Gutters are fastened at a slight angle so that water drains out instead of remaining stagnant. Gutters don’t look slanted because installation companies know what they’re doing, but they are.
Gutters 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 installer where to place 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 the lower end.
Longer areas of gutter, like across the front of a house, require a downspout on both sides. When this is happening, the gutters will need to be pitched from the middle, meaning 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 gutters are installed the wrong way or if they are loose or bent at all, it can cause problems that might be costly and complex to fix.
When there is something wrong with your gutter pitch, it can cause water to back up in your gutter channels. Water is a common problem around the home, as it can result in all of the issues below:
- Rain inside of 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 damage to the fascia, sub-roofing and even get inside your house.
- Standing water is one way mildew and mold can grow on areas of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a very hard project, especially when it appears on your roof. Mold is known for ruining organic materials (many of which are common in your house) and even 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 damage surrounding landscaping and windows.
Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?
To ensure your gutters are correctly pitched, here are a few 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, it is an indication that your gutter is damaged or that it is getting worn out.
You should be able to see a dip in the gutters from below, 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 in your gutters is a problem. If possible, check the gutters immediately after rainfall so you can see the draining 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 Mobile Gutter Service check it out for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any small granules remaining in the gutters from your shingles means the gutters may not have enough pitch, so the water can’t carry these materials out. Grit or sludge in your gutters is common after having a new roof installed because it will tend to shed a lot of excess granules in the first few years.
You can climb up a ladder and take a look, or you might see some of these particles flowing out of your gutters by way of the downspouts. If you see a small amount in these areas, there is a good chance there is more that can’t make its way out.
Why is There Overflow?
Gutter overflow is sometimes caused by a blockage, but it can also be because of incorrect gutter pitch. If rain water is flowing the wrong way, called “back pitch,” you will see water overflowing at the end cap. This can cause damage to your roof, gutters and surrounding landscaping.
To eliminate the possibility of blockage, schedule gutter cleaning at least once a year or install gutter guards. If you know the gutters are clean but you are still seeing overflow, it’s one more indicator that your gutter pitch may be wrong.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
When your gutter pitch is distorted, it can create a lot of problems for your home. All of the issues above can let you determine if your gutter pitch is wrong.
Regardless of whether your rain gutters were damaged during a storm or they were installed incorrectly to begin with, they need to be re-pitched if you want to prevent major home repairs, including damage to siding, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Mobile
The most affordable option will be repairing the existing gutters so the pitch is restored. If the rain gutters are in prime condition and undamaged, this will be the route Mobile Gutter Service recommends.
To correct gutter pitch, Mobile Gutter Service will loosen the gutter, but they won’t need to take it totally 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 Mobile
If your rain gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are starting to rust or wear down with age, Mobile Gutter Service 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 the tips above to ensure the new installation is done correctly.