What is Gutter Pitch?
Gutters are fastened at a slight angle so that water flows out of them instead of remaining stagnant. They don’t appear slanted because installation pros 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 calculation tells your gutter installer where to attach the downspout so that even heavier amounts of rain can flow smoothly from your roof. The side of your roof where the downspouts are located is the side that should be lower.
Long areas of gutter, like across the front of a home, require a downspout on both sides. When this is happening, the gutters will need to 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 center point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If gutters are installed the wrong way or if they are loose or bent at all, it can cause problems that might 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 issue around the house, as it can lead to all of the following issues:
- Rain inside of the gutters can lead to roof damage because of the standing water. When water backs up in the gutters, water can seep under the shingles and cause damage to the fascia, sub-roofing and even get inside your house.
- Pooling rain water is one way mildew and mold can grow on of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a challenging project, especially when it grows on your roof. Mold is known for ruining organic materials (many of which are common in your house) and even making people feel ill.
- The weight of blocked water in your rain gutters can cause them to pull away from your house. The gutters can pull fasteners from the walls, damaging your vinyl or other exterior material. It can also damage surrounding 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 notice the slope of your gutters. If you can noticeably identify where the low spot is, this is an indication that your gutter is damaged or that 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 their feet on the ground.
Check for Standing Water
Water follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water inside of 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 may 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 Franklin Gutters do it for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any small granules left behind in the gutters from your roof shingles means the rain gutters might not have enough pitch, so the water can’t carry these heavier materials out. Grit or sludge in your gutters is more common after getting a new roof installed because it will tend to shed a lot of excess granules in the first few years.
You can climb up and take a look, or you might see some of the particles making their way 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 sometimes caused by a blockage, but it can also be due to incorrect gutter pitch. If rain water is flowing the wrong way, called “back pitch,” you will probably see water overflowing from the end cap. This can cause problems for your roof, gutters and landscaping.
To stop the possibility of blockage, schedule gutter cleaning at least once a year or install gutter guards. If you know 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
When your gutter pitch is distorted, it can result in a lot of problems for your house. All of the problems above can let you know that your gutter pitch is wrong.
Regardless of whether your rain gutters were damaged or they were installed poorly 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 Franklin
The most affordable option will be repairing the existing gutters so the correct pitch is restored. If the gutters are in prime condition and undamaged, this should be the route Franklin Gutters encourages.
To correct gutter pitch, Franklin Gutters will loosen the gutter, but they won’t have to take it totally down. This saves 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 correct measurements.
Gutter Installation in Franklin
If your rain gutters are severely damaged, or if they are starting to rust or wear down with age, Franklin Gutters may recommend that you replace them rather than re-pitching them. This will be more economical over time and time-saving.
If your gutters have to be replaced with new ones, they will come compete with new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer will set the gutters at the proper pitch. You can reference our tips above to ensure the new installation is done correctly.