Low-maintenance & No-clog Gutters Comparison Page
(much more than just a check list found on other web sites)Read reviews of Dmr Gutters

Updated 5 / 14

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Sorry if this page is very long-winded. There are several dozen different and seemingly clever gimmicks out there made with metal or plastic to cover gutters, which are way over priced and don't even work (details below). Many of these are so expensive you could have your old gutters replaced with our solid copper gutters, covered with a sturdy leaf screen, and w/2X larger outlets for what they want to charge you! With copper gutter parts costing 5X more than aluminum, which would you rather have on your house to increase the resale value, not to mention the brag points?

Also, it seems LeafGuard Northwest® (the local franchise), has allowed their reputation to fall from poor workmanship and refusing to deal with their client's complaints; putting themselves in 'A.L.'s Penalty Box' for 2 quarters of the year! You'll read plenty of  positive reports that seem too good to be true, so they are suspect when others had rated them so terribly low.

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Bookmark links to common questions
Do We Need No-Clog Gutters? DMR No-clog Gutter Advantages?
High Costs of No-clog Gutters What about Copper Gutters?
No-clog Gutter Comparison Replacement Alternatives?
Do Gutter Hoods Work? Our Proof of Our Integrity 
Screens V. Hoods Advantages of DMR's Basic Gutters
20 Flaws w/LeafGuard® Design Our Reputation
The Many Alternatives to LeafGuard® Our ideas on Ethical Responsibility
Gutter Filtering Sponges Custom Work
Leaf Filter and other Variations? Our Contact & Address Info
An example of the mind set you're up against w/so many unethical Gutter Contractors

 

Note: Dixie Gutter Guard® (out of business 11-05), K-Guard®, Gutter Helmet®, LeafFilter ™, Gutter Filter®, The Gutter Brush®, Gutter Love It!®, Brookstone® and LeafGuard® are registered trademarks.  I have no connection to these companies or their franchises.   Keep in mind that even though I try to be as unbiased and accurate here as possible, these are only our personal observations and conclusions I am sharing here.

I have been in contact with National Leaf Guard ® head office and their legal department for approval of this web page and it's accuracy since early 2003.  You can click on their names above to link to their official web sites to hear their side of the story as well. 

Also on our Site Map page I link to 40 different competitor's company web sites who all claim to have the best clog free gutter system on the planet.  I am that confident about what I have to offer.

 

 Why should we spend the extra money for clog-free gutters you ask? 

Coveres over your gutters to reduce the amount of debris from clogging them up so fast can be a benefit and asset to your house's foundation, assuming this is an issue for you, and these low-maintenance products truly work as they claim, these are some of the reasons to invest in some alternative to a standard gutter:

  1. The hassle and dread you save from the time and energy to do-it-yourself, or to find someone you can trust to access your roof and clean them out for you several times a year.

  2. There is obviously the money saved from the regular servicing required, ie: labor or the cost of ladders, gloves, bucket, disposal of the stinky debris.

  3. The best reason is the risk of a serious injury to you or the person you hire could suffer from a fall or some other injury.  No one should to be climbing near the power line to your house.  Just 1 injury could cost more than the most expensive gutter protection products.

  4. Less scratches and dents on the gutters from leaning (or banging) ladders against them thousands of time over the life of the gutters.

  5. Unless your roof is too steep, it is easier and quicker to clean the gutters from up on the roof with less damage to the gutters, but there is the cost of  premature roofing wear from all that extra traffic on your roof to access your gutters several times a year. That detail alone could cost more than the most expensive gutter protection products.  The less traffic on your roof the better.

The High Costs of No-clog Gutters:

I do not believe a gutter cover should be so horribly expensive. No matter how good it may work, yet most of these options are terribly costly. Not only more expensive than a new gutter, but some are over twice the cost.  Even if they worked as well as they claim, I feel that cost and function needs to be more reasonable, so the screens we recommend are called E-Z Lock (not Small Hole), and run just $3 ln' installed.

What is actually more important is what's under you gutter. Leaf Guard ® hinges their warranty on the installation of a larger 3" x 4" industrial size downspouts. Not the hoods over the gutters. Especially since those hood systems don't even work. They may do a good job of keeping the leaves out of the gutter, but the small opening slit jams with debris and will not let water pass into the gutter, so you have a waterfall instead. In that case you might as well have no gutters and just save yourself several thousands of dollars.

There is no perfect system out there, but I have developed a good system that is also a lot more cost efficient, and looks more conventional. More importantly it is more user friendly.  I can show you how I offer a lower price, better parts, and higher quality installation than any other gutter contractor in this area.  The cost of a DMR Gutters low maintenance package along with a full gutter replacement is still well below the cost of a Leaf Guard® installation.  My bids have been around half their cost.  Still less even when adding the cost of other services that may be needed, like drip edge, new fascia boards, painting, and leaf-catchers.

One reason for my low cost is how I have a much smaller overhead, and do not pay for expensive advertising.  Also, my gutters do not need to be replaced if they were to clog; with the simple access of the leaf screens I use. I demonstrate how I really can afford to manage my No-clog warranty this way.  Most importantly is the fact that if for some reason either company were not able or willing to uphold their warranty decades later; with our gutter system you will be able to easily rectify the blockage!

Aesthetic beauty, function, strength, longevity, and costAesthetic beauty, function, strength, longevity, and cost

The No-clog Type Gutter Comparison To Similar Companies

Beware:
They will lay claim that their gutter system will never clog over a life time of service, but the problem is how they cannot guarantee that their gutter system will continue to accept rain water!  There in lies the proof that these gutter systems simply will not work. It is not a new concept as they would have you think. It was first patented in 1908. There is a good reason it never caught on over the last century+. The leaf screens I install have over 10 times as much area for the rain water to find it's way into the gutter than any version of these hoods.

I have a little respect for Dixie Gutter Guard® for their improved design and professional approach to marketing, but they were never here on the West Coast and went out of business several years ago. K-Guard® has a better system than Leaf Guard ®, but they are not in our area as well, so LeafGuard® is the company I make most of the references to on this web page. They do have a clever design concept that easily swindles many clients willing to pay a fortune for just aluminum gutters.  I do agree that they will work well for a good long time in a debris free environment, but in that case you have no need for leaf protection at all, so this would be pointless.

