All gutters are installed at a slight angle so water drains out of them rather than remaining 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 calculation tells your gutter installation technician where to attach the downspout so that heavy amounts of precipitation can flow smoothly from your roof. The side of your home’s roof where the downspouts are is the side that should be the lower end.
Long sections of gutter, like across the front of a house, require a downspout on both sides. When this is the case, the gutters will be pitched from the middle, which means that the center of the roofline will be the absolute highest point, and both of the downspouts should 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 create problems that might be costly 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 issue around the house, as it can lead to all of the following issues:
- Water inside of the gutters can cause roof damage due to the standing water. When rain 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.
- Pooling rain water is one way mold and mildew can grow on areas of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a challenging task, especially when it grows on your roof. Mold is known for ruining organic materials (many of which are common in your house) and 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, destroying your vinyl or other exterior materials. It can also destroy surrounding landscaping and windows.
Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?
To make sure your gutters are properly pitched, here are a few things you can check:
Look for Hanging Spots
Like we mentioned above, you shouldn’t be able to notice the slope of your gutters. If you can visibly identify where the low point is, this is a sign that your gutter has been damaged or it is getting worn out.
You should still be able to notice 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
Rain water naturally follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water in your home’s gutters is a problem. If possible, examine the gutters right after rainfall so you can see the draining of the water.
This might 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 Littleton Gutter Cleaning do it for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any small granules remaining in the gutters from your roof shingles are a sign that the rain gutters might not have enough pitch, so the water can’t carry these heavier materials out. Grit or sludge inside of your gutters is common after having a new roof installed because it will tend to shed excess particles in the first few years.
You can climb up a ladder and look, or you may see some of these particles making their way out of your gutters by way of 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 rain water is flowing the wrong way, know as “back pitch,” you will see water overflowing from the end cap. This can cause damage to your roof, gutters and nearby landscaping.
To stop the possibility of a blockage, schedule gutter cleaning at least once a year or install gutter guards. If the gutters are clean but you are still seeing overflow, it’s one more indicator that your gutter pitch may be wrong.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
If your gutter pitch gets distorted, it can cause many problems for your house. All of the problems above can let you decide if your gutter pitch is off.
No matter if your gutters were damaged or they were installed poorly in the first place, they need to be re-pitched in order to prevent major home repairs, including siding damage, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Littleton
The most affordable option will be repairing your existing gutters so the proper pitch is restored. If the rain gutters are in good condition and undamaged, this will be the route Littleton Gutter Cleaning encourages.
To restore gutter pitch, Littleton Gutter Cleaning will loosen the gutter, but they won’t need to take it all the way down. This lowers labor costs and time. Then the technician will measure and determine the pitch needed and reinstall the gutters, moving fasteners if necessary, to fit the correct measurements.
Gutter Installation in Littleton
If your rain gutters are severely damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, Littleton Gutter Cleaning may recommend to replace them instead of 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 will set the gutters at the correct pitch. You can use our tips above to ensure the new installation is done the right way.