What is Gutter Pitch?
Gutters are fastened at a slight angle so water drains out of them rather than sitting stagnant. Gutters don’t appear slanted because installation companies know exactly what they’re doing, but we assure you 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 your gutter installation technician where to place the downspout so that heavier amounts of precipitation 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 areas of gutter, like across the front of a home, may require a downspout on each side. When this is the situation, the rain gutters will need to be pitched from the middle, meaning that the middle of the roofline will be the absolute highest point, and both of the downspouts should be lower than this center point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If gutters are installed the wrong way or if they have become loose or bent at all, it can lead to problems that might be expensive and complex to repair.
When your gutter pitch is wrong, it can cause water to back up in your gutter channels. Water is a typical issue around the house, as it can result in all of the following issues:
- Water in the gutters can lead to roof damage because of the standing water. When water 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 home.
- Pooling water is one way mildew and mold can grow on areas of your roof, gutters or siding. Getting rid of mold is a very hard 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 sick.
- The weight of pooling water inside your gutters can cause them to tear away from your house. The gutters can pull fasteners from the walls, damaging 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 correctly pitched, here are a some of the things you can do:
Look for Hanging Spots
Like we mentioned before, you shouldn’t be able to see the slope of your rain gutters. If you can noticeably tell where the low spot 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 homeowners can do on their own, with both feet on the ground.
Check for Standing Water
Rain water naturally follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water in your home’s gutters is a problem. If possible, check the gutters immediately after rainfall so you can see the flow of the water.
This could force 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 High Point Gutters check it out for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any little granules remaining in the gutters from your roof shingles means the rain gutters may not have enough slope, so the water can’t carry these materials away. Grit or sludge inside of your gutters is common after getting a new roof installed because it will tend to shed excess particles in the first few years.
You can climb up a ladder and take a look, or you may see some of these particles flowing out of your gutters by way of the downspouts. If you see a small amount in these areas, chances are there is more that is unable to make its way out.
Why is There Overflow?
Gutter overflow is sometimes caused by a blockage, but it can also be the result of incorrect gutter pitch. If water is flowing 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 surrounding landscaping.
To eliminate the possibility of 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 your gutter pitch may be wrong.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
If your gutter pitch gets incorrect, it can lead to a lot of problems for your house. All of the issues above can let you decide if your gutter pitch is off.
Regardless of whether your gutters were damaged during a storm or if they were installed incorrectly to begin with, they need to be re-pitched if you want to prevent major home repairs, including siding damage, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in High Point
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 will be the route High Point Gutters recommends.
To re-establish gutter pitch, High Point Gutters 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 calculate the proper pitch and reinstall the gutters, relocating fasteners if necessary, to fit the specific measurements.
Gutter Installation in High Point
If your gutters are severely damaged, or if they are starting to rust or wear down with age, High Point Gutters may recommend that you replace them instead of re-pitching them. This will be more economical over time and time-saving.
If your gutters need to be replaced with new ones, they will include new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer will set the gutters at the appropriate pitch. You can reference our tips in this blog post to make sure the new installation was done correctly.