What is Gutter Pitch?
Rain gutters are installed at a slight angle so water flows out rather than remaining stagnant. They don’t appear slanted because installation pros know what they’re doing, but they are.
Gutters have an angled slope based on this formula:
¼ of an inch of drop per 10 feet of horizontal gutter
This formula tells your gutter installer right where to attach the downspout so that heavier amounts of rain can flow unobstructed from your roof. The side of your home’s roof where the downspouts are is the side that should be the lower end.
Longer sections of gutter, like across the front of a home, may require a downspout on both sides. 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 need to be lower than this center point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If your gutters are installed incorrectly or if they have become loose or bent at all, it can create problems that might be expensive and difficult to repair.
When your gutter pitch is wrong, it can make water back up in your gutters. Water is a common problem around the home, as it can lead to all of the issues below:
- Rain inside of the gutters can lead to roof damage due to the standing water. When rain doesn’t flow from the gutters, water can seep under the shingles and cause damage to the fascia, sub-roofing and even leak inside your house.
- Pooling rain water is one way mildew and mold can grow on sections of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a difficult project, especially when it grows on your roof. Mold is known for destroying organic materials (many of which exist in your home) and making people feel ill.
- The weight of blocked water in your gutters can cause them to tear away from your home. The gutters can tear out 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 mentioned above, you shouldn’t be able to see the slope of your rain gutters. If you can noticeably identify where the low point is, this is an indication that your gutter is damaged or 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 follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water in your gutters is a problem. Try to inspect the gutters right after rainfall so you can see the flow of the water.
This may require you to climb a ladder, so exercise caution. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, you can have a local handyman or a gutter specialist from Naperville Gutters check it out for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any tiny granules left behind in the gutters from your shingles means the rain gutters might not have enough slope, so the water can’t carry these heavier materials out. Seeing grit or sludge in your gutters is common after getting 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 making their way out of your gutters from the downspouts. If you see 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 water is flowing the wrong way, know as “back pitch,” you will 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 the gutters are clean but there is still overflow, it’s another sign that your gutter pitch may be wrong.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
When your gutter pitch is incorrect, it can lead to several problems for your home. All of the problems above can let you decide if your gutter pitch is not right.
Regardless of whether 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 significant home repairs, including damage to siding, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Naperville
The most affordable option will be repairing the existing gutters so the proper pitch is restored. If the gutters are in prime condition and undamaged, this will be the route Naperville Gutters recommends.
To restore gutter pitch, Naperville 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 calculate the pitch needed and reinstall the gutters, adjusting fasteners if necessary, to fit the specific measurements.
Gutter Installation in Naperville
If your gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, Naperville Gutters may recommend to replace them rather than re-pitching them. This can be more economical over time and time-saving.
If your gutters need to be replaced with new ones, they will come compete with new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer will set the gutters at the correct pitch. You can use the tips in this blog post to ensure the new installation was done the right way.