Most other web site who counter their effectiveness report that those gutters will still fill with debris.  But my contention is about all the debris that does not go into the gutter and gets stuck in the narrow channel for the water to enter.  You may not end up with an over flowing gutter, but instead you will have a nice decorative and soothing water fall on the edge of your roof line in spots where that debris gets stuck. Again, you might as well not bother to have gutters on your house at all.

There are dozens of other companies out there who also sell a similar type of sheet metal or plastic hoods to go over your existing gutters, and I link to many of them above and on our Site Map web page, but although they do perhaps leave the gutter more accessible for cleaning (unlike Leaf Guard ® gutters) I would say that they still have the same inherent problems that are quick to fail.  With some of these gutter hoods it is necessary to reposition the gutter a few inches lower (if possible) to get it to work right.  After all that work and cost, you might as well have bought all new gutters anyway and in most cases will have to, since gutter removal will damage most gutters beyond repair.

As opposed to what is over the gutter, I find that use of a level when installing gutters; making sure they have a slight grade towards the drainage outlet is much more important.   Also to install a larger outlet opening is far more effective. Very important details that most gutter contractors choose to ignore.  I also feel that the cost should not be so unreasonable.  I found a sturdy screen cover, which allows easy access when needed.  You can also see into the gutter to detect if there is a problem and where it is.  These are far wiser and have a much smaller price tag.  There is no perfect solution to debris and the moss that will grow in a gutters, but that is why it is imperative that the gutters are easily accessible when needed. The smart thing to do is find the best balance between looks, function, durability, and cost. Factors that do not cohesively blend. If it costs more than the gutter it is not practical, no matter how good it might work.

Aesthetic beauty, function, strength, longevity, and cost

I may not offer an unrealistic life time warranty on my clog proof gutters like they do, but if it remains a good trouble free system for over a decade (when I am of retirement age), that is certainly all the proof you should need that it is the best system around.  It is not likely to cause you sudden trouble after that time expires, but even if it needed cleaned out to last another decade, that is a lot more practical that any of those other products. I have no desire to work in planned obsolescence.  I suspect that these other companies have no intension to stick around to see how well their systems hold up.  It is a common numbers game trick companies play on unsuspecting clients, just like the extended warranties they so aggressively push on many home appliances you buy.  If nothing else they know all they need to do is change their name and contact info and the vanishing act is complete.

Quotes for our solid copper gutters with stainless steel screw attachment, leaf screens, and the large No-clog outlets have still come in at $1k less than some Leaf Guard ® quotes for their aluminum gutters as recent as late 2006 (no joke).

Bare copper sheet metal cost gutter contractors around 6 times more than the cost of painted aluminum, which is of coarse more expensive than painted steel. Even if a Leaf Guard ® gutter system was as good as mine; which would you rather have? Which would look better and give your house a better resale value? Most all Homebuyers know the value of copper.

Do Gutter Hoods Even Work?

Here is one first hand story I was involved with several years ago:

I had a client named Mr. Bronson, who ordered some covers for his gutters from the Brookstone® catalog that use the same principle as LeafGuard®.  He had a steep roof on a two story house, so he had me install them.  Within one year he called me back to remove them all and install the leaf screens I recommended.  He reported that with the metal covers pine needles would get stuck in the small opening, where the water is to wick back into the gutters.  This blockage would encourage the water to pour off the end and caused a water fall over places like his doorway. True story.

But What About Their Warranty?

(a) They may guarantee that the gutters will not clog, but that does not even suggest that the gutters will continue to accept the rain water. 
(b) These hood designs have also been known to be a prime spot for moss growth and bees nests, which will cause a blockage inside the gutters that will be very hard to clear out if not impossible.  Even if it is not written into the fine print, a salesperson fielding the call may try to get out of their responsibility; saying it is an abnormal obstruction that is not related to fallen debris issues, and most clients would not have a defense.  Primarily they play the numbers game, knowing how most clients will never bother to call them about a problem, and simply suffer their loss to pay to have those expensive gutters that failed replaced with something different.
(c) Even if you were to fight through the warranty process, those warranties will not allow for frustrated homeowners to choose the option to have the obstructed gutter replace with a standard type of gutter, let alone with a different type of no-clog gutter.  They are stuck with the same system.

New Idea?

What didn’t work in 1908 still doesn’t work today, which is why it has not caught on today after over a century: K-Guard® (Knudson Roll Forming) promotes itself as the pioneer in no-clog gutters.  But that title actually belonged to Mr. George Cassens who  had patented the two-piece reverse-curved gutter system in 1908. What Mr. Cassens designed may have been innovative in 1908 on paper, but his design was just as ineffective as any of today’s imitations.

Note: info and diagram credit goes to Leaf Filter ™

Screens V. Hoods

Leaf Guard ® uses demonstration videos with shots of the galvanized steel hinged leaf screen that I had used several years ago (clever blokes) Leaf Guard ® showed those hinged screens in their videos as a bad example of what people do to keep leaves and branches out of their gutters by showing them all bent up and dirty with debris.   But I had already found a source for stronger screens with a black powder bake finish.  These new screens are also 4' wide instead of only 3' wide.  I have seen their LeafGuard® gutters become very stricken with mildew within a few years and debris sticking out of the water entrance, but you will not see that in their videos.

These stronger screen material lessens the need for the arch needed for rigidity with the old screens I use to sell.  This heavier weight also helps the screen to be less prone to blow off in high winds.  The larger surface of area to permit the rain water to enter the gutters is at least ten times greater than any of the hoods can offer.  This means it is far less likely to become so saturated with debris that it will not permit water to drain into the gutter.  It is beneficial to have these screens up on top of the roofing shingles, so there is a slant downwards and the debris is much less likely to pile up on the screens.  It normally blows off in the wind after it dries out.

Aesthetic beauty, function, strength, longevity, and cost

These screens will not keep all the pine needles out of course.  I do not try to make any claims that they will.  They will keep all the large debris out of the gutters, like leaves, pine cones, branches, and toys. <LOL>  Those are what will jam up a gutter fast.  Without even opening them, you can easily see if there is any obstruction.  If you desire to clean them out, you can shove a cover over the strainer in the leaf-catchers and then blast a garden hose water right through the screens to drive the debris and moss down the downspouts to dump out on the ground.  Sweep it up and it's done.  With my No-clog warranty it is not necessary to even check the gutters for debris.  If the gutter gets clogged, it will over flow over the outlet, since I set that to be the low spot in the gutters.  If it does fail, it is then my responsibility.  I will not how ever be doing periodic inspection for you. You will need to contact us for us know there is an issue that needs resolved of course.

