Local businessman breaks the ice with new gutter technology
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif – If pine needles don’t clog your rain gutters in the fall, ice is likely doing the job this winter.
But after a successful trial at his own South Lake Tahoe home this week, one local businessman will offer a potential solution to both annoyances.
The product was invented by former Grass Valley resident Robert Lenney, the co-founder of Gutterglove Gutterguard, which has offices in Fremont and Rocklin.
John Murray, the owner of McGee Mechanical, said he will soon offer Gutterglove Icebreaker, a recently developed product that combines a gutter cover with heat cable to keep rain gutters free of icicles and icy build up in the winter and pine needles during the rest of the year.
In addition to decreasing the amount of time homeowners spend on maintaining rain gutters, the heated gutter cover also improves safety by preventing icicles from breaking off unexpectedly, Lenney said. The gutter is heated electrically.
Murray had his doubts about the product at first, but after seeing the results first hand, he decided to offer the product to customers at the South Shore.
“It’s really a pretty neat thing he’s come up with,” Murray said. “We put one in on my house and I was a little bit skeptical. I was afraid that ice would still accumulate inside the gutter.”
Traditional gutters aren’t always effective at the South Shore because of the tendency for ice build up, bend the gutter, pull it away from the roof or break the gutter off completely, Murray said, echoing a comment from Gutterglove’s other founder John Lewis.
“Many homes in colder climates generally don’t have gutters because of the icing problems that exist,” Lewis said in a statement. “However, that’s not a problem anymore.”
Murray said he requires people who purchase rain gutters from McGee Mechanical to install heat tape to prevent ice from building up. Heat tape is what heats the guard and radiates heat into the gutter.
“We won’t warranty our gutters from snow and ice unless that heat tape is installed,” Murray said.
Murray installed the Icebreaker on his home prior to a series of recent winter storms that hit the South Shore.
After leaving the gutter cover on for about 48 hours, the miniature cornice that had formed at the edge of his roof had receded and the icicles had fallen off in under 48 hours, Murray said.
Because many Lake Tahoe homes lack rain gutters, strips of rock are sometimes placed underneath a roof’s drip line as part of Best Management Practices – measures at Lake Tahoe to prevent stormwater runoff from reaching the lake and contributing to its historic clarity decline.
The heated gutter guard is another way to prevent stormwater from going unmanaged, according to the statement.
The Gutterlglove Icebreaker costs between $30 and $35 a foot and could be offered as soon as this winter depending on the amount if interest received, Murray said.
For more information, visit: http://www.gutterglove.com
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A grand opening will be held for Chick-fil-A Carson Valley, located at 4751 Cochise St., on Jan. 21.