What is Gutter Pitch?
All gutters are fastened at a slight angle so that water drains out of them instead of remaining stagnant. Gutters don’t look slanted because installation companies 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 installer 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 the lower end.
Long sections of gutter, like across the front of a home, require a downspout on both sides. When this is happening, the rain gutters will need to be pitched from the middle, meaning that the middle of the roofline will be the highest point, and both downspouts need to be lower than this center point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If gutters are installed the wrong way or if they are loose or bent at all, it can create problems that might be costly and complex to repair.
When there is something wrong with your gutter pitch, it can make water back up in your gutters. Water is a typical problem around the home, as it can cause all of the following issues:
- Rain in the gutters can lead to roof damage due to the standing water. When rain backs up in the gutters, water can seep under the shingles and cause harm to the fascia, sub-roofing and even leak inside your home.
- Standing water is one way mildew and mold can grow on sections of your roof, gutters or siding. Getting rid of mold is a difficult project, especially when it grows on your roof. Mold is known for ruining organic materials (many of which are common in your house) and making people sick.
- The weight of blocked water inside your gutters can cause them to tear away from your house. The gutters can pull fasteners from the siding, damaging your vinyl or other exterior material. It can also damage 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 before, you shouldn’t be able to notice the slope of your gutters. If you can visibly identify where the low point is, this is an indication that your gutter has been damaged or that it is getting old.
You should 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
Rain water follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water inside of your home’s gutters is an issue. If possible, examine 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 aren’t comfortable doing this, you can have a local handyman or a gutter specialist from Choice Clarksville Gutters check it out for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any small granules left behind in the gutters from your shingles means the gutters may not have enough pitch, so the water can’t carry these materials out. Seeing 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 a ladder and take a look, or you may notice some of these particles flowing out of your gutters by way of the downspouts. If you notice a little in these areas, there is a good chance 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 due to incorrect gutter pitch. If rain water is flowing the wrong way, know as “back pitch,” you will see water overflowing at 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 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 is distorted, it can cause many problems for your home. All of the problems above can let you know that your gutter pitch is wrong.
No matter if your rain 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 expensive home repairs, including siding damage, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Clarksville
The first option will be repairing the existing gutters so the correct pitch is restored. If the rain gutters are in good condition and undamaged, this should be the route Choice Clarksville Gutters encourages.
To correct gutter pitch, Choice Clarksville Gutters will loosen the gutter, but they won’t have to take it all the way down. This lowers labor costs and time. Then the technician will measure and determine the pitch needed and reinstall the gutters, moving fasteners if necessary, to fit the correct measurements.
Gutter Installation in Clarksville
If your rain gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, Choice Clarksville Gutters may recommend that you replace them instead of re-pitching them. This will be more economical over time and time-saving.
If your gutters need to be replaced with new ones, they will include new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer will set the gutters at the proper pitch. You can reference our tips in this blog post to make sure the new installation is done the right way.