Pine needles galore. How to protect gutters.

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Old 09-13-12, 11:09 AM
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Pine needles galore. How to protect gutters.

Hi Folks,
I have 20 ft high gutters in my house. I do not want to climb ladders to clean gutters. There are two options that i am using so far.
20ft extension tubes with a blower attached to one end. There are pine needles that keep falling on my house throughout the year and clog the gutters. The extension tubes do a good job of blowing away the needles from the gutters but then there are more needles on the roof that keep accumulating in these gutters.
The other method I do is climbing up the roof by anchoring myself to the furnace vent using a fall arrest system or a climbers rope system - much like a cliffhanger.

Then I use a simple electric blower and blow all the needles off the roof and the gutters. Then use the same to blower from the ground level to clear any clogs by plugging the blower end to the downspout. This would just blow any clogs from the top of the gutter.

I have to do these tasks atleast 4-5 times a year whenever there are clogs.

The question that I have for you folks is:
Is there a better way to clean the gutters or is there a new fix that anyone has heard of that can help keep the gutters maintenance free? All the gutter guards that I read about are really not effective in fixing this problem. The pine needles stick inside the mesh or get logged inside the gutters and it is more of a headache to remove them than before.
 
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Old 09-13-12, 11:26 AM
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How many pine trees are there, how close & how tall are they? There are screens available to go on top of the gutters but pine needles are thin & would probably go through anyway.
 
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Old 09-13-12, 11:31 AM
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There are plenty of pine trees around and I need to actually clear them out in the future to avoid them clogging my gutters. I do not have the time and money to clear them out for now, but will eventually do it. The screens actually trap these needles and cause more headaches as I need to call the gutter cleaning company to help. They would need to open each screen and remove these needles. There were other screens with smaller perforations but then how could water flow through these quickly to make water removal effective. Thanks.
 
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Old 09-13-12, 11:42 AM
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Depending on how fast and how hard the rain comes down in your area the micro screens may work okay but you would still need to periodically clean them of the accumulated needles. In my area they have various designs of gutters and gutter caps that supposedly cause the debris to flow over the gutter and only rain enters the gutter. Because of the many different variations and the different micro screens I suspect that none of them is really maintenance free. They also cost a fair amount of money and most require professional installation.

I have also seen some soft foam blocks that fit inside the gutter and allow the rain to flow through the foam but it completely stops the debris. These would also need to have the debris periodically removed from the surface but the extension wands on the blower might work for this. These blocks are about $30 per 24 lineal feet as I recall and I saw them at the warehouse club of the world's largest retailer. I am considering on trying these foam blocks on one side of my own house.
 
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Old 09-13-12, 11:49 AM
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If you can't remove the trees now, maybe they can be trimmed in certain places enough to reduce the cleaning.
 
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