Q #1: What are the
panels made of?
panels are made of the same quality aluminum coil stock as most seamless gutters.
is also available in real copper.
Q #2: We're
looking for maintenance free gutters. Are your
Gutters maintenance free?
A: Self-Cleaning Gutters™ turn once high maintenance gutters into very low maintenance virtually Self-Cleaning Gutters™ and are totally maintenance free for perhaps 90% of our customers: ( if ) any maintenance is ever required it can generally be done very easily and quickly from the safety of the ground. While the inside of your gutters protected with are self-cleaning, (continually washed by the rain drawn in through the louvers), a small amount of maintenance to keep the outside of the front louvers in peak performance is recommended. This small amount of preventive maintenance by the homeowner, which can be done from the ground, will assure peak performance for years to come. We know that most homeowners never do this and many will never need to. In fact I installed Self-Cleaning gutter covers on my own home in 1997 and have not done anything to clean or maintain them for 18 years; and they are still working fine. So my gutters have been totally maintenance free for almost two decades. Since every home and tree situation is different we can not promise your gutters will be totally maintenance free. Our promise is that properly installed and maintained Self-Cleaning Gutters™ turn once high maintenance gutters into very low maintenance Self-Cleaning Gutters™and ( if ) any maintenance is ever required it can generally be done very easily and quickly from the safety of the ground. With an 18" driveway applicator brush screwed onto a fiberglass telescopic pole it is an easy task to reach the face of the panels and a quick and easy brushing of the face to remove any buildup will keep the panels in peak performance. On a house with 150 feet of gutters this can usually be done in 10 or 15 minutes and a two section pole will reach the second story while a 3 section pole would be required for a 3 story house. A spray nozzle on a garden hose will make quick work of a single story house if you are so inclined
Q #3: How does
turn regular rain gutters into Self-Cleaning Gutters?
A: By using superior engineering to harness two laws of physics, Gravity
and Surface Adhesion, to work for us rather than against us. Lets look at Gravity
self-cleaning™ system has no openings on top so gravity does not work
against it like it does with the expensive screens,
sponge type or plastic clip-on things with openings on top that you may have
tried. These cheap products are not really cheap but expensive because even though
their price may be cheap, over time they cost more than our quality
system. Why? Because these cheap things don't solve your problem. We all know
that Gravity will win that battle over time. If you have trees with leaves or Pine needles near your home we believe that any product with holes on top will get plugged and have to be unplugged or replaced.
Gravity is working for you -- not against you.
difference between price and cost:
Price is what you pay for something one time.
Cost is what you pay for something over time.
This is not original but a fact often overlooked.
Over time may be the most cost effective gutter protection you can purchase at any price. Over a decade of real life performance has proven this on thousands of homes all across America since 1997.
let's look at how our engineers have harnessed Surface
Adhesion to make gutters protected with ,
"self-cleaning™". The precisely engineered radius on the nose of the
panels use surface adhesion to re-direct the rain from the mostly horizontal
plane (top of the panel, (with no openings), to the mostly vertical plane
on the front of our panel where two rows of precisely designed louvers re-direct
the rain once again drawing it inside the gutter. Click
here to see surface adhesion in action. Click
here to check out the side view and this question will most likely come
to mind; What will happen in a hard rain? Logic tells me that
the rain will shoot right off -- but it will not. Logic also
tells me that since airplanes are heavier than air they can not possibly fly
-- but they do. Notice also that the opening at the front is
not continuous like other products you may have seen. Continuous openings
invite leaves to follow the rain in as well as small birds to build nests
in your gutter. Instead of a continuous opening, has two rows of offset "filtering" louvers that prevent large leaves, pine needles or
other debris from being drawn into the gutter along with the rain or into
what we call "built in traps" just inside
the gutter where some products attach.
Unlike less effective smaller "punch and
bend" attempts at gutter protection, has openings sufficiently large enough to capture the heaviest rain while
still rejecting leaves and tree droppings that would not wash right on through the down spout.
Thus the "self-cleaning" action. Each time it rains the louvers draw
the rain in and wash the inside of your gutter making them "virtually self-cleaning".
Our superior engineering makes the very best gutter protection you can own at any price. We invite you to
have professionally installed on your gutters and watch Gravity and Surface Adhesion, together
with our superbly designed and quality manufactured panels, turn your gutters into -- "Self-Cleaning Gutters™."
Q #4: Should my gutters be level or should they slope towards the downspout and if they slope, how much per foot or section? I'm sure some of my gutters are pitched the wrong way now.
