Sounding Off on SpoutOff: Stud or Dud?
A correctly-functioning gutter system is essential for the proper maintenance of your home. For most people, this means cleaning out their gutters at least twice a year. Otherwise, leaves and other debris can form clogs and prevent runoff water from reaching downspouts, which over time, can lead to gutter overflow and water damage.
Now, there’s a new product which purports to keep your gutters from clogging. It isn’t a gutter cover or a separate type of guttering system – it’s just an attachment that affixes to your downspout. It’s called SpoutOff, and it’s being sold online and through contractors in the U.S.
What is SpoutOff?
The SpoutOff is actually made up of two pieces. One attaches to the exterior of the gutter itself, while the other fastens to the top of the downspout pipe. The two then “snap” together on the underside of the gutter where the downspout opening is.
The basic premise of the SpoutOff is to widen the “hole” in the bottom of the gutter into which runoff water flows. In fact, the first part of the installation process is to use a template that comes with the product to cut a larger hole in the bottom of your gutter in order to fit the SpoutOff properly.
Since the “new” downspout opening is reportedly four times larger than standard two-inch holes, there is more room for water to flow into the downspout. More importantly, the larger opening is wide enough so that leaves, pine needles, and similar-sized objects will actually slide through the opening and into the downspout, instead of getting caught in the downspout opening and forming a clog.
How SpoutOff Works
The SpoutOff costs around $40 (certain accessories will cost extra) and can be installed by any homeowner. The other highly-touted advantage of the SpoutOff is the fact that the clip allows the downspout pipe to be detached easily from (and reattached to) the gutter. This allows homeowners the ability to inspect their downspout pipes for debris without getting on a ladder and risking their safety.
But does the SpoutOff really accomplish its intended goal?
SpoutOff Grade: Incomplete
The product really hasn’t been on the market long enough to form any wide-ranging conclusions. The SpoutOff website lists a few positive reviews about how well the product works and how little effort is required to check the downspouts. However, it is still possible for certain types of debris to get caught in the larger downspout opening (even the SpoutOff website says that gutters “virtually” will not clog).
Of course, you still have to remember to check your downspouts periodically or risk runoff water backing up into your gutters. In addition, it’s also possible that a clog can form inside the gutter itself away from the downspout opening. Though such a clog would rarely keep every drop of water from flowing through to the downspouts, it may stop enough water to cause gutter overspill during a heavy rain event.
Gutter Helmet Grade: A+
If you want a gutter protection system that has been tested and proven to work time and time again, you should check out Gutter Helmet. This reverse-curve gutter cover keeps debris from ever getting into the gutter in the first place, while allowing water to flow in through an opening. In fact, Gutter Helmet works so well, that you’ll never have to clean your gutters again!
For more information on the Gutter Helmet gutter protection system, contact Lednor Home Solutions today at 1-888-5-HELMET – or fill out this form to schedule a free, on-site estimate.
Written by Del Thebaud