What is Gutter Pitch?
Gutters are set at a slight angle so that water flows out rather than sitting stagnant. They don’t appear slanted because installation pros know 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 calculation tells your gutter installation technician right where to attach the downspout so that even heavier amounts of rain can flow smoothly from your roof. The side of your roof where the downspouts are located is the side that should be the lower end.
Longer sections of gutter, like across the front of a home, may require a downspout on both sides. When this is happening, the rain gutters will be pitched from the middle, which means that the middle of the roofline will be the highest point, and both downspouts should 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, 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 problem around the house, as it can cause all of the following issues:
- Water in the gutters can cause roof damage because of the standing water. When water doesn’t flow from the gutters, water can seep under the shingles and cause harm to the fascia, sub-roofing and even get inside your house.
- Standing water is one way mold and mildew can grow on of your roof, gutters or siding. Getting rid of mold is a very hard task, especially when it appears on your roof. Mold is known for ruining organic materials (many of which exist in your house) and making people feel ill.
- The weight of pooling water inside your rain gutters can lead them to tear away from your roof. The gutters can pull fasteners from the walls, damaging your vinyl or other exterior material. It can also ruin surrounding 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 said before, you shouldn’t be able to notice the slope of your rain gutters. If you can noticeably identify where the low point is, this is a sign that your gutter is 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 their feet on the ground.
Check for Standing Water
Rain water naturally follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water in your gutters is an issue. Try to check the gutters right after rainfall so you can see the flow of the water.
This could require you to climb a ladder, so be careful. If you aren’t comfortable doing this, you can have a local handyman or a gutter specialist from Renew Gutter Cleaning check it out for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any small granules remaining in the gutters from your shingles means the rain gutters may not have enough slope, so the water can’t carry these heavier materials out. Grit or sludge in your gutters is common after getting a new roof installed because it will tend to shed a lot of excess particles in the first few years.
You can climb up a ladder and look, or you might notice some of these particles making their way out of your gutters from the downspouts. If you notice 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 due to incorrect gutter pitch. If water is flowing the wrong way, know as “back pitch,” you will see water overflowing from the end cap. This can cause damage to your roof, gutters and nearby landscaping.
To eliminate the possibility of a 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 one more sign 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 home. All of the issues above can let you know that your gutter pitch is not right.
No matter if your gutters were damaged or they were installed poorly to begin with, they need to be re-pitched if you want to avoid significant home repairs, including siding damage, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Royal Oak
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 Renew Gutter Cleaning recommends.
To re-establish gutter pitch, Renew Gutter Cleaning will loosen the gutter, but they won’t need to take it completely down. This saves labor costs and time. Then the technician will measure and determine the pitch needed and reinstall the gutters, relocating fasteners if necessary, to fit the correct measurements.
Gutter Installation in Royal Oak
If your gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, Renew Gutter Cleaning may recommend that you replace them instead of re-pitching them. This will be more economical in the long run and time-saving.
If your gutters have to be replaced, they will include new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer will set the gutters at the appropriate pitch. You can use the tips above to make sure the new installation is done the right way.