What is Gutter Pitch?
Gutters are fastened at a slight angle so that water flows out of them instead of remaining stagnant. They don’t look slanted because installation pros know exactly 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 gutter
This formula tells your gutter installation technician right where to place the downspout so that heavier amounts of precipitation can flow smoothly from your roof. The side of your home’s roof where the downspouts are is the side that should be lower.
Long sections of gutter, like across the front of a home, may require a downspout on both sides. When this is the case, the gutters will be pitched from the middle, which means that the middle of the roofline will be the absolute highest point, and both downspouts need to be lower than this center point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If gutters are installed incorrectly or if they have become loose or bent at all, it can cause problems that might be costly and complex to repair.
When your gutter pitch is wrong, it can cause water to back up in your gutters. Water is a common issue around the house, as it can result in all of the issues below:
- Rain inside of the gutters can cause roof damage because of the standing water. When it backs up in the gutters, water can seep under the shingles and cause harm to the fascia, sub-roofing and even get inside your house.
- Standing rain water is one way mildew and mold can grow on areas of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a challenging task, especially if it appears on your roof. Mold is known for destroying organic materials (many of which exist in your home) and even making people sick.
- The weight of standing water inside 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 material. It can also destroy surrounding 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
As we mentioned before, you shouldn’t be able to see the slope of your gutters. If you can visibly identify where the low spot is, it is an indication that your gutter has been damaged or it is getting old.
You should 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 both feet on the ground.
Check for Standing Water
Rain water naturally follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water in your gutters is a problem. If possible, inspect the gutters immediately after rainfall so you can see the draining of the water.
This may require you to climb a ladder, so be careful. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, you can have a handyman or a gutter specialist from Sacramento Gutter Service check it out for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any little granules remaining in the gutters from your shingles means the gutters may not have enough pitch, so the water can’t carry these heavier materials away. Grit or sludge in your gutters is 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 and take a look, or you may notice some of these particles flowing out of your gutters from the downspouts. If you notice a small amount 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 usually caused by a blockage, but it can also be the result 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 cause problems for your roof, gutters and landscaping.
To stop the possibility of 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 one more indicator that there is a gutter pitch problem.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
When your gutter pitch gets incorrect, it can lead to several problems for your house. All of the issues above can let you determine if your gutter pitch is not right.
Regardless of whether your gutters were damaged or they were installed poorly in the first place, they need to be re-pitched in order to prevent major home repairs, including damage to siding, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Sacramento
The most affordable option will be repairing the existing gutters so the pitch is restored. If the gutters are in excellent condition and undamaged, this will be the route Sacramento Gutter Service recommends.
To correct gutter pitch, Sacramento Gutter Service will loosen the gutter, but they won’t need to take it all the way 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 correct measurements.
Gutter Installation in Sacramento
If your gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, Sacramento Gutter Service may recommend that you 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 proper pitch. You can reference our tips in this blog post to ensure the new installation was done correctly.
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