I had done a handful of gutter whitening jobs. I thought I had the basic idea of it. Today I was working on a 15 year old house. The gutters were moderately striped. Nothing too crazy. I told the customer they would look brand new (like they always do).
I couldn’t get those buggers clean for the life of me. I spent an hour on one little 3 foot section and it sort of got a little bit better. 10:1? Nope. 5:1? Nope. Straight Gutter Grenade out of the bottle? Nope. More dwell time? Nope Maybe a bad bottle? Emergency trip to pick up some Simple Green brand gutter cleaner. Nope. Substitue TSP? Nope. Straight SH? Nope.
I’ve heard Gutter Grenade doesn’t work so well in cold weather and today’s high was 48. So maybe that had something to do with it? I dunno. It was bad.
Too cold of a temp will work against you. If you have hot water capability, you can heat small sections up with hot water and clean that way, but it takes longer.
Another possible reason is if the gutters were painted vs. the factory baked on finish. If gutters are painted later to match the color of the house or for other reasons you can forget about cleaning them. It would be cheaper/easier to repaint them.
yea gutter whitening takes some experience to get the hang of it. I do not even offer gw this time of year. You will also run into gutters that are so badly oxidized that they are down to the bare metal, and you might not realize it until you brush them causing total exposure of metal. I try to give my clients a clear expectation of what to expect with gutter whiting and that is under promise and over deliver. I always brake the price out separate also, so in the case it does not work for reasons Michah or I have stated they are not paying for something that is not being done and I am not wasting time trying to clean something that can not be cleaned. Smaller houses gutter whiting does not really add much time to a job, but med to bigger size houses gutter whiting can double the time of the job. Ps always carry some spray paint with you.
Yeah, painted or badly oxidized gutters are another story. These were not that. These should have come clean. It was driving me nuts.
I don’t usually wash houses when it’s this cold, but it was a situation where they were referred by a good customer and I already had to reschedule once. So I just figured I’d grin and bear it. 20 degrees is a lot for a person, but I didn’t think the chemicals would really care that much.
Lacking a hot water machine, today I just did a little small scale experimenting on my own house. Yup. You’re absolutely right. It’s night and day.
I’ve run into the same problem in Texas. I guess the off-chance of the customer knowing if the gutters were painted or not would help before hand. I’ve adopted the under promise/over deliver especially on gutters.
If it is looking like the gutters may be a pain, I honestly tell them before that they may not clean all the way up due to a number of factors. Honestly explain to your customers before if you think something may not clean all the way up. Most understand, few don’t but always be straight up with them.
I stop selling the gutter whitening package from October through the end of March. It just doesn’t work too well here with the ambient temps hovering around the 50’s (on good days). If we do a house wash in the fall, I tell the customer we will wash the house again in the spring and discount them on the gutter brightening (for gutters with oxidation, that is).