20 Flaws with the LeafGuard ® Design or Similar Gutters


This photo was taken 12-04 of a local LeafGuard ®
installation in Lake Oswego, Oregon.

Note: I did get permission from the owner to take these photos, and did not do anything to alter this scene. Click on the photo to get a batter look. Keep in mind that even though I try to be unbiased and accurate here, this is only my our personal observations.  I have been in contact with National Leaf Guard ® head Office and their legal department for approval of this web page and it's accuracy since early 2003

(a) Extremely Expensive: aluminum Leaf Guard ® gutter systems cost as much as our solid copper gutters and mildew (as clearly seen in these photos), have future painting issues, and add less resale value than copper gutters. One of the worst problems that contributes to their high cost is how when their gutter cloggs up with moss growth the gutter has to be replaced.  If for some reason you are not able to get the local franchise to honor their warranty you are stuck with a dysfunctional gutter.
(b) No Options: if your existing gutters are still OK, Leaf Guard ® has no option to just add low-maintenance accessories to your existing gutters to minimize the cost and waste of good functional gutters.
(c) Poor Seals: because of the closed design, they cannot be inspected or double caulked at the seamed corners and end-caps like we do. They cannot even make sure the caulk sealed just right by pressing the excess caulk into the seam with a finger.
(d) More Leaks: their corner pieces are preformed. Most all professional Gutter Installers miter the gutters at the corners there at the job site, so there is only one seam to see and seal, and the only seam that could leak.

(e)
Moss Growth: They have built one of the most perfect environments for moss growth inside these gutters; dark & moist. They will fill with thick globs of moss within half a decade or so.
(f) Hard to Inspect for Problems: It is near impossible to do a visual inspection to see if there's a debris or moss accumulation inside the gutter.
(g) Needless Waste: they still seems to insist on using the larger 3X4 DSP all the way down the siding w/the reducer set at the bottom to fit those industrial size DSP into the common 3" storm drain pipe. Note: I noticed this issue early on and solved that problem after our clients had not respond well to seeing the larger DSP on their siding, so I came up with a simple solution to place the reducer up high and minimizing the cost and visual size.  Now, over 15 years later Leaf Guard ® has yet to follow our example to reduce the downspout to a standard 2" x 3" size for the dead drop, since there's no functional advantage to such a large vertical DSP. The only logical reason would be so they can still charge their clients $12 ln' for a $4 DSP.
(h) Misleading No-clog Warrant: there is no warranty against clogging w/o those industrial size DSP (as seen right) that are twice as large of standard DSP and unsightly.  Most any home-owner would love to see a gutter system that had no DSP if that were possible. The last thing they want to see is these huge DSP mounted on their siding.
(i) Clogged Storm Drain Pipes: Their Sales Reps don't push their less practical leaf-catchers w/their system. This is because the SDP (storm drain pipes) getting jammed up with debris does not affect their liability one way or the other, demonstrating their low sense of ethical responsibility.  Leaf-catchers are strainers that go in the downspout for underground SDP protection. A lot of small debris like the pine needles and the moss that will grow in the gutters will clog up the SDP.  It is very costly to have Roto-Rooter come out to clear the jam if they can.
(j) Poor Fabrication: They still use steel zip screws to this day, instead of aluminum rivets we use, since it is just a simple one shot process, but they will rust out in short order. Any product is only as good as it's weakest link. They also have a flaw in the design of their attachment supports that are just plastic and will cause blockages inside the gutter. They don't have the option to change the position or angle of the screw if the wood behind it is rotten or cracked. The support screws are not stainless steel like our's and are prone to rust being set lower in the gutter. They also do not use the wall mount brackets meant for the larger 3X4 DSP they use. Their pipe clears are smaller, thinner, and have 1/3 the fasteners:

Here is a close-up of a hidden hanger and screw, in an almond painted aluminum gutter Here is a close-up of a hidden hanger and screw, in an almond painted aluminum gutter

(k) Not Leveled Properly: It seems that they put more focus on the look of the gutter positioning to the roof than functional, installing the gutter straight with the roof edge, instead of using a level and assure that it will be more functional and not suffer standing water in the gutter.  The lower half of the gutter that hold the water and the little debris that gets through is not as deep as other gutters, so if the house is not perfectly level or perhaps settles in the wrong direction and 1" of debris settlement will cause the rain water to not make it to the downspout at all, and dump over the lip of the gutter.  But this is still not a warranty issue, as the gutter is not technically clogged.
(l) Very Shallow Gutter: It may look like a normal sized gutter, but the actual gutter is less than 2" tall, so if the gutter is not leveled properly and a little debris obstructs the outlet they will overflow. That's compared to a standard 3.5" tall gutter profile I use.
(m) Poorly Designed Corners: the huge 90 degree inside corner piece they have to use is ugly and still ineffective at handling the water flow rushing down from a valley in a heavy shower.  Also, I have not seen where they have a way to do odd angled corners beyond a 90 degree inside or outside corner.
(n)  Weak Gutter  Design: they may use a 20% thicker aluminum sheet metal in some cases than standard gutters to form them, but that's only because their design has no support to hold the weight of the water in the gutter other than a 90 degree bend of that soft aluminum sheet metal. This is the only gutter design I've seen that has NO support.  If Mt. St. Helens erupts again, as it did back in 1981 the weight of the ash fall-out washed down off the roof and into the gutters and will destroy pretty much all their gutters, and I'm pretty sure their warranty won't cover that sort of damage, since if it did that would put their local franchise out of business.
(o)
Here's what we discovered with LeafGuard® gutter work that we had replaced. Do you see a difference between them? They should not have even bothered with such sloppy workmanship when the actual opening is no bigger than a 2X3 DSP. It seems this is what you really get for the cost of what we charge for copper gutters:

(p) Plain Ugly Look: Leaf Guard ® gutters look pretty strange on most every houses, which is one of their hardest sales difficulties, second to their high cost.
(q) Gutters may not Allow Water: Their
gutter w/built in hood design will still trap debris in the small opening, causing a waterfall over the edge. Their warranty does not cover this issue.  It is still the Homeowner's responsibility to clean this out, as seen below with the large maple leafs sticking out.


