It is also not a picture of the one cloudless day in Seattle this past summer either. This is a gutter on a building with a very steep roof and very high gutters. These are rather dangerous gutters to maintain clean and free of debris–and probably nothing the average homeowner should attempt to clean.
To give you an idea of just how high these gutters are, here is a picture of the adjacent, identical building I inspected just the roof on (the original inspector didn’t have a ladder long enough–and I am still crazy enough to have such a ladder. The ladder is not quite fully extended here–but pretty close.
I think one could make a good case for gutter guards on difficult to maintain gutters like these. I have never seen issues with either Gutter Helmet or LeafGuard type systems–unlike those micro-filter, sponge, or grate type covers that typically clog and allow water to just run right on by and over the gutter. For me if I can walk around a home with these types of systems and not see impact trenches around the home where the water is running over the gutters, I take that to be a sign that they are working as designed.
Of course any type of gutter maintenance system can have problems–including falling off ladders and/or roofs while cleaning the dang things. One fall off a ladder can easily pay for an expensive gutter guard system.
Every year, thousands of people are injured and some are even killed while cleaning gutters.
By Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
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