Tiger Stripes — The Ugly Stripes on Your Gutters and How to Remove Them
Gutters are a staple on just about any home. They provide effective water control from rain, keeping your foundation intact and safe from water damage. In addition, they also direct water away from your landscaping and aid in properly draining your property of excess water. Nowadays, gutters even provide visual appeal to your home. You can find gutters in many colors and materials, which is why many homeowners are now treating gutters as an additional design feature. Consequently, depending on the gutters you choose, you may find yourself spending quite a bit of money on your home’s gutters. This is why ugly black stripes on gutters aren’t exactly ideal.
If you spent your time and money making your home look nice, anything that detracts from that is less than welcome. However, stripes on your gutters look bad no matter what kind of money you spent on your gutters. The dark brown or black streaks detract from your curb appeal and signal that your home needs a little TLC. Unfortunately, these pesky streaks are all too common. So common, in fact, that they have their own nickname — tiger stripes. If you find tiger stripes on your gutters, you’re not alone! Read on to learn what these streaks on your gutters are, how they form, how to prevent them, and ultimately how to clean them.
What Are Tiger Stripes?
Stripes on gutters are a common occurrence, but the average homeowner may not even know what they are. Tiger stripes are dark brown or black vertical lines on gutters that oftentimes extend the length of the gutters. They are usually thicker toward the top and thin down as they near the bottom of the gutter. These stripes will darken over time, as the water that leaves them behind repeatedly follows the same path.
How Do Tiger Stripes Form?
Though tiger stripes are common, many people do not know how they form. Stripes on gutters are not a result of paint or material failure as some people believe. Tiger stripes form when dirt, grime, pollen, and other elements mix with water and drip over the side of the gutter. As the water droplets travel over the gutter, they will leave traces of the elements they mixed with. Over time, as the droplets follow the same path, the stripes will darken and become more visible. If left for too long, the streaks can actually oxidize the gutters. If your gutters become oxidized by the tiger stripes, a simple soft wash or pressure wash will not take care of the problem and will need to be cleaned by a professional.
How to Prevent Tiger Stripes on Your Gutters
The best way to handle tiger stripes on gutters is by taking action to prevent them in the first place! Regular gutter maintenance and cleaning will help keep the stripes on gutters at bay. Here are some tips on preventing stripes on gutters:
- Make sure your gutters are in good working condition. Any dents, cracks, or misaligned pieces can lead to excess or leaky water that will carry debris — creating streams perfect for tiger stripes.
- Regular gutter maintenance. Keeping your gutters well-maintained and cleaned out prevents them from backing up and keeps water moving the way it should. Don’t let your gutters get too full of debris or tiger stripes are sure to follow!
- Regular gutter cleaning. If your gutters start to look a little dirty or you see the beginning of stripes on them be sure to hit them with the garden hose. A strong stream of water with decent pressure should do the trick.
Regular gutter maintenance and cleaning to keep your gutters in good working condition is one of the easiest ways to prevent tiger stripes on gutters. We always recommend regular maintenance and cleaning in order to avoid larger and messier projects down the road. The same goes for house washing! However, if you find yourself too busy or simply didn’t notice the stripes on your gutters before it was too late, there are a few ways to clean them up.
How to Remove Tiger Stripes on Gutters
When you spot stripes on your gutters, it’s best to clean them sooner rather than later. The longer they are left, the tougher they are to clean. Tiger stripes on gutters that are in their early stages should be taken care of with a strong stream of water from the garden hose. Spray the gutters and wipe them down and you should be good to go. If this doesn’t work, you’ll have to add a household cleaner or dishwashing detergent. If the tiger stripes are still there, it’s time to get a stronger cleaner. Cleaning products at your local hardware store are worth a shot.. Similar products are available to buy online at major retailers or at home improvement stores. If that doesn’t do the trick, it’s probably time to call the pros.
*It should be noted that you never want to use a harsh cleaning tool such as a metal brush. These could damage your gutters.
**Never use ammonia-based cleaners. These could lead to discoloration of the gutters or even softening of the gutter material causing the need for a replacement earlier than necessary.
Call Dr. Powerwash for Gutter Cleaning and Stripe Removal
Rather than wasting your time trying different cleaning methods until you find one that works, call your local exterior cleaning professional to get the job done right the first time. Not only will you save yourself time and energy, but you’ll also be able to stay safely on the ground! Dr. Powerwash uses a special chemical treatment for stripes on gutters that is both safe to use and incredibly effective. Our professionals can apply it quickly and then rinse your gutters clean of their tiger stripes. Our process is quick and efficient, which is why many homeowners choose us to take care of the stripes on their gutters as well as clean their roofs. We promise your gutters will shine like new. Give us a call today at 434-207-6783 or fill out our online request form. We look forward to serving you!