This photo was taken 12-04 of a local Leaf Guard ® installation in Lake Oswego, Oregon showing large leafs stuck in the gutter and caked with gross mildew stains. Note: I did not do anything to alter this scene. The Lady of the house did report she was happy with their decision, but it had only been 2 years.

(r) Other Natural Blockages: These hood designs have also been known to be a prime spot for bees nests, which will eventually cause a blockage inside the gutter.  Even if it is not written into the fine print, a salesperson fielding the call may try to get out of their responsibility; saying it is an abnormal or unnatural obstruction, which they know most clients will fall for.
(s) No Option to Revert: Their warranties will not cover a frustrated Homeowners choice to have the obstructed gutter replace with a standard type of gutter that can be simply cleaned out, let alone with a different type of no-clog gutter.  They are stuck.
(t) Poor Reputation: It seems LeafGuard Northwest (the local franchise), has allowed their reputation to fall from poor workmanship and refusing to deal with their client's complaints; putting themselves in the 'A.L.'s Penalty Box' for 2 quarters! Some of the positive reports seem fishy with compliments and ratings too good to be true when other clients had rated them so low: http://angieslist.com/

Gutter Cap®
Gutter Gardian®
Gutter Helmet®
Gutter Monster®
Gutter Pro Tech®
Gutter Shutter®
Gutter Topper®
Gutter Wizard®
K-Guard®
LeafAway®
Leaf Off®
Leafproof®
Leaf Slugger®
Waterloov®
The many Alternatives to Leaf Guard ®

Metal & Plastic Hoods Over Gutters:
There are several dozens different type of these sort of products listed to the right that are mounted over your existing gutters made in  steel, aluminum, or plastic sold wholesale and even retail. Several of these are even superior to Leaf Guard® , but may not have franchises here in the Portland, Oregon Metro area yet. I could buy and install them as well, but they do not work any better than Leaf Guard ® and they all seem to cost a fortune as well. Most of them have a wholesale cost that is more than I charge our clients for installing new aluminum gutters. Few clients are willing to pay twice as much for gutter covers than the cost of their new gutters, so I agree they are impractical even if they worked as well as they claim.

Most of these alternatives look very strange on a house. Some of these have to be mounted over the bottom rows of roofing shingles.  Or else the gutter has to re-mounted 6" lower to the roof edge.  That second option is rarely possible and drastically raises the cost of installation. Especially since most houses are not made to allow for this and gutters cannot be removed without damaging them.  Most houses I have worked on do not have a tall enough fascia board or rafter tail to drop the gutter that low.  I have run out of attachment with just trying to get a slight grade to our gutter installations, so they will not have any standing water in them.

I am not interested in becoming a distributor to sell any sort of hood system, because even if they were to have a better design concept than the horribly flawed L eaf Guard ® gutter design, it still has the same inherent flaws that all the hooded gutter systems have, where they could not be warranted more than a year to continue and accept rain water into the gutters.  They may not let the gutter fill up and clog, but you will still end up with a water fall across the gutter line.  None of these hooded options are viable, and are a huge waste of money, as described in more detail below.

One of the worst issues is how they make a perfect dark environment inside the gutter to grow thick moss in the gutters under these hoods and cause a failure. I have a photo of an open screened gutter I installed a decade earlier that had grown a 3" thick bed of moss under the galvanized steel screens seen here.

Gutter Songes:
American Gutter Filter®
DCI Flo-free ®
Gutter Care ®
Gutter Filter®
Gutter Foam ®
Gutter Piller ®
Gutter Solutions®
Gutter Stuff®
Leaf Defier ®


Other Gutter Fillers:
Gutter Brush®
Gutter Love It!®
Gutter Filtering Sponges and Other Filler Type Products:

This is one of the more outrageous types products to come out, and the scary part is how there is now over a dozen different companies producing these type of products to unsuspecting homeowners, as listed on the right of brands of these insert sponges, or several other variation of this concept. There is also a large pipe cleaner to go inside the gutter, and a simple 3" plastic perforated flex hose, that you could find at any local hardware store, but their pipes are molded in a light gray plastic to fool you to think they are different.

Again, they are at least twice the cost of the heavy duty screens I install, but that cost does not cover installation. For the first 5 years they may be pretty effective and trouble free, just long enough to get them past any sort of warranty period or a chance to contact the company who sold it to you for a refund, assuming they are still in business or there was no fine print absolving them of any liability. That again would not cover a re-installation.

It does not take a genius to understand how the debris that will pile over the filter and will decompose. Working it's way into the pours of that filter and cause a complete obstruction and eventually not let water pass. But worse off  is how this will make for a wonderfully fertile garden planter inside your gutters and the dark environment under it will breed moss wonderfully. They are making claims of a fungicide added to the product, but I do not trust these claims. If it is true, it is not something that could last more than the first 5 years. They will then be rather heavy and hard to remove out of the gutters being full of suspended mud and root structures inside the filter. You would also have a lot of moss grow inside the gutter that will jam it up within a few years, as seen in the photo above.

Gutter Glove®
Gutter Grate®
Leaf Filter®
Leaf Solution®
Swistun®
InvisiGuard®
Leaf Filter® and several other variation of that type of gutter cover?

There are several brands of these sort of fine mesh stainless steel screens over some sort of support frame, as listed to the right. They vary slightly, but do not work for long all the same. You would be wasting your money on this kind of gutter cover. It is very expensive, but even if it were 1/4th the cost it would still be a huge waste of money. In this case more cost does not mean better. I would not bother to install it on my house if some one gave me these covers for free. In fact I have been offered that deal and declined. I have also removed plenty of it from houses and just disposed of it. I would not feel right to give them away. This has been the worst example I have run across for leaf protection for gutters hands down and they have written so many loop-holes in their warranty that it is effectively useless. Example:

http://www.leafsolutionusa.com/product/elswarranty.pdf 

The main problem is the ridiculous fine mesh they use that is even a finer weave than a tea strainer (no joke). I have seen where window screen was used, which is far more course, but is still far to fine of a screen to work. The debris will cake over the surface of the screen before long and causes a waterfall situation over the outside of the gutter. These screens may be great at keeping any debris from settling in your gutters, but within a few years they will not even let water pass through as well. They become clogged with just a little mildew build-up or even dust and pollen. They also foster a very good breeding ground for thick clomps of moss under these screens inside the gutter, being so dark and damp inside.

