Rain gutters are set at a slight angle so water flows out of them rather than remaining stagnant. Gutters don’t appear slanted because installation pros 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 your gutter installation technician right where to attach the downspout so that heavy amounts of rain can flow smoothly from your roof. The side of your home’s roof where the downspouts are is the side that should be the lower end.
Longer sections of gutter, like across the front of a home, require a downspout on both sides. When this is the case, the gutters will need to be pitched from the middle, which means that the middle of the roofline will be the absolute highest point, and both of the downspouts need to be lower than this center point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If gutters are installed incorrectly or if they have become loose or bent at all, it can cause problems that can be expensive and complex to repair.
When there is a gutter pitch problem, it can cause water to back up in your gutters. Water is a typical issue around the house, as it can cause all of the issues below:
- Water inside of the gutters can cause roof damage due to the standing water. When it doesn’t flow from the gutters, water can seep under the shingles and cause damage to the fascia, sub-roofing and even get inside your house.
- Pooling water is one way mildew and mold can grow on of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a very hard task, especially if it grows on your roof. Mold is known for ruining organic materials (many of which exist in your house) and even making people sick.
- The weight of standing water in your gutters can cause them to tear away from your house. The gutters can tear out fasteners from the walls, damaging your vinyl or other exterior materials. It can also damage 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 above, you shouldn’t be able to notice the slope of your rain gutters. If you can noticeably identify where the low spot is, this is an indication that your gutter is damaged or it is getting worn out.
You should still be able to see a dip in the gutters from the ground, 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 naturally follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water inside of your gutters is an issue. If possible, examine the gutters immediately 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 Hometown Hampton Gutters check it out for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any tiny granules remaining in the gutters from your shingles means the rain gutters may not have enough pitch, so the water can’t carry these materials away. Grit or sludge in your gutters is more common after having a new roof installed because it will tend to shed a lot of excess particles in the first couple of years.
You can climb up a ladder and take a look, or you may notice some of these 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 typically caused by a blockage, but it can also be the result of incorrect gutter pitch. If rain water is flowing the wrong way, know as “back pitch,” you will probably see water overflowing from the end cap. This can 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 your gutter pitch may be wrong.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
If your gutter pitch gets distorted, it can lead to a lot of problems for your home. All of the problems above can let you decide if your gutter pitch is not right.
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 major home repairs, including damage to siding, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Hampton
The first option will be repairing the existing gutters so the correct pitch is restored. If the rain gutters are in good condition and undamaged, this should be the route Hometown Hampton Gutters recommends.
To re-establish gutter pitch, Hometown Hampton Gutters will loosen the gutter, but they won’t need to take it all the way 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 specific measurements.
Gutter Installation in Hampton
If your rain gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are starting to rust or wear down with age, Hometown Hampton Gutters may recommend that you replace them rather than re-pitching them. This can be more economical in the long run 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 will set the gutters at the appropriate pitch. You can reference the tips in this blog post to ensure the new installation is done correctly.