• In this video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva explains how to choose a leaf-proof gutter.


    1 Slide putty knife under roof shingles that are stuck down.
    2 Insert gutter protector underneath the shingles, making sure it covers the front edge of gutter.
    3 Fasten gutter protector to the roof and or gutter, as specified by the manufacturer.
    4 If nails or screws are used, cover each with a dab of roofing cement.
    5 Seal down the shingles with roofing cement.
    6 Toss dry leaves onto roof and spray with hose to simulate rain; check to make sure the leaves wash off the roof and don't fall into the gutter.
    • 1 to 2 hours per 20-foot gutter section, depending on leaf-blocking system chosen
    • Difficulty: Moderate
      Most leaf-blocking systems are lightweight and easy to install, but installation requires a lot of climbing up and down ladders
Ask TOH users about Drainage & Gutters

Contribute to This Story Below

      Video Directory

      Selected Topic/Section

      Tools List

      • hammer
        Hammer or drill/driver
        to drive nails or screws
      • putty knife
        Stiff-blade putty knife
        used to loosen stuck-down roof shingles, when necessary
      • metal cutting snips
        Tin snips
        to cut aluminum gutter protectors

      Shopping List

      1. Leaf-blocking system

      2. Galvanized nails or screws

      as specified by the manufacturer

      3. Roofing cement

      used to seal nail or screw heads

      4. Garden hose

      used to simulate rainfall when testing gutter protector

      5. Bucketful of dry leaves

      used to test gutter protector

      6. Ladder