Another problem you would encounter  is how this stainless steel mesh material is very thin and flexible like a stiff fabric, so they have to support it with a molded plastic or aluminum grid. The plastic will be destroyed by the UV rays of the Sun within a decade or so, just like with any vinyl gutters or siding. The manufacturers who use aluminum for support would be destroyed by the stainless steel over time from a reaction called galvanic corrosion, but that is not much of a realistic concern, since they will fail to let water pass long before that happens, but it's ill-advised to mix these 2 different types of metals.

Some of these scoundrels are so upset with me for disclosing this sham that they have threatened me with legal  action, but I have not been detoured. I could just as easily sell my clients on these screens as well. That is if I had no scruples. I am not a manufacturer of any gutter covers, so I have no motivation to discredit these sort of products, other than my desire to share the truth with those who would read these pages, where we clearly know what their motivations are. They will claim they have sold millions of feet of these screens and have had not a single complaint, yet those words are meaningless when spoken by a salesman, as we all well know from our own painful experiences in the past.

Besides basic logic I do have proof these simply will not work. I have some of this short lived screen material to show people off a client's house I had removed after only 2 years of service. He reported it had worked OK for the first year, until the warranty lapsed. Now that is an example of planned obsolescence of the worst kind. That set of gutter covers had cost this client more than my set of new aluminum gutters w/screens. Would you say he got ripped off for the $2k he had paid? Here is our correspondence after I examined his gutter problem:

From: "Tom M" <tom@branchdist.c*m>
To: <bid@dmr-gutters.c*m>
Subject: Bid for custom no-rust sheet metal Gutter fabrication
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2006 13:35:41 -0800
 

I need to replace my no clog gutter system that we had put on my house 2 years ago.  You are right, they don’t clog, and they don’t accept rain either.  I am local and live at 7004 SW 78th Avenue in Lake Oswego.  I understand that the process takes some time.  I would like to get it started.

 

The system I was gullible enough to buy is called Leaf Filter, a membrane system.  Right after they installed it, it worked perfectly, in summer, before any debris came out of the trees that I have on our property. As soon as the winter storms came, debris covered the membrane, and the water cascaded off the roof instead of going into the gutter.  The only way to make that system work would be to get up on the roof every couple of days, and sweep off the membrane cover. It had a short time period to complain, and initially it seemed OK.  From memory, I think the charge was around $2,000.  The company that makes leaf filter is not local, but they had a local roofer install it.  At this point, after 2 winters I just want a better solution.  I had to take out a couple of newly installed plants along the side of the house because the waterfall destroyed them.  I’d like to be able to re-landscape the area under the gutters this summer/fall.

 

Tom McDermott

Tom2047@hotmail.c*m

Our Response:

Greetings Tom,
It was nice to meet you and your wife tonight in formalizing the contract to work for you to replace your gutter system. Here is what I found this evening after you left:

First off; your roof was more littered with debris than I have hardly ever seen, let alone been up on. When I return to replace the gutters, would you like to hire us to clean off your roof? You can read about this sort of service on our web site at:
http://dmr-gutters.com/pg/moss.htm

I managed to remove all the screens off the plastic grates they installed, aside from the one gutter over the garage gutter. I left that on in tact for a better time where I can get some good photos of this issue. And yes, they are simply screens. They could be aluminum, but I think they are stainless steel screens with such a tight weave mesh that it is no wonder they were not letting water pass. Our tea strainers do not have that tight of a weave (no joke). I left a sample section rolled up near the front door.

I brought a section inside our house to get a better look at it. It would not hardly pass water with all the mildew build-up on it. I used dish soap and hot water to scrub it vigorously and even scratched at it with my finger nails, but could not seem to clean it out. I finally slapped it as hard as I could on the edge of the sink a dozen or so times, getting more and more out of the weave. It mangled the screen working it so hard. I flattened it out and it now will pass water, but so slowly that more water runs over the sides than through it. Feel free to work over the sample I left there to verify this, if your so inclined.

In my experience even window screen has a far too tight a weave for use as a gutter screen for any practical use. This 'membrane' was insane. If they had used an actual pure copper mesh, it at least would not have mildewed so badly. But there is no excuse for the use of such a tight weave screen. I assume the roofer had used only their parts? It seems consistent with what they report on their web site.

The plastic grate under that screen I left there has at least 100 times as much open area for water to pass through, yet will hold out the large debris for the time being until I can replace all your gutters. It will also clog over time if left alone several years. I was going to remove them as well, but it would have require power tools to remove the thin screws holding them on the aluminum brackets under them. It will certainly add a degree of difficulty to remove all the gutters when I will need to. I will most likely need to add a charge for that removal.

Those brackets are standard strength hidden hangers. The roofer was suppose to remove all the nail spikes and use the hidden hangers to remount the gutters, but he clearly did not follow the instructions and just put the hangers in the gutter loose.

You do have cheap steel gutters, so no big loss there. You will soon have rust free aluminum gutters on your house mounted with stainless steel screws, larger 3" X 4" outlets, functional screens over the gutters, and Leaf-catchers in each downspout near the ground for easy access.

Need less to say, this will make for an interesting report on our web site.

No-clog Warranties:

I don't put much stock in warranties for several reasons:
(a) will the company under that same name still be in business after you have trouble?
(b) will they actually stand by their warranty, or was there some fine print that you did not happen to catch, that is their loop hole out of any actual liability.
(c) If a, b, and c did not stop you, how do you prove to the company the gutter is clogged?
(d) if you can prove it, do you then need to have the debris filter device removed and shipped back to the company for further proof and refund?
(e) lets say you do all this, will the refund be prorated against their no-clog warranty policy time limits? (20 year warranty - 10 years = 1/2 refund)
(f) Would that refund be higher than what you paid to compensate for inflation over those years?
(g) would that refund cover the cost of the original installation and then the removal and shipping costs?
(h) More importantly they are banking on the fact that most clients will you have the time and energy to deal with all that?

