Q: How can I apply tin to old gutters, a subject mentioned in your Aug. 14 column? Also, can you provide the name of a chemical fire retardant that could be rolled, brushed, or sprayed on the logs of a 164-year-old log cabin, owned by my grandfather, so as to increase the resistance of the logs to burning, fungi, and insects? Marvin Campen Houston, Texas
A: The Ask a Builder column referred to recommended metal over gutters to prevent the ice melt from backing up under the outboard row of shingles, and thence on over the gutter. This was to compel the ice melt to run off beyond the gutter.
Any sheet-metal mechanic, after seeing the actual field conditions, could bend the metal to suit the needed configuration and dimension.
As to one product capable of both fire protection and insect resistance, you may be asking too much.
Insect infestations may need to be separately treated by a pest-control operator who should first determine the species and location of the pest and then apply a material which is designed to destroy that particular type of infestation.
After solving the pest problem, the old logs indeed can be treated with a fire-resistant material, such as that made by the Amdal Chemical Corporation, 111615 Forrest Central Drive, Dallas, Texas 75243, or equal. The phone number of Amdal is: (214) 369-4747.
Contact the manufacturer as to its specific recommendations for the method of application, number of coats of fire-retardant material, and other specifics for preserving the old log cabin.