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.

My Power Washing Experience

A letter from a customer:

I have always been a “DIY” person. I don’t enjoy paying someone to do something I could learn to do myself. My wife and I purchased a home with a deck the full length of the house. Everyone who see it call it “a party deck.” It is quite the deck, but it is also a maintenance nightmare! Every two years we were faced with the daunting task of staining the entire 40 foot deck, 2 stairways and all railings and rungs.  Staining took 3 people 3 days. Finally I decided this just couldn’t continue. I needed to find a stain that would not wear so easily.  After hours of research I decided on a true oil stain that was highly rated and would have a long life. I ordered it right away! But next step hit me hard in the face. I had to remove the current water based stain to ensure the oil would stick properly. As any DIY junkie knows, prep work is key to making your projects as successful as a professional’s. So faced with this huge project, I started looking at power washers. I didn’t really need to buy one. After all, this was the only time I’d need it. After a few phone calls I realized to rent a power washer was more expensive then buying one. Why can’t anything be easy?! So, renting out of the question I started researching to buy. It needed a good one that could make the job speedy. Power washers are expensive! Another research project. Just what I needed. I started to feel like my deck was taking all my spare time, and I hadn’t even started the actual  project yet!  After hours of research, I settled on a power washer that was powerful enough to get the job done…so I thought. As soon as the power washer arrived I was eager to start this ridiculous project. I kept trying to remind myself this was all in the name of “saving money”, “learning new talents”, “living up to the DIY lifestyle”. Once I put the power washer together, I put it to work. It wasn’t even a few hours before I could see this was not going as planned. The stain wasn’t coming off. I knew it wasn’t the power washer’s fault. It was powerful! This old stain wasn’t so bad after all.  It wasn’t giving up without a fight! Back to the research drawing board! More time! But it wasn’t all wasted. I needed a stain stripper. So off to the store I went. I bought all they had. It was so expensive. $40 a gallon! I had never gotten a quote on having a professional take care of the deck, but the money I was spending was adding up! I couldn’t even think about if there was a cheaper way?! I was in too deep. So, for every weekend for about 4 months, I applied the stripper, waited 30 minutes, and then power washed the old stain off. It was messy, wet, cold and tiring. With the stain finally completely removed, I had to apply the new oil stain as soon as possible. An unprotected deck is a deck in danger. Weathering happens fast on an old deck. Staining took the rest of my weekends thru fall. It’s funny, at the beginning of this project I said to my wife, “Wouldn’t it be terrible if we don’t get to use the deck ’til winter?” And that’s exactly what happened. The deck is finally finished but now its cold and rainy outside. We look forward to using it this spring and summer. But I can’t help but wonder if I’d gotten a professional opinion before I fluffed my DIY feathers, would I have ended up doing it myself. I’m not one to surrender easily and spend frivolously…but spending time with my family on weekends instead of battling a 40 foot deck is worth more to me I’ve decided. Next time, I’m getting a professional’s opinion. Of course, I’m not just going to take the first bid that comes along. I work hard all week and want to make my earnings go as far as possible. Maintenance is less expensive then buying new, and my time is more valuable then proving I can do it myself. It’s not always cheaper, you know. Time is money too.

That all being said, I would like to thank your company for the excellent job that you’ve done power washing my home. The siding is back to looking fresh and new. I hope to never need to redo my deck again, but we both know maintenance prevents replacement. If my experience has taught me anything, a competitive bid and willing laborers can save me time and money and keep my family’s home in good shape for us to enjoy it.

Thank you Ecotek Power Washing of Northern Va for a job well done!!

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