What is Gutter Pitch?
Gutters are installed at a slight angle so that water flows out rather than sitting stagnant. Gutters don’t look slanted because installation companies know 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 horizontal gutter
This calculation tells a gutter installer right where to fasten the downspout so that even heavy amounts of rain 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 sections of gutter, like across the front of a home, may require a downspout on each side. When this is the situation, 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 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 expensive and difficult to fix.
When there is a gutter pitch problem, it can make water back up in your gutters. Water is a common problem around the house, as it can result in all of the issues below:
- Water in the gutters can cause roof damage because of the standing water. When it backs up in the gutters, water can get underneath the shingles and cause harm to the fascia, sub-roofing and even get inside your home.
- Pooling rain water is one way mildew and mold can grow on sections of your roof, gutters or siding. Getting rid of mold is a challenging project, especially if it appears on your roof. Mold is known for destroying organic materials (many of which exist in your house) and even making people feel ill.
- The weight of pooling water inside your gutters can cause them to tear away from your roof. The gutters can tear out fasteners from the siding, destroying your vinyl or other exterior materials. It can also ruin surrounding landscaping and windows.
Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?
To be confident your gutters are properly pitched, here are a some of the things you can do:
Look for Hanging Spots
Like we mentioned before, you shouldn’t be able to see the slope of your gutters. If you can visibly identify where the low point is, it is a sign 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 in your gutters is an issue. Try to check the gutters immediately 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 Lynchburg Gutters check it out for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any tiny 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 materials out. Seeing grit or sludge inside of your gutters is more common after having 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 and take a look, or you may notice some of these particles flowing out of your gutters from the downspouts. If you notice a small amount in these areas, there is a good chance there is more that can’t make its way out.
Why is There Overflow?
Gutter overflow is usually caused by a blockage, but it can also be the result of incorrect gutter pitch. If water is flowing the wrong direction, know as “back pitch,” you will see water overflowing at the end cap. This can problems for your roof, gutters and surrounding landscaping.
To remove 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 one more indicator that your gutter pitch may be wrong.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
When your gutter pitch gets incorrect, it can create many problems for your home. All of the problems above can let you determine if your gutter pitch is off.
Regardless of whether your gutters were damaged during a storm or if they were installed incorrectly to begin with, they need to be re-pitched in order to avoid significant home repairs, including siding damage, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Lynchburg
The first option will be repairing the existing gutters so the pitch is restored. If the rain gutters are in excellent condition and undamaged, this should be the route Lynchburg Gutters encourages.
To re-establish gutter pitch, Lynchburg Gutters will loosen the gutter, but they won’t have to take it totally 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 Lynchburg
If your rain gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, Lynchburg Gutters may recommend that you replace them rather than re-pitching them. This will be more economical in the long run and time-saving.
If your gutters have to be replaced with new ones, they will include 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 is done correctly.