Q - 4 years ago I had the best gutter covers installed on my gutters to keep the gunk out. Now my gutters are over-flowing. Do I need new gutters?

Mary Ellen - Decatur

A - I can't speak to whether you do or don't need new gutters without first seeing your current gutters, but I can tell you this:

Gutters, even those with gutter covers, still need to be cleaned.

Whoops - watch your language there... I am sorry but it is true.

Over time (could be 5-6 months, could be a couple of years) gutters will accumulate gunk, shingle debris, dust and dirt that blow around, the odd leaf and pine needle, they will all find their way into your gutter where they will decay and create a layer of grossness which will eventually block your gutter from doing its job correctly.

Can't help it that is the way it works. I just spent a morning cleaning out a part of one of my gutters and it was disgusting.

Now here is the hard part - who do you get to do the work…

Well - you can do it if you don't mind going up and down a ladder about 50 times, trying to manipulate your gutter covers so you can reach into the gutter and scrape yuck out with your free hand.

If you have more than a one story house this is probably not your best solution but I will tell you this - it is difficult to find a good gutter cleaner. Seriously.

You need to find a legitimate guy (or company) that has up to date insurance and workman's comp. Often times you can find a roofer to do this, but this is more of a long shot than a sure shot.

Beware hiring the guys who advertise on a 7x11 cardboard cut-out nailed to a telephone pole (see previous paragraph).

I would start with a real handyman company or a good roofer and see if they do that work or can give you a referral.