What is Gutter Pitch?
Gutters are installed at a slight angle so water drains out of them instead of remaining stagnant. Gutters don’t appear slanted because installation companies know 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 formula tells your gutter installation technician where to attach the downspout so that even heavier amounts of rain can flow smoothly from your roof. The side of your home’s roof where the downspouts are located is the side that should be lower.
Long areas of gutter, like across the front of a house, require a downspout on both sides. When this is the case, the rain gutters will be pitched from the middle, meaning that the middle of the roofline will be the absolute 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 at all, it can create problems that can be expensive and difficult to fix.
When there is a gutter pitch problem, it can cause water to back up in your gutters. Water is a common problem around the house, as it can cause all of the following issues:
- Rain inside of the gutters can lead to roof damage due to the standing water. When it doesn’t flow from the gutters, water can seep under the shingles and cause harm to the fascia, sub-roofing and even leak inside your house.
- Pooling water is one way mold and mildew can grow on areas of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a difficult project, 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 inside your rain gutters can cause them to tear away from your house. The gutters can pull fasteners from the walls, destroying your vinyl or other exterior materials. It can also ruin 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 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 point is, it 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 naturally follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water in your gutters is a problem. If possible, inspect the gutters immediately after rainfall so you can see the draining of the water.
This could force you to climb a ladder, so exercise caution. If you aren’t comfortable doing this, you can have a handyman or a gutter specialist from Boulder Gutters, Inc. check it out for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any little granules remaining in the gutters from your shingles are a sign that the rain gutters may not have enough slope, so the water can’t carry these materials out. Grit or sludge inside of your gutters is common after getting a new roof installed because it will tend to lose excess particles in the first couple of years.
You can climb up a ladder and look, or you might see some of these particles flowing out of your gutters from the downspouts. If you notice a small amount in these areas, there is a good chance there is more that can’t 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 in the wrong direction, know as “back pitch,” you will see water overflowing at the end cap. This can cause 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 you are still seeing overflow, it’s another sign that there is a gutter pitch problem.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
If your gutter pitch gets incorrect, it can cause several problems for your home. All of the issues above can let you know that your gutter pitch is wrong.
No matter if your rain gutters were damaged during a storm or they were installed poorly to begin with, they need to be re-pitched in order to prevent expensive home repairs, including siding damage, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Boulder
The first option will be repairing your existing gutters so the proper pitch is restored. If the rain gutters are in prime condition and undamaged, this will be the route Boulder Gutters, Inc. encourages.
To correct gutter pitch, Boulder Gutters, Inc. will loosen the gutter, but they won’t have to take it completely down. This lowers labor costs and time. Then the technician will measure and calculate the correct pitch and reinstall the gutters, moving fasteners if necessary, to fit the correct measurements.
Gutter Installation in Boulder
If your rain gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, Boulder Gutters, Inc. may recommend that you replace them instead of re-pitching them. This can be more economical in the long run and time-saving.
If your gutters need to be replaced, 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 was done correctly.