What are those grey streaks on my gutters?

Over time you may notice that your home has developed grey stains or a striped pattern on the outside of your gutters that looks terrible. Well, you are not alone. Many homeowners have encountered this and spent a great deal of time trying to remove the stains from their gutters, but the reality is that those grey stains are much more difficult to remove than they first appear.

Any home that has been in more than a handful of rainstorms is going to have dirt and debris buildup in its gutters. That is the reason to establish a regular gutter cleaning maintenance plan. It’s a good idea to have your gutters cleaned by a professional multiple times a year. Nevertheless, even with regular cleanings, grime that comes down with the rain will eventually build up on the sides of your gutters. Even with regular cleanings it is an inevitability for all gutters at some stage of their life.

So what is the grey stuff on my gutters and why is it difficult to remove? Grey streaks are formed by microscopic dirt and debris that come in contact with the sides of the gutter and form an ionic bond. This bond is a chemical bond and it requires the presence of an additional chemical to break it, not to mention some elbow grease. The active ingredient that tends to be most effective is called butoxyethanol and it can be found in several cleaning solutions specifically made for gutters.

Though gutter cleaning or pressure washing can minimally reduce the unsightly appearance of these grey stains, the strong bond between your gutters and their beloved dirt cannot be broken so easily.