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What you should know



What is Tiger Striping on Gutters?

By ajsgutters

What is Tiger Striping on Gutters?

From time to time we get calls about gutters having dirty streaks.  Many think it’s the paint turning a different color and going bad. That is not the case with tiger striping.

Naturally, pollution and dirt continuously build up on the top lip of the gutter. When moisture combines with these pollutants, it streams down the face of the gutter. Future precipitation will continuously follow this same path. Over time, the buildup becomes alternating light and dark streaks. Which is generally referred to as “Tiger Striping” and is experienced by manufacturers of cars, trailers, motor homes, commercial architectural aluminum, metal roofing, siding and gutters.

Metal surfaces with baked on painted finishes require periodic cleaning. Industry guidelines state that regular maintenance is required to prevent the “normal buildup of soil deposits and oxide accumulations.”  The level of maintenance depends solely on the atmospheric conditions in a geographic region.


Simple cleaning procedures should be performed to reduce the buildup of these deposits. Tiger striping implies an already heavy buildup on the gutter system and will require a strong cleaning solution.

For surface soil and stains, such as those resulting from industrial fallout, tree sap, insecticides, or chimney fumes, use ordinary nonabrasive household detergent. The solution should be applied to the soiled surface by means of a soft rag, sponge or soft bristle brush with a gentle rubbing action. Do not rub vigorously so as to create glossy areas over the satin finish. Soft bristle brushes equipped with long extension handles may be used to reach some of the higher areas.

It is important that immediately following all washing operations, the entire surface is thoroughly rinsed with fresh water from a garden hose.

Stubborn Stains…

If stubborn stains are encountered, use a heavy-duty cleaner such as “Totally Awesome.” Heavy soil deposits may not be removable in one application and may require repeated cleaning over some length of time. Do not use cleaners containing abrasive particles, ammonia, solvents or paint removers for cleaning. These materials may soften or remove the finish.


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