What a stunning part of the world, here on our doorstep in beautiful Inishowen County Donegal.
I didn’t know this place existed until Kay and Mick invited me, back in July 2019, to take a look at a property they recently purchased there that didn’t always look like it does today.
Like a large percentage of properties nowadays, throughout Ireland and especially here in the North West of Donegal funghi and moss was well established on the complete exterior to the property.
After our initial careful assessment it was established that to bring the property back to it’s original glory it would need the following procedures to be addressed.
Roof and Capping: Moss and yellow lichen removal using Biocide
Guttering and Downpipes: Emptied and cleaned plus faded areas restored back to black
Walls: Red algae removal using Biocide
Path and Decking: Power washed and treated with Biocide
Windows: Frames and glass cleaning plus ongoing bi monthly window clean setup
Decoration: Paint window reveals, sills and chimney
Roof and Cappings
We always try where possible to work from the top down so as it was in this instance we commenced with the Roof.
We will never walk on any roof to clean so working from ladders at gutter level we use scrapers to remove 90%-95% of the moss and lichen and then we will spray the whole roof using telescopic poles that allows us to get up close to the areas being sprayed thus minimises overspray.
The Bio cleanse products we use for the removal of all algae, lichen, fungi, moss and mould that cause red, green, yellow and black staining is not only completely safe to plants and animals it also has a long term residual effect which keeps the treated areas clean for longer.
Guttering, Fascia, Soffits and Downpipes
Were emptied and cleaned cleaned and where the black finish had dulled to a matt grey appearance this was provided with a treatment that restores them back to a shiny black finish.
Pebbled Dash Walls and Stonework
Depending on the extent of algae infestation a liquid solution is created that is sprayed on from the bottom up and left to do its work. In some areas where it was particularly severe a second coat was applied after 3-4 hours.
Windows and Frames
Virtually all the windows still had the protective tape still in-situ and had got to a point where it had became cracked and fragile. This was removed using a special nozzle we have for the pressure washer that does no damage to the PVC frames
Paths, Decking and Kerbs
These were all cleaned using the pressure washer and then sprayed with our Bio cleanse solution that provides residual cleaning for months and years to come
Around the windows and the chimney was then given a spot of paint to give the whole property a fresh new look. I think you’ll all agree it now has fabulous kerb appeal.
With Spring, Summer and Autumn over, the chances are that your gutters have captured a considerable amount of silt and debris, increasing the chance of gutter blockage. Winter is the season to sort out your gutters, take 5 minutes to learn about the dangers of not keeping your gutters maintained.
Why do we need gutters?
Gutters have just one important and simple job to do and that’s to collect all the rain water from your roof, send it to a storm water system via downpipes to your gulleys and divert it away from your property.
If you have a 2000-square-foot property, then every inch of rain translates to more than 1200 gallons of water pouring off your roof. A well maintained storm water system is essential to prevent potential structural damages and will effortlessly divert that water away from your property.
A clogged gutter will do the opposite, allowing water to flow down the side of your property towards your property’s foundations and over time would form small rivers and pooling that will erode the ground beneath, causing foundation cracks and settling leading to huge structural consequences.
Problems caused by blocked or broken gutters can be seriously expensive to fix, but so relatively cheap to prevent.
What would happen if i don’t clean and maintain my guttering?
Wood Rot: As virtually all guttering is fixed to a fascia board that is then fixed to the roofs rafters, any water overflow that spills over the inside of the gutter will seep its way into the roofs rafters via these fixings, causing eventual wood rot and gutter fixing failures.
Broken and Sagging Gutters: When your gutters are clogged, the water they collect has no place to go. Instead, it fills your gutters to the brim and with each gallon of water weighing about 8 pounds, all that extra weight coupled with corroded fixings and rotten wood will be more than enough for the support brackets/fixings to fail.
Pest Control: Pests breeding in the stagnant water in your gutters can expose your family to nasty germs and parasites. Nobody likes mosquitoes in their backyard. But pooling water in your gutters and warm summer conditions is the perfect breeding ground for them. Damp mud and leaves can also be an inviting place for bees and wasps to build their nests.
Wet basement: If you have a basement and it isn’t waterproofed, the water pouring down into your foundation will inevitably lead to a damp basement.
Aesthetics: A neglected gutter system just looks ugly, plain and simple. Vegetation growing out you gutters and mass and algae on the surface is a tell tale sign of neglect. Overflowing gutters will cause a stripey looking stain known as ‘Tiger Striping’ which, if left too long can be near impossible to remove completely.
What causes gutters to become blocked?
Your roof is your main line of defence from mother nature and everything she can throw at it. It’s under constant bombardment from;
airborne dust and debris, especially during the dryer seasons
mosses and funghi in damper months
leaves and berries at the end of Autumn
Bird droppings etc
And all of this eventually makes its way down and away from your property, through your storm water system.
