All gutters are fastened at a slight angle so water drains out instead of sitting stagnant. Gutters don’t appear slanted because installation pros know exactly 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 horizontal gutter
This calculation tells your gutter installer right where to attach the downspout so that heavy 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 the lower end.
Longer sections of gutter, like across the front of a house, may require a downspout on both sides. When this is the case, the 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 need to 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 can be costly and complex to fix.
When there is a gutter pitch problem, it can make water back up in your gutters. Water is a typical problem around the house, as it can cause all of the issues below:
- Rain in the gutters can cause roof damage due to the standing water. When it doesn’t flow from the gutters, water can seep under 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 of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a difficult task, especially if it grows on your roof. Mold is known for ruining organic materials (many of which are common in your house) and making people sick.
- The weight of pooling water inside your gutters can lead them to tear away from your house. The gutters can tear out fasteners from the walls, damaging your vinyl or other exterior materials. It can also destroy landscaping and windows.
Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?
To ensure your gutters are correctly pitched, here are a some of the things you can do:
Look for Hanging Spots
Like we said before, you shouldn’t be able to notice the slope of your rain gutters. If you can visibly identify where the low spot is, this is an indication that your gutter has been damaged or it is getting old.
You should be able to notice a dip in the gutters from below, 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 an issue. Try to examine the gutters immediately after rainfall so you can see the draining of the water.
This may require 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 Elite Erie Gutters do it for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any small granules left behind in the gutters from your shingles are a sign that the gutters may not have enough pitch, so the water can’t carry these heavier materials out. Seeing grit or sludge in your gutters is more common after having a new roof installed because it will tend to shed a lot of excess particles in the first few years.
You can climb up and look, or you may see some of the particles flowing out of your gutters through the downspouts. If you notice a small amount in these areas, chances are 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 the result of incorrect gutter pitch. If rain water is flowing the wrong direction, know as “back pitch,” you will probably see water overflowing at the end cap. This can damage to your roof, gutters and surrounding landscaping.
To remove 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 one more indicator that your gutter pitch may be wrong.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
If your gutter pitch gets incorrect, it can lead to many problems for your house. All of the problems above can let you determine if your gutter pitch is not right.
No matter if your gutters were damaged during a storm or they were installed poorly to begin with, they need to be re-pitched if you want to avoid expensive home repairs, including damage to siding, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Erie
The first option will be repairing the existing gutters so the proper pitch is restored. If the rain gutters are in good condition and undamaged, this should be the route Elite Erie Gutters recommends.
To correct gutter pitch, Elite Erie Gutters 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 pitch needed and reinstall the gutters, relocating fasteners if necessary, to fit the specific measurements.
Gutter Installation in Erie
If your rain gutters are severely damaged, or if they are starting to rust or wear down with age, Elite Erie Gutters may recommend that you replace them rather than re-pitching them. This can be more economical in the long run and time-saving.
If your gutters have 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 the tips in this blog post to ensure the new installation is done correctly.