Clogged Gutters

leaves in clogged gutterLike any other part of your home, your gutters need to be maintained to function properly. Leaves and debris can build up in your gutters clogging the downspout and restricting the flow of water. When the water cannot drain properly, it backs up into the trough causing the gutters overflow. Overflow can lead to water seeping behind the gutter and rotting the fascia. The standing water that remains also creates a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Gutter guards can be added to your gutter system to keep large leaves and debris out in order to prevent clogging and reduce maintenance. Without gutter guards, it is recommended that your gutters be cleaned out 1-3 times a year depending on the number of trees surrounding your home. With gutter guards, it is still recommended to clean out your gutters once a year which could be as simple as using a power washer to spray loose small debris and wash down the downspout. Discuss with your contractor your gutter guard options and how to maintain your gutters. Many contractors also offer gutter cleaning services.


gutter guard 1 gutter guard 2

There are a number of gutter guards to choose from. Some are screens and some are solid covers that use perforations and/or surface tension to pull rain water in while keeping out large leaves and debris.


Tiger Striping

Customers sometimes call rain gutter companies about dirty streaks on their rain gutter systems that will not wash off easily. The first assumption is usually that the paint has gone bad and turned a different color. That is not always the case. Naturally, pollution and dirt continuously build up on the top lip of the gutter. These pollutants include but are not limited to dirt, dust, emissions from diesel trucks, and smoke from brush fires that are carried in by the wind. When moisture combines with these pollutants, it streams down the face of the gutter. Future precipitation will continuously follow this same path. Over time, the buildup becomes alternating light and dark streaks. This is generally referred to as "tiger striping" and is a problem experienced by manufacturers of trailers, motor homes, commercial architectural aluminum, metal roofing, siding and gutters.

tiger stripeWe assure you that the paint underneath these deposits remains in good condition. Therefore, tiger striping is not a failure or breach of warranty, since environmental conditions are beyond individual control.
Simple cleaning procedures should be performed to reduce the buildup of these deposits. Tiger striping implies an already heavy buildup on the gutter system and will require a strong cleaning solution. Effective care and maintenance methods are listed on the back of the paint warranty card which you should request from your contractor if it is not offered to you.

Tiger Striping Cleaning Instructions for Aluminium Gutters

The following simple cleaning procedures should be performed at least once a year or more often if necessary.

General Cleaning . . .
For surface soil and stains, such as those resulting from industrial fallout, tree sap, insecticides, or chimney fumes, use ordinary nonabrasive household detergent.
The solution should be applied to the soiled surface by means of a soft rag, sponge or soft bristle brush with a gentle rubbing action.
Do not rub vigorously so as to create glossy areas over the satin finish. Soft bristle brushes equipped with long extension handles may be used to reach some of the higher areas.
It is important that immediately following all washing operations, the entire surface be thoroughly rinsed with fresh water from a garden hose.

Stubborn Stains . . .
If stubborn stains are encountered, use a heavy-duty cleaner such as "Fantastik." Heavy soil deposits may not be removable in one application and may require repeated cleaning over some length of time. Do not use cleaners containing abrasive particles, ammonia, solvents or paint removers for cleaning. These materials may soften or remove the finish.

Climatic Problems . . .
Climates vary considerably from one locality to the next. In some areas, mildew may be a problem. It appears as black spots on the surface dirt and is usually detected first on the undersides of the raingutter. For removal, prepare the solution below and apply as outlined above.

1/3 cup detergent (Tide for example)
2/3 cup Trisodium Phosphate (Soilax for example)
1 quart 5% Sodium Hypochlorate solution (Clorox for example)
3 quarts water

Caution: Greater concentrations may cause damage to the finish.