But due to the very small and slow gradient of most gutters, (ave.1:500) a fine nutritious silt layer accumulates after each and every rain shower, creating a perfect base for the growth of vegetation and grasses.
Without regular maintenance, this process will eventually lead to blocked gutters and as you’re now aware, blocked gutters will lead to more serious and costly repairs.
In the last 2 images to the right we see the typical standard aluminium guttering that’s so common here in Ireland. Fixed with the use of aluminium nails along the top through the aluminium fascia and into the wooden fascia backing board. The nails are ribbed and should never have failed as they have, under normal circumstances.
This particular section of guttering is at the back of garage and is simply a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind’.
The water that was blocked in the gutter has seeped along the nail and rotted the fascia backing board resulting in the inevitable gutter failure.
To put this right will involve the removal and replacement of the rotten fascia backing board and a completely new aluminium Gutter, Fascia and Soffit fitted.
An expense that could’ve and should’ve been avoided with the adoption of simple gutter maintenance schedule.
Do i need a professional to clean and maintain my gutter system
The simple answer is No.
If you feel you’re OK to climb a ladder and get your hands dirty then you’re good to go but i would recommend you do not try this work without a proper set of ladders with stabilisation to the top and bottom.
Other than that, a bin liner bag, a pair of protective gloves, a small hand brush to clean the inside and outside and a hose to rinse off is all you need to get the job done. Oh, I nearly forgot, and a tiny bit of elbow grease.
Alternatively you can hire a professional Gutter Cleaning company like BioWash to do the work for you, hassle free, quick and easy and out of your hair in a matter of hours.
Price Guide: For an average 3 bed Semi-Detached house;
€60.00 to Clean Inside Gutters
€110.00 to Clean Outside Gutters + Fascia, Soffit and Downpipes
€155.00 for 1. and 2. when bundled together
Fact; Your Gutter system will eventually cause major structural issues and heavy financial expense if it is not able to divert all the roof water away from your property, you must have a system in place to maintain your gutters on a regular basis to prevent this from happening.
Contact us today for a Free quote without obligation
Dealing with red algae on K-Rend and the removal of moss from worn tarmac, has it’s own specialist requirements
As is very common in the north west climate and especially on north and east facing exterior walls, red algae had really established itself and was very prominent on this property.
The degree of trentepohlia ( red algae) was extensive and we knew it would require a 2 phase attack to treat the problem and restore the K-Rend to its original state.
This required a softwash biocide formula that is specially prepared and is dependent on the extent of the works that need to be carried out by our fully trained professional operators.
In this instant a first coat was sprayed onto the whole property and is then rinsed off with clean water and per the request of the client the boundary retaining walls were also treated.
We then returned within 7 days to apply a seal coat that penetrates deep into the porous substrate and is not rinsed off. This solution continues to fight all future algae and funghi growth for years to come, keeping the K-Rend finish looking as it should.
Client also wanted his Tarmac areas cleaned and free from green moss
The big problem with is that it’s often cleaned repeatedly using high pressure power washers and over time the top layers of stone chipping become exposed and a haven for the build up of dirt and mosses.
The easiest solution for us would’ve been to do the same but in doing so would’ve done more damage to the drive.
Our solution was to initially kill all the moss growth and when we returned to apply the second coat to the walls we were able to brush the dead moss off the top of the tarmac and using the pressure washer with a low pressure, wide spray, rinsing nozzle we were able to remove all the dirt and mud that had collected between the stone chippings without further damage to the tarmac surface.
We have recommended to the client that he would now need to have a bitumen seal coat applied to finish and protect his drive which he’s now considering.
Around the oil tank and partition fencing was particularly dense.
Recent job completed in Carndonagh on a house with a fine dash exterior finish which had highly concentrated red algae infestation especially on the north and east facing walls. This job was performed as part of a pre-paint preparation.
As the algae present was quite heavy in places the walls were treated with environmentally friendly lightning cleanze algae treatment which has a fully biodegradable surfactant and poses no danger to plants or the environment when it is rinsed off. It is approved by both the Irish Pesticides Registration & Control Service (PCS) and UK Health & Safety Executive (HSE) for use as a softwashing biocide in Ireland and the UK.
The walls were treated with the first coat and allowed to work while we cleaned the gutters, PVC fascia and soffit before rinsing off and applying a second lower concentrate coat to kill the algae at the root and provide long lasting protection.
It is very important to treat and remove any surface algae before decorating. If the algae is left untreated and painted over it will continue to grow underneath and come through the newly decorated finish in a very short period of time.
As you can see from the before and after photographs, it turned out very well.