Gutters are fastened at a slight angle so water flows out rather than sitting stagnant. Gutters don’t look slanted because installation pros know exactly what they’re doing, but they are.
Gutters have a specific slope based on this formula:
¼ of an inch of drop per 10 feet of gutter
This formula tells a gutter installation technician right where to place the downspout so that heavy amounts of precipitation 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, 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 center 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 have become loose or bent, it can lead to problems that can 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 problem around the home, as it can cause all of the issues below:
- Water in the gutters can cause roof damage because of the standing water. When water doesn’t flow from the gutters, water can seep under the shingles and cause harm to the fascia, sub-roofing and even get inside your house.
- Pooling water is one way mildew and mold can grow on sections of your roof, gutters or siding. Getting rid of mold is a challenging task, especially if it grows on your roof. Mold is known for ruining organic materials (many of which exist in your home) and even making people sick.
- The weight of standing water in your rain gutters can cause them to pull away from your house. The gutters can tear out fasteners from the siding, damaging your vinyl or other exterior materials. It can also damage 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 above, you shouldn’t be able to notice the slope of your gutters. If you can noticeably tell where the low point is, this is an indication that your gutter has been damaged or it is getting old.
You should still be able to notice 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
Rain water follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water inside of your gutters is an issue. If possible, check the gutters immediately after rainfall so you can see the flow of the water.
This might require 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 All Pro Gutters check it out for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any small granules remaining in the gutters from your roof shingles are a sign that the gutters may not have enough slope, so the water can’t carry these materials out. Seeing grit or sludge in your gutters is more common after getting a new roof installed because it will tend to shed excess granules in the first few years.
You can climb up a ladder and look, or you may notice some of these particles flowing out of your gutters by way of the downspouts. If you see 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 typically caused by a blockage, but it can also be due to incorrect gutter pitch. If water is flowing the wrong way, know as “back pitch,” you will see water overflowing at the end cap. This can problems for 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 the gutters are clean but there is still overflow, it’s another indicator that your gutter pitch may be wrong.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
If your gutter pitch is distorted, it can cause many problems for your house. All of the issues above can let you determine if your gutter pitch is off.
No matter if your rain gutters were damaged during a storm or if they were installed incorrectly to begin with, they need to be re-pitched in order to prevent significant home repairs, including damage to siding, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Schenectady
The most affordable option will be repairing your existing gutters so the pitch is restored. If the gutters are in good condition and undamaged, this will be the route All Pro Gutters encourages.
To re-establish gutter pitch, All Pro Gutters will loosen the gutter, but they won’t need to take it completely down. This lowers 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 Schenectady
If your rain gutters are severely damaged, or if they are starting to rust or wear down with age, All Pro Gutters may recommend that you 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 include new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer should set the gutters at the correct pitch. You can use our tips above to ensure the new installation was done the right way.