Cleaning and maintenance
All gutter systems require at a minimum, an annual cleaning and inspection. Leaves, twigs or even balls can plug up a gutter and render it ineffective. Extreme caution must be exercised when cleaning your seamless gutters. Many injuries occur every year due to falling off ladders and roofs in an attempt to clean gutters.
You can find out more about making your gutters maintenance free by clicking on the leaf protection page of our web site. You also can call A-1 Seamless Gutters to clean your gutters for you if you are not interested in covering them or cleaning them yourself.
If you do venture out to clean your own gutters, make sure you clean out the downspouts as well as the gutters. Plugs that are not visible may still be causing a blockage and thus preventing the gutters from working properly and effectively. If your home is located in a wooded area or has a lot of pine trees nearby, the gutters will have to be cleaned more than once a year. Products such as gutter scoopers and hose sprayers can help in the process.
The exterior of your gutters will in time show dirt, some discoloration and “tiger striping”. This can be eliminated by installing stainguarder at the time of purchase. Information on this product can be found on our features page. Cleaning of the exterior of existing gutters is laid out for the following conditions.
The finish on our gutters, like any other colored or painted surface, is susceptible to chalking and some degree of color change due to normal weathering and, also, to dirt accumulation, depending on the atmosphere to which your home is subjected. Under normal conditions, objectionable superficial surface dirt can be removed by washing with a garden hose and a soft-bristled brush. While weathering occurs through exposure to sunlight or weather extremes, the factory applied finish resists the associated problems of peeling, chipping and blistering. In addition to the longer term period of resistance to chipping, peeling and blistering, the colored coatings are formulated to resist fading due to normal weathering for a reasonable period of time.
The finish gradually releases microscopic particles of pigment in the form of a light powder. This “controlled chalking” is the best way for exposed surface coatings to weather, while providing a self-cleaning feature which helps eliminate loose surface dirt during normal rainfall.
In industrial areas where a more thorough cleaning is necessary or for stains resulting from tree sap, insecticides, chimney fumes, etc., the finish should be washed with a sponge or soft-bristled brush and a solution of detergent and water ( 1/3 cup Tide per gallon of water, for example). Immediately rinse surfaces thoroughly with a garden hose. Avoid vigorous rubbing as it can cause undesirable glossy areas over the finish. A rotary soft-bristled brush equipped with extension handle is handy for reaching high areas. To minimize streaking, wash from bottom to top.
In some locales mildew may appear as black spots in the accumulated dirt. Mildew may be removed with the following solution. The solution may be sprayed or sponged on or applied with a soft-bristled brush and allowed to remain for 15 to 20 minutes and then rinsed with a hose. An adequate rinse should be assured to cleanse the finish and also further dilute the solution so as not to harm shrubbery. It is also advisable to test your solution or cleaner on an inconspicuous area before application to large areas.
1/3 cup detergent (Tide, for example)*
2/3 cup trisodium phosphate (Soilax, for example)*
1 qt. sodium hypochlorite 5% solution (Clorox, for example)*
3 qts. Water
*CAUTION: Greater concentrations may cause damage to the finish. Do not use abrasive or solvent type cleaners or paint removers. Avoid skin contact or getting the solution in eyes. Follow cleaning compound manufacturers’ instructions.
CAULKING COMPOUNDS AND TAR
Mineral spirits may be used, in reasonable amounts, to remove caulking compounds or tar from the finish. Rinse with clear water.