Gutter Protection Covers

Gutter Helmet® vs. Two-Piece Gutter & Hood System (Product A):

Background:

Product A is a two-part, roll-formed gutter and cover system that gives the appearance of a single unit. The product is formed on site with the skilled ability and training of the machine operator as well as the gutter coil stock used determine the quality of the final product. The roll-forming equipment used by Product A dealers is made by Knudson Manufacturing. Knudson markets and sells its machines to gutter companies that in turn purchase gutter coil from local vendors. Because the gutter coil can be purchased from any vendor, there is no consistency in quality and/or gauge among the various Product A dealers. Some dealers may use multiple vendors therefore creating an inconsistency in the product from job to job. Knudson Manufacturing is not responsible for, nor has control over, the quality of the product produced in the field.

Product A will not install over existing gutters, no matter the condition. All existing gutters are removed and destroyed.

Gutter Helmet® Comparative Information:

Gutter Helmet® is marketed by SEMCO Southeastern Metals, A Gibraltar Industries Company. All Gutter Helmet® products are manufactured at the company’s own state-of-the-art facility using only the best equipment. 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. Gutter Helmet® installs over full-size existing gutters. Gutter Helmet® Dealers sell successfully against the whole gutter/gutter cover systems by offering seamless gutters with the purchase of Gutter Helmet®.

Market Information:

Product A’s sales strategy involves misleading consumers. Some dealers have even claimed to own Gutter Helmet® and LeafGuard. They state that Gutter Helmet® is their first-generation product, LeafGuard is their second-generation product, and Product A is their third generation, superior product that combines the best features of the previous two. Product A is sold by gutter companies or by large sales organizations. Usually, the gutter company will sell for under $10/foot and do little advertising. However, the marketing firms selling the same product sell for up to $35/foot. Those marketing firm dealers run huge advertising campaigns and use high-pressure sales tactics.

Product A Marketing/Product Claims:

Claim #1: For some reason, Product A dealers often make the claim that their product owns Gutter Helmet® and LeafGuard, or that they used to own Gutter Helmet®.

The Facts:

  • This is a false and misleading statement.
  • Gutter Helmet® is owned by SEMCO Southeastern Metals, A Gibraltar Industries Company. Gutter Helmet® has never been owned by Product A or Knudson manufacturing. Knudson Manufacturing does not, nor has ever, supplied equipment to Gutter Helmet®.
  • Knudson Manufacturing sells its roll-forming machines to Product A dealers. At one time, Knudson also manufactured the roll-forming machines used by LeafGuard. When Knudson began selling equipment to LeafGuard’s competitor Product A, LeafGuard ended their relationship with Knudson.
  • Product A salespeople are trained to use this tactic to confuse the homeowner. In the homeowner’s mind, all Product A competitors become one entity. Product A becomes superior in their mind because their product is still manufactured with machines made by Knudson Manufacturing.

Claim #2: Gutter Helmet® is a flimsy product with no support. It will blow off or cave into the gutter.

The Facts:

  • This is a false and misleading statement.
  • Product A salespeople show potential customers a 1-inch wide piece of Gutter Helmet® and tell them that this is what they are buying if they purchase Gutter Helmet®. They do not mention that Gutter Helmet® panels are 5 feet wide and not 1 inch wide. They also do not inform the homeowner that heavy gauge support brackets are used under the panels. They try to make Gutter Helmet® look like a cheap, flimsy product.

Claim #3: Once you install Product A, there will be ‘no more gutter clogging.’

The Facts:

  • This is a misleading statement because Product A can easily clog. Product A design does not feature a nose-forward cover, and the exposed vertical opening is large. Therefore, leaves and debris easily enter the Product A system and may clog the gutters.
  • Product A has a removable hood. It is removable because they know that their product can easily clog and will need service. The removable hood makes servicing easier.
  • Gutter Helmet® is engineered with a nose-forward design and a small 3/8” water gap to keep debris out of the gutter and eliminate gutter cleaning forever.

Claim #4: Installation of Gutter Helmet® will de-laminate shingles and void roof warranties. Because Product A installs on the fascia and not the roof, your warranty is protected.

