Rain gutters are fastened at a slight angle so water drains out of them rather than remaining stagnant. They don’t appear 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 gutter
This formula tells a gutter installation technician right where to place the downspout so that heavier 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 sections of gutter, like across the front of a home, require a downspout on both sides. When this is the situation, the gutters will be pitched from the middle, meaning that the center of the roofline will be the absolute highest point, and both of the downspouts need to be lower than this middle point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If your gutters are installed incorrectly or if they are loose or bent, it can cause problems that can be expensive and complex to fix.
When there is something wrong with your gutter pitch, it can make water back up in your gutters. Water is a common problem around the home, as it can result in all of the issues below:
- Rain inside of the gutters can cause roof damage due to the standing water. When water backs up in the gutters, water can get underneath the shingles and cause damage to the fascia, sub-roofing and even get inside your home.
- Pooling rain water is one way mold and mildew can grow on areas of your roof, gutters or siding. Getting rid of mold is a very hard project, especially if it grows on your roof. Mold is known for destroying organic materials (many of which are common in your house) and making people feel ill.
- The weight of standing water in your rain 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 material. It can also destroy landscaping and windows.
Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?
To make sure your gutters are correctly pitched, here are a few things you can check:
Look for Hanging Spots
Like we said before, you shouldn’t be able to see the slope of your rain gutters. If you can visibly tell where the low point is, this is an indication that your gutter has been damaged or that it is getting old.
You should still be able to notice a dip in the gutters from the ground, 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 follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water in your home’s gutters is a problem. Try to inspect the gutters right after rainfall so you can see the flow of the water.
This might force you to climb a ladder, so exercise caution. If you aren’t comfortable doing this, you can have a handyman or a gutter specialist from Carmel Gutter Specialists check it out for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any little granules remaining in the gutters from your shingles means the gutters might not have enough pitch, so the water can’t carry these materials away. Seeing grit or sludge inside of your gutters is more common after having a new roof installed because it will tend to shed excess granules in the first couple of years.
You can climb up and take a look, or you may notice some of the particles making their way out of your gutters through the downspouts. If you notice a little 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 sometimes caused by a blockage, but it can also be due to 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 cause damage to your roof, gutters and surrounding 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 is still overflow, it’s another indicator that there is a gutter pitch problem.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
When your gutter pitch is incorrect, it can cause many problems for your home. All of the issues above can let you know that your gutter pitch is off.
No matter if your gutters were damaged or they were installed incorrectly to begin with, they need to be re-pitched in order to avoid major home repairs, including damage to siding, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Carmel
The first option will be repairing your existing gutters so the proper pitch is restored. If the rain gutters are in prime condition and undamaged, this should be the route Carmel Gutter Specialists recommends.
To re-establish gutter pitch, Carmel Gutter Specialists will loosen the gutter, but they won’t need to take it totally down. This lowers labor costs and time. Then the technician will measure and determine the correct pitch and reinstall the gutters, adjusting fasteners if necessary, to fit the specific measurements.
Gutter Installation in Carmel
If your rain gutters are severely damaged, or if they are starting to rust or wear down with age, Carmel Gutter Specialists may recommend to replace them rather than re-pitching them. This will be more economical over time and time-saving.
If your gutters have to be replaced, they will include new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer will set the gutters at the correct pitch. You can reference the tips in this blog post to ensure the new installation was done correctly.