Cleaning Method For Your Gutter's Exteriors
Most homeowners know that their gutters need cleaned out once or twice a year to ensure they aren't clogged with leaves, dirt or twigs. While cleaning the inside of the gutters and downspouts is no secret, you may be unaware that it is also possible to clean the outside of the gutters. Gutters can develop stains on their exterior from dirt or weathering. These stains are often called tiger striping due to their vertical formation. The following guide can help you remove the stains and prevent them in the future.
Begin with the hose
Minor dirt can usually be rinsed off with the hose, perhaps with the aid of a spray nozzle. Skip the pressure washer, though, since this can bend or warp a seamless gutter. After scooping out the residue inside the gutters, rinse the insides and down each downspout out with the hose. Then, rinse off the outsides, including the exterior of the downspouts.
Use some elbow grease
If the dirt remains or there is striping, it's time to bust out a couple of more tools. First, get a soft bristled brush, such as the type used to wash a car. Avoid anything with stiff bristles, since this can damage the finish on the gutters. Next, mix a cap full of liquid laundry detergent with a bucket of warm water. Use the brush and the cleaning solution to scrub down the exterior of the gutters and remove all stains and residue.
Tackle the mildew
In some cases mildew may leave stains on the gutters. In this case, purchase a ready-to-use trisodium phosphate (TSP) cleaning spray or mix a concentrated TSP product with water as directed on the label. Spray the solution onto the gutters and allow it to set for a few minutes, or until the stains fade.
Rinse and Inspect
Once clean, a final rinse with clear water will finish the job. After rinsing, take a few minutes to inspect the gutters. If you notice any areas with chipped paint or rust, scrub the rust off or smooth the paint around the chip with fine grit steel wool. Apply an exterior enamel touch-up paint to the chip, selecting a paint color that is a close match to the exterior of the gutters. This will both hide the damage and prevent further rust from forming.
For more help maintaining your home's gutters, contact a gutter installation or cleaning service in your area. If you're interested, click for more info.