What is Gutter Pitch?
Gutters are fastened at a slight angle so water drains out instead of sitting stagnant. Gutters don’t appear slanted because installation companies 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 right where to fasten the downspout so that heavier amounts of precipitation can flow smoothly from your roof. The side of your home’s roof where the downspouts are located is the side that should be lower.
Longer areas of gutter, like across the front of a home, require a downspout on both sides. When this is happening, the gutters will be pitched from the middle, which means that the center of the roofline will be the absolute highest point, and both downspouts should be lower than this center point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If your gutters are installed the wrong way or if they have become loose or bent, it can create problems that might be expensive and difficult to repair.
When your gutter pitch is wrong, it can make water back up in your gutters. Water is a common issue around the house, as it can lead to all of the following issues:
- Rain inside of the gutters can cause roof damage because of the standing water. When it backs up in the gutters, water can get underneath the shingles and cause damage to the fascia, sub-roofing and even get inside your house.
- Pooling rain water is one way mildew and mold can grow on areas of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a very hard task, especially if it grows on your roof. Mold is known for ruining organic materials (many of which exist in your home) and making people feel ill.
- The weight of standing water in your gutters can lead them to tear away from your roof. The gutters can tear out fasteners from the walls, destroying your vinyl or other exterior material. It can also ruin surrounding landscaping and windows.
Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?
To ensure your gutters are properly pitched, here are a few things you can do:
Look for Hanging Spots
Like we mentioned before, you shouldn’t be able to notice the slope of your gutters. If you can visibly identify where the low point is, it is a sign that your gutter has been damaged or that it is getting old.
You should be able to notice a dip in the gutters from the ground, so this is a safe job that you can do on your own, with both feet on the ground.
Check for Standing Water
Water follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water inside of your home’s gutters is an issue. Try to check the gutters right after rainfall so you can see the flow of the water.
This could require you to climb a ladder, so exercise caution. If you aren’t comfortable doing this, you can have a local handyman or a gutter specialist from Good Home Gutters check it out for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any small granules remaining in the gutters from your roof shingles are a sign that the gutters may not have enough slope, so the water can’t carry these heavier materials out. Seeing grit or sludge in your gutters is common after getting a new roof installed because it will tend to lose a lot of excess granules in the first few years.
You can climb up a ladder and take a look, or you might notice some of these particles making their way out of your gutters from the downspouts. If you notice a small amount in these areas, there is a good chance there is more that can’t make its way out.
Why is There Overflow?
Gutter overflow is usually caused by a blockage, but it can also be the result of incorrect gutter pitch. If water is flowing the wrong way, know as “back pitch,” you will see water overflowing at the end cap. This can problems for your roof, gutters and surrounding landscaping.
To remove the possibility of a blockage, schedule gutter cleaning at least once a year or install gutter guards. If you know the gutters are clean but you are still seeing overflow, it’s one more sign that your gutter pitch may be wrong.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
When your gutter pitch gets distorted, it can result in several problems for your house. All of the problems above can let you decide if your gutter pitch is off.
No matter if your rain gutters were damaged or they were installed incorrectly in the first place, they need to be re-pitched in order to prevent expensive home repairs, including siding damage, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Brick
The first option will be repairing the existing gutters so the proper pitch is restored. If the gutters are in excellent condition and undamaged, this should be the route Good Home Gutters recommends.
To re-establish gutter pitch, Good Home Gutters will loosen the gutter, but they won’t have to take it completely down. This lowers labor costs and time. Then the technician will measure and determine the proper pitch and reinstall the gutters, relocating fasteners if necessary, to fit the correct measurements.
Gutter Installation in Brick
If your rain gutters are severely damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, Good Home Gutters may recommend to replace them rather than re-pitching them. This can be more economical over time and time-saving.
If your gutters have to be replaced, they will include new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer will set the gutters at the appropriate pitch. You can use the tips in this blog post to ensure the new installation is done the right way.