Home improvement trends: clutter-free gutters

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Gutters are critical for proper water distribution and erosion prevention

Metairie – Whether it’s rain from tropical storms or beads from Mardi Gras, making sure drains are clean and working is a priority in New Orleans. When it comes to proper drainage for your home, one of the most important investments you can make is choosing quality gutters.

WGNO Reporter Stephanie Oswald visited the warehouse of Audubon Gutters to find out what it takes to make the right choice. Turns out, it’s not “one size fits all.”

Owner Drew Dodd explains that his company offers four different types of gutters: the basic six-inch gutter, the block-style box gutter, the curved half-round gutter, and his signature product, the extra-thick LeafGuard gutter. The box and curved gutters can be seen on historical homes all across New Orleans. The LeafGuard gutter has a hood that’s been tested against heavy rainfall, and can withstand more than 21 inches of rain in an hour.

All the gutters built by this 30-year-old company are seamless and some are available in copper, which is more expensive. Keep in mind that once it’s exposed to the environment, the gleaming copper color eventually turns green. The aluminum gutters are painted and come in a long list of colors.

Dodd says he has LeafGuard gutters installed on his home. Those gutters come with a unique lifetime guarantee: If anything clogs them, someone from Audubon Gutters will come out and clean them for free. (If you sell your home, the guarantee is transferable, after an inspection.)

“Trust me, I’m not sending out guys to clean gutters for free,” says Dodd, who says the company has been extremely busy during the pandemic.

Eighty to ninety percent of the leaves that land in a gutter fall when it’s not raining. The LeafGuard gutter, which was invented by a retired police officer in New Jersey, is designed so that water rolls off it and prevents anything from going inside.

Some people choose to put flat screens on open gutters to keep the leaves out, but then Dodd says, you’re faced with the job of cleaning off those screens.

For the most part, gutters are something most people only purchase once. “We don’t have many repeat customers,” laughs Dodd, “unless someone buys a new home.”

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