What is Gutter Pitch?
Gutters are fastened at a slight angle so water drains out of them rather than sitting stagnant. Gutters don’t look slanted because installation pros know exactly what they’re doing, but we assure you 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 right where to place the downspout so that even heavy amounts of rain can flow smoothly from your roof. The side of your roof where the downspouts are is the side that should be lower.
Long areas of gutter, like across the front of a house, may require a downspout on both sides. When this is happening, the rain gutters will be pitched from the middle, meaning that the middle of the roofline will be the highest point, and both downspouts need to 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 cause problems that can be expensive and difficult to repair.
When there is something wrong with your gutter pitch, it can cause water to back up in your gutters. Water is a common problem around the house, as it can lead to all of the issues below:
- Water in the gutters can cause roof damage because of the standing water. When rain backs up in the gutters, water can seep under the shingles and cause damage to the fascia, sub-roofing and even leak inside your house.
- Standing water is one way mildew and mold can grow on of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a challenging project, especially when it grows on your roof. Mold is known for destroying organic materials (many of which are common in your home) and even making people feel ill.
- The weight of blocked water in your gutters can lead them to tear away from your home. The gutters can pull fasteners from the siding, destroying your vinyl or other exterior materials. It can also damage landscaping and windows.
Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?
To make sure your gutters are correctly pitched, here are a some of the things you can do:
Look for Hanging Spots
As we mentioned above, you shouldn’t be able to see the slope of your gutters. If you can noticeably tell where the low spot is, it is a sign that your gutter has been damaged or that it is getting old.
You should still be able to see a dip in the gutters from the ground, 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 inside of your gutters is a problem. Try to inspect the gutters immediately after rainfall so you can see the draining of the water.
This might require you to climb a ladder, so exercise caution. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, you can have a local handyman or a gutter specialist from Tracy Gutter Service check it out for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any little 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 materials out. Grit or sludge inside of your gutters is more common after getting a new roof installed because it will tend to shed excess particles in the first couple of years.
You can climb up and take a look, or you might notice some of the particles flowing out of your gutters from the downspouts. If you notice 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 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 see water overflowing at the end cap. This can cause damage to your roof, gutters and nearby landscaping.
To prevent 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 sign that there is a gutter pitch problem.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
When your gutter pitch gets incorrect, it can lead to a lot of problems for your home. All of the issues above can let you know that your gutter pitch is off.
No matter if your gutters were damaged during a storm or if they were installed incorrectly in the first place, they need to be re-pitched in order to avoid expensive home repairs, including damage to siding, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Tracy
The first option will be repairing the existing gutters so the proper pitch is restored. If the rain gutters are in prime condition and undamaged, this will be the route Tracy Gutter Service encourages.
To restore gutter pitch, Tracy Gutter Service will loosen the gutter, but they won’t need to take it all the way 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 correct measurements.
Gutter Installation in Tracy
If your rain gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are starting to rust or wear down with age, Tracy Gutter Service may recommend to replace them rather than re-pitching them. This will 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 correct pitch. You can reference the tips in this blog post to make sure the new installation is done the right way.