What is Gutter Pitch?
Rain gutters are set at a slight angle so water drains out of them instead of remaining stagnant. Gutters don’t look slanted because installation pros know exactly what they’re doing, but we assure you they are.
Gutters have an angled slope based on this formula:
¼ of an inch of drop per 10 feet of gutter
This formula tells your gutter installation technician where to fasten the downspout so that 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.
Long sections of gutter, like across the front of a house, may require a downspout on both sides. When this is happening, the rain gutters will be pitched from the middle, meaning that the center of the roofline will be the highest point, and both downspouts should be lower than this middle point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If gutters are installed the wrong way or if they are loose or bent, it can cause problems that can be costly and complex to repair.
When there is something wrong with your gutter pitch, it can make water back up in your gutters. Water is a typical problem around the house, as it can cause all of the issues below:
- Water inside of the gutters can lead to roof damage due to the standing water. When rain backs up in the gutters, water can seep under the shingles and cause damage to the fascia, sub-roofing and even leak inside your home.
- Pooling rain water is one way mildew and mold can grow on 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 even making people sick.
- The weight of pooling water inside your gutters can cause them to pull away from your home. The gutters can tear out fasteners from the walls, damaging your vinyl or other exterior materials. It can also destroy landscaping and windows.
Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?
To ensure your gutters are correctly pitched, here are a some of the things you can do:
Look for Hanging Spots
As 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 a sign that your gutter has been damaged or it is getting worn out.
You should 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 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 draining of the water.
This may force you to climb a ladder, so be careful. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, you can have a handyman or a gutter specialist from Lancaster 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 gutters might not have enough slope, so the water can’t carry these materials out. Grit or sludge inside of your gutters is common after getting a new roof installed because it will tend to lose excess granules in the first few years.
You can climb up and look, or you may notice some of the particles making their way out of your gutters through the downspouts. If you see 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 typically caused by a blockage, but it can also be the result of incorrect gutter pitch. If rain water is flowing in the wrong direction, know as “back pitch,” you will see water overflowing from the end cap. This can cause problems for your roof, gutters and surrounding 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 another sign that your gutter pitch may be wrong.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
When your gutter pitch is distorted, it can lead to several problems for your home. All of the problems above can let you decide if your gutter pitch is not right.
Regardless of whether your rain gutters were damaged during a storm or if they were installed incorrectly in the first place, they need to be re-pitched in order to avoid major home repairs, including siding damage, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Lancaster
The first option will be repairing the existing gutters so the proper pitch is restored. If the gutters are in good condition and undamaged, this should be the route Lancaster Gutter Service recommends.
To re-establish gutter pitch, Lancaster Gutter Service will loosen the gutter, but they won’t need to take it completely 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 Lancaster
If your gutters are severely damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, Lancaster Gutter Service may recommend that you replace them rather than 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 proper pitch. You can reference the tips in this blog post to make sure the new installation was done the right way.