LESLIE: Michael in Ohio’s up next and you’ve got a question about gutter maintenance. What can we do for you?
MICHAEL: Hey listen, the last few years I’ve spent about two or three hours a year just cleaning my gutters out (chuckling) and I’m tired of it. I’ve got a neighbor that just put some gutter guards on. I was wondering if that’s something that you think it’d be a good idea to do.
TOM: Yeah, well I definitely think it’s a good idea to do if you don’t want to have to take the gutters out. But there a couple of different types of gutter guards and you really need to choose carefully.
First of all, you have the kind that are like screens that lay on top of the gutters. Don’t usually recommend those because the leaves …
LESLIE: Because things still get through.
TOM: Yeah, they get through and they … and they … not only do they get through but they get through and ….
LESLIE: And makes them smaller.
TOM: Yeah, and they kind of clump and rot and they end up like … you know, like plaster of Paris in the bottom of the gutters themselves. So I don’t like those. What I do like are the kinds that go on top of the gutters that are like gutter covers. And they work on the principal of surface adhesion. So the water runs over them, hangs on this gutter cover, drips into the gutter itself but the leaves wash off.
LESLIE: And do those get installed underneath that first shingle? Are they kind of difficult to install as an afterthought or are they pretty easy?
TOM: They are a little tricky because they should go under the shingle. But there are different types. The ones that are smaller – that are like about four feet wide – those are easier to slip in. But they’re also available up to ten or twelve feet wide if you’re putting a new roof on and you don’t have like three people to like lift up the lip (chuckling) of the old shingles. It does definitely slip in nicely.
MICHAEL: Is there any chance of bees’ nests or wasps’ nests getting in there?
TOM: I don’t think so. No chance greater than not having them. I do think it’s a good idea, though, because gutter leaks … gutters that overflow cause a lot of structural problems. You know, they can cause the basements to leak; they can cause foundations to crack; they can cause sidewalks to get slippery in the winter. So for all those reasons – not to mention the safety of you not having to have yourself up there on that ladder, you know, once or twice or three times a year – I think gutter guards are a good investment, Michael.
MICHAEL: Well thanks alot guys, I really love the show.