LESLIE: Alright. We’ve got Esther on the line from South Dakota with a gutter question. How can we help you today?
ESTHER: Well, we need to replace our rain gutters but our shingles on our dearly beloved old house are Portland cement shingles. And the companies that I’ve talked to about replacing rain gutters, they tell me how simple it is to just lift up the asphalt shingles and put the strapping in underneath it and fasten it. And I think, “OK. Asphalt is flexible but I think the cement singles might crack.” So how do I find someone who knows how about preserving the shingles and putting up new rain gutters?
TOM: Well, I think there are a number of ways to install gutters. You can put straps that go up under the asphalt shingles but they can also be attached directly. So what you’re going to want to do is attach those gutters directly to the fascia. And instead of using nails, you’re going to want to use gutter screws. They’re very long lag bolts – lightweight, thin lag bolts. Usually have a hex head on them.
And the nice thing about these gutter bolts, so to speak, is that once you put them in, they don’t pull out. Sometimes the nails – the gutter spikes that they use – will pull out. But these gutter screws will not pull out. So you just need to use a different fastening system. And have you had – physically had somebody at the house that saw this configuration? Or are they just sort of telling you this on the phone?
ESTHER: No. We had just moved to the area and I was just going down the Yellow Pages trying to get a …
TOM: Well, once they get to your house, they’re going to figure out the best ways to attach the gutter. But rest assured, there’s a number of ways to do this. And no, you don’t have to take your shingles apart.
And by the way, as long as those shingles – those roof shingles – look good, then there’s no reason to replace them. You know, the cementitious roof shingles are very durable. The reason that most people replace them is they tend to grow a lot of algae and moss and they can look nasty after a while. But if they’re still looking decent and they’re – it’s not leaking, then you’re good to go.
ESTHER: Yep. We’re good and there’s a whole pile of – or a little pallet, probably 200 or 300 of them down in the basement. So if we have another hailstorm, we should have some shingles.
TOM: Oh, boy. So you are good to go. Alright, Esther. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.