Gutters are fastened at a slight angle so water flows out of them instead of remaining stagnant. They don’t look slanted because installation companies know exactly what they’re doing, but they are.
Gutters should have a specific slope based on this formula:
¼ of an inch of drop per 10 feet of horizontal gutter
This calculation tells a gutter installer where to attach the downspout so that heavy amounts of rain can flow unobstructed from your roof. The side of your 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, require a downspout on both sides. When this is the case, the gutters will be pitched from the middle, meaning that the middle of the roofline will be the highest point, and both of the downspouts need to be lower than this center point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If your gutters are installed the wrong way or if they have become loose or bent, it can cause problems that can be costly and difficult to repair.
When your gutter pitch is wrong, it can make water back up in your gutter channels. Water is a common problem around the house, as it can cause all of the issues below:
- Rain in the gutters can lead to roof damage because of the standing water. When it 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.
- Standing water is one way mildew and mold can grow on of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a difficult task, especially if it appears on your roof. Mold is known for destroying organic materials (many of which are common in your house) and even making people sick.
- The weight of standing water inside your rain gutters can lead them to tear away from your roof. The gutters can pull fasteners from the siding, destroying your vinyl or other exterior materials. 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 do:
Look for Hanging Spots
Like we mentioned above, you shouldn’t be able to notice the slope of your gutters. If you can noticeably identify where the low point is, it is an indication that your gutter has been damaged or that 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 you can do on your 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 inside of your gutters is an issue. If possible, check the gutters right after rainfall so you can see the draining of the water.
This may force you to climb a ladder, so exercise caution. If you aren’t comfortable doing this, you can have a handyman or a gutter specialist from Birmingham Gutter Service do it for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any little granules remaining in the gutters from your roof shingles means the gutters might not have enough slope, so the water can’t carry these materials out. Grit or sludge in your gutters is common after having a new roof installed because it will tend to shed excess granules in the first couple of years.
You can climb up a ladder and take a look, or you may see some of the particles making their way out of your gutters from 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 typically caused by a blockage, but it can also be because of incorrect gutter pitch. If water is flowing the wrong direction, know as “back pitch,” you will see water overflowing from the end cap. This can cause problems for your roof, gutters and landscaping.
To prevent 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 sign that there is a gutter pitch problem.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
When your gutter pitch is distorted, it can cause several problems for your house. All of the problems above can let you decide if your gutter pitch is not right.
Regardless of whether your gutters were damaged or they were installed poorly to begin with, they need to be re-pitched in order to avoid expensive home repairs, including siding damage, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Birmingham
The first option will be repairing your existing gutters so the pitch is restored. If the gutters are in excellent condition and undamaged, this should be the route Birmingham Gutter Service encourages.
To re-establish gutter pitch, Birmingham Gutter Service 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, relocating fasteners if necessary, to fit the correct measurements.
Gutter Installation in Birmingham
If your gutters are severely damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, Birmingham Gutter Service may recommend that you replace them instead of re-pitching them. This can be more economical in the long run and time-saving.
If your gutters have to be replaced with new ones, they will come compete with new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer will set the gutters at the correct pitch. You can reference the tips above to ensure the new installation was done correctly.