What is Gutter Pitch?
All gutters are installed at a slight angle so that water flows out instead of sitting stagnant. They don’t appear slanted because installation pros know what they’re doing, but we assure you they are.
Gutters 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 attach the downspout so that even heavy 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 the case, the rain gutters will be pitched from the middle, which means that the center of the roofline will be the absolute highest point, and both of the downspouts should be lower than this middle point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If gutters are installed the wrong way or if they have become loose or bent, it can create problems that might be costly and difficult to repair.
When your gutter pitch is wrong, it can cause water to back up in your gutters. Water is a typical issue around the home, as it can lead to all of the following issues:
- Water inside of the gutters can cause roof damage due to the standing water. When it backs up in the gutters, water can seep under the shingles and cause harm 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 difficult project, especially when 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 pooling water in your rain gutters can lead them to pull away from your home. The gutters can pull fasteners from the siding, damaging your vinyl or other exterior materials. It can also destroy landscaping and windows.
Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?
To make sure your gutters are properly pitched, here are a some of the things you can check:
Look for Hanging Spots
As we mentioned above, you shouldn’t be able to notice the slope of your gutters. If you can noticeably identify where the low spot is, it is an indication that your gutter is damaged or that it is getting old.
You should 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 their feet on the ground.
Check for Standing Water
Rain water naturally follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water in your gutters is a problem. If possible, check the gutters right after rainfall so you can see the draining of the water.
This could force you to climb a ladder, so exercise caution. If you aren’t comfortable doing this, you can have a local handyman or a gutter specialist from Salem Gutter Specialists check it out for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any small granules left behind in the gutters from your shingles means the rain gutters might not have enough slope, so the water can’t carry these heavier materials out. Grit or sludge in your gutters is 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 and look, or you may see some of the particles making their way out of your gutters through the downspouts. If you notice a little in these areas, chances are there is more that can’t 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 way, know as “back pitch,” you will probably see water overflowing from the end cap. This can damage to your roof, gutters and 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 you are still seeing overflow, it’s another indicator that there is a gutter pitch problem.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
When your gutter pitch gets distorted, it can lead to several problems for your house. All of the issues above can let you decide if your gutter pitch is wrong.
Regardless of whether your rain gutters were damaged during a storm or they were installed incorrectly in the first place, they need to be re-pitched if you want to prevent expensive home repairs, including damage to siding, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Salem
The most affordable option will be repairing your existing gutters so the proper pitch is restored. If the gutters are in excellent condition and undamaged, this should be the route Salem Gutter Specialists encourages.
To correct gutter pitch, Salem Gutter Specialists 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 proper pitch and reinstall the gutters, relocating fasteners if necessary, to fit the correct measurements.
Gutter Installation in Salem
If your gutters are severely damaged, or if they are starting to rust or wear down with age, Salem Gutter Specialists 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 with new ones, they will come compete with new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer will set the gutters at the appropriate pitch. You can use our tips in this blog post to make sure the new installation was done correctly.