Gutters are set at a slight angle so that water flows out of them rather than remaining stagnant. They don’t appear slanted because installation companies know what they’re doing, but 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 installer 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 located is the side that should be the lower end.
Longer areas of gutter, like across the front of a home, require a downspout on both sides. When this is the situation, the gutters will need to be pitched from the middle, meaning 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 your gutters are installed the wrong way or if they are loose or bent at all, it can lead to problems that can be costly and complex to repair.
When there is a gutter pitch problem, it can make water back up in your gutter channels. Water is a typical problem around the house, as it can cause all of the issues below:
- Water in the gutters can lead to roof damage due to the standing water. When water backs up in the gutters, water can seep under the shingles and cause damage to the fascia, sub-roofing and even get inside your house.
- Standing rain water is one way mildew and mold can grow on of your roof, gutters or siding. Getting rid of mold is a difficult task, especially when it grows on your roof. Mold is known for ruining organic materials (many of which are common in your home) and even making people feel ill.
- The weight of pooling water in your gutters can cause them to pull away from your home. The gutters can pull fasteners from the walls, damaging your vinyl or other exterior material. It can also ruin landscaping and windows.
Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?
To make sure your gutters are correctly pitched, here are a some of the things you can check:
Look for Hanging Spots
Like we mentioned 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 that it is getting old.
You should still be able to see 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 in your gutters is a problem. If possible, check the gutters right after rainfall so you can see the flow of the water.
This might require you to climb a ladder, so exercise caution. If you aren’t comfortable doing this, you can have a local handyman or a gutter specialist from ABC Albany Gutters do it for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any small granules left behind in the gutters from your roof shingles are a sign that the gutters may not have enough slope, so the water can’t carry these materials away. Seeing grit or sludge in your gutters is more common after getting a new roof installed because it will tend to shed a lot of excess particles in the first few years.
You can climb up a ladder and take a look, or you might see some of the particles making their way out of your gutters from the downspouts. If you see a little 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 the result of incorrect gutter pitch. If rain water is flowing in the wrong direction, know as “back pitch,” you will probably see water overflowing at the end cap. This can damage to your roof, gutters and surrounding landscaping.
To stop the possibility of a 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
When your gutter pitch gets incorrect, it can result in a lot of problems for your home. All of the problems above can let you decide if your gutter pitch is off.
Regardless of whether your rain 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 avoid major home repairs, including siding damage, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Albany
The most affordable option will be repairing the existing gutters so the correct pitch is restored. If the gutters are in good condition and undamaged, this will be the route ABC Albany Gutters recommends.
To correct gutter pitch, ABC Albany 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 correct pitch and reinstall the gutters, adjusting fasteners if necessary, to fit the specific measurements.
Gutter Installation in Albany
If your gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are starting to rust or wear down with age, ABC Albany Gutters may recommend that you replace them rather than re-pitching them. This can be more economical over time and time-saving.
If your gutters need to be replaced, they will come compete with 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 make sure the new installation is done the right way.