What is Gutter Pitch?
All gutters are installed at a slight angle so that water flows out instead of sitting stagnant. Gutters don’t look slanted because installation pros know what they’re doing, but we assure you they are.
Gutters have a specific slope based on this formula:
¼ of an inch of drop per 10 feet of horizontal gutter
This formula tells a gutter installation technician where to attach the downspout so that even heavier amounts of rain can flow unobstructed from your roof. The side of your roof where the downspouts are is the side that should be lower.
Long sections 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 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 at all, it can lead to problems that can be expensive and complex to repair.
When your gutter pitch is wrong, it can cause water to back up in your gutter channels. Water is a typical issue around the home, as it can cause all of the following issues:
- Rain inside of the gutters can lead to roof damage because of the standing water. When rain doesn’t flow from the gutters, water can get underneath the shingles and cause harm to the fascia, sub-roofing and even get inside your home.
- Pooling water is one way mold and mildew can grow on of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a challenging project, especially if it appears on your roof. Mold is known for destroying organic materials (many of which exist in your home) and even making people sick.
- The weight of pooling water in your rain gutters can cause them to pull away from your house. The gutters can tear out fasteners from the walls, destroying your vinyl or other exterior material. It can also ruin landscaping and windows.
Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?
To be confident your gutters are correctly pitched, here are a some of the things you can do:
Look for Hanging Spots
Like we mentioned above, you shouldn’t be able to see the slope of your rain gutters. If you can noticeably identify where the low spot is, it is a sign that your gutter has been damaged or it is getting worn out.
You should still be able to see a dip in the gutters from the ground, 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 inside of your gutters is a problem. Try to examine the gutters right after rainfall so you can see the flow of the water.
This may force you to climb a ladder, so exercise caution. If you aren’t comfortable doing this, you can have a handyman or a gutter specialist from A+ Gutters of O’Fallon check it out for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any tiny granules left behind in the gutters from your shingles means the gutters might not have enough pitch, so the water can’t carry these materials out. Grit or sludge in your gutters is more common after having a new roof installed because it will tend to lose a lot of excess granules in the first couple of years.
You can climb up a ladder and take a look, or you might notice some of these particles making their way out of your gutters by way of the downspouts. If you notice a little in these areas, there is a good chance 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 because of 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 damage to your roof, gutters and landscaping.
To stop the possibility of a 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 there is a gutter pitch problem.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
When your gutter pitch is distorted, it can cause several problems for your home. All of the issues above can let you know that your gutter pitch is wrong.
Regardless of whether your gutters were damaged during a storm or if they were installed poorly in the first place, they need to be re-pitched if you want to avoid significant home repairs, including damage to siding, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in O’Fallon
The first option will be repairing your existing gutters so the pitch is restored. If the rain gutters are in good condition and undamaged, this should be the route A+ Gutters of O’Fallon encourages.
To re-establish gutter pitch, A+ Gutters of O’Fallon 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 determine the pitch needed and reinstall the gutters, relocating fasteners if necessary, to fit the specific measurements.
Gutter Installation in O’Fallon
If your rain gutters are severely damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, A+ Gutters of O’Fallon may recommend to replace them instead of re-pitching them. This can be more economical over time and time-saving.
If your gutters have to be replaced with new ones, they will include new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer should set the gutters at the correct pitch. You can reference the tips in this blog post to ensure the new installation is done the right way.