Rain gutters are installed at a slight angle so that water drains out of them rather than remaining stagnant. Gutters don’t look slanted because installation companies know what they’re doing, but we assure you they are.
Gutters should have a specific slope based on this formula:
¼ of an inch of drop per 10 feet of gutter
This calculation tells a gutter installer where to fasten the downspout so that heavier amounts of precipitation 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.
Long sections of gutter, like across the front of a home, require a downspout on each side. When this is the situation, the rain gutters will need to be pitched from the middle, meaning 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 incorrectly or if they have become loose or bent, it can lead to problems that can be costly and complex to repair.
When there is a gutter pitch problem, it can make water back up in your gutters. Water is a typical problem around the house, as it can result in all of the following issues:
- Water inside of the gutters can cause roof damage due to the standing water. When water backs up in the gutters, water can seep under the shingles and cause harm to the fascia, sub-roofing and even leak inside your house.
- Standing rain 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 appears on your roof. Mold is known for destroying organic materials (many of which are common in your home) and even making people sick.
- The weight of standing water in your gutters can cause them to pull away from your home. The gutters can pull fasteners from the siding, destroying your vinyl or other exterior material. It can also destroy surrounding landscaping and windows.
Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?
To ensure your gutters are properly pitched, here are a few things you can do:
Look for Hanging Spots
As we mentioned before, you shouldn’t be able to see the slope of your gutters. If you can noticeably tell where the low point is, this is a sign that your gutter has been damaged or that it is getting old.
You should be able to notice a dip in the gutters from the ground, 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 a problem. Try to examine the gutters immediately after rainfall so you can see the draining 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 Fitchburg 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 out. Grit or sludge in your gutters is more common after getting a new roof installed because it will tend to shed a lot of excess granules in the first few years.
You can climb up a ladder and take a look, or you may see some of these particles flowing out of your gutters through the downspouts. If you notice a small amount in these areas, chances are 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 because of incorrect gutter pitch. If rain water is flowing in the wrong direction, know as “back pitch,” you will see water overflowing from the end cap. This can problems for your roof, gutters and surrounding landscaping.
To remove 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 another indicator that your gutter pitch may be wrong.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
When your gutter pitch gets distorted, it can lead to several problems for your house. All of the issues above can let you determine if your gutter pitch is wrong.
Regardless of whether your rain gutters were damaged or if they were installed incorrectly in the first place, they need to be re-pitched if you want to prevent expensive home repairs, including damage to siding, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Fitchburg
The most affordable option will be repairing your existing gutters so the correct pitch is restored. If the gutters are in good condition and undamaged, this should be the route Fitchburg Gutters recommends.
To re-establish gutter pitch, Fitchburg 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 determine the pitch needed and reinstall the gutters, adjusting fasteners if necessary, to fit the correct measurements.
Gutter Installation in Fitchburg
If your gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are starting to rust or wear down with age, Fitchburg Gutters may recommend to replace them instead of 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 our tips in this blog post to ensure the new installation was done the right way.