Gutter Guard Review

Gutter Helmet® vs. One Piece Leaf Guard Gutter System (Product B): 

Product B Background:

Product B is marketed by The Englert Corporation of Perth Amboy, New Jersey. The primary business of the Englert Corporation, as listed on their website (www.englertinc.com) is metal roofing, gutters, coil coating and portable roll-form equipment. Englert does not list Product B as a primary business, does not manufacture Product B products and does not control the quality of the final product or installation. Englert markets the Product B brand name and manufacturing equipment to independent franchised dealers who purchase gutter coil stock and pay a per-foot royalty fee to Englert. Product B products are actually field-manufactured on the job site. The quality of the product, as well as all machine adjustment and maintenance, is dependent upon the ability and level of training of each operator.

Gutter Helmet® Comparative Information:

Gutter Helmet® is manufactured and marketed by SEMCO Southeastern Metals, a Gibraltar Industries Company. All Gutter Helmet® products are manufactured at the company factory in Jacksonville, Florida. This facility features state-of-the-art equipment, a fully equipped test laboratory, and a dedicated staff of Gutter Helmet® professionals, including engineering, manufacturing, quality control, customer service and warehouse logistics. Gutter Helmet® production and quality is controlled and monitored from the initial specification of raw materials to the final delivery and installation by professional dealers.

Market Information:

Product B’s sales strategy is to market their product as “The Gutter That Never Clogs.” Product B dealers are franchised, with large up-front dealer fees used to launch major promotional campaigns. Product B has a two-tiered pricing structure, marketing to new-home construction builders at deeply discounted wholesale prices, and to homeowners at substantially higher retail prices. High equipment costs often result in a single dealer serving several markets, scheduling installation routes far in advance.

Product B Marketing / Product Claims

Claim #1: Product B is the #1 Clog-free Gutter, Guaranteed!

The Facts:

  • Product B is the ONLY one-piece gutter / gutter cover combination, so this is a true but misleading claim. For every Product B gutter system installed, five Gutter Helmet® systems are professionally installed over existing, full-size gutters. This easily positions Gutter Helmet® as the #1 gutter protection system.
  • Product B does not claim to keep debris out of gutters. Dealers promise that gutters will be cleaned free of charge if they are properly installed and maintained and if the original Product B installing dealer is still in business!
  • Product B dealers routinely price their gutter systems to pre-pay for clean-out service calls according to the type of trees present in the home’s vicinity. In heavy leaf / pine regions, gutters are priced higher because greater levels of service are required for clean-out services.
  • The Product B design features a continuous 5/8” vertical opening. Vertical openings will not prevent falling leaves and debris from entering the gutter. On Gutter Helmet®, the patented ‘nose-forward’ position protects a continuous 3/8” water opening, meaning there is no vertical opening to allow leaves and debris to enter.

Claim #2: Product B is the only seamless gutter protection system available.

The Facts:

  • This is NOT a true statement. Product B and a few smaller companies all roll-form seamless gutter covers from common gutter coil stock on the job-site. While there are definite advantages to a seamless gutter, there is absolutely no functional advantage to a seamless gutter cover. In fact, there are many definite disadvantages to a seamless cover. Disadvantages include:
  1. Falling branches and ladder placement cause dents and damage to all gutter protection systems, including Product B and other competitors. Repair of a two-foot section of damaged Product B requires total replacement of the entire gutter run at great expense. Gutter Helmet® repair requires the simple, inexpensive replacement of a five-foot section.
  2. A seamless one-piece cover cannot be opened for cleaning (see point 2 on claim #1 above).
  3. Field-manufactured product quality is dependent upon consistent machine maintenance and adjustment in all weather conditions, and on the ability and training of the operator.
  • Gutter Helmet® panels are designed with an overlap ‘step’ so that installations appear seamless when installed over full-size gutters, yet have the functionality and convenience of five-foot panels.

Claim #3: Gutter Helmet® Installation will de-laminate shingles and void roof warranties. Because Product B installs on the fascia, your roof warranty is protected.

The Facts:

  • This is a completely false statement. Gutter Helmet® samples and instructions were recently sent to the major roofing manufacturers. Letters received from the Technical Service Directors of these companies state “Our (GAF™) limited warranty against manufacturing defects remains in full force and effect when this product is installed with our shingles.” and, “… Gutter Helmet® products, when installed per the manufacturer’s application instructions, do not void the Celotex™ Limited Warranties.” Certainteed™ provided verbal approval, but would not provide a reference letter.
  • While it is true that Product B does not de-laminate shingles or void roof warranties, it is also true that Gutter Helmet® does not de-laminate shingles or void roof warranties either. Most homes have several roof penetrations for vents, A/C equipment, skylights, etc; and shingles are installed with over 5,000 roof-penetrating nails. These roof additions and penetrations do not void warranties. A Gutter Helmet® under-shingle installation of 120 feet requires only 26 fasteners, all of which are sealed with a poly-butyl sealant to permanently protect the integrity of the roof. These sealed fasteners do not de-laminate shingles and will not void a roof warranty.
  • Product B does install directly onto the fascia, but fascia mounting often creates severe problems that are not present with full-size gutters. The bottom edge of a roof features an applied drip-edge designed to install in combination with full-size gutters. Rainwater flows over the shingles and backward towards the fascia (via water surface tension). The drip-edge protects a home by channeling this rainwater away from the fascia and into the gutter. But on a Product B system, damaging rainwater is often trapped between the gutter and the fascia. Installers apply a seam of caulk along the upper backside of the gutter to try to prevent water damage, but water that finds its way behind the gutter through cracked or missing caulk causes fascia rot and damage.

