Gutters are fastened at a slight angle so water flows out instead of remaining stagnant. They don’t appear slanted because installation companies know exactly 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 horizontal gutter
This calculation tells a gutter installation technician where to place the downspout so that even 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 lower.
Long areas of gutter, like across the front of a home, may require a downspout on each side. When this is the case, the rain gutters will need to be pitched from the middle, which means that the middle of the roofline will be the highest point, and both of the downspouts should 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 create problems that might be expensive and complex to repair.
When there is something wrong with your gutter pitch, it can make water 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 lead to roof damage due to the standing water. When rain doesn’t flow from the gutters, water can get underneath the shingles and cause harm to the fascia, sub-roofing and even leak inside your home.
- Standing water is one way mold and mildew can grow on areas of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a difficult task, especially when it appears on your roof. Mold is known for destroying organic materials (many of which exist in your house) and making people sick.
- The weight of pooling water inside your gutters can lead them to pull away from your house. The gutters can pull fasteners from the walls, damaging your vinyl or other exterior materials. It can also ruin landscaping and windows.
Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?
To be confident your gutters are properly pitched, here are a few things you can do:
Look for Hanging Spots
Like we mentioned before, you shouldn’t be able to notice the slope of your rain gutters. If you can visibly identify where the low spot is, it is a sign that your gutter is damaged or that it is getting worn out.
You should 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 both feet on the ground.
Check for Standing Water
Water follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water in your home’s gutters is a problem. If possible, inspect the gutters right after rainfall so you can see the flow 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 Prime Pittsburgh Gutters do it for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any small granules remaining in the gutters from your shingles means the gutters may 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 shed a lot of excess granules in the first few years.
You can climb up and take a look, or you may see some of the particles making their way out of your gutters from the downspouts. If you see a small amount in these areas, chances are 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 due to incorrect gutter pitch. If rain water is flowing in the wrong direction, called “back pitch,” you will probably see water overflowing from the end cap. This can cause damage to your roof, gutters and surrounding landscaping.
To eliminate the possibility of a blockage, schedule gutter cleaning at least once a year or install gutter guards. If you know the gutters are clean but you are still seeing overflow, it’s one more sign that there is a gutter pitch problem.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
If your gutter pitch is incorrect, it can result in several problems for your house. All of the problems above can let you determine if your gutter pitch is not right.
No matter if your gutters were damaged during a storm or they were installed poorly in the first place, they need to be re-pitched in order to prevent significant home repairs, including siding damage, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Pittsburgh
The most affordable option will be repairing your existing gutters so the proper pitch is restored. If the gutters are in prime condition and undamaged, this should be the route Prime Pittsburgh Gutters encourages.
To restore gutter pitch, Prime Pittsburgh 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 correct measurements.
Gutter Installation in Pittsburgh
If your gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are starting to rust or wear down with age, Prime Pittsburgh Gutters may recommend to replace them rather than 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 the tips above to make sure the new installation is done the right way.