What is Gutter Pitch?
Gutters are fastened at a slight angle so water flows out instead of remaining stagnant. They don’t appear slanted because installation pros know exactly 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 formula tells a gutter installer right where to attach 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 located is the side that should be the lower end.
Long sections of gutter, like across the front of a home, require a downspout on both sides. When this is happening, the gutters will be pitched from the middle, meaning that the center of the roofline will be the absolute highest point, and both downspouts need to be lower than this center point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If your gutters are installed the wrong way or if they are loose or bent, it can cause problems that might be costly and complex to repair.
When there is a gutter pitch problem, it can make water back up in your gutters. Water is a common issue around the home, as it can result in all of the following issues:
- Water inside of the gutters can lead to roof damage because of the standing water. When rain backs up in the gutters, water can get underneath the shingles and cause damage to the fascia, sub-roofing and even leak inside your house.
- Pooling water is one way mold and mildew can grow on sections of your roof, gutters or siding. Getting rid of mold is a very hard task, especially if it grows on your roof. Mold is known for destroying organic materials (many of which exist in your home) and making people sick.
- The weight of pooling water inside your gutters can lead them to pull away from your home. The gutters can pull fasteners from the siding, damaging your vinyl or other exterior materials. It can also destroy surrounding landscaping and windows.
Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?
To ensure your gutters are properly pitched, here are a some of the things you can do:
Look for Hanging Spots
Like we mentioned before, you shouldn’t be able to see the slope of your rain gutters. If you can noticeably tell where the low spot is, it is a sign that your gutter has been 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
Water naturally follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water in your gutters is an issue. If possible, examine the gutters immediately 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 Montgomery Gutter Service check it out for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any little granules remaining 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 in your gutters is 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 a ladder and look, or you may notice some of the particles flowing out of your gutters by way of the downspouts. If you notice a little in these areas, chances are there is more that can’t make its way out.
Why is There Overflow?
Gutter overflow is usually caused by a blockage, but it can also be because of incorrect gutter pitch. If water is flowing the wrong way, called “back pitch,” you will see water overflowing from the end cap. This can problems for your roof, gutters and nearby landscaping.
To stop the possibility of blockage, schedule gutter cleaning at least once a year or install gutter guards. If you know the gutters are clean but you are still seeing overflow, it’s another indicator that your gutter pitch may be wrong.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
When your gutter pitch is distorted, it can cause many problems for your house. All of the issues above can let you determine if your gutter pitch is not right.
Regardless of whether your gutters were damaged or if they were installed poorly in the first place, they need to be re-pitched if you want to prevent significant home repairs, including damage to siding, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Montgomery
The most affordable option will be repairing your existing gutters so the pitch is restored. If the gutters are in excellent condition and undamaged, this should be the route Montgomery Gutter Service recommends.
To re-establish gutter pitch, Montgomery Gutter Service 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, relocating fasteners if necessary, to fit the correct measurements.
Gutter Installation in Montgomery
If your gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, Montgomery Gutter Service may recommend that you replace them rather than re-pitching them. This can be more economical in the long run and time-saving.
If your gutters need to be replaced, they will come compete with new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer will set the gutters at the appropriate pitch. You can reference the tips above to ensure the new installation was done the right way.