Gutters are installed at a slight angle so water drains out of them rather than remaining stagnant. They don’t look slanted because installation companies know exactly what they’re doing, but they are.
Gutters have an angled slope based on this formula:
¼ of an inch of drop per 10 feet of horizontal gutter
This calculation tells a gutter installation technician right where to attach the downspout so that heavy amounts of precipitation can flow unobstructed from your roof. The side of your 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 house, may require a downspout on each side. 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 downspouts need to be lower than this center point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If your gutters are installed incorrectly or if they have become loose or bent, it can lead to problems that can be expensive 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 inside of the gutters can lead to roof damage because of 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 get inside your home.
- Pooling water is one way mildew and mold can grow on areas of your roof, gutters or siding. Getting rid of mold is a very hard project, especially when it grows on your roof. Mold is known for destroying organic materials (many of which are common in your house) and even making people feel ill.
- The weight of blocked water in your gutters can lead them to tear away from your home. 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 ensure your gutters are correctly pitched, here are a some of the things you can check:
Look for Hanging Spots
As we mentioned above, you shouldn’t be able to notice the slope of your gutters. If you can visibly tell where the low spot is, this is a sign that your gutter has been damaged or that it is getting old.
You should be able to see a dip in the gutters from the ground, so this is a safe job that you can do on your own, with both 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 examine the gutters immediately 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 Boise Gutters & More! do it for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any small granules remaining in the gutters from your shingles are a sign that the gutters may not have enough slope, so the water can’t carry these materials out. Seeing grit or sludge in your gutters is common after getting a new roof installed because it will tend to lose a lot of excess particles in the first few years.
You can climb up a ladder and look, or you might notice some of the particles flowing out of your gutters through 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 usually caused by a blockage, but it can also be the result of incorrect gutter pitch. If water is flowing the wrong direction, called “back pitch,” you will see water overflowing at the end cap. This can damage to 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 one more indicator that there is a gutter pitch problem.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
When your gutter pitch is incorrect, it can lead to several problems for your home. All of the problems above can let you decide if your gutter pitch is not right.
No matter if your rain gutters were damaged during a storm or if they were installed poorly in the first place, they need to be re-pitched if you want to prevent expensive home repairs, including siding damage, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Boise
The most affordable option will be repairing the existing gutters so the pitch is restored. If the rain gutters are in excellent condition and undamaged, this will be the route Boise Gutters & More! encourages.
To re-establish gutter pitch, Boise Gutters & More! 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 Boise
If your rain gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are starting to rust or wear down with age, Boise Gutters & More! may recommend that you replace them rather than re-pitching them. This will be more economical in the long run and time-saving.
If your gutters have to be replaced, 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 make sure the new installation was done correctly.