People often worry about cleaning the inside of their gutters. It’s a valid concern, but you shouldn’t overlook the outside of your gutters. Keep reading to learn how to clean the outside of your gutters.
Make Your Gutters Look Like New
With the right tools, it’s easy to maintain the outsides of your gutters. A good manual inspection once a month can get you familiar with the condition of your gutters. Clean them when you notice any build-up of dirt or grime. This way, they’ll last longer and look good as new. Exterior gutter cleaners fall into two categories: chemical and physical. Check for your local gutter cleaning company like Ned Stevens if you think you are not skilled enough to handle strong chemicals.
Many types of dirt, grime, and rust that plague the outside of your gutter require a chemical agent to remove them. At least, chemical cleaners make it much easier to clean the outside of your gutters. Here are a few common chemical gutter cleaners:
- Vinegar and water: This is a simple and non-toxic solution that does an excellent job of cleaning metal gutters. All you have to do is combine one cup of vinegar for every gallon of water.
- Cream of tartar and water: This is another easy and safe solution to help you achieve clean gutters. Just a small amount of water mixed with cream of tartar will create a gentle abrasive cleaner that you can scrub on your gutters and rinse away.
- Dish soap and baking soda: Mix water, liquid dish soap, and baking soda to make a powerful cleaner for the outside of your gutters. The dish soap helps to break up tougher grime and stains. As a bonus, this cleaning mixture can help clean your gutter channels and downspouts too.
- Sodium hypochlorite (SH): This chemical cleaner is common for cleaning metal external surfaces, such as gutters. It’s a strong chemical that is usually diluted with water for use. It should be handled with care according to package instructions.
- Store-bought gutter cleaners: Several brands sell their own solutions for gutter cleaning chemicals. Some contain percentages of SH and other cleaning agents. These are your best no-fuss options for chemical gutter cleaners. You can find them at your local home improvement store.
Physical cleaners use friction against gutters to remove dirt and other unwanted substances, leaving your gutters squeaky clean. The following are some examples of physical cleaners that are great for cleaning the outside of your gutter:
- Brushes: Brushes of all sizes are good for cleaning gutters. Large long-handle brushes reach far distances to scrub off larger areas of grime. They can reach lengths of up to 15 feet. Climb a ladder and use a toothbrush to clean those small crevices. Brushes vary in coarseness depending on your needs. Make sure you don’t use a brush that will scratch and damage your gutter.
- Power washers: Power washers are one of the best ways to clean your gutters. High-pressure water can remove just above any grime and sometimes even rust and streaks from your gutters with a low risk of damaging the gutters.
- Cloth: You don’t always have to be aggressive with your cleaning methods. Sometimes buffing your gutters with a cloth is good enough to remove grime and mineral build-ups. Cloths can also range in abrasiveness.
Best Cleaning Methods For The Outside Of Gutters
Combine chemical and physical washers best suited for the dirt, grime, streaks, rust, or corrosion on your gutters. For example, caked-on grime responds well to soft-bristled brushes and any of the chemical cleaners above. Streaks need strong chemical cleaners and cloth. Rust and corrosion may require wire brushing and metal resealing. The most important part is to catch it as soon as possible.
The sooner you address unwanted build-ups, rust, and corrosion, the easier it will be to remove them completely. Start as gently as possible with your cleaning methods to avoid damaging your gutters. Always use caution and be aware of how to properly clean your specific type of gutter material. In some cases, you may need to call a gutter professional to repair or replace the gutter.