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Cleaning out your gutters, especially during autumn can be a hassle ... a hassle that can be easily avoided with gutter protectors. In this video, you will learn of several different options to choose from that you can install yourself. Keep in mind that most gutter covers won't stop debris from getting into your gutters permanently. However, it will significantly reduce the amount that gets trapped and the frequency with which you'll need to clean your gutters.

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As the leaves start to turn colors this fall and gently fall to the ground, now is the perfect time to make sure they don’t clog up your gutters on the way down. Clogged gutters can lead to all sorts of problems, including wet basements and other foundation issues. And the best way to keep gutters free from leaves and debris is making sure nothing can get in there in the first place. The only thing you want filling up your gutters is rain water on its way down the downspout and away from your house.

As long as mankind has had to climb up on a ladder to remove leaves and debris from the gutter, innovative thinkers have come up with solutions to keep gutters free from debris. While you learned how to clean your gutters in our video “Cleaning Gutters,” in this video we’ll show you some products designed to keep stuff out of your gutters.

Today we’ll use this piece of gutter to illustrate some of the basic types of gutter covers. Now the thing to remember about gutter covers is that when installed by a professional gutter company, many times the price of the gutter cover is more than the price of the gutters themselves. This makes gutter cover installation a great money saver, and it’s not that difficult of a do-it-yourself project.

Now a word of caution: installing gutter covers, especially on a 2-story home, requires working on an extension ladder. If you are at all hesitant to do this, call a professional installer. The money you save doing it yourself is certainly not worth it if you fall and get injured. But if you’re up for the task, literally, then let’s get started.

Perhaps the main thing to remember when installing gutter covers is that over time, debris will eventually find its way through the gutter covers and into your gutters. It may take a while, but it will happen. So the gutter covers you choose should be ones that can be easily removed so you can clean your gutters. On that note, before installing any gutter cover, first make sure your gutters are thoroughly clean.

This first type of cover is designed to be accessible for easy cleaning. It has a metal clip that fastens to the front of the gutter. Then it flips back over and sits on top of the shingles. The main drawback is that it is easily seen from the ground and only offers a basic level of protection.

This second type is a 3-inch, snap-in gutter guard that is made of PVC. It has small, diamond-shaped openings that allows water through while preventing leaves and debris from entering.

This gutter cover snaps onto the front of the gutter lip while the back lip slides underneath the roof shingle. This is one of the most common types of gutter covers on the market, and it is available in several colors to match common gutter colors.

As you can see, this next gutter cover is solid plastic. This channel fastens to the top of the gutter’s lip, while the back fits under the first course of roof shingles. The neat part about this is the way water enters the gutter. As water runs off the roof and onto the gutter cover, surface tension channels the water around the lip and into the gutter. Leaves and debris roll right off.

Basically, the gutter covers we’ve seen so far are all similar in that they cover the top of the gutter to keep debris out. This next type of cover, however, really isn’t a cover at all. In fact, it sits inside the gutter. How can that work, you ask? We’ll let’s take a look.

This gutter insert is a plastic mesh foam filter that allows water to seep through while blocking leaves and debris on top. It installs under the gutter ferrules, which holds the product in during high winds. Another feature is that it can’t be seen from the ground, making it virtually invisible. Although leaves may initially stick to the top, they will eventually dry up and blow away.

If gutter covers don’t appeal to you, perhaps some downspout accessories are what you need. These keep debris out of the downspout in different ways. Here is a strainer that expands to keep the downspout from clogging. This product eliminates clogged downspouts by elevating leaves up onto a ramp which keeps them from entering the downspout. They eventually dry up and blow away.

So there you have it. While you should probably still give your gutters a periodic checkup every now and then, you can be sure you won’t have to do any heavy lifting like before. And all it took was the right products and some helpful advice from your local, independent home improvement retailer.

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  1. 1.mow leaves

    Before adding any gutter protectors, clean out all leaves and debris from your gutters.

  2. 2.pick up leaves

    This gutter is designed to easily access the inside for cleaning. There is a metal clip that attaches the guard to the front of the gutter. This offers a basic level of protection and can be seen from the ground.

  3. 3.sticks

    This 3-inch snap-in gutter guard is made of PVC. It snaps to the front of the gutter and the back slips underneath the shingles. It also comes in different colors to match your gutters.

  4. 4.fertilize

    This gutter guard is made of solid plastic. It attaches to the front and the back slips underneath the shingles. Surface tension from the curved lid channels water into the holes without taking leaves with it.

  5. 5.hose

    This gutter insert is a plastic mesh foam filter. It installs under the gutter ferrules to protect it from blowing away in high winds. It blocks leaves from entering but easily allows water through.

  6. 6.water spout

    After installing your gutter protection of choice, be sure to occasionally check the gutters for debris.


Project Faqs « back to project

What is the best type of gutter cover to install?

There are many different types that perform well, and others that don’t perform well at all. Eventually, debris will get into the gutter. So the... More »

Is there a way to keep leaves out of the gutter?

There are several different types of gutter covers that keeps leaves out of the gutter and makes them easier to... More »

How do I keep the water from pooling beneath my downspouts? Do I need to adjust the position my gutters?

There are several products designed to help carry water away from the foundation. The first is a splash block which sits directly under your... More »

How do I fix a leak in my gutter?

For some types of guttering, there are repair tapes that quickly and easily patch holes. Or, you can patch it using cement and a patch of the same... More »

Where should I keep a fire extinguisher in my home?

Don’t mount it too close to where a fire is likely to occur. For example, don’t keep it next to the stove. A good place is at the top of the... More »

How do I keep plywood from splintering or chipping when I cut it?

First of all, you’ll want to use a blade designed for cutting plywood, usually with small teeth. If you are using a handheld circular saw, place... More »

What can I use to keep outdoor faucets from freezing?

Install a frost-free lawn faucet that is angled down to drain. For existing faucets, you can use an insulating... More »

How can I keep rabbits out of my garden?

There is a galvanized fence that is 28”... More »

The squirrels keep chewing through the wood around the access hole in my birdhouse. How do I prevent this?

Add a second piece of wood over the access hole before drilling the hole. This will double the thickness around the hole, which will help keep... More »

Is there a way to keep condensation off my water pipes in the basement?

A piece of foam pipe insulation works... More »

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Comments (1)

  1. Great video – I watched the one about painting the fireplace screen also. It was explained very well and this girl on the video was terrific – she made me confident I could do this project also!

    March 5, 2012 at 8:27 am