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 companies know exactly 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 horizontal gutter
This calculation tells a gutter installer right where to fasten the downspout so that heavy amounts of precipitation can flow unobstructed from your roof. The side of your roof where the downspouts are located is the side that should be lower.
Longer areas of gutter, like across the front of a house, require a downspout on each side. When this is the case, the gutters will be pitched from the middle, meaning that the middle of the roofline will be the highest point, and both downspouts should 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 create problems that can be costly and complex to fix.
When there is something wrong with your gutter pitch, it can cause water to back up in your gutter channels. Water is a common issue around the home, as it can cause all of the issues below:
- Water inside of the gutters can lead to roof damage because of the standing water. When it doesn’t flow from the gutters, water can get underneath the shingles and cause damage to the fascia, sub-roofing and even get inside your home.
- Standing rain water is one way mold and mildew can grow on of your roof, gutters or siding. Getting rid of mold is a difficult task, especially when it grows on your roof. Mold is known for ruining organic materials (many of which are common in your home) and making people sick.
- The weight of blocked water inside your gutters can lead 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 damage surrounding landscaping and windows.
Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?
To make sure your gutters are properly pitched, here are a few things you can check:
Look for Hanging Spots
Like we said above, you shouldn’t be able to see the slope of your gutters. If you can visibly tell where the low spot is, it is a sign that your gutter is damaged or that it is getting old.
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 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 an issue. Try to check the gutters immediately after rainfall so you can see the draining 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 Huntsville Gutter Service check it out for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any tiny granules remaining in the gutters from your roof shingles means the gutters might not have enough slope, so the water can’t carry these heavier materials away. Seeing grit or sludge in your gutters is more common after having a new roof installed because it will tend to lose a lot of excess granules in the first few years.
You can climb up a ladder and take a look, or you might see some of these particles flowing out of your gutters through the downspouts. If you notice a small amount in these areas, chances are there is more that is unable to make its way out.
Why is There Overflow?
Gutter overflow is sometimes caused by a blockage, but it can also be because of incorrect gutter pitch. If rain water is flowing the wrong way, know as “back pitch,” you will see water overflowing from the end cap. This can cause problems for your roof, gutters and nearby landscaping.
To stop 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 there is still overflow, it’s another sign that there is a gutter pitch problem.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
When your gutter pitch gets incorrect, it can result in several problems for your home. All of the issues above can let you know that your gutter pitch is off.
No matter if your rain gutters were damaged or if 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 Huntsville
The first option will be repairing your existing gutters so the proper pitch is restored. If the gutters are in good condition and undamaged, this will be the route Huntsville Gutter Service encourages.
To correct gutter pitch, Huntsville Gutter Service will loosen the gutter, but they won’t need to take it completely down. This saves labor costs and time. Then the technician will measure and calculate the proper pitch and reinstall the gutters, relocating fasteners if necessary, to fit the correct measurements.
Gutter Installation in Huntsville
If your rain gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, Huntsville Gutter Service may recommend to replace them instead of re-pitching them. This can be more economical over time and time-saving.
If your gutters need to be replaced, they will include new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer will set the gutters at the appropriate pitch. You can use the tips above to make sure the new installation was done the right way.