The Facts:

    • This statement is false. It is true that Product A does not de-laminate shingles or void the roof warranties. However, it is also true that Gutter Helmet® does not de-laminate shingles or void roof warranties. Most homes have several roof penetrations for vents, A/C equipment, skylights, etc., and are installed with over 5,000 nails. These roof penetrations do not void warranties. For example, the CertainTeed® shingle warranty (www.certainteed.com) states: “This warranty provides protection against any shingle defects that arise in the course of ordinary and everyday wear and tear to the roof caused by normal exposure to the elements. It does not provide protection against damage caused by situations and events beyond normal exposure conditions, such as, but not limited to.. Damage caused by structural changes, alterations or additions, or by the installation of equipment (such as aerials, signs or air-conditioning equipment) to the structure…”
    • All roofing manufacturers use similar language in their warranties. This means that roofing manufacturers will not warrant damage caused by the installation of any accessory, including gutter protection devices. Damage includes tearing or breaking of shingles during the installation process. Professional Gutter Helmet® installers are extremely cautious when lifting shingles for under-shingle installations.
    • On an average home, there are about 5,000 nails and nail holes and none are sealed. Only 24 fasteners are required on an average Gutter Helmet® installation of 120 feet. Gutter Helmet® dealers take the extra precaution of sealing all fasteners used in an installation with a poly-butyl sealant to permanently seal and protect the integrity of the roof. These sealed fasteners do not de-laminate shingles and will not void a roof warranty.
  • Product A installs directly onto the fascia, but fascia mounting often creates severe problems that are not present with full-sized gutters. The bottom edge of a roof overhang features an applied drip edge. This drip edge is designed for use with full-sized gutters. Drip edges generally do not channel water into a Product A gutter, so this water is trapped between the Product A gutter and the fascia. Product A has a very small back opening that the water could enter; however, this back opening is easily clogged by debris. Installers try to prevent water damage to the fascia by applying a seam of caulk along the upper backside of the Product A gutter. Water that finds its way behind the Product A gutter through cracked or missing caulk causes fascia rot and damage

Facts that Product A dealers don’t want you to know:

  • The Product A system is not warranted by Product A Company or Knudson Manufacturing. According to the Product A website, “All warranties are offered through our dealers. For more information, ask your local dealer about the warranties offered on the system and its materials.” Knudson Manufacturing does not have a reference to Product A on their website. They simply sell equipment to the Product A dealers.
  • This is very important because it plainly states that there is no manufacturer’s warranty for materials, workmanship, or installation on Product A. Furthermore, Product A dealers are not required to warrant the product at all. Customers must rely on their dealer to honor any warranty that the dealer itself may offer (if they have one) for any service work needed. Gutter Helmet® has a Lifetime Warranty on Performance and material that is backed by SEMCO Southeastern Metals, A Gibraltar Industries Company..
  • Product A dealers can buy their gutter coil anywhere. Product A dealers are not required to purchase the same coil. There is no consistency in quality and/or gauge among the various dealers (and sometimes among the same dealer). The Product A system that one dealer installs can be a thicker gauge and of higher quality than that of another dealer. In addition, when given the choice, most dealers buy cheaper material and sell it at a premium price. Gutter Helmet® is manufactured in a state-of-the-art facility with quality control technicians monitoring the complete manufacturing process. It is consistent in product and installation all across the country. The homeowner in Seattle, WA will get the exact same product as the customer in Tampa, FL.
  • The front opening of a Product A system is large and allows a great deal of debris to enter the gutter, possibly clogging the downspout. Product A systems require the installation of 3″ x 4″ downspouts instead of standard 2″ x 3″ downspouts to try to prevent the debris from clogging gutter system.
  • Product A targets lower income customers and sells most jobs with financing.

Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet® is the official dealer and installer of Gutter Helmet® in Baltimore MD, Philadelphia PAPittsburgh PASouthern NJNorthern NJWashington D.C.OhioNorthern Virginia, Seattle-TacomaEastern Ohio, and Cleveland, OH.

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

Back to Competitive Reviews