Rain gutters are installed at a slight angle so that water flows out of them rather than sitting stagnant. They don’t appear slanted because installation pros know what they’re doing, but they are.
Gutters should have a specific slope based on this formula:
¼ of an inch of drop per 10 feet of horizontal gutter
This formula tells a gutter installation technician where to fasten the downspout so that even heavier amounts of rain can flow unobstructed from your roof. The side of your roof where the downspouts are is the side that should be the lower end.
Long sections of gutter, like across the front of a house, require a downspout on each side. 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 downspouts need to be lower than this middle point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If gutters are installed incorrectly or if they are loose or bent at all, it can lead to problems that might be expensive and complex to fix.
When there is a gutter pitch problem, it can cause water to back up in your gutter channels. Water is a common problem around the home, as it can result in all of the issues below:
- Water 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 house.
- Pooling water is one way mildew and mold can grow on of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a challenging project, especially when it appears on your roof. Mold is known for ruining organic materials (many of which exist in your home) and even making people feel ill.
- The weight of standing water inside your rain gutters can lead them to tear away from your home. The gutters can tear out fasteners from the walls, damaging your vinyl or other exterior materials. It can also destroy surrounding landscaping and windows.
Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?
To be confident 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 gutters. If you can visibly 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
Water follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water in your gutters is a problem. Try to inspect the gutters right after rainfall so you can see the flow of the water.
This might force you to climb a ladder, so be careful. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, you can have a local handyman or a gutter specialist from LikeNew Loveland Gutters do it for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any small granules left behind in the gutters from your roof shingles means the rain gutters might not have enough pitch, so the water can’t carry these materials out. Grit or sludge in your gutters is common after getting a new roof installed because it will tend to lose excess particles in the first few years.
You can climb up a ladder and look, or you may notice some of the particles making their way out of your gutters from the downspouts. If you see a little in these areas, chances are there is more that can’t 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 water is flowing the wrong way, called “back pitch,” you will probably see water overflowing at the end cap. This can damage to your roof, gutters and landscaping.
To stop the possibility of blockage, schedule gutter cleaning at least once a year or install gutter guards. If you know the gutters are clean but there are still signs of overflow, it’s another indicator that there is a gutter pitch problem.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
When your gutter pitch gets distorted, it can cause many problems for your home. All of the issues above can let you decide if your gutter pitch is not right.
Regardless of whether your rain gutters were damaged during a storm or they were installed incorrectly to begin with, they need to be re-pitched in order to prevent major home repairs, including damage to siding, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Loveland
The first option will be repairing your existing gutters so the pitch is restored. If the rain gutters are in excellent condition and undamaged, this will be the route LikeNew Loveland Gutters encourages.
To re-establish gutter pitch, LikeNew Loveland 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 pitch needed and reinstall the gutters, adjusting fasteners if necessary, to fit the correct measurements.
Gutter Installation in Loveland
If your gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are starting to rust or wear down with age, LikeNew Loveland Gutters may recommend to replace them rather than 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 should set the gutters at the appropriate pitch. You can use our tips above to make sure the new installation is done the right way.