A: Many architects and gutter companies recommend a drop of 1/16" per foot (one inch in 16 feet) on gutters for proper drainage while others install their gutters level with the roof and fascia board, which may not be level if settling has occurred. We recommend a slope towards the downspout because the faster flow results in cleaner gutters year in and year out. Installers should consider roof area, pitch, valleys, length of each gutter run, size and locations of gutters and downspouts, etc. They may also consider the type and location of trees near or hanging over your roof. Whether your gutters are sloped or level they should quickly drain all of the rain that falls on your roof, completely out of your gutters and away from the foundation of your home. Your gutters should be dry soon after the rain stops. There should never be any standing or still water inside your gutter's.... ever. A proper slope combined with our Self-Cleaning™ system, assures this. Because of these many variables, the installing company should determine the "proper height and slope" of your gutters before installing the Self-Cleaning™ system.
Keep in mind too that Absolute only guarantees what we can control which is that the panels are manufactured to our specifications; Absolute only guarantees the performance on the Installations that Absolute sells and installs. The independent contractor you choose to do your installation must stand behind any performance guarantee they may give you. For this reason you should choose your contractor carefully as the best system improperly installed may not perform as designed and Absolute has no control over the product once it is sold to independent contractors.
Q #5: Are the
panels nailed or screwed to my roof? If not, how are they held in place?
A: NO! ABSOLUTELY NOT! Your roof package should not be penetrated with nails or screws
at any time during the installation of the
self-cleaning gutter protection system. Roofers and homeowners alike appreciate
the fact that your roof warranty is not jeopardized by installing .
The lower flange at the bottom of the front of the
panels are designed to be attached under the lip of the 5", 6" or 7"
K style gutter with quality 3/4" 410 series stainless steel screws that
will never rust. This lower flange fits inside the gutter, under the gutter lip, and is secured to the gutter with special stainless steel screws going through the gutter lip first, then through the lower flange of the panel. The upper portion of the panel is generally installed
over the starter course and under the first course of shingles while keeping the 2" vertical face straight up and down. We do have alternate installation techniques for special
instances such as flat roofs, barrel tile roofs with a bird blocker nailed
in place, slate roofs, metal roofs, etc.
panels are not nailed or screwed to your roof, it is very important that the
gutter is secure since it is the gutter that is holding the
panels in place. We
offer the finest quality and strongest hidden hanger bracket with screw attached
that we have ever tested. You can see these hanger brackets in some of the photos on our home page, better yet ask your contractor to show you one of these quality hidden hanger brackets. Each complete
package contains 50 panels, 200 3/4" ss screws and 100 5" hidden
hanger brackets with screw attached. That is everything the contractor needs in the way of material
to turn 150 ft of 5" K style or OGEE high maintenance gutters into very
low maintenance, virtually self-cleaning™ gutters. If your gutters are
6" or 7" we offer the appropriate number and size hidden hanger
brackets with screw attached to make your gutters secure. If you have copper gutters we offer copper panels and copper hidden hanger brackets.
Q #6: What about pine needles that fall year round, won't they get in?
A: Not in sufficient numbers to clog the gutter. Because the
panels have no openings on top most needles blow away and the few small
ones that might follow a hard rain in through the openings on the vertical face wash right
away with the heavy flow, in a properly pitched gutter. Needles may
build up on the gutter lip and almost block the lower row of louvers before
they fall off on their own. Often the wind will take care of this but if the
wind doesn't blow them away the homeowner can simply brush them off from the
ground using a telescopic pole and brush. You might compare it to brushing your teeth each day only you may only brush the "teeth / louvers" once or twice a year and many homeowners never brush the louvers at all, ever. No more climbing ladders to clean
gutters protected with
Q #7: How does the Self-Cleaning™gutter
work with water catchment cisterns for "Rain Harvesting"? We live where fresh water is scarce
so we capture rain water and store it in cisterns. It's a real problem when
our gutters & downspouts plug up and the rain we need to fill our cistern runs
over the gutter and is lost. If
can really prevent this and capture all of the rain that falls on our roof
it will be a great benefit to us.
A: We have been involved with Rain Harvesting since 1997 and it is becoming
more popular each year as people are more aware of conserving our natural resources.
Because your gutters can capture all of the
rain that falls on your roof, you never lose any due to the gutter or downspout
being clogged -- ever,
Self-Cleaning™ gutters is a real blessing in areas where rain water is captured and stored for
later use! Self-Cleaning™gutters also provides cleaner water entering the cistern. The offset filtering
louvers on the vertical face of the panels acts like a filter keeping large
debris from collecting in the gutter so when the rain enters the clean gutter
it doesn't have to find its way through a bunch of soggy leaves & pine needles
on its way to the cistern.
Q #8: Will
work with any gutter?
A: panels were designed to work with the K style or OGEE gutter and properly installed has been proven to turn the K style or OGEE aluminum
gutter into a self-cleaning™ gutter no matter the type or location of the trees
around or over the gutter. A simple modification allows the use of our
panels with half round gutters. While we are aware of
installations with plastic gutters, in cold climates, precautions should be used to prevent the plastic from cracking where the stainless steel screws attach the lower flange of to the gutter.
