What is Gutter Pitch?
Rain gutters are set at a slight angle so water flows out rather than sitting stagnant. Gutters don’t look slanted because installation pros know what they’re doing, but they are.
Gutters have an angled slope based on this formula:
¼ of an inch of drop per 10 feet of horizontal gutter
This calculation tells a gutter installation technician right where to attach the downspout so that heavy amounts of precipitation can flow smoothly from your roof. The side of your roof where the downspouts are located is the side that should be lower.
Longer areas of gutter, like across the front of a home, require a downspout on both sides. When this is the situation, the gutters will need to be pitched from the middle, which means that the middle 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 have become loose or bent at all, it can lead to problems that can be costly and difficult to fix.
When there is something wrong with your gutter pitch, it can cause water to back up in your gutters. Water is a typical issue around the house, as it can result in all of the following issues:
- Rain inside of the gutters can cause roof damage because of the standing water. When water doesn’t flow from the gutters, water can get underneath the shingles and cause damage to the fascia, sub-roofing and even leak inside your house.
- Standing rain water is one way mildew and mold can grow on of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a challenging task, especially if it grows on your roof. Mold is known for destroying organic materials (many of which are common in your house) and making people sick.
- 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, damaging your vinyl or other exterior material. It can also damage surrounding landscaping and windows.
Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?
To make sure your gutters are correctly pitched, here are a few things you can do:
Look for Hanging Spots
Like we mentioned above, you shouldn’t be able to notice the slope of your gutters. If you can visibly tell where the low point is, it is an indication that your gutter is damaged or it is getting old.
You should 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
Rain water naturally follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water inside of your home’s gutters is an issue. Try to check the gutters right after rainfall so you can see the flow of the water.
This might require 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 Roanoke Gutters do it for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any little granules left behind in the gutters from your roof shingles means the rain gutters may not have enough pitch, so the water can’t carry these materials out. Seeing grit or sludge inside of your gutters is more common after having a new roof installed because it will tend to shed a lot of excess granules in the first few years.
You can climb up and take a look, or you may notice some of these particles flowing out of your gutters by way of 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 because of incorrect gutter pitch. If water is flowing in the wrong direction, know as “back pitch,” you will see water overflowing from the end cap. This can 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 are still signs of overflow, it’s one more indicator that there is a gutter pitch problem.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
When your gutter pitch is distorted, it can lead to several problems for your home. All of the issues above can let you decide if your gutter pitch is off.
No matter if your gutters were damaged or if they were installed incorrectly 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 Roanoke
The first option will be repairing your existing gutters so the pitch is restored. If the gutters are in good condition and undamaged, this should be the route Roanoke Gutters recommends.
To correct gutter pitch, Roanoke Gutters will loosen the gutter, but they won’t have 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, moving fasteners if necessary, to fit the specific measurements.
Gutter Installation in Roanoke
If your gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are starting to rust or wear down with age, Roanoke Gutters may recommend to replace them instead of re-pitching them. This can be more economical over time and time-saving.
If your gutters need to be replaced, they will come compete with new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer should set the gutters at the correct pitch. You can use the tips above to make sure the new installation was done correctly.