Keeping Your Gutters Clean Inside and Out

Orange glove on hand removing dirt from gutter

We all have them, they get full of muck, and if they don’t do their job we could have some serious problems. Our Gutters. When working properly and looking clean like they should it can really make a homeowner happy and save us all from any future home issues. But when they are full, dirty and not working properly we all know where that leaves us… with some work to do.

When it rains and all the leaves get trapped inside our gutters along with the debris from the roof, dirt and asphalt from our shingles, over time they eventually get clogged. We’re going to go over a few simple ways to clean them inside and out and prevent them from getting clogged again.

Inside Cleaning

The best way to clean any gutter is to start by removing anything that is inside.

You will need:
– Ladder
– Bucket or a bag
– Plastic scoop or mini shovel
– Gloves

This part can be very messy and depending on your gutters you will need to be careful of getting any cuts on your hands or arms. Long sleeves are recommended. Use your plastic scooper to help you remove large amounts of debris that may be inside. Use the bucket or bag to throw away the dirt. You will need to keep doing this until it’s mostly gone and the remainder can be washed down with water.

Outside Cleaning

We have all seen dirty gutters. They get streaks, dirt, maybe even moss growing on the exterior. Let me reassure you, we can get them looking new again! You will need:

– Ladder
– Scrub Brush
– A phosphate-free cleaner/ degreasing and powerful stain remover
– Towel

Start by wetting the gutter with water, apply the solution and let sit for a few minutes. Afterwards, scrub the surface, and wipe dry with a rag or towel. If needed you can repeat.

Power Washing

Sometimes it does come down to it and you need a more powerful way to clean your gutters. Especially if they are completely covered and they need some serious cleaning or you just don’t want to mess with them. Hiring a professional to do the job will save you time and money and they have all the supplies needed to clean.

Preventing

If we don’t already have them, investing in gutter protectors is the best way to prevent our gutters from filling up with leaves and debris. There are a few different options out there:

1. Hinged Metal Protectors
Acts as a gate that sits on top of the gutter, attaches the the front, very durable, although it can be seen from below so you will have to think if you like the style.

2. Pvc Protectors
A plastic protector snaps onto the gutter, trapping anything besides water from entering, very durable and they come in many common colors to match your home.

3. Plastic Foam Mesh
Easy to install, fits right inside standard gutter, seals out leaves while allowing large volumes of water to flow through quickly.

It’s not over until it’s clean. Give these tips a try and clean up your gutters.

Upstream Injectors Save Time & Money

Yellow power washing machine with wand connected spraying water onto wall.

Many people that are new in the business tend to stay away from one of the most efficient power cleaning tools, “Upstream Injectors.” It is way more common to use downstream injectors instead. But what most people do not realize is how using upstream Injectors will save you time and money.

Uses :

Typically when cleaning we are looking at mold, dirt, streaks and stains. When we think about the steps of cleaning it the most efficient way, we want to know we are taking full advantage and using the best tools possible for the job.

Using an upstream injector is great for working with stains and dirt that has been embedded into the surface. Especially areas that are sensitive to strong chemicals that in the long run will end up doing more damage than it did any good. This type of injector is designed to be used with MILD soaps. The soap will run through the pump and be applied at high pressure and we will slowly raise the temperature.

Now you have :

1. Gentle but an aggressive cleaning product

2. Pressure

3. Temperature

All three elements share a part in working harder together to get the surface looking good as new.

Keep in mind: Check with your pressure
washing pump and find out if it can handle chemicals running through it. On most pumpsit WILL cause damage. We suggest using mild soaps and to stay far away from using acids and strong detergents.

Benefits :

Using an upstream injector allows you to reach up to 40ft high. You will have all your tools and machinery on the ground and know that you are safe. You will be able to reach those hard to get places quickly and easily and still have your feet on the ground.
Also this method of power washing really saves you time. Not only is it more efficient when reaching high spots, but it really is thorough. Again with the combination of the pressure that is being used and the warm-hot temperature creates the best way to get that clean surface back. It does so in the most cost-effective and efficient manner.

Getting the results you want right away is a plus because you won’t have to keep repeating your steps to try to get it clean, therefore wasting more product and more valuable time. Because after all, time is money right?

How to Use a Squeegee to Speed Up Glass Cleaning Jobs

squeegee in hand to clean glass of dirt

squeegee in hand to clean glass of dirt

When it comes to  cleaning glass many people have different ways they like to do so, such as:

  • Classic Method – Cleaning with Paper Towels. 

