By Kathy Feist
“Most people have no clue that clogged gutters contribute to basement flooding,” observes Doug Stacye.
“They think they need to get the basement waterproofed. But that is not going to move the water away from the basement.”
Stacye has learned a thing or two about rainfall damage to homes in his 20 years as CEO of Gutter Cover of Kansas City.
“In Kansas City we get a lot of droughts and then deluges which cause a lot of heaving of the ground,” he explains. “If you don’t get the water away from your home after a dry spell then water gets right up there next to the foundation. The soil begins to expand and that’s when you get cracks in the foundation.”
After a while, he says, hydrostatic pressure builds up and exploits the crack, pushing water into the basement.
When gutters work efficiently, rain water is directed away from the house through drain spouts. “The number one issue for the guttering system not working properly is gutters are clogged,” says Stacye.
Kansas City is especially susceptible to clogged gutters.
“Kansas City is filled with beautiful trees, especially in south Kansas City,” says Stacye. “But they drop something in all four seasons.” That might include helicopter seed pods, leaves, oak tassel, sap, sticks, acorns, and other debris.
Homeowners who want to avoid cleaning the gutters have two kinds of products to choose from: a flat mesh screen that covers the gutters or an angled, solid cover that relies on water surface tension.
“Both products will keep the gutters clean,” says Stacye. “But the solid covers require less maintenance than a screen of any sort.”
Stacye and his wife Pam, also a co-owner of Gutter Cover KC, prefer the solid option which is what they have been selling since 2001 when they started their company.
The solid covers depend on a science called surface tension in which water molecules adhere to surfaces despite gravity. In this product, rainfall travels down the roof and along the angled gutter cover before it wraps around the nose of the cover and drops into the gutter.
In 2017, after further observing any pitfalls in the system, the Stacye’s redesigned a cover and bracketing system. They applied for a patent, built a machine to produce it, and began manufacturing Advantage Gutter Guards.
“That was a big jump,” Stacye recalls. “But we saw an opportunity.”
The Advantage Gutter Guards extend slightly past the edge of the gutter, allowing debri to fall over the cover while the water goes back into the gutter.
“Water goes in and the gutters won’t clog– that’s our guarantee,” says Stacye.
The patented system also includes heavy duty brackets that do not penetrate the roof. “The bracket attaches to the fascia just like the gutters attach to the fascia,” says Stacye, “which creates a very strong system against the weight of ice and snow.”
The covers, made of heavy gauge aluminum, have been tested to withstand 122 lbs per linear foot, or hold as much as 12 feet of snow or four feet of ice.
Stayce has another patent pending, one that reduces downspout rain noise. He has also developed a cover that matches the European rounded gutter designs.
Advantage Gutter Guard covers are manufactured locally, either at the Lee’s Summit headquarters, 1021 NE Jib Ct., or sourced out on the Kansas side. Gutter Cover of Kansas City is the area’s only local manufacturer of gutter covers.
For more information, check out guttercoverkc.com.