doesn’t solve the problem. They would have to come at least twice a year. I decided to try to solve the problem. Later on, I called another gutter company, this time, one that installed gutter covers.
Back at the other house, I installed “Leaf Relief” gutter covers that worked very well. I was, and still am, very happy with them. I put them on when we first moved in and never had to clean them out again. I checked each year and they were spotless. Because of my experience with them, I really want them on this house.
I spoke with the other company on the phone. He gave me a price of $7.50 a foot to clean and install the Leaf Relief gutter covers. That wasn’t a horrible price, but about twice as much as the actual gutter costs to install. Weird, isn’t it? I can tell you from experience, gutter covers are really easy to put on and there really isn’t much material to them at all. Why they cost that much to install is beyond me. At that price, this job would be costing at least $1,020. I would pay it if I had to, but I am really trying to find another way.
Since I was making a trip to Home Depot today anyway, I thought of a great idea. Why not buy some gutter covers from the Depot and install them where I can reach? If I do that, I can at least knock a couple of bucks off the job.
When I got there, I looked through the gutter covers and one type stuck out. It was the Amerimax Home Products 4 Ft. White Solid Gutter Cover. These were about $1 per foot and seemed to remind me of a few other big name brands. I thought to myself, “Heck man, what the freak, let’s go for it.” I bought 44′ worth.
There are two spots I can reach on this house…one in the back, over the porch and the other the front of the garage. If I could install the 44′ worth, I would be saving $330. Not bad.
I gotta tell ya, I really like installing gutter covers. Seriously. I cleaned the gutters out and slid these covers up, under the shingles. Then, I clipped the fronts around the lip of the gutter. They were secure after that. I went one step further and screwed two self tapping screws in the front edge of each cover, just to be sure. The screws are rust proof…yeah, that would be a mess.
After I installed them, I got the garden hose out and sprayed the roof. I watched the water slide around the nose of the cover and enter the gutter. What a great feeling it is to hear the water running down the downspout. The cool part is watching the water “cling” to the gutter as it goes around the bend.
While the first (and cheaper) guy was here, I asked him if he could install the covers if I got them. He agreed, for a price. I am sure I can negotiate a decent price with him to install the rest of the covers. I am pretty sure that he got the impression I am not the type of person that has a gutter cleaning company come over twice a year. As I said, I like to “fix” the problem.