What is Gutter Pitch?
Gutters are set at a slight angle so water flows out instead of sitting stagnant. Gutters don’t appear slanted because installation pros know exactly what they’re doing, but 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 your gutter installation technician where to place the downspout so that even heavy amounts of precipitation can flow unobstructed from your roof. The side of your roof where the downspouts are is the side that should be lower.
Longer areas of gutter, like across the front of a house, may require a downspout on both sides. When this is the situation, the rain gutters will be pitched from the middle, which means 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 gutters are installed the wrong way or if they are loose or bent, it can lead to problems that might be costly and difficult to fix.
When your gutter pitch is wrong, it can cause water to back up in your gutters. Water is a common issue around the house, as it can lead to all of the issues below:
- 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 damage to the fascia, sub-roofing and even get inside your house.
- Standing water is one way mildew and mold can grow on areas of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a very hard task, especially when it appears on your roof. Mold is known for destroying organic materials (many of which exist in your home) and making people sick.
- The weight of blocked water in your rain gutters can lead them to pull away from your roof. The gutters can pull fasteners from the walls, damaging 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 few things you can check:
Look for Hanging Spots
As we mentioned before, you shouldn’t be able to notice the slope of your gutters. If you can noticeably identify where the low point is, this is an indication that your gutter is damaged or it is getting worn out.
You should be able to see a dip in the gutters from below, 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. If possible, examine the gutters right after rainfall so you can see the draining of the water.
This may force 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 WeClean Wilmington Gutters do it for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any small granules remaining in the gutters from your shingles are a sign that the gutters might not have enough slope, so the water can’t carry these heavier materials out. Seeing grit or sludge in your gutters is common after getting 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 may see some of these particles flowing out of your gutters through the downspouts. If you see a little in these areas, chances are there is more that is unable to make its way out.
Why is There Overflow?
Gutter overflow is typically caused by a blockage, but it can also be because of incorrect gutter pitch. If rain water is flowing in the wrong direction, know as “back pitch,” you will probably see water overflowing at the end cap. This can cause problems for 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 one more sign that there is a gutter pitch problem.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
When your gutter pitch gets incorrect, it can cause several problems for your home. All of the issues above can let you determine if your gutter pitch is not right.
No matter if your rain 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 siding damage, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Wilmington
The first option will be repairing your existing gutters so the correct pitch is restored. If the gutters are in excellent condition and undamaged, this should be the route WeClean Wilmington Gutters recommends.
To correct gutter pitch, WeClean Wilmington 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 proper pitch and reinstall the gutters, moving fasteners if necessary, to fit the specific measurements.
Gutter Installation in Wilmington
If your gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are starting to rust or wear down with age, WeClean Wilmington Gutters 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 include new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer should set the gutters at the correct pitch. You can reference the tips above to make sure the new installation was done the right way.