All gutters are set at a slight angle so that water flows out of them instead of remaining stagnant. Gutters don’t appear slanted because installation companies know what they’re doing, but 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 formula tells a gutter installation technician where to place the downspout so that even heavy amounts of precipitation can flow smoothly from your roof. The side of your 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 each side. When this is happening, the rain gutters will need to be pitched from the middle, meaning that the center of the roofline will be the absolute highest point, and both of the downspouts should be lower than this middle point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If your gutters are installed incorrectly or if they have become loose or bent, it can cause problems that can be costly and difficult to fix.
When your gutter pitch is wrong, it can cause water to back up in your gutters. Water is a common problem around the home, as it can result in all of the following issues:
- Rain inside of the gutters can lead to 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 leak inside your home.
- Pooling water is one way mildew and mold can grow on areas 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 home) and making people sick.
- The weight of blocked water in your gutters can cause them to pull away from your house. The gutters can pull fasteners from the walls, destroying your vinyl or other exterior material. It can also ruin surrounding 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 check:
Look for Hanging Spots
As we mentioned above, you shouldn’t be able to see the slope of your rain gutters. If you can noticeably identify where the low point is, this is an indication that your gutter is damaged or that it is getting old.
You should still 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 follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water inside of your gutters is a problem. If possible, examine the gutters immediately after rainfall so you can see the flow of the water.
This could force you to climb a ladder, so exercise caution. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, you can have a local handyman or a gutter specialist from Springfield Gutter Specialists check it out for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any little granules left behind in the gutters from your roof shingles means the gutters may not have enough pitch, so the water can’t carry these materials away. Seeing grit or sludge inside of your gutters is common after getting a new roof installed because it will tend to shed a lot of excess particles in the first few years.
You can climb up a ladder and look, or you might notice some of the particles flowing out of your gutters by way of the downspouts. If you notice 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 typically caused by a blockage, but it can also be because of incorrect gutter pitch. If water is flowing the wrong direction, know as “back pitch,” you will see water overflowing from the end cap. This can problems for your roof, gutters and nearby landscaping.
To eliminate 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 another indicator that your gutter pitch may be wrong.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
When your gutter pitch is distorted, it can cause many problems for your house. All of the problems above can let you know that your gutter pitch is not right.
Regardless of whether your rain gutters were damaged or they were installed incorrectly in the first place, they need to be re-pitched if you want to avoid major home repairs, including siding damage, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Springfield
The most affordable option will be repairing your existing gutters so the pitch is restored. If the gutters are in excellent condition and undamaged, this will be the route Springfield Gutter Specialists recommends.
To restore gutter pitch, Springfield 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, moving fasteners if necessary, to fit the specific measurements.
Gutter Installation in Springfield
If your rain gutters are severely damaged, or if they are starting to rust or wear down with age, Springfield Gutter Specialists 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, they will include new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer should set the gutters at the correct pitch. You can use the tips above to make sure the new installation is done correctly.