In suburbs of Chicago we had the LeafGuard gutters put on replacing most of the existing gutters. They did not have a product that worked on certain parts of our house. Since we did the LG gutters every year when it snows same problem. As the temperature gets into the high 20's sun melts the snow on the roof. It starts to run off and hits the gutter aluminum which is colder and then freezes. Soon you have icicles hanging off the gutters.
We drank the cool aid and had the heat strips added. The problem with those is that in order to eliminate the problem you have to run them so constantly that they literally add hundreds per month to our electric bill. We have gotten the problem mostly down to a manageable size by running the heat tapes only when the temperatures are probably melting the snow and causing runoff.
I see in several other posts that many believe the issue is heat loss through the roof. That is what the company, LeafGuard wants you to believe. I went to all of the houses they gave on the referral they provided for people in the area who had LeafGuard gutters, and every house had the same problem with icicles. We did not have an icicle problem before the LG gutters. Now the gutters are such a nuisance that I'm considering just having them removed and replaced with the old kind. Between the gutters and the heat tapes we spent almost $10,000. If a handyman were hired every year to come clean the gutters at a cost $200 to $300 per year, it would take between 33 and 50 years for the cost of cleaning to equal just what we spent on the gutters. Add to that about $2,000 for the electric bill to run the heat tapes, and you have a really bad economic proposition.
The LeafGuard gutters are simply a bad investment. It was a really dumb move on our part to spend $6,000 for gutters so we wouldn't need to clean them - and then another $4,000 for heat tapes trying to get rid of icicles. If someone is worried about falling, spend the money and pay someone to come clean them.
For those who are inclined to spew vitriol about insulation, heat loss, etc. as the cause - please save yourself the keystrokes. The LeafGuard gutters are a bad idea for a climate where there is snow and the usual freeze thaw cycles. Probably by the time LeafGuard figured out this problem they had so many sold that it would bankrupt the company to admit this was a design flaw. It's still a design flaw. I would like to see LeafGuard driven out of business. It amazes me that Costco still promotes them. I am convinced that it should be illegal for them to sell their product in a climate such as northern Illinois.
I am mostly interested in hearing from people who would be inclined to join a class action lawsuit against the company. By the time they sold us the gutters they had to know that the gutters cause an icicle problem in our area. There was no mention of this and qualifies under Illinois law as a deceptive practice. If enough people respond, we will figure out how to move this to the next level.
Product or Service Mentioned: Leafguard Gutter.
Monetary Loss: $18000.