If you’ve ever looked up at old, dated gutters, you’ve seen that they can turn unsightly after some time if they haven’t been well maintained and cleaned. Cleaning gutters also involves washing the exteriors, either with a hose or power washer. If not, then after some time, gutters will develop something called “tiger stripes” and it is exactly what it sounds like.
Tiger striping is when you have dark(er) coloured streaks running vertically down the exterior of your gutters. It’s important to note that this isn’t just a case of a dirty gutter and a quick wipe will fix it, tiger striping is the result of extended exposure to dirt, debris, acid rain, exposure to the elements, fading paint, rust and so on. Tiger stripes are relatively permanent once they’ve set in. And it’s not very attractive and will certainly decrease the value of your home if potential buyers spot them.
What Causes of Tiger Striping?
There are various factors as to why tiger striping develops on the exterior of gutters and downspouts. For starters, living in the Lower Mainland, we get a lot of rain, and acid rain can certainly cause the exterior coating to fade and stain as a result. The rain can also possibly cause the exterior (after time) to start to rust or oxidize if it’s not coated properly, and if there is a lot of dirt and debris stuck in the gutters or on the roof, this too can cause staining. Of course, depending on the paint colour of the gutters, this can show more readily or not, so that too is another consideration.
The bottom line is, there are many speculations as to why tiger striping occurs on gutters and its adjoining parts. However all experts do concur that the best way to avoid tiger striping, is to of course ensure you clean the exterior of the system on a regular basis.
How Can You Prevent Tiger Stripes?
Removing tiger stripes after they’ve set in is quite difficult and either takes an expert or a lot of elbow grease and hazardous materials. Before that happens, consider a pre-emptive approach to tiger stripes.
- Clean your gutters, inside and out, on a regular basis. If you’re going through the trouble of removing any dirt and debris that is stuck inside the gutters, take the time to wipe down the exterior as well.
- If you are purchasing new gutters, consider the colour — lighter and high-gloss finishes are more prone to tiger stripes, so if you can avoid those choices, this might be a better decision in the long run. However, as long as you are on top of the cleaning (pardon the pun), you shouldn’t have too much issues.
- Hire professionals to clean your gutters. Not everyone is comfortable with going up high on a ladder and doing the work that is required. So why not hire professional gutter cleaners. Not only will they ensure the insides are free and clear and running smoothly, they will also clean the outside to make sure they aren’t stained and streaked.