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What You Need to Know About Gutters

Gutters may appear to all look the same once installed on your home. Unfortunately, like many other things in life, that is not the case. Gutter contractors’ pricing can range dramatically and so can the quality of the material and the type of installation. Material can range in thickness from .019 to .032. Installation procedures can consist of spike and feral or hidden hangers. Hidden hangers can be installed every 2’, 2’6”, 3’, or 3’6”, so ask first.  Again, there are huge differences in quality and performance of these products that are installed on your home. The types of caulk to the types of screws contractors use play an important part in the quality of your gutter installation and what they will look like in 5 years or more.  A quality gutter installation with proper flashing, very heavy duty hidden hangers, and quality self-sealing screws are the foundation when you are considering a leaf protection product to mount over the top of those gutters. It is fair to assume that most gutter contractors who are giving you the lowest price, in most cases, are not putting up the best quality. Basic business practices mandate that the margins just aren’t there. So, if you want cheap, go with the lowest price.  If you want quality, ask these important questions:

Top 10 Questions to ask a Gutter Installer

  1. Is the company a “real“ business?
    • Business location
    • Company website
    • Legal contract or estimate sheet
  2. Do they have Liability Insurance? Get a copy!
  3. Do they have Worker’s Comp. Insurance? Get a copy!
  4. Do they have employees or do they use sub-contractors?
  5. How will they mount the gutters?
    • Spike and feral, do not buy!!
    • Hidden hanger – Is it very strong?
    • LeafLock hanger – The strongest & best!
  6. What size are the downspouts? Where will they be located?
  7. Were you given and explained the labor warranty?
  8. Is there a cancellation penalty?
  9. Is there an estimated start date?
  10. Do they provide a list of local referrals?

There are over 75 brands of gutter guards, screens, mesh, combinations, covers, and all-in-one gutters on the market today. As a consumer, it is important to understand that no matter how great all these products claim to be, quality is not cheap! Have you ever seen or heard of a mesh product that never clogged or stayed on the gutter for more than a few years? What they always fail to mention is how they are mounted and secured to the gutter and/or home. One company, Gutter Glove, developed an extruded mesh product that you can drive a car over, but it is mounted on the gutters and roof decking. Can you drive a car on that? Gutter Topper’s nose level product screws to the front lip of your gutters with no other support at all!! (PHOTO) Gutter Helmet’s nose forward product by design works well, if it does not shift or buckle and the installer follows the installation manual to a tee! Take one look at that bracket and tell me that panel is not going to shift over time. Why is mounting important? If all of these products cannot STAY in the proper position or the gutters shift, separate, or buckle over time, then they will not accomplish what they were designed to do, good or bad.

Over 90 % of all leaf protection products on the market today rely on the structural integrity of the gutter and the roof for their products to work. Some must go under the 1st coarse of shingles for support. If your gutters are NOT perfectly level to the roof, you create an inconsistent pitch which is not only unappealing but could cause the product not to work. Not to mention, the gutters in many cases are not structurally sound. I encourage you to look at your neighbors’ homes closely and see if their gutters look sound. The point is that leaf protection products are only as good as what they are being mounted to, your gutter and roof or fascia.

LeafLock were designed with the focus on increasing the structural integrity of your gutters while at the same time not compromising your roof or gutters with holes. This technology is not supported by the conventional existing gutter practices. Our system is supported by the 1/8” thick LeafLock hanger, which is the strongest hanger in the gutter industry. By ensuring proper position with the Leaflock hanger and bracket, we can guarantee long-term performance for your gutters. The nose forward design hooded products are the most proven design of any leaf protection product in the last 30 years.  However, over the last 30 years there have been considerable issues as to how they were installed. LeafLock solves every problem related to hooded products either by design or installation. LeafLock solves the issues of roof penetration, guaranteed nose forward position, buckling, expansion and contraction, and can be installed with all types of roofs, such as tile roofs, metal roofs, and cedar shake roofs. Structural integrity means proper position which guarantees long- term, hassle- free performance from your gutter system.