When you go to Google and type in gutter guards, you’ll find the competition in this space is intense. We’ve done research and found more than 120 different brands of gutter guards looking to attract you to their websites. Once you pick a few that sound good on the surface, you click through. You, along with thousands of others, will spend less than 25 seconds on that website, because your initial reaction is that the product won’t solve your gutter problems. You quickly realize with many of these products, you’ll just wind up with gutter guard problems.
When it comes to gutters, homeowners are trying to do something fairly simple: fix a problem, fill a need (like no more cleaning), or deal with an issue they’re having. Health, safety, time, frustration, dirtiness, immediacy — it’s all going through their heads. Frankly, the solution they’re seeking is really hard to find.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Cheap products don’t solve problems, the create bigger problems
2. Modestly better products get people with small problems a slightly better solution than before
3. Great products solve most problems with better solutions in ways few people know about
4. The best products don’t stop trying to solve the problems that crop up, they create solutions to them when nothing else exists.
Those may be the facts, but they aren’t going to be crystal clear in someone’s marketing message. To get to the best solutions, you’ll have to dig a little deeper to find the real innovators.
The biggest gutter guard problems come from getting sidetracked by companies with big marketing claims and big promises. They’re sensitive to the fact that you’ll do anything to solve gutter guard problems since many people want to believe that something, at any price, will do the trick. In many instances, their products aren’t all that much better than the problem you were trying to solve in the first place. With gutter guard problems, that means any product with holes, slots, spaces or openings big enough to let debris in. The fact is, debris follows the same path as water and will follow water through the openings into the gutter below.
Think about it: you already own a gutter that lets in debris. If your gutter guard still lets the same things happen as before, you haven’t done anything to address the problem you wanted to solve in the first place.
Often, a poorly thought out or low cost solution is worse than the problem. Take sponge style systems that form a shelf just inside the gutter. Debris sits on them, and the whole system heals. Now you don’t even have a place for water to go and it winds up spilling over the gutter.
Where to the Big Solutions to Gutter Guard Problems Come from?
Here’s a little aside about problem solvers. The toughest problems don’t get solved by industry “insiders”, they get solved by people that aren’t members of the usual camps. You’ve got to be a real outsider to attack the problem and come at it from a completely different place. It’s why everyone here at MasterShield is such an admirer of Thomas Dyson and Steven Jobs. Great things come from taking a different approach to common things, whether they be vacuum cleaners or communications.
Alex Higginbotham was an outsider. He may have installed gutters as a contractor, but he didn’t install gutter guards. He didn’t believe in them. But he was a problem solver and was asked by a local developer if he could create a gutter guard that could protect the high end homes he was building. Given his nature, Alex rose to the challenge (you can view his story here).
When it came to solving gutter guard problems, his initial ideas were really outside the box (“could I fill a gutter with something like sand or gravel?”) and that got the proverbial gears turning.
Little by little, he started finding solutions. Some worked, others didn’t, but the gutter guard problems and failures were a great place to springboard into new ideas. “Why did it fail? Could that failure be reversed in another way?”
Some solutions were easy. Some solutions where painful– like tearing gutter guard off of more than 100 homes and giving people back their money when an idea didn’t work. But that’s what Alex had to do back in 1999 when one of his ideas wasn’t all he had hoped for.
The disadvantage of solving the big gutter guard problems was, at first, no one believed he had done it. The advantage was, there were a lot of people that want the best, most innovative solution to gutter guard problems and were actively looking for him.
So about a decade ago, microfiltration was born, then tinkered with and improved to where, today, homeowners can install MasterShield and solve lots of the hardest gutter guard problems out there.
Here’s the silver lining: after you’ve solved the hardest gutter guard problems in the industry, the next hardest problem doesn’t seem that bad. In fact, it can be kind of easy. Why do we say that? Because the MasterShield team continues to innovate and we’ve got some really interesting gutter guard problems we’re trying to tackle next. If you like innovation, follow us to see what we do next!