Gutters are set at a slight angle so water drains out 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 calculation tells your gutter installation technician where to place the downspout so that 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.
Longer sections of gutter, like across the front of a home, require a downspout on both sides. When this is the case, the 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 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 can be costly and complex to repair.
When there is something wrong with your gutter pitch, it can cause water to back up in your gutter channels. Water is a common problem around the home, as it can cause all of the following issues:
- Water in the gutters can cause roof damage due to the standing water. When it doesn’t flow from the gutters, water can get underneath the shingles and cause harm to the fascia, sub-roofing and even get inside your home.
- Standing rain water is one way mold and mildew can grow on sections of your roof, gutters or siding. Getting rid of mold is a very hard task, especially if it appears on your roof. Mold is known for destroying organic materials (many of which exist in your house) and even making people sick.
- The weight of standing water in your rain 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 damage surrounding landscaping and windows.
Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?
To make sure your gutters are properly pitched, here are a some of the things you can do:
Look for Hanging Spots
Like we said before, you shouldn’t be able to see the slope of your gutters. If you can noticeably tell where the low spot is, this is a sign that your gutter has been damaged or that it is getting old.
You should still 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 both feet on the ground.
Check for Standing Water
Water follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water in your home’s gutters is an issue. If possible, check the gutters right after rainfall so you can see the draining of the water.
This may require 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 Elk Grove Gutter Service check it out for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any small granules left behind in the gutters from your roof shingles are a sign that the gutters might not have enough slope, so the water can’t carry these materials out. Seeing grit or sludge inside of your gutters is more common after having 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 and take a look, or you might notice some of the particles making their way out of your gutters by way of the downspouts. If you notice a small amount 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 usually caused by a blockage, but it can also be the result of incorrect gutter pitch. If water is flowing the wrong way, know as “back pitch,” you will see water overflowing from the end cap. This can cause problems for your roof, gutters and surrounding landscaping.
To eliminate the possibility of blockage, schedule gutter cleaning at least once a year or install gutter guards. If 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
When your gutter pitch gets distorted, it can create several problems for your home. All of the issues above can let you determine if your gutter pitch is wrong.
Regardless of whether your gutters were damaged during a storm or if they were installed poorly in the first place, they need to be re-pitched if you want to avoid significant home repairs, including damage to siding, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Elk Grove
The most affordable 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 Elk Grove Gutter Service recommends.
To correct gutter pitch, Elk Grove Gutter Service will loosen the gutter, but they won’t need to take it completely down. This lowers labor costs and time. Then the technician will measure and calculate the pitch needed and reinstall the gutters, moving fasteners if necessary, to fit the correct measurements.
Gutter Installation in Elk Grove
If your rain gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are starting to rust or wear down with age, Elk Grove Gutter Service may recommend that you replace them rather than re-pitching them. This can be more economical over time and time-saving.
If your gutters have to be replaced with new ones, they will include new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer will set the gutters at the appropriate pitch. You can reference our tips in this blog post to ensure the new installation was done the right way.