LESLIE: Amy in Iowa, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
AMY: Hi. Well, I’ve got trees growing out of my gutters. (Amy and Leslie chuckle)
TOM: Ah. That’s the first sign that you need to clean them, Amy.
AMY: Yeah, yeah, I know. I am a baby do-it-yourselfer and I just started listening to your show and realizing how important it is to clean out my gutters.
TOM: (chuckling) OK.
LESLIE: Well, let me guess. Do you have a wet basement, Amy?
TOM: Yeah. (Leslie chuckles)
AMY: Although it’s not growing mold; it’s doing that mineral deposit thing.
TOM: Yeah. Well, that’s the first sign; that mineral deposit thing is when the water evaporates into the basement space and leaves its minerals behind. But when you get enough water, you’re going to get leaks in that wall so we’ve got to get those gutters clean. So you’re going to have to do that the hard way. Get up there, clean out all the junk that’s in those gutters and get them free-flowing and then think about some sort of a gutter guard.
AMY: Well, that’s my problem. It has a gutter guard. We have three, very large maples and it keeps the leaves out but now all the whirlybird seeds stick in it.
TOM: OK. What kind of gutter guard is it? Is it like a screen?
AMY: It’s like a mesh net but the holes are just big enough …
AMY: … that it just locks all of them in there and so now it’s clogging around the inner corners really bad.
TOM: (overlapping voices) Yeah, those – the mesh slows it down but it doesn’t really stop it.
LESLIE: Because what happens is everything sort of just gets mashed and mushed from like the weather and the weight of itself through that screen and it still gets in there. There are louvered kinds that sort of overlap one another so that the water kind of moves in and through but everything else washes over.
TOM: Yeah, exactly. You know, when you buy those mesh gutter covers, they come with a hinge for a very good reason, because you’ve got to lift them up and clean the gutters out pretty regularly.
AMY: (overlapping voices) Oh, good.
TOM: The louvered type that Leslie is talking about, there are a lot of different brands. There are do-it-yourself brands, there are brands that you can have installed like – what’s one? Gutter Helmet, I think, is one of them. And those are more effective at keeping the whirlybirds out.
TOM: But keep those gutters clean; that will keep that basement dry and we won’t be hearing from you the next time it floods.
AMY: And how often should I clean them? Like I’ve never cleaned gutters before.
TOM: OK. Well, the first time …
LESLIE: We do ours four times a year.
TOM: Yeah. The first time, you’re going to have a big project but after that, if you stay on top of it – don’t let the trees start growing in the gutter; that’s way too much, OK?
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Yeah. (Amy laughs)
TOM: Alright, Amy. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.