  • Wiping with Newspaper 

  • Spraying a Streak Free Solution and Then Rinsing it off 

  • Use of a Squeegee 

It’s safe to say the best and fastest method out of the above mentioned: is that of using a squeegee. 

What does it accomplish? 

By using a squeegee you are able to completely remove anything that may cause your window to look filthy. Including: dirt, smudges, and streaks. Most of the methods above leave behind some trail showing that you were trying to clean your windows. When you use a squeegee properly, it can give the best results leaving your glass looking like new! 

Why does it work best? 

Not only does it get the glass cleaner  but it helps you get the job done fast. When you use something to wipe the glass your constantly going over and over the window to make sure there is no debris of paper towel behind or any markings you might have missed. A squeegee is promised to leave the glass looking good as new. 

How do you do it? 

It’s all about the wrist. When you are cleaning a window you need to get the hang of it down to clean it all in one movement. Instead of sliding the squeegee across the glass and then lifting it up to start over, there are better ways to clean it better to ensure streak free results. It really is all about movement when it comes to cleaning glass. Keep in mind when preparing to clean the window your objective is to figure out a way to get the solution off the window in one single movement- without leaving any water behind. Some people find if they start by moving the squeegee to the top two corners and then working their way down it works fairly easy. You can also use an up and down method. Whatever way you choose to remove the water always make sure to clean the edges preventing it from dripping onto your clean dry glass. 

Overall Analysis

It saves time, energy, and it’s easy. Once you get into the swing of it you will be cleaning windows in half the time. You will realize how much better it is than using the wiping method and the classic spray on window and rinse of method- Which will leave behind streaking. Whereas cleaning with a squeegee is time efficient and no streaks are left when done properly.

Spring Cleaning The Exterior of Your Home

Beautiful home showing how clean your home will be when you spring clean it. It has a clean roof, gutters and freshly washed siding.

Beautiful home showing how clean your home will be when you spring clean it. It has a clean roof, gutters and freshly washed siding.

Spring Cleaning The Exterior of Your Home

 

The wintertime is finally over, the weather is warming up, and the flowers begin to bloom, we may begin to see the effects this past winter has had on our home. We know that the spring time is the absolute perfect time to get our house back in shape for all those fun summer BBQ’s, activities, and parties. It may seem overwhelming to think about what we may need to accomplish, but we can help you with that.

Let’s start with having a good idea of what is fully involved in the spring cleaning of your home.

Cleaning our roof.

First, we would want to check out the roof. How are the shingles? Do You still have a few years left before needing to replace them completely? Or do you simply just need to remove those stubborn roof stains? Or possibly even to remove mold. Do you need to take out the blower and toss of the few sticks and branches? You may be surprised that a good roof cleaning could just do the trick that you need to make a difference in the appearance of your entire home.

Gutter cleaning.

Second, let’s take a look at the gutters around the home. How full are they? Is the water draining like it is designed to do? Or possibly our gutters could be so full that we need to grab our ladder and try to remove as much of that muck as we can. Sometimes the outside of our gutters also need a good cleaning. Usually a cloth and some spray to help with stains or mold will do the trick.

Power washing

Third, how is the siding of your home? Is there a few things that need to be touched up with paint? We may even discover mold and streaks of dirt on the outside of our homes. The longer that stays on there the harder it will be to remove, so really pay attention to the lower half of your home and stay on top of any stains you may see. Thankfully there is an effective way to clean up the exterior and make it look new again. Power washing is the perfect method of doing just that. When you choose to power wash, it really is a fast and easy way to remove all the unwanted debris and stains that is really aging our home. It can remove the dirt in minutes!

Hard water stains on windows.

Next, we’ll need to look at our windows. We may find that there could be broken window seals that have caused our windows to create moisture in between the glass and will eventually need to be replaced completely. Also, another very common thing to find is the lovely hard water stains that our sprinklers might have left behind. We might think that they are impossible to get rid of, but I will say we can and will have success! Try mixing a solution of dish soap, warm water, and a generous pour of white vinegar. Mix it and then apply to window with an official window cleaning applicator or just a cloth. Leave it on the window for a few minutes and then use a squeegee to remove access water. The vinegar will try its best to work at those stubborn stains. If that doesn’t work, we should hire the professionals to use a professional grade window cleaning blade on the window to remove the remaining spots. It doesn’t scratch or hurt the glass in anyway, It will just do its best at removing those stubborn stains.

Spray for insects.

After we get our roof, siding, and windows all nice and clean we can look for a good reliable company to come and spray for bugs. We all know how bad it can be when the heat comes and all the critters want to make a nice cool home indoors. But by spraying the exterior of your home that will ensure that the majority of the bugs stay outside where they belong.

