On September 9, 2013 as the #4 expert on Ask Angie’s List I received a request for info on LeafFilter.  While I was writing this blog Angie deleted the query.  Here is what I wrote.

I have been installing LeafFilter gutter guards for eight years.  I was also selling Gutter Topper when I started selling LeafFilter.  Five years ago I stopped selling Gutter Topper and became a MasterShield dealer.  Why all these products?  What have I discovered that will help you?

     Gutter Topper is the best reverse-curve type gutter cover.  It operates on the principle that water will follow a curve into the gutter and debris will fall off the covered gutter.  Obviously to make it work the gutter cover has to have an opening to let the water in.  This concept was patented in 1908 so it is not unique or cutting edge.  Unfortunately leaving an opening also allows small debris to follow with the rainwater into the covered gutter.  This, then, is virtually impossible to clean.  Hence only the very top end and expensive gutter covers (Gutter Topper, Gutter Glove and Gutter Helmut) can afford free cleaning service by the dealer when they clog.  If the dealer goes of out business (and I am aware of 5 in my market), the customer has a nifty fixed cover over his gutter that may be clogged with no help in sight.  Also, the leading edge of all reverse cover gutter systems must be kept clean or water will not follow the curve.  Water will then flow onto the ground.  In addition, a steeply pitched roof will overrun.  And old strap hung gutters that hang floating freely in the wind (mostly on Victorian homes) can not have an under-the-shingle type installation. Also the gutter’s backside will be open to birds and wasps.  These last two reasons are why I originally started selling LeafFilter—a product that solves the last two problems.

     LeafFilter (LF) is an invention of Alex Higginbotham who has all the basic patents on microfiltration.  This system uses a stainless steel 50 micron (three times smaller than a human hair) filter to keep any debris out of a gutter.  LF has a 4″ mesh over an underlayment of PVC (the same material vinyl siding is made of)  layed on top of the  gutter hangers.  The manufacturer warranties the original purchaser a material cost refund if the gutter ever needs to be cleaned.  Since nothing but water can enter the gutter, a properly installed LF system will give you clean gutters.  But there are several flaws in the system.  LF is flat and creates a “shelf” that debris rests on.  Someone should periodically blow off the shelf.  I have LF on my home, so I can speak from experience.  The other flaw–heavy rains tend to overrun the filter.

Hence Alex’s latest and greatest: MasterShield gutter covers. MS is placed under the first roof shingle. A method endorsed by 4 of the 5 major shingle manufactures It is pitched with the roof so it sheds debris during a rainstorm and when the wind blows.  Furthermore in all except a roof valley (the point where two roof pitches intersect), it does not overflow.  Both the manufacturer and the dealers (me) in writing will refund the purchase price or repair free of charge for the life the gutter if it clogs.

So I advise you enter MasterShield in your search engine.  Take a look.  Call LeafFilter if you have a Victorian strap hung gutter or flat EDPM roof.  And, yes, I sold a combo job September 8, 2013 with LeafFilter on 47 feet , the flat portion of the roof and MasterShield on 120 feet, the rest of the roof.  For roof valleys we install Barnett Valley Contollers to handle virtually 100% of the water.  Problems solved.

Keep your gutters from clogging…Guaranteed! Heartland MasterShield: Servicing Lincoln, Omaha, Council Bluffs, Des Moines, and surrounding communities. For more information visit www.heartlandmastershield.com.