Think twice about tossing your gutters

Last reviewed: September 2010
Rainhandler Plus
Rainhandler Plus

The Rainhandler Plus, about $4.40 per foot, trades gutters for "maintenance-free" angled louvers that deflect drops "away from your home, where they fall harmlessly to the ground." We first tested this gutter alternative in 1997 and found that it met those promises for leaves and heavy rain, which it deflected far enough away to prevent pooling below. But it didn't deflect lighter rain as far, raising the risk that water finds its way into basements if the ground around the foundation isn't properly sloped. We got the same results this time.

Bottom line

The Rainhandler Plus might be OK if the ground around your home's foundation slopes at least 1 inch per foot for 6 feet or more and you haven't had water leaks in your basement or home. But you'll find gutter-guard systems that are better at capturing water for far less.