Get your mind out of the gutter

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The Gutter Boys are the only company in Northeast Ohio authorized to sell and install Valor Gutter Guards, ranked number one by NCR Consumer Advocacy Group—the nation’s largest publisher of independent third-party testing, ratings and reviews for the gutter cover and home improvement industry. Pictured is Jacob Furakawa installing Valor on a Bay Village home.

By Mitch Allen

If you’re thinking about cleaning your own gutters this spring, I have three words for you: Don’t do it. Sadly, two friends of mine had their lives tragically altered when they each fell from an extension ladder while cleaning their gutters.

One ultimately died from his injuries, suffering from chronic pain, depression and addiction to pain meds. The other saw his high-earnings career cut short. He’s a cardiac surgeon who suffered nerve damage from the fall and could no longer operate.

If your gutters need cleaning, call a professional. These guys (they are usually men) are trained in ladder safety and have years of experience. They go up and down ladders in one season more times than you have in your entire life.

You don’t have any business cleaning your gutters, but—frankly—neither does anyone else. Just go ahead and get them covered so everyone can keep their feet on the ground.

If you think about it, it’s silly to have gutters that aren’t covered, especially now that the technology has improved so dramatically. In the future, our kids will say, “You mean you had open pools of water hanging on your house creating the ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes, not to mention overflowing, flooding your basement, damaging your foundation, staining your siding, and washing your expensive mulch into the driveway?”

I’m Guilty, Too
I know this is tough talk, but I can say it because, well, my gutters aren’t covered either, not completely anyway. I cheaped out a couple of years ago and just had the second-story gutters covered, figuring I could keep cleaning the lower ones.

Of course, that hasn’t worked out so well, especially this year when we had that early freeze and the leaves literally froze in my gutters. I learned one thing, though: You can’t clean a gutter with ice in it and, if you try, the result is frost-bitten hands.

All winter long, I’ve had my mind in the gutter, worrying, running to my windows watching and wondering how my uncovered gutters are doing, then trekking down to the basement to see if there’s any flooding. And, thanks to the overflowing, I now have those tell-tale zebra stripes the sides of my gutters which have to be pressure washed or painted—or both.

The Top-Rated Gutter Cover
If you’re ready to have your gutters covered (please say you are), I’d suggest getting a quote from at least two or three companies and one of them should be The Gutter Boys. Founders Ken Wilson and Anthony Alberino may have been boys when they started the company 18 years ago, but now they’re grown men with families and a highly successful company, having served thousands of Northeast Ohio homeowners.

I’ve walked the aisles of local home improvement shows checking out lots of different gutter protection systems, so I can understand why they claim theirs is the best. It’s called Valor Gutter Guards and The Gutter Boys are the only company in Northeast Ohio authorized to sell and install it.

When Anthony demonstrated the system to me, it was so convincing that it must take all the fun out of being a gutter protection salesperson.

“Actually,” Anthony corrected, “we don’t hire professional ‘salespeople.’ Our Gutter Specialists are trained by Valor and they all have diverse backgrounds—a nurse, paramedic, waiter, stay-at-home dad, insurance auditor. And they won’t hold you hostage in your kitchen because their compensation is not tied to a one-call close. We actually encourage people to shop around. When they do, they usually choose us.”

In 2017, NCR Consumer Advocacy Group—the nation’s largest publisher of independent third-party testing, ratings and reviews for the gutter cover and home improvement industry—ranked Valor number one in all categories it measured: value, effectiveness, industry reputation, strength, water throughput, durability and “overall.” The 2018 ratings aren’t out yet, but it’s highly likely that they will hold their top spot.

Why It Works
Here’s what The Gutter Boys say are the advantages of their system (with some editorializing by me):

  • The system features a high-flow, stainless steel micro-mesh that lets water in but keeps debris out. This effect is dramatically enhanced because the mesh features a raised S-curve that increases the surface area, allowing for the self-shedding of debris. (It’s like a Ruffles potato chip instead of Lay’s. A wet leaf is less likely to stick to it because “Ruffles have ridges.”)
  • A vertical louvered frame improves drainage so—unlike horizontal frames—it cannot grow moss or algae which can cause clogging. (Imagine putting a plate in a dish rack flat instead of on its side. I mean, who would do that?)
  • The light-weight, aluminum frame won’t warp, yet doesn’t add a lot of weight to the system. (They also offer it in copper, which is a really cool look, especially if you can see your lower-floor gutters from your upstairs windows.)
  • The cover is attached to the fascia, not the shingles, so it can’t void your roof warranty. This also adds structural integrity when covered in heavy ice. Plus, it’s attached with stainless steel screws that don’t rust. (The fascia is the flat, horizontal board just below your shingles.)
  • It features a fully-transferrable, lifetime warranty. (This says it all.)

Finally, I’ll offer you this anecdote from Anthony to demonstrate The Gutter Boys’ level of professionalism:

“We were once the fifth of five gutter companies to give a quote to a homeowner and when we got out our ladder to have a look at the gutters, the homeowner said, ‘What are you doing? None of the other guys used a ladder.’ Can you imagine quoting someone on a gutter protection system without looking at their gutters?”

The Gutter Boys is headquartered at 1090 West Bagley Road, in Berea. They are Better Business Bureau accredited, bonded and insured. Call 440-454-7040 to schedule a free onsite consultation and estimate, or visit for more information. They also offer 12 months same-as-cash financing.