Claim #4: Product B can handle up to 21 inches of rainfall per hour (in calculated lab tests).

The Facts:

  • This is an outrageous claim. Twenty-one inches of rainwater falling on a 1,800 square foot home in one hour equates to more than 25,000 gallons of rainwater. To handle 25,000 gallons of rainwater, gutters must drain about 420 gallons every minute. The capacity of a Product B gutter on an 1800 sq. ft. home is only 66 gallons, and that is only if the home has continuous gutters on all four sides! For this claim to be true, downspouts must completely drain 100% of the maximum capacity of Product B gutters every 9.4 seconds.
  • Product B states that their gutters will not prevent runoff in corners, low and heavy-flow areas. “In roof valleys where there is a heavy concentration of water, or at the lowest point of the gutter run such as the corners, some of this water may overshoot the Englert Product B gutter.”

Facts That Product B Dealers Do Not Want You to Know: 

  • Product B gutters are undersized and do not meet the building code rain capacity requirements of many cities. The capacity of one foot of Product B is 0.39 gallons of rainwater, while the capacity of one foot of standard 5” gutter is 1.20 gallons. This means that a single gallon of rainwater requires a minimum of 31 inches of Product B gutter, but only 10-inches of a 5” gutter. The under-sized capacity of Product B is even greater in areas where 6” gutters are common.
  • The capacity of one foot of standard 6”gutters is 1.80 gallons, or one gallon of rain requires 6.7 inches of gutter (vs. 31 inches of Product B). Stated simply, a 5” gutter handles more than three times the maximum capacity of a Product B gutter, while a 6” gutter handles more than four and one half times the maximum capacity of a Product B gutter! *** UPDATE*** In a few of the newer markets, Product B dealers field-manufacture gutters on a new, ‘large-capacity’ machine designed to help overcome the many shortcomings of the original under-size gutters. The new profile increases the rain trough size to 4.5”wide x 2.5”high. This new, ‘large-capacity’ profile is still 31.84% smaller than a standard 5” gutter!
  • Product B systems require at least 50% more downspouts than standard gutters. To compensate for undersized gutters, more downspouts must be installed, and each downspout must be over sized to help accelerate drainage.
  • Product B installation costs are misleading. Most homeowners do not know or understand the total length of gutters needed for their home (linear footage). Gutter Helmet® systems install over existing gutters with a known, measurable length. Product B dealers remove the original gutters and re-measure, adding the length of all new downspouts into the total footage requirement. On average, ten feet are added for each downspout, and because the Product B system has a capacity of only one-third to one-fourth that of full-size gutters, at least 50% more downspouts are required. This means that Product B may quote a lower PER-FOOT cost than Gutter Helmet®, but 60 to 80 additional feet of downspouts are usually required for a Product B installation. Most Product B dealers charge the same per foot cost for downspouts as for the gutter itself, vastly inflating the overall installation price.
  • Product B dealers remove (and destroy) a homeowner’s existing full-size gutter system and replace it with an under-capacity gutter, even if existing gutters do not need replacing. This removal / replacement forces a homeowner into a permanent Product B system and dealer dependency, even if the homeowner is dissatisfied.

Summary:

Every Gutter Helmet® dealer has a responsibility to understand and share the superior product features provided by the expert installation of a Gutter Helmet® system.

  • Gutter Helmet® features the exclusive and patented PermaLife™ coating that resists fading, chalking and corrosion. Product B calls its coating Castleclad™, but it is in fact a polyester coating.
  • Gutter Helmet® features a textured surface that performs 60% better than Product B’s smooth surface.
  • Gutter Helmet® features a unique nose-forward position with no vertical openings. Product B has a vertical opening that permits leaves and debris to enter.
  • Gutter Helmet® features the strength of patented 50-gauge brackets, adding strength and support to both the gutter and the Gutter Helmet® system.
  • Gutter Helmet® is a full-sized cover that handles the heaviest rainfall, fastens to existing, full-size gutters to carry even the heaviest rains away from the house foundation and landscaping.
  • Full-sized gutters can be pitched to provide maximum drainage in the smallest gutter run possible. Product B gutters are formed with a single, continuous run that must be pitched high to low, appearing ‘crooked’ on a consumer’s home and requiring more downspouts.
  • And…Gutter Helmet® provides the best warranty in the industry – a lifetime, transferable warranty on material and performance.

Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet® is the official dealer and installer of Gutter Helmet® in Baltimore MD, Philadelphia PA, Pittsburgh PA, Southern NJ, Northern NJ, Washington D.C., Ohio, Northern Virginia, Seattle-Tacoma, Eastern Ohio, Portland OR and Cleveland, OH.

Schedule a free estimate online today or contact us at 1-888-5-Helmet.