Are you thinking of hiring Commercial Roofing services for those ugly stripes on your gutter?
Tiger stripes are often found on aluminum gutters and are tricky to remove. It is similar to vertical lines of dirt located outside your gutters. Standard procedures for cleaning tiger stripes from your aluminum gutters would be impossible. Only strong chemicals will do.
Tiger stripes on gutters form when dirt gathers on the top area of the gutter. This dirt and grime then mixes with rainwater moisture and starts to stream down on the gutter’s sides. Over time, the dirt gathers more dirt and water, making tiger stripes even more noticeable and difficult.
Why Do You Have Stained Gutters?
Why do stained gutters form in the first place? According to Commercial Window Contractor Experts, grime, pollen, pollutants, and petroleum runoff from the roof drip downwards. These substances combine with water or dew droplets on the gutter’s lip. These droplets containing pollutants drip down your gutter resulting in buildup and staining, creating the all-too-familiar tiger stripes.
But take note that water that drips from the lip of the gutter is normal. In many cases, homeowners will notice these drips that come down from the front area of their gutter during downpours, and they believe that the gutter system isn’t working. But this is, in fact, not true. It doesn’t mean your gutter is deteriorating.
When the water overflows from your gutter system, the gutter could be failing. Another indication of a weakening gutter system is if the water flows or drips between the back area of your gutter and the fascia. The fascia is the vertical frieze or band underneath the edge of a roof.
If water flows to these areas, it is likely your gutter wasn’t correctly installed.
Tiny water droplets that go down on the front of your gutter happen because water’s natural physics takes the path of least resistance. Hence, it is common for condensation droplets and tiny water rain droplets to land or form on the lip of your gutter. When it lands there, the water will travel down the front area of your gutter. If you see tiny water droplets, don’t be alarmed, your gutters are still working as they should.
Why Should You Clean Your Rain Gutters? Four Reasons
Gutters clogged with dirt create significant problems and compromise the overall integrity of your property. The following are four reasons you should have scheduled cleaning for your gutters.
Clogged Gutters Damage Your Roof
Clogged gutters impede the optimum flow of water and cause rainwater to overflow. This overflow eventually damages your roof and will require costly repairs and the possibility of a total overhaul of your roofing system.
Clogged Gutters Are the Ideal Environment for Pests
The accumulation of debris in gutters makes them a good breeding ground for rodents and infestation by disease-carrying organisms. This causes a health hazard to you and your family. Cleaning gutters eliminate rot and kill pests or rodents that might have clogged spaces in your home.
Clogged Gutters Damage Your Home’s Foundation
Gutters are engineered to collect rainwater and direct it away from critical areas of your home, such as the foundation. Once clogged gutters overflow, the water will stream too close to the foundation and weaken its stability.
Protect the Value of Your Home
Clogged gutters impact your home’s aesthetic value and lower its overall valuation when it is time to sell. Repairing your gutters improves the roof’s look and provides better curb appeal and a better valuation.
Although cleaning gutters seems like a job you can DIY, it is best to hire professionals with the right tools and expertise.
Five Safety Tips for Effective Gutter Cleaning
To mitigate this dangerous problem, ensure downspouts are directed away from your home’s foundation by at least 6 feet. Always perform regular gutter maintenance repairs and inspections.
Below are five tips for safe and effective gutter and roof repair and maintenance.
Clean the Roof First
Remove all debris from the roof to ensure your gutters remain clear. The leaves, sticks, and dirt collecting in the gutter and clogging it typically slides off the roof when it rains.
Wear Shoes with Rubber Soles
It is best to wear rubber-soled shoes to perform gutter cleaning or repairs when walking around the roof. Rubber adheres well and prevents slips and falls.
Wear Thick Gloves
When you clean out the gutters, you must keep your skin protected. Rotting leaves, debris, and dirty water in gutters contain animal droppings contaminated by infectious bacteria. The metal edges of gutters can also threaten your safety. It is recommended to wear thick suede gloves.
Use a Gutter Scoop
A gutter scoop is a handy tool to mitigate your risk of accidents or injuries from contamination during cleaning. Gutter scoops can be purchased in most hardware stores.
