Rain gutters are set at a slight angle so water flows out of them rather than sitting stagnant. Gutters don’t look 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 horizontal gutter
This formula tells your gutter installation technician right where to fasten the downspout so that heavy amounts of precipitation 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 house, may require a downspout on both sides. When this is the case, the gutters will need to be pitched from the middle, which means that the center 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 your gutter pitch is wrong, it can cause water to back up in your gutter channels. Water is a common issue around the home, as it can result in all of the issues below:
- Rain inside of the gutters can cause 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 home.
- Standing water is one way mildew and mold can grow on sections of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a difficult task, especially when it grows on your roof. Mold is known for destroying organic materials (many of which exist in your home) and even making people feel ill.
- The weight of pooling water in your rain gutters can lead them to tear away from your house. The gutters can tear out fasteners from the walls, damaging your vinyl or other exterior material. 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 few things you can check:
Look for Hanging Spots
As we mentioned above, 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 the ground, so this is a safe job that homeowners can do on their own, with both feet on the ground.
Check for Standing Water
Water naturally follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water in your gutters is an issue. If possible, examine the gutters immediately after rainfall so you can see the draining of the water.
This may force you to climb a ladder, so exercise caution. If you aren’t comfortable doing this, you can have a local handyman or a gutter specialist from TLC Gutters check it out for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any small granules remaining in the gutters from your roof shingles means the rain gutters might not have enough slope, so the water can’t carry these heavier materials out. Grit or sludge in your gutters is common after getting a new roof installed because it will tend to lose a lot of excess particles in the first couple of years.
You can climb up a ladder and look, or you may see some of these particles making their way 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 sometimes caused by a blockage, but it can also be because of incorrect gutter pitch. If rain water is flowing the wrong way, called “back pitch,” you will probably see water overflowing at the end cap. This can cause damage to 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 are still signs of overflow, it’s one more indicator that your gutter pitch may be wrong.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
If your gutter pitch is incorrect, it can lead to a lot of problems for your home. All of the problems above can let you know that your gutter pitch is not right.
No matter if your gutters were damaged during a storm or if they were installed poorly to begin with, they need to be re-pitched in order to prevent expensive home repairs, including siding damage, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Perth Amboy
The first option will be repairing your existing gutters so the proper pitch is restored. If the gutters are in prime condition and undamaged, this will be the route TLC Gutters recommends.
To restore gutter pitch, TLC 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 calculate the pitch needed and reinstall the gutters, relocating fasteners if necessary, to fit the correct measurements.
Gutter Installation in Perth Amboy
If your rain gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, TLC Gutters may recommend that you 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 include new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer should set the gutters at the appropriate pitch. You can use the tips above to make sure the new installation is done correctly.