Why Are My “Clog-Free” Gutters Overflowing?
LESLIE: John in Maryland is on the line with a gutter issue. What’s going on at your money pit?
JOHN: I have an area where I have a system over top of the gutters that is very similar to a very famous helmet-type company that you may have heard of. But it’s not that. But it’s the same type of product and it seems to be overflowing. Well, of course, they’re never supposed to need to be cleaned. And actually, I got up there figuring, OK, well, I guess that’s sort of not true. Maybe I have to clean it. Get up there and it’s completely sealed.
So I looked at some stuff online as to why they might overflow like mine are. And apparently, there’s somebody who said something like it could get pollen and things like that and – from the trees. And I do have a fairly heavily wooded lot and the trees were definitely overgrown for the past couple of years before I trimmed them back recently.
TOM: So I guess this particular gutter product that you purchased probably came with a guarantee for clog-free gutters. Is that correct?
JOHN: I don’t know if this system did, and it was so – it’s probably been 10 years ago, at least, since I had them installed.
TOM: Alright. So here’s my experience with those types of gutter covers. I have seen them work and work quite well in some cases. Usually, where there’s a problem is when you have a fairly steep roof and your water, as it trickles down, builds up a lot of momentum and hits that gutter cover and never really draws into the gutter itself; it washes over the top of it. So you may possibly be seeing gutter water that’s running over the top of it because it’s not – the surface tension of the water is not strong enough to pull it all into the gutter itself. They usually work well with moderate rainfalls, not heavy rainfalls.
The other thing that I’ve seen is if you have the kind that has a fine mesh. Yes, you can get some fine particulates that will block those up. But that should be visible to you when you’re looking at it. And if you don’t see that, I don’t think that’s the case.
If it’s not working and those two solutions don’t make a lot of sense to you, then it might be time to remove and replace it. I’ve had good experience with a type that has small holes. It looks like a shutter, like a louver, that fits over it. And I like it because it works most of the time and if occasionally it gets clogged, it’s very easy to lift it up and pull the leaves out.
JOHN: I see. OK.
TOM: Alright. Well, I hope that helps you a little bit. Good luck with that project and thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.