2013-05-15 11.23.47
  • Clogged Gutters
  • Tiger Striping
  • Leaks & Holes
  • Faded Spots on my Gutters
  • Easy Fixes

Gutters, like many other parts of your home, require periodic maintenance to keep them performing well and looking beautiful.

Clogged Gutters

Leaves and debris can build up in your gutters clogging the downspout and restricting the flow of water. When the water cannot drain properly, it backs up into the trough causing the gutters to overflow. Overflow can lead to water seeping behind the gutter and rotting the fascia. The standing water that remains also creates a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Gutter guards can be added to your gutter system to keep large leaves and debris out in order to prevent clogging and reduce maintenance. Without gutter guards, it is recommended that your gutters be cleaned out 1-3 times a year depending on the number of trees surrounding your home. With gutter guards, it is still recommended to clean out your gutters once a year which could be as simple as using a power washer to spray loose small debris down the downspout.

There are a number of gutter guards to choose from. Some are screens and some are solid covers that use perforations and/or surface tension to pull rain water into the gutter while keeping large leaves and debris out. Discuss with your contractor your gutter guard options and how to maintain your gutters. Many contractors also offer gutter cleaning services.

Tiger Striping

Customers sometimes call rain gutter companies about dirty streaks on their rain gutter systems that will not wash off [easily]. The first assumption is usually that the paint has gone bad and turned a different color, yet that is not always the case.

Naturally, pollution and dirt continuously build up on the top lip of the gutter. Some of these pollutants are dirt, dust, emissions from diesel trucks, and smoke from brush fires that are carried by the wind. When moisture combines with these pollutants, it streams down the face of the gutter. Future precipitation will then continuously follow the same path. Over time, the buildup becomes alternating light and dark streaks and is more noticeable on lighter colors. This is generally referred to as “tiger striping” and is a problem experienced by manufacturers of trailers, motor homes, commercial architectural aluminum, metal roofing, siding, and gutters.

D&R has reviewed government and industry guidelines that all require regular maintenance to prevent the “normal buildup of soil deposits and oxide accumulations.” The level of maintenance depends solely on the atmospheric conditions in a specific geographic region.

We would like to assure you that the paint underneath these deposits remains in good condition; therefore, “tiger striping” is not a failure or breach of warranty, since environmental conditions are beyond individual control. Simple cleaning procedures should be performed to reduce the buildup of these deposits. “Tiger striping” implies that there is already a heavy buildup on the gutter system and will require a strong cleaning solution. Effective care and maintenance methods are listed on the back of the paint warranty card which you should request from your contractor if it is not offered to you.

Leaks & Holes

Leaky gutter joints can be sealed by caulking the joint from the inside with gutter sealant (a tube costs about $5). Very small holes can be filled with gutter sealant. Larger holes will require a patch. If you can’t find a gutter patching kit at the hardware store, you can make a patch from metal flashing.

Faded spots on my Gutters

In most cases, faded spots on gutters are a result of using spray paint. Spray paint is often used for touch ups, covering a large area with paint to cover small scratches. Some contractors may even paint some pieces of the gutter system with spray paint before installing. D&R discourages this practice because the spray paint will fade much faster than baked on enamel, leaving an uneven or blotchy appearance. That is why D&R offers every visible part of the gutter system in every color. D&R painted aluminum products have a baked on paint finish for lasting beauty. D&R also offers a brush on touch up paint for accurate application to minor nicks and scratches if needed.

Easy Fixes

The most easily fixed problem that occurs is uncleaned and clogged gutters. Somehow the most interesting things end up in gutters. From kids’ toys and dead birds to leaves and branches, are common items found in clogged gutters. Take the time to clean your gutters and down spouts! Use a garden hose or strong leaf blower to remove debris. For extreme clogging problems, a plumber’s snake may work. These are just some of the main problems your gutters can have or will acquire over the years. Take the time and do an annual inspection of your gutter system. If you avoid these common mistakes you can help stop any potential roofing problems caused by poor gutters and installation.