What is Gutter Pitch?
Gutters are fastened at a slight angle so water drains out instead of sitting stagnant. They don’t appear slanted because installation pros know exactly what they’re doing, but they are.
Gutters should have a specific slope based on this formula:
¼ of an inch of drop per 10 feet of gutter
This calculation tells a gutter installer where to fasten the downspout so that heavier amounts of precipitation can flow smoothly from your roof. The side of your roof where the downspouts are located is the side that should be lower.
Long sections of gutter, like across the front of a house, may require a downspout on each side. When this is the case, the rain gutters will need to be pitched from the middle, meaning that the center of the roofline will be the absolute highest point, and both of the downspouts need to be lower than this center point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If gutters are installed the wrong way or if they are loose or bent at all, it can cause problems that can be expensive and complex to fix.
When there is a gutter pitch problem, it can make water back up in your gutters. Water is a typical problem around the home, as it can lead to all of the issues below:
- Water in the gutters can lead to 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 leak inside your home.
- Pooling rain water is one way mildew and mold can grow on of your roof, gutters or siding. Getting rid of mold is a very hard task, especially if it appears on your roof. Mold is known for ruining organic materials (many of which exist in your home) and making people sick.
- The weight of blocked water in your rain gutters can lead them to tear away from your roof. The gutters can tear out fasteners from the walls, damaging your vinyl or other exterior material. It can also destroy 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 notice the slope of your rain gutters. If you can visibly tell where the low point is, this is a sign that your gutter is damaged or that it is getting worn out.
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 gutters is an issue. If possible, check the gutters right after rainfall so you can see the flow of the water.
This could force you to climb a ladder, so be careful. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, you can have a handyman or a gutter specialist from Lee’s Summit Gutter Service do it for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any tiny granules remaining in the gutters from your shingles are a sign that the rain gutters may not have enough slope, so the water can’t carry these materials out. Grit or sludge inside of your gutters is common after getting a new roof installed because it will tend to lose a lot of excess particles in the first few years.
You can climb up and take a look, or you might notice some of these particles flowing out of your gutters through the downspouts. If you notice 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 usually caused by a blockage, but it can also be due to incorrect gutter pitch. If rain water is flowing the wrong direction, called “back pitch,” you will probably see water overflowing at 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 are still signs of overflow, it’s one more indicator that there is a gutter pitch problem.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
When your gutter pitch gets incorrect, it can create several problems for your home. All of the problems above can let you decide if your gutter pitch is off.
No matter if your gutters were damaged or they were installed poorly to begin with, they need to be re-pitched in order to prevent expensive home repairs, including damage to siding, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Lee’s Summit
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 Lee’s Summit Gutter Service encourages.
To restore gutter pitch, Lee’s Summit Gutter Service will loosen the gutter, but they won’t have to take it totally down. This saves labor costs and time. Then the technician will measure and determine the correct pitch and reinstall the gutters, adjusting fasteners if necessary, to fit the correct measurements.
Gutter Installation in Lee’s Summit
If your rain gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, Lee’s Summit Gutter Service may recommend that you 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 come compete with new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer will set the gutters at the correct pitch. You can use our tips in this blog post to ensure the new installation was done the right way.