SEATTLE — The calendar says autumn is here, and with it comes rainy season in the Pacific Northwest. Along with falling leaves, Washingtonians have to deal with an abundance of pine needles. Having proper, operational gutters installed is a key defense against water damage to your home.
Paul DeMars is the owner of PineBlock Gutter Protection, and his company sells a product that keeps debris out of gutters, allowing water to flow away from the structure.
“(Water) protection has been around for about a hundred years, it really didn't change much until the 90s and some inventions came along improved it,” he said. “Ours is actually installed at the same angle as your roof, so it's a fine-filtered mesh to keep everything out of the gutter.”
The angled installation allows water and wind to clear debris off your roof while at the same time channeling the rain into the gutter and through the downspouts.
Ensuring that rain runoff has a proper place to go is an essential tool to preventing moisture from infiltrating underneath shingles and into your foundation. And that doesn’t even touch on the annoyance that is a clogged-up gutter creating a waterfall off your roof.
“That's one of the most frustrating things for people who have bought some form of our competitors’ products,” DeMars said. “All of a sudden the water is not even getting into the gutter, and that's one of the things we’re really proud of is our ability to make that happen, because that's whole point.”
Those waterfalls also mean a trip up a ladder to clean the blockage. DeMars’ product eliminates clogs – and the ladder.
“There is a little bit of maintenance that you have to do, and you can do that from the ground,” he said. “We do away with ladders altogether.”
An investment in a good gutter system can help homeowners save on repairs to rotting rafters and damaged foundations.
“The wood that holds up your roof is right above where your gutters are mounted,” DeMars said. “Then if you have all that water that's just going right up over onto the ground, then your foundation is typically right there and it's really not designed to take all the water.”
Whether or not you chose Pine Block’s gutter system, DeMars has a few things to ask any potential contractor:
- Can you provide examples of previous installations of your product?
- Why is your product the right solution for my situation?
- What's the warranty like?
“You really need to see the details of that to see if it makes sense for your particular situation,” he said. “We are unique in the sense that we're the only one that our warranty specifically spells out that water will enter the gutter. Other warranties, they say that 100% money-back guarantee, but the fine print … well, honestly, it’s not worth the paper it’s printed on.”