Your house looks great!
From the clean siding to the power washing to the tidy yard, you’ve obviously made choices to boost your curb appeal. You even used paint to touch up the worn areas. Everything looks good…except your gutters.
Parts of them look dirty and dingy, and there are even some black streaks on the outside of a few sections (probably from water overflow). Unfortunately, they contrast with the near-pristine look of the rest of your home. If you don’t want to go out searching high and low for cleaning products that may or may not be effective on your gutters, here are some homemade solutions to help you with your gutter cleaning.
CLEANING GUTTERS USING TSP-PF
First, look around your garage to see if you have any phosphate-free cleaner. It’s likely in a container with the letters “TSP-PF” on it, and you may have used it while cleaning your deck or siding. The letters actually stand for trisodium phosphate – phosphate-free, which is a somewhat redundant way of saying that the product has the degreasing and cleaning power of trisodium phosphate without the harmful phosphates that can damage the environment.
Take a cup of the TSP-PF and mix it with a quart of fresh Clorox bleach and three quarts of hot water. Before you apply it to your gutters, consider draping a plastic sheet or tarp over any landscaping or plantings that are below your gutters, since the solvent can harm vegetation. Then use a clean white rag or soft-bristled brush to apply the solution to the exterior surfaces of your gutters.
GUTTER CLEANING USING CREAM OF TARTAR
Surprisingly, you can also find your gutter cleaning solution in the pantry. Go to your shelves and pull out your cream of tartar. Scientists call this substance potassium hydrogen tartrate, and to use it on your gutters, you should take some water and stir up a paste. Buff this mixture along the outsides and undersides of your guttering, then rinse it off and wipe or let dry. Your gutters will gleam!
No, not tartar sauce. Don’t use that for your gutters. (Unless they have some fish in them.)
CLEANING GUTTERS USING WHITE VINEGAR
What about the inside of your gutters? While you’re at it, you might as well scoop all the leaves and other debris out of your gutters if you haven’t already done so. Then, you can clean the inside of your guttering as well. Just combine warm water and some acetic acid, which can probably be found in your cupboard labeled as “white vinegar.” Cap your gutters and plug the downspout openings, then pour the solution into the guttering and let it sit for an hour. After you drain the solvent out, rinse your gutters thoroughly and use a rag or soft-bristled brush to remove any excess dirt.
CLEANING VINYL GUTTERS
If you have vinyl instead of aluminum gutters, grab some Dawn liquid detergent and combine it with half a cup of household bleach. Then stir it into two gallons of water and scrub the outside of your gutters with it. Let it stand for no more than ten minutes, then agitate it once more before rinsing it away with your garden hose and a sprayer attachment.
See what a difference it makes?
CLEAN GUTTERS LEAD TO CURB APPEAL
A clean house with unclean gutters sticks out almost as much as a ketchup stain on a white T-shirt. While you’re working on your home improvement this year, consider gutter cleaning, or pursue a longer-term solution such as a gutter cover. That way, when people look at your home, they will see a house that is a pleasure to see, instead of a home with noticeably dirty gutters.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DON’T CLEAN YOUR GUTTERS?
Cleaning your gutters is vital. If they’re not cleaned out, they can become clogged, preventing water from flowing freely through them. Stagnant water in your gutters can attract pests, can weigh your gutters down, causing them to separate and damage your roof, can freeze into ice dams in winter, and can overflow, causing water damage to your home’s siding, foundation, and landscaping.
IS THERE A BEST TIME OF YEAR TO CLEAN GUTTERS?
Some homes need gutter cleaning more than others. Depending on the amount of foliage around your home, the frequency of storms that blow debris into your gutters, and other factors, you may need to do it as little as once a year or as often as every three months. But regardless, the most important time to clean the gutters is probably autumn. You can count on extra leaves and debris during this time of year, and it’s the most likely time for your gutters to become clogged. It’s also important to clear any clogs before the temperatures go down in the winter and make ice dams more likely.
WHAT DO PROFESSIONALS USE TO CLEAN GUTTERS?
Professional gutter cleaners may use a variety of tools to get your gutters clean. They may use a pressure washer or steam cleaner to get all of the debris and clear away moss or algae growths. They may also use a mechanical brush or scrub your gutters by hand.
IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CLEANING ALUMINUM AND VINYL GUTTERS?
Liquid detergent is especially useful in cleaning vinyl gutters. However, it’s not enough by itself – you’ll also need to use bleach. On the other hand, white vinegar works well for aluminum gutters.
When you work with Harry Helmet, you don’t need to worry about cleaning your gutters. Why? With our gutter covers, debris will slide off the outside of your gutter to the ground. Avoid gutter cleaning this year; install Gutter Helmet today.