What is Gutter Pitch?
Gutters are installed at a slight angle so water flows out instead of remaining stagnant. Gutters don’t appear slanted because installation pros know what they’re doing, but they are.
Gutters should have an angled 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 fasten the downspout so that even heavier amounts of rain can flow unobstructed from your roof. The side of your home’s roof where the downspouts are located is the side that should be lower.
Longer areas of gutter, like across the front of a house, may require a downspout on each side. When this is happening, the rain gutters will need to be pitched from the middle, which means that the center of the roofline will be the highest point, and both 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 at all, it can lead to problems that can be costly and difficult to repair.
When there is something wrong with your gutter pitch, it can make water back up in your gutter channels. Water is a common issue around the house, as it can lead to all of the following issues:
- Water in the gutters can lead to roof damage because of the standing water. When water 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 house.
- Standing rain water is one way mold and mildew can grow on of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a difficult task, especially when it appears on your roof. Mold is known for ruining organic materials (many of which are common in your house) and making people feel ill.
- The weight of pooling water inside your rain gutters can lead them to pull away from your home. The gutters can pull fasteners from the walls, damaging your vinyl or other exterior material. 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 some of the things you can check:
Look for Hanging Spots
Like we mentioned before, you shouldn’t be able to notice the slope of your gutters. If you can visibly tell where the low point is, this is a sign that your gutter is damaged or it is getting worn out.
You should still 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 their feet on the ground.
Check for Standing Water
Rain water 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 don’t feel comfortable doing this, you can have a local handyman or a gutter specialist from WeClean Richmond Gutters do it for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any tiny granules remaining in the gutters from your shingles are a sign that the rain gutters might not have enough pitch, so the water can’t carry these materials out. Seeing grit or sludge inside of 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 and look, or you might see some of these particles making their way out of your gutters from the downspouts. If you notice 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 typically caused by a blockage, but it can also be because of 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 remove 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 indicator that your gutter pitch may be wrong.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
If your gutter pitch gets incorrect, it can create many problems for your home. All of the issues above can let you determine if your gutter pitch is wrong.
No matter if your gutters were damaged during a storm or they were installed poorly to begin with, they need to be re-pitched in order to avoid significant home repairs, including siding damage, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Richmond
The most affordable option will be repairing the existing gutters so the correct pitch is restored. If the rain gutters are in prime condition and undamaged, this will be the route WeClean Richmond Gutters recommends.
To correct gutter pitch, WeClean Richmond 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, relocating fasteners if necessary, to fit the specific measurements.
Gutter Installation in Richmond
If your gutters are severely damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, WeClean Richmond Gutters may recommend that you 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 will set the gutters at the correct pitch. You can reference the tips above to ensure the new installation was done the right way.