Often referred to as “tiger stripes” or “zebra stripes” by industry members, those ugly black stains on gutters are the result of a chemical reaction between the asphalt in roof shingles and the anodized aluminum in gutters. Because they are not just stains, traditional house washing chemicals used for removing mold, mildew, and other contaminants won’t remove or lighten them. In the article below we are going to address why you are getting staining on your gutters, when it is an issue, and what you can do about it.
Why Are My Gutters Stained?
No one likes staining anywhere on their home and the immediate question that arises is why do you have staining at all? Dirt, pollen, pollutants, and petroleum-based run-off from a home’s roof can drip down onto your gutter. Over time, this can cause build-up and staining, causing these darker lines called tiger stripes.
Something very important to take into account when talking about water dripping from the edge of your gutters is that it is normal and doesn’t mean your gutters are failing. Oftentimes, we have clients notice these drips coming down the front of their gutter in rainstorms, and they believe that the gutter isn’t working, but that is not the case. The gutter is still carrying the majority of the water away from the foundation line. As long as the water is flowing and there are no cracks in the gutter then your system is working optimally.
How Do You Prevent Staining?
Cleaning your gutters at least twice a year can help to prevent tiger striping. While you can do the cleaning yourself, it is much easier and more efficient to have a professional from Kodiak Gutters do the job for you. To clean the exterior of your gutters you’ll need to scrub them with a soft rag or sponge as not to damage the outside of the gutter wall. This is when you have light striping or to prevent it from occurring at all.
Once tiger striping has already occurred, and the stains are significant, cleaning will be tougher and at this point, you’ll likely need to use cleaning supplies specifically formulated to clean aluminum gutters. If you do have significant staining we recommend specially-designed products like Gutter Zap and Gutter Butter that are made to break that bond and remove those stripes.
Keeping your gutters clean is important both on an aesthetic and functional level. The professionals at Kodiak Gutters are here to help. When you contact us, we will get you set up on a biannual cleaning schedule and make sure the interiors and exteriors of the gutters are cleaned and maintained. This will prevent tiger striping and keep your gutters looking flawless. Contact us and let’s schedule a time for us to come out and provide you with a free quote.