A roof’s gutters are rarely given attention until they get clogged with debris. But renewed vigor in the gutter protection industry is aiming to change installers’ and homeowners’ attitudes about gutters.
Leaf Solution president Tony Morris has spied an opportunity. “Most gutters are unprotected,” he says. His company, Rhino Gutter Guard, wants to change that: “In addition to offering a range of products to fill that need, we’re trying to provide business solutions as well.” Rhino is currently available in Good, Better, and Best micromesh protection levels. Morris wants to help remodelers sell Rhino’s micromesh protection by offering a turnkey, no-fee business program — “a business in a box,” he says. Prospective dealers would have access to installation and sales training, marketing collateral, and a range of other tools.
The company is also in the home stretch of acquiring a range of patents, including one on a treatment that allows the mesh material to more easily pull water into the gutter.
At MasterShield, product inventor Alex Higginbotham recently received a reissue of his gutter protection patent. “The reissue will really broaden claims on the product,” says president Karen Sager, “and protect the invention, while we continue to improve on it.” Upcoming improvements from MasterShield include a heavier weight anodized aluminum gutter protection system, as well as a heating system that can be retrofitted into existing gutters.
Raindrop Gutter Guard has similar plans. Marketing director Ben Nitch says the company will introduce an aluminum product this year alongside its current polypropylene system.
Raindrop is also in talks with radiant heating manufacturer NuHeat to develop a heated gutter protection system.
Nitch says that in the past, contractors often used gutters as an upsell — buy the roof, get the gutters for free. With so many new and updated protection systems now available, plus sales and installation support, exterior contractors can jump on this new profitable service opportunity.
—Lauren Hunter, associate editor, REMODELING.
This is a longer version of an article that appeared in the February 2012 issue of REMODELING.