What is Gutter Pitch?
All gutters are fastened at a slight angle so that water drains out instead of sitting stagnant. Gutters don’t look slanted because installation companies know what they’re doing, but we assure you they are.
Gutters 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 right where to place the downspout so that heavier amounts of rain can flow unobstructed from your roof. The side of your roof where the downspouts are is the side that should be the lower end.
Long areas of gutter, like across the front of a house, require a downspout on both sides. When this is the case, the gutters will need to be pitched from the middle, meaning that the center of the roofline will be the absolute highest point, and both downspouts need to be lower than this middle point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If your gutters are installed incorrectly or if they have become loose or bent, it can lead to problems that might be costly and difficult to repair.
When there is a gutter pitch problem, it can cause water to back up in your gutter channels. Water is a typical issue around the home, as it can cause all of the following issues:
- Water inside of the gutters can lead to 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 leak 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 challenging task, especially when it grows on your roof. Mold is known for ruining organic materials (many of which exist in your house) and making people feel ill.
- The weight of standing water inside your rain gutters can cause them to pull away from your house. The gutters can tear out fasteners from the walls, damaging your vinyl or other exterior material. It can also destroy landscaping and windows.
Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?
To be confident your gutters are correctly pitched, here are a some of the things you can do:
Look for Hanging Spots
Like we said above, you shouldn’t be able to notice the slope of your gutters. If you can noticeably identify where the low spot is, it is an indication that your gutter has been damaged or that it is getting worn out.
You should still be able to see a dip in the gutters from the ground, so this is a safe job that homeowners can do on their own, with their feet on the ground.
Check for Standing Water
Water naturally 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 draining of the water.
This might require 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 Little Rock Gutter Service do it for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any little granules left behind in the gutters from your shingles means the rain gutters might not have enough pitch, so the water can’t carry these heavier 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 particles in the first couple of years.
You can climb up a ladder and take a look, or you might see some of the particles making their way out of your gutters through the downspouts. If you see 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 the result of incorrect gutter pitch. If rain water is flowing the wrong way, called “back pitch,” you will probably see water overflowing from the end cap. This can problems for your roof, gutters and surrounding landscaping.
To remove 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 is distorted, it can cause a lot of problems for your house. All of the problems above can let you know that your gutter pitch is not right.
Regardless of whether your rain gutters were damaged during a storm or if they were installed incorrectly to begin with, they need to be re-pitched in order to prevent expensive home repairs, including damage to siding, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Little Rock
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 Little Rock Gutter Service encourages.
To re-establish gutter pitch, Little Rock 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 determine the pitch needed and reinstall the gutters, relocating fasteners if necessary, to fit the specific measurements.
Gutter Installation in Little Rock
If your gutters are severely damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, Little Rock Gutter Service may recommend that you replace them instead of re-pitching them. This will be more economical in the long run 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 reference our tips in this blog post to make sure the new installation was done the right way.