Q #9: Will work with underground drains?
A: Yes works fine with underground drains so long as they are in good condition, properly sized and sloped, but again, "we can not guarantee what we can not control" and we have no control over underground drains. The homeowner needs to be aware that underground drains are the responsibility of the homeowner, not the contractor who installed gutter covers on their gutters.
turn the tall, narrow, galvanized steel fascia gutters into a self-cleaning™
A: Well, now, then, there! That's a maybe! It is our considered opinion that
the fascia gutters used in certain areas have 2 or 3 design problems that inhibit
their self-cleaning ability. Some of these are easily corrected and some are
First: The tiny opening in the 2" bottom of many fascia
gutters, along with the sharp welded bends in the small 2" X 2" downspouts,
Second: The wing at the top of some fascia gutters, which positions the gutter
even with the roof line, prevents pitching or sloping the gutter towards the downspout to facilitate the self-cleaning
action when it rains.
Third: That wing on some fascia gutters also prevents the fascia gutter from
being adjusted to accommodate the 2" vertical face of our panel unless the roof
pitch is such that our 9" or 12" panel can reach back and slide under the second
or third course of shingles (asphalt , not tile or cement). Remember the 3%
that might wash in is accumulative, if it isn't washed away with the next rain.
Aren't your panels
supposed to keep leaves, pine needles and other tree debris from getting inside the gutters in the first place?
A: Yes, and they do a great job of keeping out about 97% of the debris that would normally get into the gutters. Still, leaves and debris that are on the roof when it rains hard may try to follow the rain in. While large leaves and debris are rejected completely by our offset filtering louvers on the vertical face, some debris that is, smaller than our filtering louver openings, may follow a heavy rain flow into the gutter, but will wash right away in a properly pitched gutter.
Large leaves and debris that are blocked by the filtering louvers from entering your gutter may catch temporarily on the face of the panels. Most of this debris falls immediately to the ground. If something does catch on the face of the panels and the wind does not blow the louvers clean within a few days, the homeowner can brush the face of the panels with a telescopic pole & brush to keep the system in peak performance. Using a telescopic pole with a brush on the end, this can be done from the safety of the ground even on second and third stories and in most cases takes no more than five or ten minutes once or twice a year. In the spring when wet blossoms & seeds are falling is when most people decide if they even need to use the telescopic pole and brush. Some homeowners prefer to use a spray hose on lower sections. While most homeowners never do anything to maintain the vertical face of the panels , the determining factor as to (if ever or how often) any maintenance should be done to keep the system in peak performance, are the types and location of the trees around your home . In other words, if you have trees right over your roof and gutters, you are more likely to need to brush the face of the panels than if the branches are not over-hanging your roof. At any rate, it is much easier and safer to spend five or ten minutes once or twice a year, brushing the face of the panels from the ground than to have to climb a ladder to clean out a clogged gutter.
If we already have the tall narrow fascia gutters that are in good shape and
we like the way they look, is there anyway to make them self-cleaning with
? Or are you suggesting we would have to replace our fascia gutters with
the K style or OGEE to make them self-cleaning?
A: Although our panels were designed to work with the K style & OGEE
gutter they do work well with the fascia gutter in many instances. Two of the
three basic problems mentioned above can often be overcome by doing the following.
Problem Number 1 is the tiny outlet in the 2" bottom of many fascia
gutters, along with the sharp welded bends in the small 2" X 2" downspouts.
An easy solution that many gutter mechanics have used with great success to
correct this problem, is to replace the small size fascia gutter outlet with
the standard 2" x 3" outlet tube manufactured for the K style & OGEE gutter
(one 2" x 3" outlet tube for each 600 SF/roof area). Although the bottom of
the fascia gutter is narrow, by bending both side flanges up on the 3" sides
of the 2" x 3" outlet tube to match the angle of the gutter wall and cutting
the hole in the bottom of the gutter slightly oversize these outlet tubes fit
perfectly in the bottom of the fascia gutter. Then replace the small 2" X 2"
sharp welded bends & downspouts with the standard K style or OGEE factory manufactured
2" x 3" elbows that are broadly curved to facilitate self-cleaning and attach
standard 2" x 3" downspouts with an elbow at the bottom. A very simple and effective
Problem Number 2 is that some, but not all, fascia gutters have a wing
bent at the upper back which attached to the roof under the shingles. This pre-bent
wing precludes any slope or pitch to the gutter which would felicitate the self-cleaning
action each time it rains. Many architects recommend a 1/16" per foot pitch
from the high point of the gutter towards the opening at the downspout. This
pitch speeds the flow of rain out of the gutter and greatly aids in the self-cleaning
action . If your fascia gutter has this wing it can not be pitched. If your
fascia gutter does not have a wing but rather has the straight back, it can
be pitched properly and lowered to fit our
panels, thereby correcting both problems 2 & 3 .
