Gutters are set at a slight angle so that water drains out of them rather than sitting stagnant. Gutters don’t appear slanted because installation pros know exactly 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 horizontal gutter
This calculation tells your gutter installer where to fasten the downspout so that even heavier amounts of rain can flow smoothly 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, require a downspout on both sides. When this is the case, the rain gutters will be pitched from the middle, which means that the middle of the roofline will be the highest point, and both of the downspouts need to be lower than this middle 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 might be costly and difficult to fix.
When there is something wrong with your gutter pitch, it can cause water to back up in your gutters. Water is a common problem around the house, as it can lead to all of the following issues:
- 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 harm to the fascia, sub-roofing and even leak inside your house.
- Pooling rain water is one way mold and mildew can grow on sections of your roof, gutters or siding. Getting rid of mold is a very hard task, especially when it appears on your roof. Mold is known for destroying organic materials (many of which exist in your home) and making people feel ill.
- The weight of blocked water inside your gutters can lead them to pull away from your roof. The gutters can tear out fasteners from the siding, damaging your vinyl or other exterior material. It can also destroy 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 do:
Look for Hanging Spots
As we mentioned above, you shouldn’t be able to notice the slope of your rain gutters. If you can noticeably tell 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 the ground, so this is a safe job that homeowners can do on their own, with their 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 an issue. Try to check the gutters right after rainfall so you can see the draining of the water.
This could require you to climb a ladder, so exercise caution. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, you can have a handyman or a gutter specialist from Grand Rapids Gutters do it for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any tiny granules left behind in the gutters from your shingles means the gutters might not have enough pitch, so the water can’t carry these heavier materials away. Seeing grit or sludge in your gutters is more common after having a new roof installed because it will tend to lose a lot of excess particles in the first couple of years.
You can climb up and look, or you might notice some of the particles flowing out of your gutters from the downspouts. If you see a small amount in these areas, there is a good chance there is more that is unable to make its way out.
Why is There Overflow?
Gutter overflow is typically caused by a blockage, but it can also be because 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 your gutter pitch may be wrong.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
If your gutter pitch is distorted, it can result in a lot of problems for your home. All of the problems above can let you know that your gutter pitch is wrong.
No matter if your rain gutters were damaged 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 Grand Rapids
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 should be the route Grand Rapids Gutters recommends.
To re-establish gutter pitch, Grand Rapids 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 pitch needed and reinstall the gutters, adjusting fasteners if necessary, to fit the correct measurements.
Gutter Installation in Grand Rapids
If your gutters are severely damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, Grand Rapids Gutters may recommend to replace them rather than re-pitching them. This can be more economical over time and time-saving.
If your gutters need to be replaced with new ones, they will include new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer will set the gutters at the correct pitch. You can use the tips above to ensure the new installation was done correctly.