Rain gutters are fastened at a slight angle so that water flows out instead of sitting stagnant. They don’t appear slanted because installation companies know what they’re doing, but 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 formula tells your gutter installer where to fasten the downspout so that heavy 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.
Longer sections of gutter, like across the front of a home, require a downspout on each side. When this is the case, the gutters will need to be pitched from the middle, meaning that the middle of the roofline will be the absolute highest point, and both of the downspouts need to be lower than this center point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If gutters are installed the wrong way or if they have become loose or bent at all, it can cause problems that can be costly and complex to fix.
When your gutter pitch is wrong, it can make water back up in your gutters. Water is a typical issue around the home, as it can cause all of the issues below:
- Rain in the gutters can lead to roof damage due to the standing water. When rain backs up in the gutters, water can get underneath the shingles and cause harm to the fascia, sub-roofing and even leak inside your house.
- Pooling rain water is one way mold and mildew can grow on of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a very hard task, especially when it grows on your roof. Mold is known for ruining organic materials (many of which exist in your home) and making people sick.
- The weight of pooling water inside your rain gutters can lead them to tear away from your house. The gutters can tear out fasteners from the walls, damaging your vinyl or other exterior materials. It can also destroy landscaping and windows.
Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?
To ensure your gutters are correctly pitched, here are a few things you can do:
Look for Hanging Spots
Like we mentioned above, you shouldn’t be able to notice the slope of your rain gutters. If you can visibly tell where the low spot is, this is a sign that your gutter is damaged or it is getting worn out.
You should still 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 their feet on the ground.
Check for Standing Water
Water follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water inside of your gutters is an issue. Try to inspect the gutters right after rainfall so you can see the flow of the water.
This might force 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 EZ Edison Gutters check it out for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any little granules remaining in the gutters from your shingles means the gutters might not have enough slope, so the water can’t carry these materials out. Seeing grit or sludge inside of your gutters is common after getting a new roof installed because it will tend to shed a lot of excess granules in the first few years.
You can climb up and take a look, or you might see some of these particles flowing out of your gutters by way of the downspouts. If you notice 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 sometimes caused by a blockage, but it can also be due to incorrect gutter pitch. If rain water is flowing in the wrong direction, called “back pitch,” you will probably see water overflowing at the end cap. This can cause problems for your roof, gutters and surrounding landscaping.
To prevent the possibility of blockage, schedule gutter cleaning at least once a year or install gutter guards. If you know the gutters are clean but you are still seeing overflow, it’s another sign that there is a gutter pitch problem.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
If your gutter pitch is distorted, it can result in a lot of problems for your house. All of the problems above can let you determine if your gutter pitch is not right.
Regardless of whether your gutters were damaged during a storm or they were installed poorly in the first place, they need to be re-pitched if you want to prevent major home repairs, including siding damage, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Edison
The first option will be repairing the existing gutters so the pitch is restored. If the rain gutters are in prime condition and undamaged, this will be the route EZ Edison Gutters encourages.
To correct gutter pitch, EZ Edison Gutters will loosen the gutter, but they won’t have to take it all the way down. This saves 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 Edison
If your rain gutters are severely damaged, or if they are starting to rust or wear down with age, EZ Edison Gutters may recommend that you replace them rather than re-pitching them. This will be more economical over time and time-saving.
If your gutters have to be replaced, they will come compete with new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer will set the gutters at the appropriate pitch. You can use the tips in this blog post to make sure the new installation is done the right way.