Rain gutters are installed at a slight angle so that water flows out of them rather than remaining stagnant. They don’t look slanted because installation pros 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 installation technician right where to place the downspout so that even heavy amounts of precipitation can flow unobstructed from your roof. The side of your home’s roof where the downspouts are is the side that should be the lower end.
Long sections of gutter, like across the front of a home, may require a downspout on each side. When this is the situation, the rain gutters will need to be pitched from the middle, which means that the middle of the roofline will be the absolute highest point, and both downspouts should be lower than this center 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 difficult to repair.
When your gutter pitch is wrong, it can make water back up in your gutters. Water is a typical problem around the house, as it can result in all of the issues below:
- Rain in the gutters can cause roof damage because of the standing water. When water 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.
- Standing water is one way mold and mildew can grow on sections of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a challenging project, especially if it appears on your roof. Mold is known for destroying organic materials (many of which are common in your house) and making people feel ill.
- The weight of pooling water in your rain gutters can cause them to pull away from your house. The gutters can tear out fasteners from the walls, destroying your vinyl or other exterior material. 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 some of the things you can do:
Look for Hanging Spots
As we mentioned before, you shouldn’t be able to see the slope of your rain gutters. If you can visibly tell where the low point is, it is an indication that your gutter has been damaged or 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 homeowners can do on their own, with both feet on the ground.
Check for Standing Water
Rain water follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water inside of your home’s gutters is a problem. Try to inspect the gutters immediately after rainfall so you can see the draining of the water.
This may 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 Fresno Gutter Service check it out for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any tiny 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 away. Seeing grit or sludge inside of your gutters is more common after getting a new roof installed because it will tend to shed a lot of excess granules in the first couple of years.
You can climb up a ladder and take a look, or you might see some of these particles making their way out of your gutters by way of the downspouts. If you notice a small amount in these areas, chances are there is more that is unable to 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, called “back pitch,” you will see water overflowing from the end cap. This can damage to your roof, gutters and nearby landscaping.
To prevent 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 sign that your gutter pitch may be wrong.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
When your gutter pitch gets incorrect, it can lead to many problems for your house. All of the issues above can let you decide if your gutter pitch is wrong.
No matter if your rain gutters were damaged during a storm or they were installed poorly to begin with, they need to be re-pitched in order to avoid significant home repairs, including siding damage, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Fresno
The first option will be repairing your existing gutters so the correct pitch is restored. If the gutters are in excellent condition and undamaged, this should be the route Fresno Gutter Service encourages.
To restore gutter pitch, Fresno Gutter Service will loosen the gutter, but they won’t need to take it totally 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 Fresno
If your rain gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are starting to rust or wear down with age, Fresno Gutter Service may recommend to replace them instead of re-pitching them. This will be more economical over time and time-saving.
If your gutters have to be replaced with new ones, they will include new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer will set the gutters at the appropriate pitch. You can use the tips above to ensure the new installation was done the right way.