What is Gutter Pitch?
All gutters are fastened at a slight angle so that 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 should 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 where to fasten 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 lower.
Longer sections of gutter, like across the front of a home, require a downspout on each side. When this is happening, 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 middle point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If gutters are installed the wrong way or if they are loose or bent at all, it can lead to problems that can be costly and difficult to fix.
When there is something wrong with your gutter pitch, it can make water back up in your gutter channels. Water is a common issue around the house, as it can result in all of the issues below:
- Rain inside of the gutters can cause roof damage because of the standing water. When rain backs up in the gutters, water can get underneath the shingles and cause damage to the fascia, sub-roofing and even get inside your home.
- Pooling rain water is one way mildew and mold can grow on sections of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a very hard project, especially if it appears on your roof. Mold is known for destroying organic materials (many of which are common in your house) and even making people feel ill.
- The weight of pooling water inside your rain gutters can cause them to tear away from your home. The gutters can pull fasteners from the siding, damaging your vinyl or other exterior material. It can also destroy landscaping and windows.
Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?
To make sure your gutters are correctly pitched, here are a few things you can do:
Look for Hanging Spots
As we mentioned above, you shouldn’t be able to see the slope of your rain gutters. If you can noticeably identify where the low point is, it is an indication that your gutter has been damaged or that it is getting worn out.
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
Rain 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 flow of the water.
This could 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 Clean & Clear Gutters check it out for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any small granules left behind in the gutters from your roof shingles means the rain gutters may not have enough pitch, so the water can’t carry these materials out. Seeing grit or sludge in your gutters is common after having a new roof installed because it will tend to lose excess particles in the first couple of years.
You can climb up a ladder and take a look, or you may notice some of these particles flowing out of your gutters from 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 because of incorrect gutter pitch. If water is flowing in the wrong direction, know as “back pitch,” you will see water overflowing at the end cap. This can cause damage to your roof, gutters and landscaping.
To eliminate 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 your gutter pitch may be wrong.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
If 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 during a storm or if they were installed poorly in the first place, they need to be re-pitched if you want to prevent significant home repairs, including damage to siding, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Chicopee
The most affordable option will be repairing your existing gutters so the correct pitch is restored. If the rain gutters are in excellent condition and undamaged, this should be the route Clean & Clear Gutters recommends.
To re-establish gutter pitch, Clean & Clear Gutters will loosen the gutter, but they won’t have to take it completely down. This saves labor costs and time. Then the technician will measure and calculate the correct pitch and reinstall the gutters, adjusting fasteners if necessary, to fit the specific measurements.
Gutter Installation in Chicopee
If your gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are starting to rust or wear down with age, Clean & Clear Gutters may recommend to replace them instead of re-pitching them. This will be more economical in the long run and time-saving.
If your gutters have to be replaced with new ones, they will come compete with new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer should set the gutters at the correct pitch. You can use the tips in this blog post to make sure the new installation is done the right way.