Friday, May 9, 2014

Keep Foam in Your Cushions, Not in Your Gutters

By Tony Iannelli
Inventor of Gutter Topper and founder and owner, Gutter Covers International

If you’ve visited a home improvement box store recently, you may have seen prominent displays for foam gutter filters that claim to be an inexpensive solution to your gutter clog problems – but this is a great example of “let the buyer beware.” We have even seen some roofing companies selling versions of this foam product to unsuspecting homeowners, and our independent gutter guard installers report that they are constantly replacing these cheaply made products.

Of all the gimmick gutter clog solutions now available, the foam inserts seem to be quickly growing nationwide. The idea seems simple. A foam insert – usually a wedge shape -- is fitted into your gutter and water is supposed to flow through the porous foam, blocking debris from filling your gutters.
Somewhere under this messy gutter clog, there is a foam gutter filter.
But the problems with this “solution” are endless:
  • Debris ends up collecting on top of the foam and has nowhere to go, eventually clogging the top of the foam filter.
  • The clogged filters then result in waterfalls flowing over your gutters, which leads to foundation and landscaping damage.
  • Moss also builds up on top of the filters, just as it often does in an aquarium filter.
  • Oil and tar grit from your shingles will stick to them. Since the gutter filter foam is made of an oil-based product, oily residue from your roof will become part of the filters over time and clog the supposedly porous cells.
  • Small buds and twigs get lodged in the filters when the foam is wet.
  • Porous foam can’t handle the volume of water that often comes with strong storms.
  • What do you think happens to leaves that fall when it’s raining and then dry when the sun comes out? They stick to the foam, of course, like a layer of plaster.
  • In the winter, saturated foam can turn into ice which freezes in your gutters and prevents proper water flow.
  • Finally, just like any filter, foam filters need to be cleaned often. And if you happen to have pine trees in your yard, cleaning the needles out of the filter may be impossible.
Just like so many of the latest fads, foam filters look like a great idea – until you install them and quickly find the fatal flaws with the product design and performance. Foam filters simply don’t last, and why would you invest in a product that you have to keep cleaning or replacing?

The purpose of any gutter guard investment should be to keep you off the roof and end the need for the messy and often dangerous job of cleaning your gutters – and investing in foam filters simply won’t accomplish that.

Even the highest grade foam filter is only likely to last a season or two. And then you’ve got a mess to clean or a total replacement facing you.

When you factor in the cost of replacing worthless foam inserts year after year, suddenly the investment in gutter guards that work makes strong financial sense. Please contact your local Gutter Topper Retailer for the right answer to your specific gutter protection needs.

Foam may be great for a chair cushion, a pillow, a mattress or for packaging – but not for gutter guards!

As a general contractor and craftsman, Tony Iannelli saw the damage caused by clogged gutters, and he knew he could invent a solution in his workshop. That invention was Gutter Topper, which then led to his company, Gutter Covers International, developing a series of gutter protection products. Since then, millions of feet of Tony's gutter protection products have been installed in over 200 markets across the USA, Canada and Europe.

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