Hire a Gutter Installation and Repair Service
If you cannot perform cleaning gutters on your own or notice damage to your gutters or roof, you should call a professional gutter company to do a more extensive inspection of your gutter system. In normal conditions, your roof should be inspected once or twice yearly.
Homeowners, on average, will spend between 1% to 4% of a home’s value on maintenance and repairs every year, which tend to hike over time. Your roof and gutters age will inevitably need heavy-duty cleaner and repair services. In this case, don’t hesitate to call professional gutter services to assist you.
Steps to Clean Tiger Stripes in Gutters
With the items mentioned above, you can clean your roof’s aluminum surfaces as follows:
Put on Protective Gear
Goggles, rubber gloves, and protective gear should be worn before handling any chemicals used for cleaning gutters. It is best to even wear a hard hat just in case objects fall on your head.
The gloves need to be of rubber material and rated for handling chemicals. Otherwise, the chemicals can seep into the gloves and harm your skin.
Prepare the Ground for the Chemicals
A majority of cleaning chemicals can damage plant and animal life and objects placed on the ground. Hence, you need to cover plants around the house, especially those under the gutter. Bear in mind that chemicals that get into your lawn or flowers can cause permanent damage to your garden and landscaping.
Nylon, paper, or other materials will prevent the chemicals from reaching the ground. Although there are manufacturers who label their products as friendly to plants and animals, they can still affect them, therefore the need to apply safety measures.
If the runoff has been channeled to a pond, lawn, or other location, you will need to find another option in this case. Chemicals to remove tiger stripes are hazardous to people, animals and plants and should never be allowed to flow in these bodies of water.
Prepare the Cleaner
There are numerous chemicals to choose from and can be paired in different ways. Many of them are formulated specifically for gutter cleaning.
You should select the right chemical, prepare it as needed, and be ready for application in this step. Chemicals for these purposes will need to be diluted, whereas others must be applied directly.
Apply Chemicals to the Gutter
The application process for each chemical varies, and the instructions on the packaging should guide you. Standard methods are spraying, applying with a brush, or pouring the chemicals directly on the gutter.
When applying chemicals like non-abrasive household detergent, you can use them on the outer area of the gutter while standing on the ground or on a ladder. The safer method utilizes a ladder because it allows you to apply at close range and prevent the chemicals from splashing on your body.
Please read the label on your chosen chemical, especially for an abrasive household detergent cleaner, to determine how long it needs to soak in the gutter before scrubbing or rinsing.
Some chemicals may require steeping for 15 minutes, whereas others for 30 minutes or more. Still, there are others formulated to be left as is without scrubbing or rinsing.
Scrub the Gutter
Scrub the gutter of tiger stripes with a brush ensuring none of the dirt remains; if the results remain unsatisfactory, add more chemicals such as gutter zap cleaner and scrub intensely until you get spotless and sparkling clean gutters.
When you are happy with the results, spray the area with pressurized water on the outer area of the gutter to wash away dirt. If you cannot get a hose closer to the outer area of the gutter, pour water directly on the gutter from a bucket. Perform a light brushing to get optimum results.
Clean Under the Aluminum Rain Gutters
When you have finished cleaning the gutter, you need to rinse the area underneath the roof for any chemical spills or residues from the cleaning process. Chemical splashes, even on tough concrete and tiles, can cause lasting damage. Formulations with bleach can damage such surfaces.
Clean with vast amounts of water and thoroughly brush and clean the floor under the roof. If the area underneath the roof is grass or bare ground, flush it with plenty of water.
Via these steps, your gutter should be utterly free of tiger stripes. For the best results, perform gutter maintenance at least twice yearly. If you live in a location with lots of airborne debris, nesting birds, and trees, you should clean your gutters more frequently.
More Ideas to Clean Aluminum Gutters
Aluminum is a common gutter material and must be kept clean of tiger stripes with the following cleaning ideas:
- Please get rid of dirt and debris from the inside of the metal roofs before giving them a good cleaning. This can be anything from leaves, twigs, dust, and even birds nests.
- Before cleaning them, spray water or other liquids such as gutter magic and gutter butter on the gutters. This breaks down the dirt for easier cleanup.
- Utilize only chemicals approved for aluminum material when cleaning the gutters of tiger stripes like gutter zap cleaner. Some chemicals are too harsh for aluminum which might cost you in repair and replacement.
