What is Gutter Pitch?
Gutters are set at a slight angle so that water flows out of them instead of remaining stagnant. They don’t appear slanted because installation pros know what they’re doing, but we assure you they are.
Gutters should have an angled slope based on this formula:
¼ of an inch of drop per 10 feet of horizontal gutter
This formula tells your gutter installation technician right where to attach the downspout so that even heavier amounts of precipitation can flow unobstructed from your roof. The side of your home’s roof where the downspouts are located is the side that should be the lower end.
Longer areas of gutter, like across the front of a home, may require a downspout on both sides. When this is happening, the rain gutters will need to be pitched from the middle, which means that the center 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 have become loose or bent at all, it can lead to problems that can be costly and difficult to fix.
When there is a gutter pitch problem, it can cause water to back up in your gutter channels. Water is a common issue around the house, as it can cause all of the issues below:
- Rain in the gutters can lead to roof damage because of the standing water. When it doesn’t flow from the gutters, water can get underneath the shingles and cause harm to the fascia, sub-roofing and even get inside your home.
- Standing water is one way mold and mildew can grow on sections of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a challenging task, especially when it grows on your roof. Mold is known for ruining organic materials (many of which are common in your house) and making people sick.
- The weight of standing water inside your rain gutters can lead them to tear away from your home. The gutters can pull fasteners from the walls, damaging your vinyl or other exterior material. It can also destroy surrounding landscaping and windows.
Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?
To make sure your gutters are properly pitched, here are a few things you can check:
Look for Hanging Spots
Like we said above, you shouldn’t be able to notice the slope of your gutters. If you can noticeably identify where the low point is, this is an indication that your gutter has been damaged or that it is getting worn out.
You should be able to see 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 gutters is a problem. Try to examine the gutters right after rainfall so you can see the flow of the water.
This may force you to climb a ladder, so be careful. If you aren’t comfortable doing this, you can have a handyman or a gutter specialist from Total Gutters, Inc. check it out for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any small granules left behind in the gutters from your roof shingles means the gutters may not have enough slope, so the water can’t carry these materials away. Grit or sludge in your gutters is more common after getting a new roof installed because it will tend to lose a lot of excess particles in the first couple of years.
You can climb up a ladder and look, or you may notice some of the particles making their way out of your gutters through the downspouts. If you notice a small amount 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 water is flowing the wrong direction, called “back pitch,” you will see water overflowing at the end cap. This can cause problems for your roof, gutters and nearby landscaping.
To stop the possibility of a blockage, schedule gutter cleaning at least once a year or install gutter guards. If the gutters are clean but there are still signs of overflow, it’s one more indicator that there is a gutter pitch problem.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
If your gutter pitch is distorted, it can create several problems for your house. All of the problems above can let you decide if your gutter pitch is wrong.
Regardless of whether your gutters were damaged or they were installed incorrectly to begin with, they need to be re-pitched if you want to avoid significant home repairs, including siding damage, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Terre Haute
The most affordable option will be repairing your existing gutters so the pitch is restored. If the gutters are in good condition and undamaged, this will be the route Total Gutters, Inc. recommends.
To restore gutter pitch, Total Gutters, Inc. will loosen the gutter, but they won’t need to take it completely down. This saves labor costs and time. Then the technician will measure and calculate the proper pitch and reinstall the gutters, adjusting fasteners if necessary, to fit the specific measurements.
Gutter Installation in Terre Haute
If your rain gutters are severely damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, Total Gutters, Inc. may recommend to replace them instead of 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 reference our tips above to ensure the new installation is done correctly.