When you install new gutters with or without a gutter cover, within a matter of months, your gutters will start to look dull and dirty. The lighter the gutter color (and most homes have white or light colored gutters) the faster and more noticeable the change.
No one wants to make an investment of any kind on the outside of their home and then have it quickly look dingy. So what’s happening?
Dirty Gutters and a Gutter Cover: The Problem with Tiger Striping
The main issue facing gutters is dirty rainwater. Rainwater falls and collects pollutants in the air, it also gets dirty as it collects debris, asphalt oils and dirt from your roof. Some of this water will find its way to the front lip of your gutter. It will land on the front lip, splash over from the roof or roll over the gutter cover. Any way it gets there, it then tends to run down the front of the gutter itself, causing dark stripes, traditionally known as tiger stripes, to form on the gutter’s front.
Ouch. Suddenly, that nice, bright surface gets grey. Suddenly, it doesn’t match the other trim of your home, like the trim around your windows. Your house looks like it needs a paint job, when it really doesn’t. And this stuff doesn’t wash off with regular soap and water.
You Can Solve the Problem
When Alex Higginbotham created his first gutter cover almost a decade ago, he understood this problem on several levels. He felt the frustration of many house-proud homeowners. He also realized the issue could be dealt with–and invented the first drip edge for a gutter.
The drip edge does exactly what its name implies. It creates an angled surface after the ledge away from the front lip of the gutter. It forces rainwater to drip from it and not the gutter. Rainwater can no longer run down the front of the gutter below.
Some homeowners get concerned when they first see this new drip point. After all, their gutters never dripped in this manner before. In the past, the water dripped off the bottom of the gutter, not the front edge. In fact, you can go outside right now and take a look at your gutters to see where they drip. You’ll likely see lots of nickel- and quarter-sized stains on the bottom of your gutters. This is where gutters drip from when they don’t have a drip edge, because this is where the water pools.
So, by dripping off of a drip edge and not from the gutter’s underside, the problem was finally solved – or was it?
Not All Gutter Cover Drip Edges are Created Equal
To be fair, a good deal of the problem was solved with the initial creation of the drip edge. But because so much of the problem was fixed, when dripping occurred at the seams (and gutter guards are notorious for dripping at the seams, but that’s another post), a single tiger strip would form on the face of the gutter. Down its length, at 4-5 foot intervals, something just didn’t look right. And homeowners noticed.
Why was this happening? Well, water tracks at seams because a nice, neat path is formed for the water to follow. With MasterShield much of this problem is solved because, at the seams, we overlap our panels with a key-like design. And this design, in part, allows for the water to disperse into MasterShield’s filter.
But not all of it, because at certain points, metal was meeting metal. Think of what happens to your faucet when you washer is at the end of its life. The faucet starts to drip. And any gutter guard which connected to the front lip, metal-touching-metal, had this issue.
It took the father of a MasterShield dealer, John Gauwitz, to come up with a solution. In fact, we’ve named our solution after him: G-man. And the G-man solution stopped all the dripping at the seams.
It’s a little extra work to add in the G-man solution to MasterShield. But it means that you, the homeowner, get that extra touch that separates us from the pack other gutter covers.