- Always wash away chemicals from the gutters as soon as possible. If you are cleaning the gutter with a brush, you should wash the dirt away because simply leaving it there can cause the chemicals and dirt to cake up, making it more difficult to clean.
- It is best to use warmed water to clean the gutters of tiger stripes because it does a better job removing dirt than cold water.
- Utilizing pressurized water also helps you accomplish better cleaning results for your gutter than water without pressure.
Applying these ideas can help you have cleaner and more functional gutters. Appropriately implemented, you will have fewer cleaning and repair jobs because you will be able to identify problems and stop them from escalating.
Five Tips to Maintaining Gutters and Avoiding Overflows
There are innumerable benefits and perks of owning a home. But for most people, maintaining their home’s gutters is not high on their priority list. Gutters require regular maintenance to keep your home’s structural integrity so that inhabitants will genuinely enjoy living in the space.
Schedule Regular Cleaning of Your Gutters
A hose can do the trick to cleaning out your gutters. But an instrument like a plumbing snake or high-pressure water has more power and may be necessary to dislodge objects such as compacted leaves, pine needles, and twigs wedged or coming down from your downspout.
You will be glad you cleared them away. This will ensure your entire gutter system will function smoothly and correctly.
It would be best if you cleaned your gutters at least two times a year, ideally in the spring and again in autumn.
If your area is heavily populated with trees, you may need to increase your yearly gutter cleaning twice a week to make sure your gutters are clear.
Install a Gutter Cover or Helmet
A gutter helmet or gutter guards assist in keeping off large objects and debris from clogging and getting trapped in your gutters. A helmet snaps onto the top front area of the gutter and drains via a cutout at its end. A helmet cover is flat and installed on the top of the gutter. It works similar to a drain with its perforated screen.
But be warned. Bees and wasps have been known to seek and use helmet covers for their nests. So, it would help if you inspect your helmet covers frequently to make sure they are clean and debris-free, but they have not been inhabited.
Hire a Professional
If you are the type who panics at the idea of climbing on top of the roof, don’t worry. Many companies specialize in this type of home maintenance, so you don’t have to worry about performing the task yourself.
Embark on an online search or ask family and friends for referrals for reputable professional gutter cleaners in your location that can perform this specific service. Ensure you give them the necessary information about your gutter system so they can better assess how to clean your gutters to your satisfaction.
The cost of cleaning gutters is calculated based on your home’s square footage and the number of stories. Hence, do due diligence and look around for the best deals.
Upgrade Your Gutters with Guards
Although your home may be outfitted with gutters, it may need an upgrade with the addition of a gutter splash guard.
If you check the perimeter of your home after a heavy downpour and notice there is dirt splattered onto the side of your home, or dirt around your home has been disturbed due to the impact of rainfall hitting the ground, you might want to install splash guards.
A splash guard is installed at the base of your downspout and the roof to ensure the water flows away from the main home and adequately protects your roof from mold and mildew damage.
If your area is populated with trees, you may also want to consider installing leaf guards.
These devices prevent leaves and debris from clogging up your gutters. To maintain your leaf guards, check and clean them at least a couple of times a year.
Check the Position
Your gutter’s position is highly crucial, and it is time well spent checking them regularly to ensure that everything fits just right. Positioning it wrong can cause damage to your house.
Gutters need to be positioned at a certain slope to move water away from home and enable water drainage. But if the pitch of your gutter is too steep, it will cause the water to drain too fast and forcefully away from your home, thus wreaking havoc on your home’s exterior.
In most cases, the recommended slope for your gutters is one-fourth of an inch for every 10 feet of gutter.
The tilt of the slope may need to be adjusted to ensure they are not leaning too far away forward or too far backward and cause water to drain ineffectively. Besides checking the slope, be sure to check how it drains.
Now that you have gotten a heads-up of how vital gutter cleaning is to a home, what’s next?
There is no definite answer to how often you should perform gutter cleaning. Clearing gutters every fall and spring season mitigates the risk of a possible homeowner headache.
Don’t hesitate to hire a professional roofing company if you have questions or doubts about your roof’s condition. Experienced roofers are licensed and qualified to determine the safety and stability of your home.