8 Tips For How to Clean Metal Guttering

Appropriate Maintenance and Cleaning Methods for each of our Metal Guttering ranges.

How to clean metal guttering safely

If cast iron, aluminium, galvanised Steel, copper or zinc gutters are maintained and cleaned properly and regularly, they can last a very long time.

If you’ve just become a homeowner you might not be aware a particular annual activity that you are now obliged to undertake: cleaning your gutters. It is a necessary task. A good time to do this is at the end of autumn when most of the leaves have fallen off the trees.

1.Let the professional do the hard work?

Many local companies offer gutter maintenance and cleaning services, so you do not have to climb to the dizzy heights of your roofline yourself. In addition, the professionals already have all the best equipment. They can spot any areas requiring repairs immediately, and being well practiced, they are usually much faster.

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But if you insist on doing it yourself here are the things we recommend:

2. To prevent damage to the guttering DO NOT ever lean a ladder against the guttering itself

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Instead always use a 'ladder stand-off':

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Ladder stand-off means the ladder rests on the brickwork or building facade and not the gutter which is not designed to take the weight of a person leaning on it.

3. Ensure gutters and downspouts are clear and free from any blockage.
Using gloved hands or a gutter trowel, remove any leaves and debris from the gutters and drop them in a bag or bucket that you can easily carry down the ladder and get rid of appropriately afterwards. How to clean cast iron guttering, How to clean aluminium guttering, galvanised steel guttering, copper guttering, zinc guttering image 006

DO NOT flush debris down outlets.How to clean cast iron guttering, How to clean aluminium guttering, galvanised steel guttering, copper guttering, zinc guttering image 004

4. For a downpipe that has been blocked (by debris flushed down through the outlet from the gutter), buy a drainage rod, available from most hardware shops, then push through from above.

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5. Apply cold or warm (<50°C) water mixing in a little eco-friendly, solvent-free detergent or degreasant to the exterior surface to maintain its aesthetics.

If possible, leave the detergent solution on the surface for approximately 15 minutes.

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6. If pressure washing, the head of the water lance should be kept at least 500mm away from the surface at all times, and the pressure should be restricted to less than 1500psi.

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7. GENTLY brush or wipe the external surfaces after the detergent has been applied, to remove any areas of dirt. Do not use abrasive pads or brushes*:

 

  • When cleaning Cast Iron Guttering : Do not use abrasive pads or brushes because the layers of paint are what protects the Iron.

 

  • When cleaning Aluminium Guttering : Do not use abrasive pads or brushes that could damage the BBA approved, factory applied, powder colour coating.

 

  • When cleaning Galvanised Steel Guttering : Do not use abrasive pads or brushes. The galvanised steel dulls as the surface molecules of zinc (applied in the galvanising process) are oxidise and are sacrificed to protect the core. You do not want to inhibit this process to try to keep the surface shiny. In the case of the colour coated galvanised steel, you do not want to scratch the colour coating.

 

  • When cleaning Copper Guttering : Do not use abrasive pads or brushes. The copper dulls as the surface molecules of the metal slowly oxidise and are sacrificed to protect the core. You do not want to inhibit this process to try to keep the surface shiny. Eventually, in maybe 20years, it will turn the characteristic Verdigris colour.

 

  • When cleaning Zinc Guttering : The zinc dulls as the surface molecules of the metal slowly oxidise and are sacrificed to protect the core. You do not want to inhibit this process to try to keep the surface shiny. Eventually it will turn the colour of pre-weathered quartz or anthra zinc.

 

  • When cleaning Stainless Steel Guttering : Do not use abrasive pads or brushes. You will leave unsightly scratches on the shiny surface.

 

8. Finally, Rinse the internal & external surfaces with clean, cold water.

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