What is Gutter Pitch?
Rain gutters are set at a slight angle so water drains out 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 a gutter installation technician where to place the downspout so that even heavier amounts of rain can flow smoothly from your roof. The side of your home’s roof where the downspouts are located is the side that should be the lower end.
Longer areas of gutter, like across the front of a house, may 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 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, it can cause problems that might be costly and complex 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 result in all of the following issues:
- Rain inside of the gutters can cause roof damage because of the standing water. When it doesn’t flow from the gutters, water can get underneath the shingles and cause damage to the fascia, sub-roofing and even get inside your home.
- Pooling water is one way mold and mildew can grow on sections of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a very hard project, especially if it grows on your roof. Mold is known for destroying organic materials (many of which exist in your home) and making people sick.
- The weight of blocked water inside your gutters can lead them to tear away from your roof. The gutters can tear out fasteners from the siding, damaging your vinyl or other exterior material. It can also destroy landscaping and windows.
Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?
To be confident your gutters are properly pitched, here are a few things you can do:
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 point is, it is an indication that your gutter is damaged or that it is getting worn out.
You should still be able to notice 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
Rain water follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water in your gutters is an issue. Try to examine the gutters immediately after rainfall so you can see the draining of the water.
This may require you to climb a ladder, so exercise caution. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, you can have a handyman or a gutter specialist from Clean Cleveland Gutters check it out for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any little granules remaining in the gutters from your shingles means the rain gutters might not have enough pitch, so the water can’t carry these heavier materials away. Seeing grit or sludge inside of your gutters is common after getting a new roof installed because it will tend to lose excess granules in the first few years.
You can climb up and look, or you might notice some of the particles flowing out of your gutters from 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 due to incorrect gutter pitch. If rain water is flowing in the wrong direction, called “back pitch,” you will probably see water overflowing at the end cap. This can cause problems for 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 there is still overflow, it’s another sign that there is a gutter pitch problem.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
When your gutter pitch is incorrect, it can cause many problems for your home. All of the problems above can let you know that your gutter pitch is wrong.
No matter if your gutters were damaged or if they were installed incorrectly to begin with, they need to be re-pitched in order to avoid major home repairs, including damage to siding, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Cleveland
The first option will be repairing the existing gutters so the pitch is restored. If the rain gutters are in prime condition and undamaged, this should be the route Clean Cleveland Gutters recommends.
To re-establish gutter pitch, Clean Cleveland Gutters will loosen the gutter, but they won’t have to take it all the way down. This saves 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 Cleveland
If your gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, Clean Cleveland Gutters may recommend to replace them rather than re-pitching them. This can be more economical over time 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 should set the gutters at the proper pitch. You can reference the tips above to ensure the new installation is done the right way.