I've had several of my clients ask how much I would charge to clean out the gutters I had installed, but I had to reminded them their would be no charge. I have not found any clients who are willing to pay more for a gutter protection product than the gutter it's self, let alone something that will only last a short while and become a bio hazard. I trust you will see the logic here and agree. So who is buying these bogus products? Were they just victims of a slick high pressure sales program?

The DMR No-clog Gutter Advantages

(Note: Keep in mind that even if I work to be unbiased and accurate here, this is only are our personal observations.  I have been in contact with National Leaf Guard ® head Office and their legal department for approval of this web page and it's accuracy since early 2003)

  1. Price $: for what these other No-clog Gutters cost, I could install solid copper gutters on your house (keeping in mind that copper costs about 6 times as much as painted aluminum and will not mildew).  

  2. Better Gutter Sealant: I double caulk the seamed corners with a superior caulk. (because of the closed design, the Leaf Guard ® gutter has to be caulked on one end, slid together and hope it sealed. They cannot even make sure it seals by pressing the excess caulk into the seam with a finger. also leaving these caulk obstructions inside their gutters).

  3. Better Construction: I do not use the amateur gutter part like preformed corners as they need to.  I miter all the corners into the gutter lengths, so there is only one seam to see, and only one seam to seal on each corner, to ever be a concern of a possible leak. I am also better able to custom fabricate the odd angles your house may have.

  4. Future Cleanings: you are able to easily see and clear out any debris from our gutters (in case the company who installed the gutters were to go out of business, or you were to find out that they did not stand by their No-clog Warranty).

  5. Holds More: a DMR gutter is deeper by 175% to the LeafGuard® gutter (2" to our 3.5"), allowing for a greater margin of error, like if your house were to settle.  That way there is less chance of it over-flowing when a small debris damn forms in the bottom of gutter, which is very common.

  6. No Obstructions: a DMR gutter does not have any obstruction on the bottom of the gutter from front to back that would damn up debris, like the Leaf Guard ® gutters do.

  7. Better Support: for the part of the gutter that holds the weight of the rain water and debris, DMR gutters have far more support than the Leaf Guard ® gutters.

  8. Better Support for Ladder Pressure: a DMR gutter has better support against ladder pressure, when accessing the gutters or the roof.

  9. I use a more expensive caulk, with M-34 Polycarbonate sealant technology (see Details web page for details and contact info).

  10. Better Assembly: from what I have seen here locally, Leaf Guard ® and most other gutter contractors still use the quick and dirty steel zip screws, instead of aluminum rivets, like I have only used for the last 9 years.

  11. Better Looks: I feel that a DMR gutter is a better look for houses (but that of course if highly subject to your personal taste).  Our gutter profile and smaller downspouts have less of the obvious appearance of having external plumbing mounted on the outside of your house.

  12. More Practical: I use the 3"x 4" to 2"x 3" conversion funnel up high on the downspout, instead of near the ground.  This helps minimize the cost and has a better look

I understand how most any home-owner would like to see a gutter system that had no downspouts, if that were possible. The last thing they want to see is these huge industrial size downspouts going down their siding.  I realized in short order that it would lower the cost and look better to have the smaller 2"x 3" downspouts coming down their siding.  I have found there is no need for the large downspouts for the strait drop into the underground drain pipes.  It will not clog up.  I have not had any call-backs from clogged downspouts in the last 9 years of doing the downspouts this way since 1996.  If you are concerned with denting of the downspouts, thicker metal downspouts can be ordered through our local wholesale supplier. 

What about Copper Gutters?

Cost?
I refuse to sell steel gutters entirely, since they are not a good value when you factor in the cost of labor to install.  Surely not with the care and effort I put into our installations.  I do not push the sale of copper gutters over aluminum to benefit from our profit margin.  I would say that over 90% of our work in our first decade had been installing aluminum gutters, but for some reason I have been doing a lot more copper gutter work since late 2004.  It has been a good 3/4 our income since then.  Your cost for a copper system is a little over double the cost of aluminum, even though it costs us about 5 times as much to get the materials. Your cost is not so far different because there is not a lot more labor involved. Also, with copper there is an option to have a thicker stronger 20oz copper sheet metal used, instead of the standard 16oz copper. Aluminum does not have that sort of option.

The Brown aged Copper Look as the Trim Color?
There is this common thought amongst many home owners that white gutter will fit in with most any house paint combination.  I do not quite understand this logic, but I do see where the mildew that commonly forms on painted or plastic gutters seems to show up quite strongly on these white gutters.  Copper gutters will simply turn to a dark brown within a few months after installation, that tends to pretty universally fit in with most any paint job better, since most houses are painted some variation of earth tones to not stick out too much.  Copper takes several decades to tarnish to that chalky green color.  I have removed poorly installed copper gutters that must have been a good 40 to 50 years old, and they were still 90% just that dark brown, nearly black, with highlights of that green tarnish.  There are acid washes that can be done to accelerate the tarnished look, but the cost is hardly worth the few months wait to see them turn brown.

What about a New Bright Copper Look?
Most clients say they love the looks of aged copper, so this is rarely an issue.  Most people think of new copper having a more orange look, but that is only the pink of the copper with a slight tarnish beginning from the humidity in the air, to turn it more of that orange look.  I have only been hired one time to polish and add a clear coat to this copper scupper and downspouts before installation for a client in Salem Oregon, to retain that new pink copper look. 

This is ill advised, since any clear coat will deteriorate over time under the UV rays of the sun, causing cracking and pealing. Which will quickly tarnish the exposed copper metal in those areas.  It is very costly to have them regularly waxed, let alone to have them later stripped down, polished, and refinished.  It is best to leave the copper raw and exposed.  There is no treatment I have heard of to improve the life of the new look of copper.  Be sure to take some good photos of the installation right after I am done, to see your house both ways.

Advantages over Aluminum?
There is a clear advantage that aluminum and copper sheet metal gutters have over steel gutter, but the advantages copper has over aluminum is as follows:

  1. With copper, you will never need to bother with a painting issue again. Since they are raw copper metal that will not rust, they are truly trouble free in that way.

