What is Gutter Pitch?
Gutters are installed at a slight angle so water drains out of them rather than sitting stagnant. Gutters don’t look slanted because installation companies know 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 horizontal gutter
This calculation tells a gutter installer where to fasten the downspout so that heavier amounts of precipitation can flow unobstructed from your roof. The side of your home’s roof where the downspouts are is the side that should be lower.
Longer areas of gutter, like across the front of a home, may require a downspout on both sides. When this is the case, the gutters will be pitched from the middle, meaning that the middle of the roofline will be the highest point, and both downspouts should be lower than this center point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If your gutters are installed incorrectly or if they are loose or bent, it can create problems that might be expensive and difficult to repair.
When there is a gutter pitch problem, it can cause water to back up in your gutter channels. Water is a typical problem around the home, as it can result in all of the following issues:
- Rain inside of the gutters can cause roof damage due to the standing water. When it doesn’t flow from the gutters, water can seep under the shingles and cause damage to the fascia, sub-roofing and even leak inside your house.
- Pooling water is one way mold and mildew can grow on of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a challenging task, especially if it appears on your roof. Mold is known for ruining 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 pull away from your home. The gutters can pull fasteners from the walls, destroying your vinyl or other exterior material. It can also damage landscaping and windows.
Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?
To be confident your gutters are properly pitched, here are a few things you can do:
Look for Hanging Spots
Like we mentioned above, you shouldn’t be able to see the slope of your rain gutters. If you can visibly tell where the low point is, it is a sign that your gutter has been damaged or it is getting worn out.
You should still be able to notice a dip in the gutters from below, so this is a safe job that you can do on your own, with their 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 examine the gutters immediately after rainfall so you can see the draining of the water.
This might require you to climb a ladder, so be careful. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, you can have a local handyman or a gutter specialist from Gastonia Gutters Plus check it out for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any small granules remaining in the gutters from your roof shingles means the gutters may not have enough slope, so the water can’t carry these materials away. Seeing grit or sludge inside of your gutters is more common after getting a new roof installed because it will tend to shed a lot of excess granules in the first few years.
You can climb up and look, or you might notice some of the 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 is unable to make its way out.
Why is There Overflow?
Gutter overflow is typically caused by a blockage, but it can also be due to 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 nearby landscaping.
To remove the possibility of blockage, schedule gutter cleaning at least once a year or install gutter guards. If the gutters are clean but you are still seeing overflow, it’s another sign that your gutter pitch may be wrong.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
If your gutter pitch gets incorrect, it can lead to many problems for your home. All of the issues above can let you decide if your gutter pitch is not right.
No matter if your gutters were damaged or if they were installed poorly in the first place, they need to be re-pitched in order to avoid major home repairs, including siding damage, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Gastonia
The first option will be repairing your existing gutters so the correct pitch is restored. If the gutters are in prime condition and undamaged, this should be the route Gastonia Gutters Plus encourages.
To correct gutter pitch, Gastonia Gutters Plus will loosen the gutter, but they won’t need to take it totally down. This lowers labor costs and time. Then the technician will measure and calculate the pitch needed and reinstall the gutters, adjusting fasteners if necessary, to fit the correct measurements.
Gutter Installation in Gastonia
If your gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, Gastonia Gutters Plus may recommend to replace them rather than re-pitching them. This will be more economical in the long run and time-saving.
If your gutters need to be replaced with new ones, they will include new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer should set the gutters at the proper pitch. You can use our tips in this blog post to make sure the new installation was done correctly.