There is a phrase that I often hear about the two certainties in life; one being death and the other being taxes. To that, I would add a third, which is having to clean leaves in the fall. While I love the big oak trees that surround our house, the leaves are a lot of work to get off of the lawn and become even more problematic when they clog up the gutters. Oak trees also have additional droppings in the spring, which makes cleaning out the gutters in our neighborhood a 2-3 times a year project. When the gutters get clogged, the water that pours down the side of the house can also cause leaks or expensive ice dams in the winter.
While I am comfortable cleaning some of the first floor gutters myself, the ones on the 2nd and 3rd story of our house are beyond my safe reach. After paying a few hundred dollars each year for professional gutter cleaning, I decided to try another route and test out a permanent gutter cover. These products are designed to cover the gutter allowing water to flow through, but not debris. The nice folks at GutterDome provided us with a sample of their product and we had it installed by ASG Seamless Gutters, who did a great job.
I regularly receive tons of direct mailings from gutter cover companies, but a majority of the products that these companies sell are ridiculously expensive for the cheap plastic that they are made from. One of the main differences of the GutterDome product is the construction, which is comprised of surgical grade stainless steel bars with wire mesh that prevents debris from entering your rain gutters. The construction is solid and the product fastens to the front lip of your existing rain gutters with self-drilling screws and goes in quickly. It is also not something that you really notice once it is installed, due to it’s low profile.
After a few months of testing and some major rain storms, I have been impressed with the product. It seems to work very well and has held in place. The debris that would otherwise end up in the gutter simply rolls off the roof when it rains. The only thing I would caution is that you may need to make some changes with stacked gutters (ie downspouts that bring water from one roof down to a lower roof). The reason is that if the downspout from the higher roof dumps out too close to the edge and is pointed downhill, the flow of water will be too fast for the GutterDome (or any gutter cover) to digest and the water will run over the cover to where you may not want it. The two solutions to this problem are to connect the downspout directly into the lower gutter or have it go across the roof at a 90 degree angle to spread out the flow, so that it can be absorbed.
The average installed price on GutterDome ranges from $14/ft – $24/ft depending on several factors including stories, roof condition, access, conditions of gutters, etc. and the final price is determined by the Authorized Dealer doing the installation. With an average cost of $2,000 – $3,000 for an entire house, you will be looking at a 5-10 year return on investment. Although it can be pricey, you will never have to deal with cleaning your gutters again, which is something I am very much looking forward to crossing off of my to do list.