What is Gutter Pitch?
Gutters are installed at a slight angle so that water flows out instead of remaining stagnant. They don’t look slanted because installation pros 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 formula tells a gutter installer where to fasten the downspout so that heavy 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 the lower end.
Long sections of gutter, like across the front of a house, may require a downspout on both sides. When this is the case, the rain gutters will be pitched from the middle, which means that the center of the roofline will be the highest point, and both of the downspouts need to be lower than this center point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If your gutters are installed incorrectly or if they are loose or bent, it can lead to problems that might be expensive and difficult to fix.
When there is a gutter pitch problem, it can cause water to back up in your gutter channels. Water is a common problem around the house, as it can lead to all of the issues below:
- Water inside of the gutters can lead to roof damage due to the standing water. When rain 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 rain 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 home) and making people sick.
- The weight of standing water inside your gutters can cause them to pull away from your home. The gutters can pull fasteners from the siding, damaging your vinyl or other exterior material. It can also damage landscaping and windows.
Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?
To be confident your gutters are properly pitched, here are a some of the things you can check:
Look for Hanging Spots
Like we mentioned above, you shouldn’t be able to see the slope of your rain gutters. If you can visibly identify where the low spot is, it is a sign that your gutter has been damaged or that it is getting worn out.
You should still be able to see 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
Water naturally 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 flow of the water.
This could require you to climb a ladder, so exercise caution. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, you can have a handyman or a gutter specialist from Commerce City Gutters do it for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any tiny granules remaining in the gutters from your shingles are a sign that the rain gutters may not have enough pitch, so the water can’t carry these heavier materials out. Grit or sludge in your gutters is more common after having a new roof installed because it will tend to shed excess granules 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 through the downspouts. If you see 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 water is flowing the wrong direction, called “back pitch,” you will 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 the gutters are clean but there is still overflow, it’s another sign that your gutter pitch may be wrong.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
If your gutter pitch gets distorted, it can create many problems for your house. All of the problems above can let you determine if your gutter pitch is off.
Regardless of whether your rain gutters were damaged or they were installed incorrectly in the first place, they need to be re-pitched if you want to prevent expensive home repairs, including siding damage, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Commerce City
The first option will be repairing the existing gutters so the pitch is restored. If the gutters are in prime condition and undamaged, this should be the route Commerce City Gutters encourages.
To restore gutter pitch, Commerce City Gutters will loosen the gutter, but they won’t need to take it completely down. This lowers 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 Commerce City
If your rain gutters are severely damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, Commerce City Gutters may recommend that you replace them rather than re-pitching them. This will 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 should set the gutters at the proper pitch. You can reference the tips in this blog post to make sure the new installation is done the right way.