Here is a copy of the letter sent to the editor of a well-known magazine which tested gutter covers and which published a review of them in the Fall of 2010 in which they stated that one particular brand of vinyl cover found in many stores was particularly good. The name of the magazine and the brand of product have been redacted for legal reasons:
“Much as I have always been a fan of the magazine and follow your product advice avidly, I must say that the article on gutter covers has unfortunately gone off the rails, and readers may be very misled.
My company is in the business of installing gutters and gutter covers, and I can tell you plainly concerning _________ (brand of) vinyl covers: no one can tell if the pieces they buy are good or not.
In North Carolina where we are, the heat may curl it right up, although the white version is far, far less susceptible to curling than the brown version. Within the past year, I believe we have removed every inch of brown ________ (brand of cover) we ever installed because it has curled so badly that it’s become useless. Again, you cannot tell by looking whether the batch of ________ (brand of cover) you buy is a good one or not. Only time will tell; if it doesn’t curl, you have a good one.
However, even if you have a good batch, if the volume of leaf debris falling onto a roof is high, the ________ (brand of cover) vinyl may well be bent downward by the weight of wet leaves, etc. accumulating on top of it, which renders this cover useless in that case.
After having installed miles of ________ (brand of cover), we can no longer do so without warning people in advance of the potential problems. Your tests are based on short-term results designed to mimic Mother Nature, but our observations are based on years of hands-on experience with real gutters and real roofs.
We offer a metal substitute for it, which is far more durable, but it also costs more. However, we also tell people up front that any gutter cover with a flat or slightly curved design, such as ________ (brand of cover) and many other similar brands, may need to be lifted occasionally so that the gutters can be cleaned out, especially when the volume of leaves falling is high and/or the roof pitch is shallow. In areas with a high volume of falling leaves, my experience is that ________ (brand of cover) cannot keep 100% of the debris out of the gutter. Sometimes too the top of this cover may need to be brushed off or hosed off to get stubborn leaves or needles unstuck. Pine needles in particular may become caught in the version of ________ (brand of cover) that has mesh on top.
You also didn’t mention that ________ (brand of cover) simply cannot span a 6-inch gutter – unless good support material is installed underneath it first. If it doesn’t get added support underneath, ________ (brand of cover) on a 6-inch gutter will simply collapse into the gutter over time.
Although we do sell gutter covers that are very self-cleaning and very maintenance-free, ________ (brand of cover) and others with a flat, or fairly flat, top do not fall into this category, unless the volume of leaves falling on them is very, very small.
________ (brand of cover) does not come with a performance warranty – there is a reason for that. To call it a “Best Buy” without listing all of the issues concerning it is misleading.”
Posted in: Policies in General