What is Gutter Pitch?
Gutters are installed at a slight angle so water drains 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 should have an angled slope based on this formula:
¼ of an inch of drop per 10 feet of horizontal gutter
This formula tells a gutter installation technician where to attach the downspout so that even 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 lower.
Longer sections of gutter, like across the front of a home, 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 absolute highest point, and both downspouts need to be lower than this center point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If your gutters are installed incorrectly or if they have become loose or bent, it can lead to problems that might be expensive and complex to fix.
When your gutter pitch is wrong, it can cause water to back up in your gutters. Water is a common issue around the home, as it can lead to all of the following issues:
- Water inside of the gutters can lead to roof damage due to the standing water. When water backs up in the gutters, water can seep under the shingles and cause damage to the fascia, sub-roofing and even get inside your house.
- Standing water is one way mildew and mold can grow on of your roof, gutters or siding. Getting rid of 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 even making people feel ill.
- The weight of blocked water inside your rain gutters can cause them to pull away from your house. The gutters can tear out fasteners from the siding, destroying your vinyl or other exterior material. It can also ruin landscaping and windows.
Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?
To be confident your gutters are properly pitched, here are a some of the things you can check:
Look for Hanging Spots
As we mentioned before, you shouldn’t be able to see the slope of your gutters. If you can visibly tell where the low spot is, this 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 homeowners can do on their own, with their feet on the ground.
Check for Standing Water
Rain 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 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 aren’t comfortable doing this, you can have a handyman or a gutter specialist from Prime Gutters, Inc. check it out for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any small granules left behind in the gutters from your roof shingles are a sign that the rain gutters may not have enough pitch, so the water can’t carry these heavier materials out. Grit or sludge inside of your gutters is more common after getting a new roof installed because it will tend to lose excess particles in the first few years.
You can climb up and look, or you may notice some of the particles flowing out of your gutters by way of 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 usually caused by a blockage, but it can also be because of incorrect gutter pitch. If water is flowing the wrong direction, know as “back pitch,” you will see water overflowing from the end cap. This can problems for your roof, gutters and surrounding landscaping.
To stop 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 there is still 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 cause several problems for your house. All of the problems above can let you determine if your gutter pitch is not right.
Regardless of whether your rain gutters were damaged during a storm or if they were installed incorrectly in the first place, they need to be re-pitched if you want to avoid significant home repairs, including damage to siding, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Peabody
The first option will be repairing the existing gutters so the proper pitch is restored. If the rain gutters are in excellent condition and undamaged, this will be the route Prime Gutters, Inc. encourages.
To re-establish gutter pitch, Prime Gutters, Inc. will loosen the gutter, but they won’t have to take it totally down. This lowers labor costs and time. Then the technician will measure and determine the pitch needed and reinstall the gutters, moving fasteners if necessary, to fit the specific measurements.
Gutter Installation in Peabody
If your gutters are severely damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, Prime Gutters, Inc. 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 appropriate pitch. You can use the tips in this blog post to ensure the new installation was done the right way.