  2. Copper gutters will not form that filthy unattractive mildew on the outside face of the gutter you commonly see on any painted or plastic gutters.

  3. The standard 16oz copper gutters are more rigid than aluminum gutters, so they are less prone to dent.

  4. There is the option to have stronger 20oz copper gutters for even more strength at a minor added cost, where aluminum has only the one gauge thickness.

  5. But the main reason clients decide to pay extra for a copper gutter system is for the brag points of having such expensive gutters and downspouts.

Our Copper Gutters:

Replacement Alternative

Another advantage of DMR is that I offer an option to upgrade your existing gutters to be much more trouble free, without having to completely replace your gutters.

Also, if you do not have a serious debris problem, I provide the option to have new gutters installed with our 30 advantages as listed on our Quality standards web page, costing less if you do not need our low maintenance options.  Even without our low maintenance package, our installations and warranty is still far better than any other gutter contractors in this Portland Oregon Metro area (see our Details page for more info).

Our Proof of Integrity1999 Better Business Award

I know that sounds far fetched and egotistical of us to say I am so incredibly superior to our competition, but I do have proof of the high reputation I have worked hard to earn over the last decade of specializing in gutter replacement.  Beside my Integrity Award from the BBB (as shown here), the gutter supply wholesalers like 'Custom-bilt Metals' and 'Gutterman's Supply, Inc.' have reported that I am the only contractors in this Portland Oregon Metro area who consistently buy the better quality parts.  Custom-bilt Metals' phone number is: (503) 256-3328.  Gutterman's Supply phone number is: (503) 285-2500.  I also have better construction and design than Leaf Guard ®, and with a more believable warranty (see details below)

Our standards are so high that I find that I have needed to order many of the parts from back East, like the hidden hangers, rivets, screws, and the end-caps I use.  The local suppliers will not stock them, since there is such a low demand by the other gutter contractors for stronger and better parts.  I alone do not have a large enough company to crash out the many jobs like other gutter contractors with crews of installers can, in order to make it worth the supplier's while to stock these better parts.  It is a terrible shame that I am so rare and one of a kind in this way.

I have had thought about franchising our name and system, but I have not found any other gutter contractors in the States who possess similar ethics as I do.  I do not see it as a possibility. That is a sad commentary of our modern world here in the States!  If you are such a person, read over our Training and Franchise web page for details.  Unlike the fantasy movie: The Highlander, there does not have to 'Be only One'. <LOL>

This Gutter Contractor in Lincoln, California asked that I post his thoughts on this subject, so here it is in it's entirety along with my retorts. He later asked that his e-mail be removed, so I altered it to not be a direct link, but it is important that you could contact him, so you know I did not just make this up:

From: Galen Powers of Affordable Guttering (800) 965-2562 <gutterpowers@hotmail.c*m>
Date: May 23, 2012

At 09:55 AM 5/23/2012, you wrote:
Your website is degrading to other products and very unprofessional. I strongly suggest you edit out some of the info otherwise someday you might get caught in a situation you'd rather not be in with one of the manufactures you are bad mouthing. I am a licensed contractor and have been running my own business doing gutters now for 15 years and done over 3,000 jobs alone with Gutter guards. I have used many different gutter guards over the years and each have their pro's and con's. Yet the way you represent your website in an effort to sell the Diamondback/EZ lock/EZ Flow product (black powder coated steel screen) is unprofessional. As a matter of fact I have sold that exact product that you sell, and it works ok for people who can not afford a better product.
Greetings Galen,
Thank you for taking the time to write me this detailed input, even if your shift keys and spell check seem to be not working. Feedback is always welcome, even if given in such a hostile manner, but I strongly disagree with your assessment. I have no vested interest in the company that makes the EZ Lock screen products, so I could not give a crap about them where it comes to any bias. They use to make a hinged screen that was far better than the 3' wide hinged screens Gutter World makes, but they discontinued it and I was very pissed about it and complained so much they now will not return my calls or e-mails, so there is actually some tension between us.
If you really knew what you were talking about you would know that this product lets so much debris through that in most cases 5 years down the road it has to be removed for cleaning. I have also installed reverse curve gutter guards of which are my least favorite gutter guard style. they do in fact let quite a lot of debris in the gutter and are difficult to maintain.
This would be relevant if the outlet was the same small size most Gutter Contractors such as yourself continue to use, but with the 2X larger outlets, reducers, and the Leaf-catcher strainers I am able to sell to 90% of my clients that argument is irrelevant. You are correct there is no perfect solution, and I say as such on my web site, but this is clearly the best and most cost efficient solution I have seen and I challenge you to come up with a better solution at any cost.
Where i disagree with you is in your assumption of fine screened gutter guards. I have installed leafilter, Leafsolutions, mastershield and Gutterglove. You are correct that Leafilter being plastic is inferior and the screen is too fine. However your statement about Aluminum frames is incorrect in two ways. First off Electrolysis is not the corrosion of two metals, the term electrolysis is actually a term describing the production of electrical currents between differing metals. It was made common in the plumbing industry. the term you are TRYING to refer to is called "Galvanic corrosion". Check with a metallurgist if you don't believe me! When two metals are mixed the weaker of the two metals will corrode over time if placed in the right environment. Mastershield, Gutterglove and Leafsolution used coated Aluminum so Galvanic corrosion will not even be possible until this coating wears off. Mastershiled and Leafsolutions use teflon coated baked enamel (the same material you use for your seamless gutters, most often warranted for 25 years direct from the coil coating plants).
That is a good point. I already knew that, but I was trying to use the term most people seem to be familiar with. I went ahead an changed this to:
The manufacturers who use aluminum for support would be destroyed by the stainless steel over time from a reaction called galvanic corrosion, but that is not much of a realistic concern, since they will fail to let water pass long before that happens, but it's ill-advised to mix these 2 different types of metals.
Bare aluminum will also corrode even if not in contact with a competing metal. So even if you claimed these coatings would fail you are only attacking your own gutters whether they be steel or aluminum because even without another metal they will still corrode (aluminum) or rust (steel) and they use the same coatings your gutters have!!! Gutterglove on the other hand along with a few others use an Anodized coated Aluminum frame. Anodizing is also a proven technique for protecting metals. So your statements about the frames are false and incorrect! too bad you dont have an open discussion on you webpage, because I would enjoy that!
I bet you would have a hay day callously ripping on my text, as I'm sure you do elsewhere. I suffer from this affliction at times myself with my righteous indignation. I try to curb it, but fail far too often. I imagine therapy would help, but just keeping busy getting my hands dirty seems to do the trick.
Now on to the screen size: Ez flow/Ez lock, diamond back whatever you want to call it is good, however it is too big and lets too much debris in the gutter in.
I have been using what they list as 'small hole' for the reason of this misconception, but personally I know their standard screen is better. This 'small hole' screen lets rain water form bubbles over the holes and allows water to ride the screen and cascade over the edge of the gutter. Most clients do not bother to complain about this, but I have received some grief from a few clients over this, which has been my only complaint, so I again cannot disagree with you more on this point as well.
You are correct some of the fine mesh guards are too fine, Leaffitler uses a 110 mesh I know, Mastershield, Gutterglove and Leafsolution use a slightly larger size (not sure exactly what size). However in Northern very wet climates such as your own in Portland many fine mesh gutterguard manufacturers recommend using their larger version they make. I install primarily in Northern Ca and I have never had a problem with fine mesh covers and I am not a salesman, I am a one man installer/owner. If these had problems I would not install them becasue I would not be able to afford to go back. I guarantee you that most of the issues you have run into are with the finer mesh's likely installed by the old Leaffilter dealer in your area or by a contractor not following the proper installation guidelines of any of these products. I have never had an issue with mildew in my climate or moss! I have however removed thousands of feet of the the product you are pushingl.
I could unnecessarily replace a lot of gutter products as well, in stead of addressing the real issues. I cannot say for sure how things are in your area of course, but when I have seen just window screen types fail in short order that certainly would indicate that a smaller weave would be even worse. If your clients do not suffer from the debris issues we have they probably do not need any gutter cover, let alone such an expensive cover you 'push'. I have a serious issue with a cover costing more than the gutter.
 And your 4 step procedure for leaf protection, REALLY! come on, does anybody actually buy that?
Only a good 90% of my clients. I put them on every bid, but they are itemized and I remind them they are free to only get what they want with no pressure or intimidation.
sloping gutters to keep debris out of your gutters? hahahahahaha.
Are you actually suggesting that grading gutters to drain is a bad idea. I do not say it solves the problem. I just say it should help. I realize you feel threatened by my web site, but maybe you should do some personal reflection to see where all this displace hostility would be better served.
and stainless steel screws so that you can adjust a gutter? Stainless steel is better yes, but a coated steel screw is just as good. I have worked on seamless gutters 35 years old fastened with standard woodfastener #10 screws and never had an issue removing them or re-aligning the gutter. you do not need stainless screws to re-slope a gutter.
I have seen numerous issues where those screws I use to use has sheared off, and I dread the thought of how many thousands are still compromised today that I simply do not know about. Stainless steel screws are less brittle, as you should know. I not only had switched to them, but went to #12 SS screws and use 2 per hidden hanger set only 2' apart, which is easily 3X stronger than what I had been doing. Should I be sorry I care so much about quality I am willing to go the extra mile for what may be over-kill?

