Rain gutters are installed at a slight angle so that water flows out rather than sitting 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 gutter
This formula tells a gutter installer right where to attach the downspout so that even heavy 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 the lower end.
Longer areas of gutter, like across the front of a home, may require a downspout on both sides. When this is the case, the rain 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 gutters are installed incorrectly or if they have become loose or bent at all, it can lead to problems that might be expensive and complex to repair.
When there is a gutter pitch problem, it can make water back up in your gutters. Water is a common problem around the house, as it can lead to all of the issues below:
- Rain inside of the gutters can cause 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 home.
- 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 difficult task, especially when it appears on your roof. Mold is known for destroying organic materials (many of which are common in your home) and even making people sick.
- The weight of blocked water in your gutters can cause them to tear away from your home. 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 correctly pitched, here are a few 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 visibly tell where the low point is, it is an indication that your gutter has been damaged or it is getting worn out.
You should 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 both 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 check the gutters immediately after rainfall so you can see the flow of the water.
This could 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 Memphis Gutters & More! 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 rain gutters may not have enough pitch, 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 shed a lot of excess particles in the first couple of years.
You can climb up and look, or you may notice some of the 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 sometimes caused by a blockage, but it can also be because of incorrect gutter pitch. If rain water is flowing in the wrong direction, know as “back pitch,” you will probably see water overflowing from the end cap. This can problems for your roof, gutters and landscaping.
To stop the possibility of a blockage, schedule gutter cleaning at least once a year or install gutter guards. If you know the gutters are clean but there are still signs of overflow, it’s another indicator that your gutter pitch may be wrong.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
If your gutter pitch is distorted, it can create a lot of problems for your house. All of the issues above can let you determine if your gutter pitch is off.
Regardless of whether your gutters were damaged during a storm or if they were installed poorly in the first place, they need to be re-pitched in order to avoid major home repairs, including damage to siding, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Memphis
The most affordable option will be repairing the existing gutters so the proper pitch is restored. If the gutters are in good condition and undamaged, this will be the route Memphis Gutters & More! recommends.
To restore gutter pitch, Memphis Gutters & More! will loosen the gutter, but they won’t have to take it completely down. This lowers 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 Memphis
If your gutters are severely damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, Memphis Gutters & More! may recommend to replace them rather than re-pitching them. This will be more economical in the long run and time-saving.
If your gutters need to be replaced, they will include new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer will set the gutters at the proper pitch. You can reference the tips above to make sure the new installation was done the right way.