Gutters are fastened at a slight angle so that water drains out rather than sitting stagnant. They don’t appear slanted because installation companies know exactly what they’re doing, but we assure you they are.
Gutters should have a specific slope based on this formula:
¼ of an inch of drop per 10 feet of horizontal gutter
This calculation tells your gutter installer where to fasten the downspout so that even heavy 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 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 be pitched from the middle, which means that the center of the roofline will be the highest point, and both of the downspouts should be lower than this center point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If your gutters are installed incorrectly or if they are loose or bent at all, it can lead to problems that can be costly and complex to fix.
When there is a gutter pitch problem, it can cause water to back up in your gutters. Water is a common issue around the house, as it can lead to all of the following issues:
- Rain in the gutters can cause roof damage because of the standing water. When rain doesn’t flow from the gutters, water can get underneath the shingles and cause harm to the fascia, sub-roofing and even get inside your house.
- Pooling 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 if it appears on your roof. Mold is known for ruining organic materials (many of which exist in your house) and even making people sick.
- The weight of standing water inside your gutters can lead them to tear away from your roof. The gutters can tear out fasteners from the siding, destroying your vinyl or other exterior material. It can also destroy 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
Like we said before, you shouldn’t be able to see the slope of your rain gutters. If you can noticeably identify where the low spot is, this is a sign that your gutter has been 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 homeowners can do on their 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 a problem. Try to check 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 don’t feel comfortable doing this, you can have a local handyman or a gutter specialist from LikeNew Lexington Gutters do it for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any small 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 materials out. Grit or sludge inside of your gutters is more common after getting a new roof installed because it will tend to lose excess particles in the first few years.
You can climb up and take a look, or you may notice some of the particles flowing out of your gutters by way of the downspouts. If you see a small amount in these areas, chances are 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 because of incorrect gutter pitch. If water is flowing the wrong direction, called “back pitch,” you will probably see water overflowing at the end cap. This can problems for your roof, gutters and 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 are still signs of overflow, it’s one more indicator that there is a gutter pitch problem.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
If your gutter pitch is distorted, it can result in several problems for your home. All of the issues above can let you determine if your gutter pitch is off.
Regardless of whether your gutters were damaged during a storm or they were installed poorly to begin with, they need to be re-pitched if you want to prevent expensive home repairs, including damage to siding, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Lexington
The most affordable option will be repairing the existing gutters so the proper pitch is restored. If the rain gutters are in prime condition and undamaged, this will be the route LikeNew Lexington Gutters encourages.
To restore gutter pitch, LikeNew Lexington Gutters 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 determine the correct pitch and reinstall the gutters, moving fasteners if necessary, to fit the specific measurements.
Gutter Installation in Lexington
If your gutters are severely damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, LikeNew Lexington Gutters may recommend that you replace them instead of 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 will set the gutters at the proper pitch. You can reference our tips above to ensure the new installation is done the right way.