What is Gutter Pitch?
Gutters are set at a slight angle so that water drains out rather than remaining stagnant. They don’t appear slanted because installation companies know exactly 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 a gutter installation technician right where to place the downspout so that even heavier amounts of precipitation can flow unobstructed from your roof. The side of your home’s roof where the downspouts are is the side that should be lower.
Longer areas of gutter, like across the front of a house, require a downspout on both sides. When this is the case, the rain gutters will need to be pitched from the middle, which means that the middle of the roofline will be the highest point, and both downspouts need to be lower than this middle point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If your gutters are installed incorrectly or if they have become loose or bent at all, it can lead to problems that can be costly and difficult to fix.
When your gutter pitch is wrong, it can make water back up in your gutter channels. Water is a common issue around the house, as it can result in all of the following issues:
- Water inside of the gutters can cause roof damage because of the standing water. When it backs up in the gutters, water can seep under the shingles and cause damage to the fascia, sub-roofing and even leak inside your home.
- Pooling rain water is one way mildew and mold can grow on of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a difficult task, 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 sick.
- The weight of pooling water in your rain gutters can lead them to pull away from your house. The gutters can tear out fasteners from the siding, damaging your vinyl or other exterior materials. It can also damage surrounding landscaping and windows.
Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?
To ensure your gutters are properly pitched, here are a some of the things you can check:
Look for Hanging Spots
Like we said above, you shouldn’t be able to see the slope of your rain gutters. If you can noticeably identify where the low spot is, it is a sign that your gutter has been damaged or that it is getting worn out.
You should still be able to see a dip in the gutters from the ground, so this is a safe job that you can do on your own, with their 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. Try to examine the gutters right after rainfall so you can see the flow of the water.
This may force you to climb a ladder, so be careful. If you aren’t comfortable doing this, you can have a local handyman or a gutter specialist from The Columbus Gutter Company do it for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any small granules left behind in the gutters from your roof shingles means the rain gutters may 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 few years.
You can climb up a ladder and take a look, or you might see some of the particles making their way out of your gutters through the downspouts. If you notice a small amount in these areas, there is a good chance 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 because of incorrect gutter pitch. If rain water is flowing in the wrong direction, called “back pitch,” you will see water overflowing from the end cap. This can cause damage to your roof, gutters and landscaping.
To prevent 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 one more indicator that there is a gutter pitch problem.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
If your gutter pitch is incorrect, it can create many problems for your home. All of the issues above can let you decide if your gutter pitch is wrong.
No matter if your rain gutters were damaged or they were installed poorly to begin with, they need to be re-pitched in order to prevent major home repairs, including siding damage, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Columbus
The first option will be repairing the existing gutters so the pitch is restored. If the rain gutters are in excellent condition and undamaged, this should be the route The Columbus Gutter Company encourages.
To re-establish gutter pitch, The Columbus Gutter Company will loosen the gutter, but they won’t have to take it completely 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 Columbus
If your rain gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are starting to rust or wear down with age, The Columbus Gutter Company may recommend to replace them rather than re-pitching them. This will be more economical in the long run and time-saving.
If your gutters need to be replaced with new ones, they will come compete with new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer will set the gutters at the correct pitch. You can reference our tips in this blog post to ensure the new installation was done correctly.