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Chapter 4: Types of Gutter protection on the Market Today

Metal Dome Systems

Metal dome systems are the most effective systems available on the market. However, only a handful of systems work very well. Metal dome systems use the physical properties of water, specifically surface tension, so that water adheres to the dome of the cap and flows into your gutter. Some leaves and debris fall off during the rain, but the majority is blown off by the wind. Your existing gutters become a free-flowing roof drainage system, saving you the hassle and danger of cleaning gutters and saving you potentially thousands of dollars in damage each year.

Nose placement (rounded area of the gutter cover mounted lip of gutter) is a determining factor as to how well the system, will work. Nose-back systems mount with the nose equal with the inside lip of the gutter. Debris tends to blow off the gutter cover and then bounce into the gutter.

Nose-Forward systems mount with the nose 1/8” to 1/4” past the outside lip of the gutter to prevent debris from bouncing into the gutter. Unfortunately, water tends to fly over on these designs and end up next to the foundation.

All metal systems use end caps to keep birds and squirrels out of the gutter.

Some debris will become encapsulated in water and navigate the gutter cover. This is normal and is okay as long as debris can be flushed through the trough (area between the nose and gutter). The slots should be at least five inches or more. Most systems only have two inch slots and they eventually clog.

Waterflow animation The effectiveness of a great design will be negated if the product is installed improperly. The better companies recognize this problem and will only allow companies to sell their products once their installers have been certified at their training facilities. A training facility should be a formal school in which every roof application can be mounted and the installers can practice for as long as it takes to become certified. You may don't want your home to be somebody's learning curve as they go through training.

The warranty is the another important factor when choosing a gutter cover. A comprehensive warranty will cover performance, materials, and labor. Read the fine print. Many companies give value in regular print, and steal it back in the fine print. Ironically, some companies will guarantee that the gutters are free flowing, but don't cover clogs in the gutter cover. The investment for a gutter protection system should be just once, and should be guaranteed no maintenance. Many systems require routine maintenance which is counter to the reason a homeowner would have bought these systems in the first place. The warranty is only as good as the amount of time that the product has been around. A lifetime warranty is nebulous if the manufacturer has only been around for a couple of years and doesn't have a proven track record.

Bottom Line: While the metal dome system is the best option, some metal dome systems work better than others.

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