How to Get Rid of Tiger Stripes and Other Stains on Gutters
We don’t often use the term ‘tiger stripes’ in relation to guttering systems here in Australia, but over in The States it’s a common phrase and the cause of many homeowners’ frustrations! In this article, we’ll be sharing the best tips when it comes to managing tiger stripes, aka striped stains on gutters in Australia and whether they’re something you need to worry about on your home.
What are “tiger stripes” on gutters?
As mentioned above, tiger stripes on gutters are stains. They’re not just any stains though, they’re the dark, black stains that drip down from gutters creating vertical lines that look kinda like the stripes of a tiger’s pelt, hence the name.
Often, they don’t just affect the gutters themselves, but the fascia boards of the home too. These striped stains aren’t just unsightly to look at, but they can attract mould and mildew build up as well. If you’ve read any of our other articles, you’ll know that preventing mould and mildew build up can save you very expensive repair costs and reduce health risks for residents and guests of your home in the long run.
If you take a look at your gutters and notice these striped stains, act fast to get them taken care of. The sooner you take action, the easier they’ll be to clean and the less damage you’re risking to your home and the people you care about.
What causes tiger stripes and other gutter stains?
The main cause of tiger stripes is when water starts dripping or leaking from the guttering system. Usually the main culprit is a blockage or blockages, causing the water to overflow down the sides of the gutter and/or through the bottom onto the external walls of the home.
The water that is found in gutters is almost never clean. It is filled with grime, dirt, minerals and other materials, as well as mingling with the metals of the gutter itself. This is generally what causes the dark colour of the stains. The water that does splash over the edge of your gutter is contaminated.
Some gutters will be worse off than others when it comes to tiger stripe stains, but overall, no home is entirely safe from them.
What types of gutters stain easily?
Often, it’s not so much about the type of gutter but the colour. We do find that the more common types of guttering like quad gutters do go hand in hand with tiger stripe stains. In saying that, there’s not really a single type of gutter profile that’s ‘worse’ than the rest.
No gutter is entirely safe from stains anyway. That’s just the nature of them being outside in the elements and having lots of close contact with water and moisture. Often for days or weeks on end.
By choosing the colour of your guttering system cleverly, you can often reduce the negative aesthetic impact that gutter stains can have. Though the colour of your gutter may not affect the tiger stains that appear on your home, choosing a darker colour for the gutter itself can help make the dark coloured stains blend in a little, hiding them better than beige, white or other lighter coloured gutters would when they do appear. This is probably why new house roofs are commonly being built with the popular colour Monument. The lighter colours in modern gutters are SurfMist and Shale Grey; for obvious reasons they always stain up the most.
What is the best way to clean gutter stains?
When it comes to cleaning black stains on gutters, the best solution is good prevention. If you can aim to keep your gutters clean by having them regularly maintained by a professional service, or even installing quality Leaf Guards, you’re one step closer to reducing the risk of tiger stains appearing on your gutters and your home. Regular maintenance will help remove blockages before water levels can rise and pressure builds up. Leaf Protection Guards will help to stop debris from entering your gutter in the first place.
If you’ve left it too late and dark stains have already appeared, don’t try to DIY it, call in the pros. Seriously, there are a bunch of home remedies and hacks, sprays and other products created for cleaning these stains all over the internet but unless you can actually find what’s causing the gutter stains to show up and fix the problem, your cleaning efforts won’t even matter.
When it comes to cleaning the stains once the leakage or blockage has been found and dealt with, we still recommend leaving it to the experts. It’s the safer option and you get the peace of mind of a job well done.
Is there a gutter stain cleaner in my area who specialises in gutter stain removal?
If you’re in Melbourne or the wider Country Victoria area, we are your friendly neighbourhood gutter cleaning experts and we’re here to help! All gutter technicians at Grayson’s Gutter Cleaning have been trained to not only remove debris from guttering systems, but to carry out full cleans as well.
We can’t guarantee your gutters will end up exactly as they were when you had them installed – after years of being out in the elements, that’s just not possible. What we can do is help reduce the dark appearance of tiger stains and get your gutters back to the BEST possible condition they can be. No clean is perfect, but we get as close as we possibly can.