I was on the phone with a person the other day that happen to sell a competing gutter cover. He was considering a switch to MasterShield, hence the reason we were chatting.
It was an interesting conversation. One of the points he made was that he knew our product outperformed the one he was selling. Not by a little, but noticeably outperformed it.
He shared that he sold “against it” by calling it “flimsy”. “You and I both know MasterShield is plenty strong once installed,” he said, “but I just make people hold mine and ask them which one they want.”
It’s a tactic that everyone that wants to sell their gutter cover uses when it comes to MasterShield. Like a magician, the salesperson gets someone to focus on the illusion in a magician’s sleight-of-hand trick. And people, probably some pretty smart people at that, were falling for the illusion.
What it boiled down to was that homeowners who really wanted to make the right choice for their home (who wouldn’t) were making a relatively serious buying decision on gutter cover by focusing on the wrong thing. It’s serious because they were trying to solve real problems: water damage, the fear of ladder climbing, gutters clogging every time it rained. And their choice was now not based on which system worked best once it was installed, but on a 10 second “touch” test based on a comment that had been intentionally planted in their mind by a salesperson who’s intent was to do just that.
Wow. Talk about buying an illusion. Why are we sharing this? Well, because if you really thought about it, if you were asked to list the features in a gutter cover that were important to you, you’d likely say keeping debris out and letting water in (performance issues) would rank somewhere near the top, if not the most important features. If a system doesn’t perform well to start and will only perform less well over time, you’re left with a system that won’t give you what you wanted from gutter covers in the first place.
Strength probably wouldn’t even cross your mind unless it was planted there, because a “strong” gutter cover has never been important since they were created in 1879. People have been happily installing plastic and metal screens from box stores for years without ever having the concept of strength enter their minds. What people did think was important, and what’s driven all the inventions in the field of gutter covers, was solving the problem of debris getting into a gutter so they wouldn’t have to climb a wobbly ladder to clean them.
Checklist for Your Gutter Cover
Here’s a quick list of what features you might want to focus on in a gutter cover. Keep in mind most should be considered on their own and in combination with others:
- Ability to pull water into the gutter. A gutter guard that doesn’t let water in is as good as no gutter.
- Ability to keep out all debris. If debris can get in, it will likely start to decay in the gutter. This can lead to the aluminum pitting or the sealants used make the gutter leak free to break down faster. Debris in the gutter can also lead to a clog under the gutter guard, the very thing you were trying to avoid in the first place.
- Self-cleaning of debris. You won’t want to install a system that needs a lot of maintenance. Maintenance is what you were trying to avoid in the first place. Consider if you’ll create a shelf on the gutter that you may have to sweep off. It can trap debris. Trapped debris can lead to your fascia or subroof getting and remaining wet, leading to rot.
- Self cleaning of roof oils. After debris issues, roof oils are the second cause of gutter guard failure. Oils will coat any surface that they come into contact with. The oily surface will then start to trap microscopic debris in it. It’s the reason why curved systems stop taking water around their curves– oil coats the curve. MasterShield’s inventor, Alex Higginbotham, brought the issues of oil to the public’s attention in his first patent issued for gutter guards in 2001. He created the first system and methodology to self clean of oils.
- Ability to be heated without sacrificing performance for heat. It may not be something you initially think about, but having a system that can be heated, even retroactively, might be important to you if you live in a cold climate. Keep in mind, however that for the greater portion of the year, you’ll be more interested in how your gutter cover performs to take in water and keep out debris.
So, to quote the Wizard of Oz, “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain” and keep your focus on the main reason you’re considering a gutter cover in the first place.