Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Installing Gutter Brush in the Eavetroughs

Cleaning your gutters is a thankless but oh so important job.  No one ever has uttered the words " oh boy today I am going to clean my gutters".  But I'm sure someone has said "damn, I should have cleaned my gutters last year or maybe sometime in the last 10 years" as they looked at the huge icicle dangling from their gutter.

Dirty and clogged gutters/eavetroughs can cause roof shingle damage or roof rot, fascia board damage, gutter/eavetrough damage, or even siding damage from water over flowing the gutter and running down the siding.  So it definitely falls in the 'must do' category of routine home maintenance.

We have trees in our yard that all drop something besides their leaves.  There are walnuts from the black walnut trees, samaras (commonly referred to as helicopters) from the maples and ash trees, PLUS both the black walnut and ash tree drop their leaves first and then the little stem that the leaves were attached to before they dropped.  Our gutters can fill up and clog in just one season so we are always on the look out for something that can help deflect the tree debris from clogging the gutters.

We have tried the 36 inch plastic piece that goes under the first row of roof shingles and then snaps on the outside edge of the gutter. These are commonly referred to as gutter guards. We have these on one of our houses but the problem is that you can only use these if you attach your gutters with long spikes and not the hanger/clips that we use on the current house.   These cost less than 2 bucks for 36 inches.

These work best with a shallower pitch roof where the rain water runs off the roof slower, but our current house has a steep pitched roof.  Rain water has to pass through holes to get into the gutter so in a down pour it doesn't always work well.

So along comes the Gutter Brush.  R saw them on a home improvement show and told me to search for them on 'The Internet'.  I found them at one of our local hardware stores up town.  They are not cheap and come in at $9.99 for 36 inches.  Home Depot also carries them online but even if I purchased a large volume it was still about 50 cents a piece more and I would have to wait 2 weeks for them to arrive.

I purchased 10 pieces and brought them home to install on our front gutter. Basically the Gutter Brush is like a bottle brush that lays in the gutter and allows rain water to easily flow into the gutter but the debris stays on top of the brush and hopefully blows off and onto the ground.

We have white gutters and white fascia boards so when R shoved the black Gutter Brush under the gutter hangers it was visible.  R pulled the brush back out and we contemplated taking them back but then I got an idea.  I'll give the brush a little trim and remove the bristles on the bottom so that the brush sits lower in the gutter.

So I started cutting.  Easier said then done.  Those bristles are plastic but sturdy.  R was installing them faster than I could trim them.  But with the bottom bristles cut off the Gutter Brush sat lower in the gutter and are no longer highly visible.

We still need to adjust a few spots but with the short daylight hours we just ran out of light.  I swear the sun just falls out of the sky after 4PM.

It is forecasted to rain on Wednesday so we will know more about how it performs during a downpour. We are hopeful that these will keep out the walnuts and samaras and still let all the rain water pass through.

Tomorrow I'll reveal our new and improved downspout configuration.