My husband and I are avid DIYers. We will tackle just about any home improvement project once and then decide if it will ever be done by us again. This past spring when we were purchasing ceiling tile for our family room were we finishing we ran across some material to keep the leaves out of your gutter called Clean Sweep Leaf Protection gutter guard. It looked like it would do the job for us and best of all it was on sale for about 40% off so we purchased it. This is something we are very good at, the purchasing part. The follow through on the other hand, not so much.
Yesterday afternoon after work I decided that I should get something done around home since it is fall and winter is not far behind. I happened to look up and see this:
I’m pretty sure after looking at the gutters and finding a plant growing in it that I didn’t get my spring job done of cleaning out the gutters. I usually do it in the spring and then late fall so we don’t have issues with clogged gutters in the spring.
I decided that I had better take the time to clean out the gutters as long as I had the time and it was a beautiful day to be outside. Then I remembered the Clean Sweep Leaf Protection gutter guards we purchased and decided to check out how to install them. First thing on the instructions is clean the gutters, so I did since it needed to be done whether or not I got the guards installed. It took me about an hour.
I used a car brush on the end of my garden hose, a 3M Scotch Brite pad, and my kitchen spatula to clean out the gutter. I’m shameless about promoting 3M products since my Dad was an engineer there until he retired. Besides I like their products. You need to watch out for sharp screws and edges inside the gutters when you are cleaning them out. I found a few sharp edges the hard way.
Next I got the sections of Clean Sweep Leaf Protection gutter guard and started installing them from one end of the gutter to the other. They have a rubber gasket on the back edge and a flange on the front end that locks onto your existing gutter. They are very easy to install. They friction fit into place. Very nice!
You need to overlap the ends by a half inch and there are tabs for this. When you come to a corner you overlap as well but you must make a miter cut for fitting them into and around the corners. You will need to use a tin snips for cutting the aluminum.
Once you have all the pieces in place you pre-drill the joining ends in two locations, one in front and one near the back of the tabs and then using sheet metal screws you join the ends together.
I found the best way to do this was by pre-drilling the two holes with my cordless drill and using a screwdriver to hold up the bottom piece in place until I had the holes drilled. I had trouble with the bottom piece moving without using the screwdriver for some tension. Then I switched out the drill bit for a nut driver the size of my sheet metal screws and still using the screwdriver to hold up the bottom piece I installed the screws.
I worked from one end of the gutter to the other end working around the corners and installing two screws on the mitered joints of the corners as well.
I love the finished project. What I love even more is that from this point in time and forward I no longer have gutters to clean out spring and fall. That means an extra two hours a year to do something else. The entire project from start to finish took me 3 1/2 hours.
If I consider the life expectancy of a non-smoking white female to be 80.8 years (I got this figure off the internet, of course) that means I have gained 60 hours to do with whatever I choose provided I live for the next 30 years. If you calculate the money part of the equation at my current rate of pay of $14.50/hour that is $870.00 I saved by completing this project.
Whether I did the job myself each year or had to pay someone else to do it, I am both time and money ahead having completed this project.
More time and money = more flying 🙂