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FAQ About Gutters & Gutter Protection

FAQ About Gutters & Gutter Protection

Get answers to your questions about gutters & gutter guards

There are a lot of companies out there selling gutter protection systems. We understand that with so many different products on the market, it might be difficult to choose the best gutters for your home and the best contractor to install them.

Below are answers to the common questions that homeowners have about gutters and gutter protection systems. If you have a question that isn’t listed here, feel free to call us at 1-800-508-5602 and we’ll be glad to answer any questions you might have.

Is a gutter protection system necessary?

In some states, code requires that new buildings have roof gutters to prevent the buildup of leaves and debris. While it's not required everywhere, you should consider a gutter protection system to help protect your home from problems associated with clogged gutters.

If you have trees that dump debris into your gutter, some kind of protection is necessary. If you ignore your clogged gutters, you will spend much more money on roof, foundation and wall repairs. Proper gutters are critical to maintaining your home’s weatherproof exterior.

There are several other benefits to installing gutter guards:

  • You'll never have to clean your gutters again (or pay someone else to do it), saving you time, aggravation, potential water damage and money.
  • You no longer need to worry about your gutter becoming a nasty, mucky breeding ground for nasty insects like mosquitoes.
  • You no longer need to worry about damage to your home as a result of clogged gutters.
  • Here in the Pacific Northwest, water damage caused by leaky gutters is common. The combination of heavy rain, pine needles and debris from trees wreaks havoc on less capable gutter solutions.
  • Water damage is the most common, most expensive and most preventable of home repairs.

Why do you sell different types of gutters?

Contrary to popular belief, there simply is no such thing as a "one size fits all" solution. The first thing you have to realize is that we are in fact talking about two separate and distinct products.

  • Gutters are what actually carry the water and drain it into the appropriate system.
  • Gutter cover systems, like MasterShield, are what protect the gutters from debris and clogging.

Make sure you know the difference and make sure you know what is included with the price you are being quoted.

You see, the truth of the matter is that gutters are a lot more complicated than people think. You have to look at roof angles, pitch, water volume, the length of the run and much, much more. A gutter that works great on one home might be a disaster waiting to happen on another.

Beware any company that only sells one type of gutter.

You have to understand that most gutter installation companies only offer one choice of gutters, because that is the product they are told to sell with their "protection system." The problem with this scenario is that the customer, meaning you, is being forced to match their needs to a specific product instead of having the product matched to their needs. That is why we sell different gutter systems. Because you need options. It's the only way you are going to guarantee that you are going to get a solution that works best for you and your budget.

Bottom Line: Don't overspend on a system you don't want and don't need.

Are vinyl gutters and gutter guards a good choice?

Most gutters and gutter protection systems fall into a couple of broad categories: metal, plastic/ vinyl, and filters or hoods.

Vinyl gutters and gutter protection systems come in a wide range of different designs. Unfortunately, there are a number of serious drawbacks to vinyl:

  • High sun exposure will break down vinyl over time. Don't believe the claims about "UV Resistance." The sun is merciless… especially direct sunlight. The truth is that experiment after experiment has proven that over time, (some quicker than others) the sun will degrade the chemical bonds in vinyl—making them brittle. This is especially true when you combine high heat summers with cold, wet, winters. It’s like a “water resistant” smart phone…don’t leave it wet too long!
  • Rodents can chew through the vinyl. It’s usually to build nests, which act like dams in your gutters.
  • Snow and Ice will accumulate on vinyl. Often the total weight of both over comes the surface tension of the vinyl covers forcing them into the actual gutter itself, resulting in permanent deformation. End result, pull them out and throw them away.
  • Vinyl Deforms Easily. High sun exposure can actually melt and warp a lot of vinyl gutters. Even if you have a metal gutter protection system, the gutter itself can warp… & even a deviation of a 1/8th of an inch can result in gaps that let in debris… or worse. And to make matters even worse, if you have to remove them for any reason, they usually wind up being permanently deformed making it almost impossible to re-install. End result, pull them out and throw them away.

On a side note, there is a relatively "new" product on the market… gutter stuffers. This new system consists of pre-formed and pre-cut "sponge" like material that you shove "into" your gutter.

Here are a few reasons why you should never use these types of products:

  • They actually trap and hold onto shingle grit, pollen, dust and smaller compost material. The end result is that the water does not drain effectively and causes over flow and even backflow (under your roof).
  • The sponge like material holds on to moisture very effectively, which creates a very welcoming environment for mold, insects and mosquitoes.
  • After a few years exposure to the sun they will start to crumble and decompose making it almost impossible to remove and clean
  • And if you think getting them out of the gutter is difficult, they are even harder to clean.

Isn't the whole point of getting leafless gutters is to not to ever have to clean them again?

Will installing a gutter guard system void my roof warranty?

There is no issue installing flashing under your shingles. In fact, that’s what (good) roofers do in the first place. Unfortunately, not all roofers are "good" roofers. If you have any doubts about this, please see the largest shingle manufacturer in the country talking about the importance of drip edge flashing in their installation guide.

That is why MasterShield® is actually designed to have built-in drip edge flashing for the benefit and protection of your roof.

But while many "salespeople" are willing to flex the truth in order to sell you a product, there is in fact something they are not telling you.

Simply stated, you do not want someone putting an extremely rigid, inflexible product under the leading edge of your roof. Doing so causes stress and strain (and potential leaking and breakage) on your roof itself because it must “give in” to whatever that rigid object is.

Bottom Line: There are many examples of very bad installation practices throughout the gutter protection industry. The reason for this—in my experience—is because so many companies ruthlessly cut labor costs by hiring unskilled and untrained day laborers. The reality is that most companies sub contract the installation of their systems, which results in very poor quality control because, by definition, the installers don’t even work for the company you bought the product from. This is especially true if you are buying a product from a "big-box" retailer.

That’s why MasterShield is installed only by trained, in-house crews.

Can any gutter protection system stop all debris?

If you can see an opening, then small debris can get through. Leaves, pine needles and oak tassels will sneak inside. This debris will remain hidden somewhere near or over your downspout and will clog your gutters.

Unlike our competitors, MasterShield® uses an actual microscopic filter to separate liquids from solids. As a result, MasterShield will never let anything but water into your gutter, because it is a true "closed system."

This is just one of the many reasons why we back it with our no clog 100% money back Guarantee.

What is the MasterShield® guarantee?

MasterShield comes in a variety of modern colors. Here  is an approximation as colors vary from monitor to monitor. which is why we bring real samples with us when we come visit you.