What is Gutter Pitch?
Gutters are fastened at a slight angle so water flows out of them instead of sitting stagnant. They don’t appear slanted because installation companies know exactly what they’re doing, but we assure you they are.
Gutters should have a specific slope based on this formula:
¼ of an inch of drop per 10 feet of horizontal gutter
This calculation tells your gutter installation technician right where to fasten the downspout so that heavy amounts of precipitation can flow unobstructed from your roof. The side of your roof where the downspouts are located is the side that should be the lower end.
Long areas of gutter, like across the front of a house, require a downspout on both sides. When this is the case, the gutters will need to be pitched from the middle, which means that the middle of the roofline will be the highest point, and both of the downspouts should be lower than this center point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If gutters are installed the wrong way or if they have become loose or bent, it can lead to problems that might be expensive and complex to fix.
When there is a gutter pitch problem, it can cause water to back up in your gutters. Water is a typical problem around the home, as it can result in all of the issues below:
- Rain inside of the gutters can cause roof damage because of the standing water. When water backs up in the gutters, water can get underneath the shingles and cause harm to the fascia, sub-roofing and even leak inside your home.
- Pooling water is one way mildew and mold can grow on sections of your roof, gutters or siding. Getting rid of mold is a challenging task, especially if it appears on your roof. Mold is known for ruining organic materials (many of which exist in your home) and even making people feel ill.
- The weight of blocked water in your gutters can lead them to tear away from your house. The gutters can tear out fasteners from the siding, destroying your vinyl or other exterior materials. It can also damage 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 said above, you shouldn’t be able to notice the slope of your gutters. If you can noticeably tell where the low spot is, it is an indication that your gutter is 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 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 in your home’s gutters is an issue. Try to inspect the gutters immediately after rainfall so you can see the draining 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 handyman or a gutter specialist from TLC Gutter Cleaning do it for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any tiny granules remaining in the gutters from your roof shingles are a sign that the rain gutters may not have enough pitch, so the water can’t carry these heavier materials away. Seeing grit or sludge in your gutters is more common after getting a new roof installed because it will tend to shed excess granules in the first couple of years.
You can climb up and look, or you might notice some of these particles flowing out of your gutters through the downspouts. If you see a little 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 due to incorrect gutter pitch. If rain water is flowing the wrong way, called “back pitch,” you will see water overflowing at the end cap. This can cause damage to your roof, gutters and surrounding landscaping.
To eliminate 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 is still overflow, it’s another sign that there is a gutter pitch problem.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
When your gutter pitch gets distorted, it can create several problems for your home. All of the problems above can let you know that your gutter pitch is off.
Regardless of whether your gutters were damaged during a storm or if they were installed incorrectly in the first place, they need to be re-pitched if you want to avoid expensive home repairs, including siding damage, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Wheaton
The most affordable option will be repairing the existing gutters so the pitch is restored. If the gutters are in good condition and undamaged, this should be the route TLC Gutter Cleaning encourages.
To re-establish gutter pitch, TLC Gutter Cleaning will loosen the gutter, but they won’t have to take it totally down. This saves labor costs and time. Then the technician will measure and calculate the pitch needed and reinstall the gutters, adjusting fasteners if necessary, to fit the correct measurements.
Gutter Installation in Wheaton
If your gutters are severely damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, TLC Gutter Cleaning 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 should set the gutters at the correct pitch. You can reference our tips in this blog post to ensure the new installation is done the right way.