All gutters are set at a slight angle so that water flows out of them instead of remaining stagnant. Gutters don’t appear slanted because installation companies 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 gutter
This calculation tells a gutter installer where to place the downspout so that even heavy amounts of rain 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.
Longer areas of gutter, like across the front of a home, require a downspout on each side. When this is happening, the rain gutters will be pitched from the middle, which means that the middle of the roofline will be the absolute highest point, and both of the downspouts should be lower than this middle point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If your 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 there is something wrong with your gutter pitch, it can cause water to back up in your gutter channels. Water is a typical issue around the house, as it can lead to all of the issues below:
- Rain in the gutters can lead to 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 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 project, especially if it grows on your roof. Mold is known for ruining organic materials (many of which are common in your house) and even 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 materials. 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 check:
Look for Hanging Spots
As we mentioned above, you shouldn’t be able to see the slope of your gutters. If you can noticeably identify where the low spot is, this is an indication 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 below, so this is a safe job that homeowners can do on their own, with their feet on the ground.
Check for Standing Water
Water naturally follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water inside of your home’s gutters is a problem. Try to inspect the gutters immediately after rainfall so you can see the draining 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 local handyman or a gutter specialist from Pure Clean Gutters do it for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any tiny granules left behind in the gutters from your shingles are a sign that the rain gutters might not have enough slope, so the water can’t carry these materials away. Seeing grit or sludge in your gutters is more common after getting a new roof installed because it will tend to lose excess particles in the first couple of years.
You can climb up and take a look, or you might notice some of the particles making their way out of your gutters through the downspouts. If you notice a small amount in these areas, there is a good chance there is more that is unable to 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 in the wrong direction, know as “back pitch,” you will probably see water overflowing at the end cap. This can damage to your roof, gutters and nearby landscaping.
To prevent the possibility of 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 another sign that your gutter pitch may be wrong.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
When your gutter pitch is incorrect, it can cause a lot of problems for your house. All of the problems above can let you decide if your gutter pitch is off.
No matter if your rain gutters were damaged during a storm or if they were installed poorly to begin with, they need to be re-pitched in order to prevent expensive home repairs, including siding damage, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Bowie
The first option will be repairing your existing gutters so the correct pitch is restored. If the rain gutters are in good condition and undamaged, this will be the route Pure Clean Gutters recommends.
To re-establish gutter pitch, Pure Clean Gutters will loosen the gutter, but they won’t need 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, relocating fasteners if necessary, to fit the specific measurements.
Gutter Installation in Bowie
If your gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, Pure Clean Gutters may recommend to replace them rather than re-pitching them. This can be more economical in the long run and time-saving.
If your gutters have to be replaced, they will come compete with new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer should set the gutters at the appropriate pitch. You can reference the tips above to ensure the new installation was done correctly.