What is Gutter Pitch?
All gutters are set at a slight angle so that water drains out of them instead of sitting stagnant. Gutters don’t look slanted because installation companies know exactly what they’re doing, but they are.
Gutters should 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 installer where to fasten the downspout so that heavy 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.
Long sections of gutter, like across the front of a home, may require a downspout on both sides. When this is happening, the gutters will be pitched from the middle, meaning that the center 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 have become loose or bent, it can lead to problems that can be costly and difficult to fix.
When there is something wrong with your gutter pitch, it can cause water to back up in your gutters. Water is a common problem around the house, as it can result in all of the following issues:
- Water in the gutters can cause roof damage due to the standing water. When water backs up in the gutters, water can get underneath the shingles and cause damage 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. Getting rid of mold is a challenging project, especially if it appears on your roof. Mold is known for ruining organic materials (many of which are common in your house) and even making people feel ill.
- The weight of standing water in your rain gutters can cause them to tear away from your home. The gutters can pull fasteners from the walls, 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 correctly pitched, here are a some of the things you can do:
Look for Hanging Spots
As we mentioned before, you shouldn’t be able to see the slope of your rain gutters. If you can visibly identify where the low spot is, this is a sign that your gutter has been damaged or it is getting old.
You should still be able to see a dip in the gutters from the ground, so this is a safe job that homeowners can do on their 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 an issue. Try to examine the gutters right after rainfall so you can see the flow of the water.
This could 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 Nashville Gutter Solutions do it for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any little granules remaining in the gutters from your shingles are a sign that the rain gutters might not have enough pitch, so the water can’t carry these heavier materials out. Seeing grit or sludge inside of your gutters is common after getting 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 see some of the particles flowing out of your gutters from the downspouts. If you notice a little 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 sometimes caused by a blockage, but it can also be the result of incorrect gutter pitch. If water is flowing the wrong direction, called “back pitch,” you will probably see water overflowing from the end cap. This can damage to your roof, gutters and nearby landscaping.
To prevent 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 is still overflow, it’s one more sign that your gutter pitch may be wrong.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
When your gutter pitch gets incorrect, it can result in several problems for your house. All of the issues above can let you determine if your gutter pitch is wrong.
Regardless of whether your gutters were damaged or if they were installed poorly to begin with, they need to be re-pitched in order to avoid significant home repairs, including damage to siding, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Nashville
The first option will be repairing your existing gutters so the pitch is restored. If the rain gutters are in good condition and undamaged, this should be the route Nashville Gutter Solutions recommends.
To restore gutter pitch, Nashville Gutter Solutions 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 proper pitch and reinstall the gutters, relocating fasteners if necessary, to fit the correct measurements.
Gutter Installation in Nashville
If your gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, Nashville Gutter Solutions may recommend to 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, they will include new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer will set the gutters at the appropriate pitch. You can use the tips above to ensure the new installation was done the right way.