This letter is so ignorant and callous I am going to honor your request and post your letter with my retort, as if I did have an active forum, so all could see what we are up against with criminals like you.
And Leafcathers down where someone can reach them....really? give me a break, the downspout clogs at the top, if debris makes it past the two bends then there is no point in stopping it and selling a customer something they dont need unless the drain goes under ground.
Again, a very ignorant comment. are you kidding me? There's not only no point to having gutters on a house if there is no storm drain system to carry the water away from the foundation, but they will do more harm than good, as I had clearly written about on my web site. I do not try to sell Leaf-catchers to Homeowners who do not have an underground storm drain system. I will go out of my way to educate them about this issue. Not because I am hoping to sell them anything. I even explain they would be better off to remove all their gutters and just let the rain water dribble off the roof evenly, than to dump all that rain water in one spot near their foundation.
in fact by selling them this mid drain catch screen you are admitting to the fact that your screen does not work!
Right, and I do freely admit this to each and every potential client, which is why they would need such a device added. What's your excuse?
If you are a christian man, or have any moral basis you would refrain from destroying the name of another product which does in fact affect people like me and the money I bring home to feed my family when my cleints run across your website!
I believe you need to take a good look in the mirror and figure out why you are so willing to rip people off, and work towards being a better 'Christian', as if that would matter to you. I fear the poor example you've set for your children to show them it's OK to take advantage of other people with grossly over priced products that fail in short order, just to help pad your pocket. If I believed in Hell there would need to be a special place for scoundrels like you.
So out of professional courtesy, I recommend that you edit the way in which your website talks about the fine mesh covers, because you are clearly uneducated in proper installation of these products which has resulted in your rapid formation of incorrect opinions.

About a decade ago Leaf-guards head quarters threatened me with legal action if I did not remove the claims I made against them. It only inspired me to read over that page, and I added at least twice as many flaws with their product. They clearly had no actionable cause and I never heard back from them. They did not want to stir this bees nest again. They had even resorted to hacking just this web page, but I was able to fix it.

Feel free to call me and we could discuss this further, but I'm pretty sure you will not like what I have to say, and we are not likely to change each other's opinions. I have no delusion of that fantasy.

 

"Quality and service is not expensive, it's priceless!"

E-mail or call DMR Gutters
for a free no-obligation estimate,
for the finest in rain management.
as long as you are local to the Portland Oregon area

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Other Helpful Roofing Information
For some valuable advice with regards to roofing and rain management issues check out our educational web pages before you get ripped off again:

(a) Gutter Installation
(b) Roofing Quality Standards (by far the worst problem of all)
(c) Chimney Flashing & Repair
(d) Moss Control & Treatment

Web pages for answers and solutions that could save you thousands of $ and a great deal of anguish.

If you do find this information very helpful, feel free to send us a $ tip for the assistance I so freely have published on the web here for your benefit, like you might tip a waitress.  Heck, send us a gift certificate for a candle lit dinner for two. <LOL>

 

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Below is a photo of our
Better Business Bureau's
NW Business Integrity Award
for the year 1998

1999 Better Business Award

I was also a 1997 finalist for this same award. See our referral web page to see how I managed to be honored with this special award

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