If you’ve ever looked up at your house and seen black streaks running down the gutters, you know just how unappealing they can be. Not only are they unsightly, but they can also be a sign that your gutters aren’t doing their job properly.
This article will show you how to remove black streaks from gutters using a few simple steps.
What are Black Streaks?
The black streak in your gutters are a residue of debris and dirt that has been left behind from water going through the roof system. This typically happens when the home is undergoing a lot of daily activities, such as cooking, showering, bathing, and doing laundry.
How to Identify Whether You Have Black Streaks?
Here are some ways to identify whether or not you have black streaks in your gutters:
- Look at the color of your gutters; if they’re black, you likely have black streaks
- Inspect your drain for any accumulation, such as dirt, bugs, or even animals
- If you have recently introduced harsh chemicals to your channels, this may cause black streaks to appear
- If you notice a black residue on the exterior of any portion of your home, it’s likely from roof runoff
How to Remove Black Streaks from Gutters: A Step-by-Step Guide?
Here are some simple steps you can take to remove black streaks from gutters:
1. Ensure Gutters Are Free of Any Debris
Ensure your gutters are completely free of debris, such as leaves and bugs. Any obstruction in the gutter can lead to black streaks developing.
2. Spray Down the Exterior with Vinegar Solution
Using a garden hose with a spray nozzle, begin spraying down the exterior side of your gutters. Be sure to focus on the ugly black streaks as you spray, applying a generous amount of water pressure so that it can reach down into the gutters and remove any buildup.
3. Apply Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide Mixture
Using a bucket and brush, mix about one-third cup of baking soda with about one-quarter hydrogen peroxide.
4. Scrub The Exterior with Brush and Baking Soda Solution
Using a soft-bristled brush, begin scrubbing the exterior side of your gutters. The baking soda and hydrogen peroxide mixture are kind of black streak remover which will remove any buildup on the channels and remove any black streaks. As you scrub, you can add a little more hydrogen peroxide with the baking soda if the mixture seems too thick.
5. Rinse with Water and Clean Gutters
Once you’re satisfied that the black streaks have been removed from your gutters, rinse everything thoroughly with water to gutter cleaning solution any excess baking soda or residue left behind from the baking soda and hydrogen peroxide mixture.
6. Maintain Your Gutters to Prevent Black Streaks from Appearing
After following these steps, you will have successfully removed all of the black streaks that were on your gutters. However, this isn’t a long-term solution to continually remove black streaks from gutters. You’ll need to pay more attention to maintaining your gutters so they aren’t filled with debris, which can prevent black streaks from appearing.
The Consequences of Not Removing Black Streaks
There are many different consequences of not removing black streaks from gutters. Some of the more severe ones can include:
1. Damaged Gutter Systems
If black streaks aren’t removed from gutters, eventually, the buildup on the exterior of them can affect the interior components. This can lead to blockages that prevent water from being able to drain away properly. Eventually, this could result in gutter zap failure.
2. Rotting Fascia Boards
The fascia boards protect the exterior of your home. If black streaks appear on these, they cannot be removed with water alone. This can result in the decay of the fascia boards and may even allow for mold to grow behind them.
3. Damage to Roofing Materials
At the top of your gutter system is where all of your roofing materials are attached. This can include shingles, flashing, and even the roof itself. If black streaks are allowed to remain, they can eventually work their way through these components and cause damage that may need to be repaired or replaced entirely.
4. Damage to Other Exterior Components
The exterior of any home is designed to protect you and your family. When you neglect the proper care of the exterior, like removing black streaks from gutters, not only can damage begin to appear on the roofing materials, but it can also cause damage to other components. A good example would be when water is allowed to stagnate in rain gutters and eventually works its way down onto siding or other exterior features, causing black streaks to appear.
5. Brick and Mortar Damage
Extreme weather conditions can cause black streaks to appear on exterior brick or mortar surfaces. This is because water sits in the seams of the bricks until it evaporates, causing black streaks to appear.
6. Black Streaks in Shingles
When water runs over your roof, it’s designed never to stagnate. But when black streaks are allowed to appear on gutters, the water cannot move quickly enough over your roof and can stagnate in low-lying areas. This allows for mold to form in these areas, which ultimately leads to black streaks appearing on your shingles.
7. Exterior Damage
All exterior components are designed to protect you and the interior of your home. When black streaks begin to appear on these surfaces, it can lead to mold or mildew, resulting in damage that may need repairs done.
Preventing Black Streaks from Forming in The Future
When water doesn’t move appropriately down your gutters, it can cause black streaks to appear on exterior surfaces. To prevent this from happening in the future, follow these easy steps:
1. Inspect Your Gutters Regularly
A quick inspection of your gutters should be done every week or so throughout the year to ensure that they aren’t full of debris. This can prevent water from moving down the gutters, which ultimately causes damage to your roof, siding, and other exterior surfaces.
2. Keep Excess Water Out of Gutters
After it rains, be sure that excess water is diverted away from the gutters. The easiest way to do this is by using landscaping to divert the water away from your home.
3. Remove Debris Regularly
Black streaks can form if debris isn’t removed from gutters regularly. If you have trees surrounding your property, they may be full of leaves or other types of trash that can prevent water from moving quickly through the gutters. When waste builds up, it can ultimately rot out your drains, leading to black streaks.
4. Use the Proper Type of Cleaner
The best way to remove black streaks is by using a power washer or pressure washer with a specific setting for use on delicate surfaces. This will allow you to remove all of the black streaks without damaging your home in any way.
5. Avoid Using Bleach
Do not use bleach or any other cleaner meant for interior use when removing black streaks. These cleaners can damage exterior surfaces and may even damage the paint. Regular soap and water will usually do the trick if you’re looking to clean your gutters.
Black streaks on gutters can be a real nuisance, but you can prevent them from forming in the future with a few simple steps. By inspecting your gutters regularly, keeping excess water out of them, and removing debris regularly, you’ll be able to save your home looking its best.
And if you do find black streaks appearing on your exterior surfaces, using the proper cleaner will get rid of them quickly and easily.