What is Gutter Pitch?
Rain gutters are fastened at a slight angle so water flows out of them rather than remaining stagnant. Gutters don’t look slanted because installation pros know exactly what they’re doing, but they are.
Gutters have an angled slope based on this formula:
¼ of an inch of drop per 10 feet of gutter
This formula tells a gutter installation technician where to place the downspout so that heavier amounts of rain can flow unobstructed from your roof. The side of your home’s roof where the downspouts are is the side that should be the lower end.
Longer areas of gutter, like across the front of a house, may require a downspout on both sides. When this is the case, the rain gutters will be pitched from the middle, meaning that the center of the roofline will be the highest point, and both of the downspouts need to be lower than this middle point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If gutters are installed incorrectly or if they have become loose or bent at all, it can lead to problems that can be expensive and complex to repair.
When there is a gutter pitch problem, it can cause water to back up in your gutters. Water is a typical problem around the house, as it can lead to all of the following issues:
- Water in the gutters can lead to roof damage due to the standing water. When rain doesn’t flow from the gutters, water can seep under the shingles and cause harm to the fascia, sub-roofing and even leak inside your house.
- Pooling rain water is one way mildew and mold can grow on of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a challenging task, especially if it grows on your roof. Mold is known for destroying organic materials (many of which exist in your home) and even making people sick.
- The weight of blocked water inside your rain gutters can cause them to tear away from your house. The gutters can tear out fasteners from the siding, destroying your vinyl or other exterior material. It can also damage surrounding landscaping and windows.
Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?
To ensure your gutters are correctly pitched, here are a few things you can check:
Look for Hanging Spots
Like we said before, you shouldn’t be able to see the slope of your rain gutters. If you can visibly identify where the low spot is, it is a sign that your gutter has been damaged or that it is getting old.
You should still be able to see a dip in the gutters from the ground, so this is a safe job that homeowners can do on their own, with both feet on the ground.
Check for Standing Water
Water follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water in your home’s gutters is an issue. If possible, inspect the gutters immediately after rainfall so you can see the draining of the water.
This could require you to climb a ladder, so be careful. If you aren’t comfortable doing this, you can have a local handyman or a gutter specialist from Clean Home Gutters do it for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any tiny granules left behind in the gutters from your roof shingles are a sign that the rain gutters may not have enough slope, so the water can’t carry these materials away. Grit or sludge inside of your gutters is more common after having a new roof installed because it will tend to lose excess granules in the first couple of years.
You can climb up a ladder and take a look, or you may see some of the particles flowing out of your gutters by way of the downspouts. If you see a little in these areas, chances are there is more that is unable to make its way out.
Why is There Overflow?
Gutter overflow is typically caused by a blockage, but it can also be the result of incorrect gutter pitch. If rain water is flowing the wrong direction, called “back pitch,” you will see water overflowing from the end cap. This can damage to your roof, gutters and nearby landscaping.
To remove the possibility of blockage, schedule gutter cleaning at least once a year or install gutter guards. If you know the gutters are clean but there is still overflow, it’s another indicator that there is a gutter pitch problem.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
When your gutter pitch gets incorrect, it can cause a lot of problems for your home. All of the problems above can let you determine if your gutter pitch is not right.
Regardless of whether your rain gutters were damaged or they were installed poorly in the first place, they need to be re-pitched in order to avoid major home repairs, including damage to siding, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Springfield
The most affordable option will be repairing the existing gutters so the pitch is restored. If the rain gutters are in prime condition and undamaged, this should be the route Clean Home Gutters recommends.
To correct gutter pitch, Clean Home Gutters will loosen the gutter, but they won’t need to take it all the way down. This lowers labor costs and time. Then the technician will measure and calculate the correct pitch and reinstall the gutters, relocating fasteners if necessary, to fit the specific measurements.
Gutter Installation in Springfield
If your rain gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, Clean Home Gutters may recommend that you replace them instead of re-pitching them. This can be more economical in the long run and time-saving.
If your gutters have to be replaced, they will include new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer should set the gutters at the proper pitch. You can use the tips above to ensure the new installation was done correctly.