What is Gutter Pitch?
All gutters are set at a slight angle so that water drains out rather than remaining stagnant. Gutters don’t appear slanted because installation pros know 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 gutter
This calculation tells your gutter installation technician right where to fasten the downspout so that even heavier amounts of rain can flow unobstructed from your roof. The side of your home’s roof where the downspouts are located is the side that should be lower.
Longer areas of gutter, like across the front of a house, require a downspout on each side. When this is the case, the rain 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 need to be lower than this middle point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If gutters are installed incorrectly or if they are loose or bent, it can cause problems that might be expensive and complex to fix.
When there is a gutter pitch problem, it can make water back up in your gutter channels. Water is a typical problem around the house, as it can result in all of the issues below:
- Rain inside of the gutters can lead to roof damage due to the standing water. When rain doesn’t flow from the gutters, water can seep under the shingles and cause damage to the fascia, sub-roofing and even get inside your house.
- Standing rain water is one way mildew and mold can grow on of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a difficult project, especially if it appears on your roof. Mold is known for ruining organic materials (many of which are common in your house) and even making people sick.
- The weight of pooling water in your gutters can cause them to pull away from your home. The gutters can pull fasteners from the walls, damaging your vinyl or other exterior materials. It can also destroy 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
Like we mentioned above, you shouldn’t be able to notice the slope of your rain gutters. If you can noticeably identify where the low spot is, it is a sign that your gutter is damaged or it is getting old.
You should be able to notice a dip in the gutters from below, 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 follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water in your home’s gutters is a problem. Try to check the gutters immediately after rainfall so you can see the flow of the water.
This might require you to climb a ladder, so be careful. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, you can have a handyman or a gutter specialist from A+ Augusta Gutters check it out for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any little granules left behind in the gutters from your roof shingles means the gutters might not have enough slope, so the water can’t carry these heavier materials away. Seeing grit or sludge inside of your gutters is common after having a new roof installed because it will tend to lose excess particles in the first couple of years.
You can climb up a ladder and look, or you may see some of these particles flowing out of your gutters through the downspouts. If you notice a small amount in these areas, chances are there is more that can’t make its way out.
Why is There Overflow?
Gutter overflow is typically 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 from the end cap. This can cause problems for your roof, gutters and landscaping.
To stop 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 one more indicator that your gutter pitch may be wrong.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
If your gutter pitch gets distorted, it can cause several problems for your home. All of the issues above can let you determine if your gutter pitch is off.
No matter if your gutters were damaged or if they were installed incorrectly 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 Augusta
The first 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 A+ Augusta Gutters recommends.
To correct gutter pitch, A+ Augusta Gutters will loosen the gutter, but they won’t need to take it totally down. This saves labor costs and time. Then the technician will measure and determine the proper pitch and reinstall the gutters, adjusting fasteners if necessary, to fit the correct measurements.
Gutter Installation in Augusta
If your gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are starting to rust or wear down with age, A+ Augusta Gutters may recommend to replace them instead of re-pitching them. This will 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 will set the gutters at the appropriate pitch. You can use the tips above to make sure the new installation is done correctly.