gutters

JHZR2

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My mind isn't in the gutter right now, it is thinking about my gutters. I own a two-story home with a walk up attic (I guess that makes the gutters 2.5 or 3 stories high). My upper gutter seems to be clogged, as I get dripping out from right smack in the middle. I do not own a ladder higher than 16', which is high enough to clean out the lower roof. I do not mind paying someone, but would like to verify what is the best way to clean gutters? Does one have to go along the length of the house and muck it out by hand? My father was once told to put "industrial" gutters on their home, as the bigger capacity makes drainage better and also makes the gutters less prone to clogging. Any truth to this? Any pros/cons? Thanks!
 
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Silicon Valley
 Originally Posted By: JHZR2
My father was once told to put "industrial" gutters on their home, as the bigger capacity makes drainage better and also makes the gutters less prone to clogging. Any truth to this? Any pros/cons? Thanks!
Probably won't look as good and impact the property value. I'd stay with what the rest of your neighborhood uses and clean it often. Trimming the trees too close to your house is a good preventive measure.
 
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Sep 19, 2008
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Pennsylvania
I walk my rooflines with a powerful blower about four times a year. If you want long term protection, use something like Gutterguard ($$$$). Keep the trees cut back around the house and get stuff out of the gutters before it rots and gets goopy.
 
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Chicago IL
Oversize downspouts are even more critical than the gutter size. They make a tool that will allow you to clean the gutter from the ground to a second story. Telescoping pole like a snow roof rake, but instead of the "shovel" it has a 180 degree loop and a scoop. Don't know how effective or easy to use, but anything's better than reaching and stretching on a ladder.
 
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Oct 30, 2002
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Great Lakes
You can buy special plastic nets at many home improvement stores that install in existing gutters and are supposed to prevent leaves from clogging up you gutters. Haven't had a chance to try them yet though. I do need to do something about it as the huge maple trees in front and back of our house seem to clog up our gutters about every couple of months on average. Some of those gutters I can't reach very well, even with a 21' ladder. The ones I can reach - I just use my Stihl leaf blower with a special gutter kit extension to blow the khrap out. The stuff needs to be dry though. If it's wet, it won't budge easily. There is also http://www.leafguard.com/ but I'm not sure how much that costs and how effective it is either.
 

JHZR2

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I have the plastic things on my first level gutters that get real badly filled... much better. The second story didnt/doesnt really get filled due to it being higher than all but one of the trees on my property. Perhaps it was industrial size downspouts that he meant...
 
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Tampa, Florida
I found that the gutters on my house contained about an inch or so of the fine gravel-like material that used to be on the surface of the 20 year old shingles. It was too dense to blow out or even move along very far with a stream of water from the hose. I ended up scooping it out by hand.
 
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I have the net gutter guards and they are baaaaaad, they clog up with the smaller junk and then during heavy rain water flows over them. if u are losing a lot of the asphalt layer of ur gutters then u roof might be too hot.
 

Kestas

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Is your second story roof walkable? I would recommend staying away from the gutter guards, especially the net type, and clean them manually. Thankfully I have a ranch home with a walkable (4/12) roof. During the spring and fall seasons, I'm up there every week cleaning the gutters. If the leaf blower won't move the stuff, then I use the garden hose. My lazy neighbors have trees growing in their gutters.
 
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I've tried every gutter guard and method of cleaning. Regular gutter guards seem to freeze up with snow and ice in winter and they don't allow full accumulation of water in extreme heavy rain. The best system I've found is no gutter guards at all, and get up on the roof twice a year, spring and fall, and manually clean all the gunk out. Even the new Leafguard type gutters that have a cover over them and the water slips in on the front, don't look like a good option IMO because it leaves about 1/4 the amount of space for water to enter the gutter compared to a regular old gutter. We've been getting 2 to 3 inch per hour rains in the past few days and I'm glad I'm anal about the gutters and downspout extensions. Some of my neighbors have clogged gutters that drain right next to their homes, and they wonder why their houses are flooding.
 

Kestas

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Some have reported that, even with gutter guards, you will eventually get accumulation of debris in the gutter. With the gutter guards in place, cleaning then becomes incredibly difficult.
 
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Iowa
Bigger sized downspouts might help. When we bought our house, one of the downspouts was so plugged up we had to use a sewer snake to remove the blockage. The previous owner had problems with basement flooding and had a sump pump installed in the floor to fix it. I guess no one ever told her that cleaning the 4 inches of rotting black goop out of the gutters might have helped.
 
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Northern California
I have a 2 story house with gutters that get clogged periodically. I use some of that pvc for sprinkler systems, 1", cut a couple pieces that use connectors such that the end is like a J and use that to poke around the downspout to clear whatever is blocking it. The other end I use an attachment to connect to a water hose so that I can run water down the gutters during the summer to wash it clean. Have to use 10' sections and cut it so that I can reach it from ground level.
 
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I have a telescoping hose extension that washes out the gutters. Haven't tried it yet and only reaches gutters on a ranch house. I don't like to go on roof, somewhat risky, but also it wears out the shingles if you walk on the roof a lot.
 
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 Originally Posted By: TallPaul
but also it wears out the shingles if you walk on the roof a lot.
I'm up on my roof all the time. Cleaning gutters, drinking a beer while watching the moon rise, etc. I'm not seeing anymore wear on the roof. Now, a 3 inch per hour rain with marble size hail like we've been getting recently - THAT makes for a lot of shingle dust in the grass next to the downspouts.
 

Kestas

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 Originally Posted By: Drew99GT
 Originally Posted By: TallPaul
but also it wears out the shingles if you walk on the roof a lot.
... I'm not seeing anymore wear on the roof.
I have. You have to tread lightly, and don't pirouette on you feet when turning around.
 
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