What is Gutter Pitch?
Gutters are fastened at a slight angle so that water flows out of them instead of sitting stagnant. Gutters don’t appear slanted because installation pros know exactly what they’re doing, but we assure you they are.
Gutters have a specific 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 heavier amounts of rain can flow unobstructed 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, may require a downspout on each side. When this is the situation, the rain 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 of the downspouts need to be lower than this middle point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If your gutters are installed incorrectly or if they are loose or bent at all, it can cause problems that might be costly and difficult to repair.
When your gutter pitch is wrong, it can cause water to back up in your gutter channels. Water is a typical issue around the house, as it can lead to all of the issues below:
- Water in the gutters can lead to roof damage due to the standing water. When water doesn’t flow from the gutters, water can get underneath the shingles and cause damage to the fascia, sub-roofing and even leak inside your home.
- Standing rain water is one way mildew and mold can grow on areas of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a very hard project, especially if it appears on your roof. Mold is known for destroying organic materials (many of which exist in your house) and 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 materials. It can also destroy 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 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 homeowners can do on their own, with their feet on the ground.
Check for Standing Water
Water naturally follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water inside of your home’s gutters is an issue. If possible, examine the gutters immediately after rainfall so you can see the draining of the water.
This could force 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 EO Gutters, Inc. check it out for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any tiny granules left behind in the gutters from your shingles means the gutters may not have enough pitch, so the water can’t carry these materials out. Grit or sludge in your gutters is common after having a new roof installed because it will tend to shed excess particles in the first couple of years.
You can climb up and look, or you may notice some of the particles flowing out of your gutters by way of the downspouts. If you see 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 typically caused by a blockage, but it can also be the result 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 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 another indicator that there is a gutter pitch problem.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
When your gutter pitch gets incorrect, it can cause a lot of problems for your house. All of the issues above can let you decide if your gutter pitch is wrong.
Regardless of whether your rain gutters were damaged during a storm or if they were installed incorrectly to begin with, they need to be re-pitched if you want to avoid expensive home repairs, including siding damage, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in East Orange
The first option will be repairing your existing gutters so the proper pitch is restored. If the gutters are in good condition and undamaged, this will be the route EO Gutters, Inc. encourages.
To correct gutter pitch, EO Gutters, Inc. 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 calculate the proper pitch and reinstall the gutters, adjusting fasteners if necessary, to fit the correct measurements.
Gutter Installation in East Orange
If your gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, EO Gutters, Inc. 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 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 use our tips above to make sure the new installation is done correctly.