LESLIE: Taking a call from Michigan. Sandra, welcome to The Money Pit. What can we do for you?
SANDRA: Well, I have a question about my gutters. It’s really hard to get them clean and I do it twice a year and it needs to be done twice a year. But they’re rather high; they’re about 20 feet up and it’s scary and I’ve got the electric lines going and you’ve got to try to dodge those and trust somebody to hold the ladder. (Leslie chuckles) And I’m wondering if there’s anything that I can do that would just kind of ease that up or help with not having to do it so often or – I mean twice a year is not extremely often but it’s scary.
LESLIE: No, no, and it’s totally understandable because you’re getting up into the heights like you mentioned and if you feel uncomfortable it’s easy to be nervous up there. There’s a couple of options. One – you can hire a gutter cleaning service. They’ll come to your house four times a year; that’s how much – you know it costs anywhere from 200 to 600 bucks, depending on your area, and they’ll come in and they’ll just do it for you so you don’t have to worry about it. Or clean them out and then go ahead and get a gutter guard system. Don’t go for those screeny-type ones because they tend to just sort of macerate all of the leaves and then that can get stuck and mushed down into the downspouts and that is a whole other mess. The ones that sort of look like – Tom, are they like a louver that comes over and like lips over the edge?
TOM: Yeah, they work on the principle of surface tension so the gutter cover goes over the gutter up under the roof shingles and what happens is as the water comes down the roof it sort of hangs on the gutter cover and then falls into the gutter but the leaves wash over the top. There’s different models of it – some of them are flat; some of them are louvered – but they work the same way and they actually work very, very well. The only time I see a problem with that type of gutter cover is if you have a very, very tall pitch on your roof it gets a lot of velocity and that water coming down, it could wash over the top. But for the most part it works very, very well.
SANDRA: Sounds like that’s something I might need to look into.
TOM: Yeah, well if you do it once and do it right you don’t have to do it again. OK?
SANDRA: OK. Thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.