Problem Number 3 again relates to the wing bent at the upper back of
some fascia gutters.
This wing not only makes the gutter level, if the roof is level, precluding the recommended pitch
mentioned above, it also positions the lip of the gutter too high for attaching
panel. Since our
panels have a 2" vertical face, the lip at the outside top of the gutter
where our panels attach must be a couple of inches below the roof line so there
is a positive slope away from the roof towards the face of the panels. Since
the fascia gutter with a wing can not be lowered, one can often compensate for
this by raising the back side of the panel & sliding the top portion of our
panels under the second or even the third course of shingles, thereby creating
the positive slope required to direct the rain to the face of the panel. Since
no nails or screws are used to attach this upper portion of the
panel to your roof, this is an acceptable practice with composition shingles.
The main consideration is the pitch of your roof. If the roof in question has
a low pitch, it is very likely that you will not be able to see the top of the
panel from the ground and this is what you want. If the roof has a steep
pitch we do not recommend this approach as the top of the panel would show.
Even though it might work well, we feel that how nice the job looks is almost
as important as how well it works. With our 32 colors we recommend matching
the color of the roof rather than the color of the gutter but if you can see
the top of the panel from the ground it may be objectionable and is not recommended.
If you can correct problems 1 & 3 problem 2 may not be too important. Especially
if you are dealing with long needle pine or other debris too large to get into
the gutter through the small offset louvers on the vertical face of the panels.
Q #13: What about Ice? How does
handle ice and snow?
A: If you had ice and snow before you will still have ice and snow. We don't do anything to change the laws of physics, but you probably won't have a gutter full of ice and snow. When the temperature gets to the point where the rain wouldn't flow out of the gutters if it got in, the face of the panels freeze over and it is sort of like temporarily closing the door to your gutters. You may have icicles and ice may build up on the top and the face of the panels. In a freeze thaw-freeze thaw situation, a little water may get into the gutter each time before it re-freezes.
NOTICE: THE HOMEOWNER NEEDS TO BE AWARE THAT THE ICICLES THAT USED TO FORM OVER SIDEWALKS AND STEPS ONCE YOUR GUTTERS WERE FULL OF ICE MAY NOW FORM SOONER AS THE PANELS ARE KEEPING YOUR GUTTERS FROM FILLING WITH ICE AND SNOW. This is a natural consequence of protecting your gutters from clogging. Generally speaking, icicles are short term. If icicles do form, they will be on the front outside of your clear gutters rather than overflowing from the back of a gutter full of ice. The nice thing about this is that when the bulk of the snow and ice on your roof melts it will have a clean empty gutter to carry that moisture away from your house.
One way to minimize or eliminate the formation of icicles may be to have the installing company and an electrician install a heat tape protected by a GFCI in areas where icicles might be a problem, as above frequently used steps and sidewalks. It is the responsibility of the homeowner to determine how to effectively install any heat tape and monitor it to see that it does the job they want and if the extra cost of installing a heat tape is an option they should pursue.
NOTE 1: Simply laying a heat tape in the bottom of the gutter will not prevent icicles from forming on the face of the panels.
NOTE 2: If icicles do form in an area that concerns you, they can be easily removed by using the same telescopic pole and brush you use if you ever need to remove debris from the face of the louvers. Because most homeowners never use the telescopic pole and brush to clean the louvers, they may even forget they have it, but it is a quick and easy way to remove icicles before they get larger. By extending the telescopic pole, you can stand back and simply bump the icicles, which should break easily, and fall to the ground way in front of you. Sometimes the installing company will do this for you either as a courtesy and for future referrals, or for a small fee. Most of the time icicles that may form are not a problem and melt away before you are even
of them; but if you have an area where they form excessively, they should be easy to control from the safety of the ground with a telescopic pole and brush. We recommend using a quality fiberglass telescopic pole as they are safer to use around electrical power lines.
prevent ice damming?
A: We make no claims that
prevents ice damming but installations in cold climates show that
reduces the likelihood of ice damming. The panels help keep the gutters from
filling with ice that might then come in contact with the unprotected area of
the fascia and roof package.
is not nailed or screwed to the roof so the roof package remains intact
and the roof warranty is not jeopardized. Ice damming is generally caused by
inadequate ventilation and insulation which allows the warm air in the attic
to melt the snow or ice on the roof allowing it to wick back up under the shingles.
The best insurance against ice damming is one of the quality rubberized ice
& dam shields sold by roofing companies, used in conjunction with sufficient
insulation and ventilation to keep the underside of the roof in the attic as near as possible to the outside temperature.