Concrete stains.

Now that we know our house can be all spruced up, we pull our car out of the garage thinking everything is finally looking good, and only to find see that concrete whether inside the garage or the concrete on the exterior of our home has streaks and stains of rust. Is it really possible to remove? The answer is yes. Just like those stubborn hard water stains on the windows, rust as well can be removed with white vinegar. You will need a bucket of warm water, white vinegar, and a hard nylon bristled brush for the smooth surfaces where you do not wish to remove the top layer of paint or the top layer of paste that will expose the aggregate material beneath. Apply mixture to the stains and let sit for about 5 minutes. Afterwards, slowly rub in a circular motion carefully not rubbing too hard therefore removing the paint. Then rinse with cold water.

With seeing down in writing what we can do to really spruce up the exterior of our homes, we can and will be ready for those fun summer festivities.

What are the different surfaces you can use a power washer on

What are the different surfaces you can use a power washer on?

What a time saver your Power Washer is! A pressure cleaning rig has so many uses that soon it will be your best buddy. Let’s take a look at some surfaces that will definitely save you a back ache and time using a power washer.

Cleaning Your Car

Using the power washer for cleaning your car is super easy, quick and enjoyable that you´ll look forward for the next car wash. Be careful you don´t use the highest pressure nozzle as it can literally take the paint off your car. First, you would wash the car with just water to make sure all the dirt is gone. Don’t forget to aim underneath the car to get all that caked-on dirt. Afterwards, apply car soap yourself or use the soap tip if you have one. Then use the low pressure tip nozzle to take the soap away.

Your Wooden Deck

Your power washer is a great way to clean a wood or composite deck. When you just hosted a barbeque, your deck ends up being sticky from pop, juice, wine and the dessert crumbs are stuck from being stepped on. Who really wants to manually clean that? Leave it to the pressure cleaning rig! It is amazing with wood house sidings, gazebos, stairs, wooden fences and outdoor wooden furniture. If you are planning on re-painting it can help take off the loose paint or help you prepare the surface for a new paint job. Just keep in mind when you just want to clean the surface use a low-pressure nozzle tip. Your Powerful wand can strip off the finish from the wood easily. Also, the water particles can embed themselves further inside the wood that can cause it to bend or rot over time. This is the reason you don´t combine detergent with a high-pressured nozzle when washing wooden surfaces. For a little help power washing your deck in Arlington, give Ecotek a call.

Your Greasy Barbeque Grill

Yes, guys love to take over the grill but do they love cleaning it after? The smell of grilled meat is just amazing as the grease and fat start melting away. That grease can stay in there for a long time if you don´t clean your grill after every use. It’s a huge pain to clean in manually. But the power washer is a life changer. Here’s how to clean your grill. Make sure it is disconnected from the propane tank or a natural gas line. It would be wise to start with a wider nozzle tip (45 degrees) to get the loose grease, grime and fat. Then add a strong degreaser and let it sit there for at least a few minutes. Use a stronger spray to remove the harder stains. As you removed all that grime you can rinse it down back with a wider nozzle tip.

Keep Your Driveway Spotless

There is always a car that ends up leaking a little bit of oil and having oil stains on your driveway looks ugly. Your garage floor, walkways and your driveway can be very difficult to clean. But again, nothing can stop your that high pressure spray. When you use a higher pressure nozzle tip with detergent it can easily get that grease and oil stains leaving your driveway spotless.
Your Swimming Pool
Your pool or your Jacuzzi can easily build up mold during time. This is when buying a power washer that uses hot water will benefit you. If you get a unit that can produce steam you can quickly demolish mold and the surfaces will be microbe-free.
Adaptable to the Weak
Not only does that high pressure setup display mighty acts against strong material, it is considerate to fragile surfaces like glass. Do you have huge windows on the second level? Well your best buddy can be strong enough to take the dirt but gently at the same time. Most of all, it cleans fairly fast on those big windows when using a wide angle nozzle tip.
Perfect for Boats
If you own a boat this s your answer. No doubt it is a lot of work to clean and maintain a boat. You have materials like metal, wood, glass and fiberglass on your boat but with the proper tip it is versatile to clean all those surfaces. Just be aware of what kind of nozzle you should use for each material.
There you have it; a power washer is an amazing tool to own for a homeowner. It saves you a lot of time as it gets the job done for many different surfaces in more than the half amount of time doing it by hand. If it is your first time owning one, read about the other blog on the different types of nozzle tips and its uses so you can fully use this tool to its full potential.