All gutters are set at a slight angle so water drains out of them rather than remaining stagnant. They don’t appear slanted because installation pros know what they’re doing, but we assure you they are.
Gutters should have an angled slope based on this formula:
¼ of an inch of drop per 10 feet of gutter
This calculation tells your gutter installation technician right where to fasten 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 located is the side that should be lower.
Long areas of gutter, like across the front of a house, may require a downspout on both sides. When this is the situation, the gutters will 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 gutters are installed the wrong way or if they are loose or bent at all, it can lead to problems that might be expensive and complex to repair.
When there is a gutter pitch problem, it can cause water to back up in your gutter channels. Water is a common issue around the house, as it can result in all of the issues below:
- Water inside of the gutters can cause 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 home.
- Standing rain water is one way mildew and mold can grow on of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a difficult project, especially if it appears on your roof. Mold is known for destroying organic materials (many of which exist in your house) and even making people sick.
- The weight of blocked water inside your gutters can cause them to pull away from your roof. The gutters can tear out fasteners from the walls, destroying your vinyl or other exterior materials. It can also ruin surrounding landscaping and windows.
Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?
To make sure your gutters are correctly pitched, here are a few things you can check:
Look for Hanging Spots
As we mentioned before, you shouldn’t be able to notice the slope of your rain gutters. If you can noticeably identify where the low point is, this is a sign that your gutter is damaged or that it is getting old.
You should still be able to notice 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 naturally follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water inside of your gutters is an issue. If possible, examine the gutters right after rainfall so you can see the flow of the water.
This might require 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 Better Bethlehem Gutter do it for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any tiny granules remaining in the gutters from your shingles means the gutters may not have enough slope, so the water can’t carry these heavier materials away. Grit or sludge inside of your gutters is common after having a new roof installed because it will tend to lose a lot of excess granules in the first couple of years.
You can climb up and look, or you might see some of the particles making their way out of your gutters through 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 problems for your roof, gutters and nearby landscaping.
To eliminate 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 one more sign that your gutter pitch may be wrong.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
If your gutter pitch gets distorted, it can cause several problems for your home. All of the issues above can let you know that your gutter pitch is off.
Regardless of whether your rain gutters were damaged or they were installed incorrectly in the first place, they need to be re-pitched if you want to avoid significant home repairs, including siding damage, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Bethlehem
The first option will be repairing the existing gutters so the correct pitch is restored. If the rain gutters are in excellent condition and undamaged, this will be the route Better Bethlehem Gutters encourages.
To correct gutter pitch, Better Bethlehem Gutters will loosen the gutter, but they won’t have 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, moving fasteners if necessary, to fit the specific measurements.
Gutter Installation in Bethlehem
If your rain gutters are severely damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, Better Bethlehem Gutters may recommend to replace them rather than re-pitching them. This can 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 should set the gutters at the appropriate pitch. You can use our tips above to ensure the new installation is done correctly.