What is Gutter Pitch?
Rain gutters are fastened at a slight angle so water drains out of them 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 a gutter installation technician where to attach the downspout so that even 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 areas of gutter, like across the front of a house, require a downspout on both sides. When this is the situation, the gutters will be pitched from the middle, meaning that the middle of the roofline will be the absolute highest point, and both downspouts should be lower than this center point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If your gutters are installed incorrectly or if they are loose or bent, it can cause problems that can be costly and complex to repair.
When there is something wrong with your gutter pitch, it can make water back up in your gutters. Water is a typical problem around the house, as it can lead to all of the following issues:
- Rain in the gutters can cause roof damage because of the standing water. When it backs up in the gutters, water can get underneath the shingles and cause harm to the fascia, sub-roofing and even get inside your home.
- Standing 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 when it grows on your roof. Mold is known for destroying organic materials (many of which are common in your home) and making people feel ill.
- The weight of blocked water in your rain gutters can cause them to tear away from your roof. The gutters can tear out fasteners from the siding, destroying your vinyl or other exterior materials. 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 some of the things you can do:
Look for Hanging Spots
Like we mentioned before, 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 a sign that your gutter is damaged or that it is getting worn out.
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 their feet on the ground.
Check for Standing Water
Water follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water inside of your home’s gutters is a problem. If possible, check the gutters immediately after rainfall so you can see the draining of the water.
This might 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 Spokane Valley Gutters do it for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any small granules remaining in the gutters from your shingles are a sign that the gutters might not have enough slope, so the water can’t carry these materials out. Grit or sludge inside of 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 a ladder and look, or you may see some of the particles making their way out of your gutters from 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 typically caused by a blockage, but it can also be because of incorrect gutter pitch. If water is flowing the wrong way, called “back pitch,” you will see water overflowing at the end cap. This can cause damage to your roof, gutters and surrounding landscaping.
To stop 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 you are still seeing overflow, it’s one more sign that there is a gutter pitch problem.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
When your gutter pitch gets distorted, it can result in a lot of problems for your house. All of the issues above can let you know that your gutter pitch is off.
No matter if your gutters were damaged or they were installed poorly in the first place, they need to be re-pitched in order to avoid expensive home repairs, including siding damage, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Spokane Valley
The first option will be repairing your existing gutters so the proper pitch is restored. If the rain gutters are in excellent condition and undamaged, this will be the route Spokane Valley Gutters recommends.
To restore gutter pitch, Spokane Valley 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 determine the correct pitch and reinstall the gutters, relocating fasteners if necessary, to fit the specific measurements.
Gutter Installation in Spokane Valley
If your gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are starting to rust or wear down with age, Spokane Valley Gutters may recommend to 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 come compete with new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer should set the gutters at the appropriate pitch. You can use our tips in this blog post to ensure the new installation is done the right way.