What is Gutter Pitch?
Gutters are installed at a slight angle so that water flows out instead of remaining stagnant. Gutters don’t look 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 horizontal gutter
This calculation tells your gutter installer right where to place the downspout so that heavier amounts of precipitation can flow smoothly from your roof. The side of your home’s roof where the downspouts are is the side that should be lower.
Long sections of gutter, like across the front of a house, may require a downspout on each side. When this is the case, the rain gutters will need to be pitched from the middle, which means that the middle of the roofline will be the absolute highest point, and both of the downspouts need to be lower than this center point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If your gutters are installed the wrong way or if they have become loose or bent at all, it can create problems that might be expensive and complex to repair.
When there is a gutter pitch problem, it can make water back up in your gutters. Water is a common issue around the house, as it can cause all of the issues below:
- Water inside of the gutters can cause roof damage due to the standing water. When water backs up in the gutters, water can get underneath the shingles and cause harm to the fascia, sub-roofing and even get inside your house.
- Pooling rain water is one way mildew and mold can grow on of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a difficult task, especially if it grows on your roof. Mold is known for destroying organic materials (many of which are common in your home) and making people feel ill.
- The weight of blocked water in your rain gutters can cause them to tear away from your house. The gutters can pull fasteners from the siding, destroying your vinyl or other exterior materials. It can also damage surrounding landscaping and windows.
Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?
To ensure your gutters are properly pitched, here are a few things you can do:
Look for Hanging Spots
As we mentioned above, you shouldn’t be able to notice the slope of your gutters. If you can visibly identify where the low spot is, it is an indication that your gutter is damaged or it is getting worn out.
You should be able to notice 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
Rain water follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water inside of your gutters is a problem. If possible, examine the gutters immediately after rainfall so you can see the draining of the water.
This could force you to climb a ladder, so be careful. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, you can have a local handyman or a gutter specialist from Passaic Gutter Pros check it out for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any tiny granules left behind in the gutters from your roof shingles are a sign that the rain gutters might not have enough slope, so the water can’t carry these heavier materials away. 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 few years.
You can climb up a ladder and look, or you might see some of these particles making their way out of your gutters from the downspouts. If you see a little 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 typically caused by a blockage, but it can also be the result of incorrect gutter pitch. If water is flowing the wrong way, called “back pitch,” you will probably see water overflowing at the end cap. This can cause damage to your roof, gutters and nearby 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 there are still signs of overflow, it’s another indicator that your gutter pitch may be wrong.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
If your gutter pitch is distorted, it can create several problems for your home. All of the issues above can let you know that your gutter pitch is off.
Regardless of whether your rain gutters were damaged or they were installed poorly to begin with, they need to be re-pitched in order to avoid significant home repairs, including siding damage, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Passaic
The most affordable option will be repairing your existing gutters so the correct pitch is restored. If the gutters are in prime condition and undamaged, this will be the route Passaic Gutter Pros encourages.
To correct gutter pitch, Passaic Gutter Pros will loosen the gutter, but they won’t need to take it totally down. This lowers labor costs and time. Then the technician will measure and determine the proper pitch and reinstall the gutters, adjusting fasteners if necessary, to fit the specific measurements.
Gutter Installation in Passaic
If your rain gutters are severely damaged, or if they are starting to rust or wear down with age, Passaic Gutter Pros may recommend to replace them rather than 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 include new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer should set the gutters at the correct pitch. You can reference the tips above to make sure the new installation is done correctly.