Gutters are installed at a slight angle so water drains out rather than remaining stagnant. They don’t appear slanted because installation pros know 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 horizontal gutter
This calculation tells a gutter installation technician right where to fasten the downspout so that heavier 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 lower.
Long areas of gutter, like across the front of a home, may require a downspout on each side. When this is the situation, the rain gutters will be pitched from the middle, meaning that the center of the roofline will be the absolute highest point, and both of the downspouts need to be lower than this middle point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If your gutters are installed the wrong way or if they have become loose or bent, it can cause problems that might be expensive 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 typical problem around the house, as it can cause all of the following issues:
- Water in the gutters can cause roof damage due to the standing water. When it doesn’t flow from the gutters, water can get underneath the shingles and cause harm to the fascia, sub-roofing and even get inside your home.
- 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 when it grows on your roof. Mold is known for destroying organic materials (many of which are common in your house) and even making people feel ill.
- The weight of standing water inside your rain gutters can lead them to pull away from your roof. The gutters can pull fasteners from the walls, destroying your vinyl or other exterior materials. It can also destroy landscaping and windows.
Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?
To ensure your gutters are correctly pitched, here are a some of the things you can check:
Look for Hanging Spots
As we mentioned above, you shouldn’t be able to notice the slope of your gutters. If you can noticeably identify where the low spot is, this is a sign that your gutter has been damaged or that 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 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 in your gutters is a problem. Try to inspect the gutters right 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 local handyman or a gutter specialist from Fort Wayne Gutters do it for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any small granules left behind in the gutters from your shingles means the gutters may not have enough slope, so the water can’t carry these heavier materials out. Grit or sludge in your gutters is more common after getting a new roof installed because it will tend to lose excess granules in the first few years.
You can climb up and look, or you might see some of the particles making their way out of your gutters from the downspouts. If you see a little 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 usually caused by a blockage, but it can also be due to incorrect gutter pitch. If rain water is flowing the wrong way, called “back pitch,” you will see water overflowing from the end cap. This can cause damage to your roof, gutters and landscaping.
To eliminate 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 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 problems above can let you decide if your gutter pitch is wrong.
Regardless of whether your rain gutters were damaged or if they were installed poorly in the first place, they need to be re-pitched if you want to prevent significant home repairs, including damage to siding, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Fort Wayne
The first option will be repairing the existing gutters so the proper pitch is restored. If the rain gutters are in excellent condition and undamaged, this will be the route Fort Wayne Gutters recommends.
To re-establish gutter pitch, Fort Wayne Gutters 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 proper pitch and reinstall the gutters, moving fasteners if necessary, to fit the specific measurements.
Gutter Installation in Fort Wayne
If your gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, Fort Wayne Gutters may recommend that you replace them rather than re-pitching them. This can be more economical over time 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 correct pitch. You can use our tips above to ensure the new installation is done the right way.