What is Gutter Pitch?
All gutters are set at a slight angle so water drains out of them rather than sitting stagnant. They don’t appear slanted because installation companies know what they’re doing, but we assure you 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 heavier amounts of rain can flow smoothly from your roof. The side of your roof where the downspouts are is the side that should be lower.
Long sections of gutter, like across the front of a house, require a downspout on both sides. When this is happening, the rain gutters will need to be pitched from the middle, meaning that the middle of the roofline will be the highest point, and both downspouts should be lower than this middle point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If gutters are installed incorrectly or if they have become loose or bent, it can lead to problems that can be expensive and difficult to repair.
When there is a gutter pitch problem, it can cause water to back up in your gutters. Water is a common problem around the house, as it can result in all of the following issues:
- Water in the gutters can cause roof damage due to 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 get inside your home.
- Standing water is one way mold and mildew can grow on of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a very hard project, especially if it grows on your roof. Mold is known for destroying organic materials (many of which exist in your house) and even making people feel ill.
- The weight of blocked water in your rain gutters can lead them to tear away from your home. 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 few things you can do:
Look for Hanging Spots
Like we mentioned before, you shouldn’t be able to see the slope of your rain gutters. If you can noticeably tell where the low spot is, this is an indication that your gutter is damaged or it is getting old.
You should still be able to see a dip in the gutters from below, 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 naturally follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water in your home’s gutters is a problem. Try to examine the gutters right 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 handyman or a gutter specialist from Detroit Gutter Defense check it out for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any small granules remaining in the gutters from your shingles means the rain gutters might not have enough pitch, so the water can’t carry these materials away. Grit or sludge in 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 notice some of these particles making their way out of your gutters from the downspouts. If you notice a little 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 rain water is flowing the wrong way, called “back pitch,” you will see water overflowing from the end cap. This can problems for your roof, gutters and surrounding 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 there is a gutter pitch problem.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
If your gutter pitch gets distorted, it can result in many problems for your house. All of the issues above can let you determine if your gutter pitch is not right.
Regardless of whether your gutters were damaged during a storm or they were installed incorrectly to begin with, they need to be re-pitched if you want to avoid expensive home repairs, including damage to siding, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Detroit
The most affordable option will be repairing the existing gutters so the proper pitch is restored. If the gutters are in prime condition and undamaged, this will be the route Detroit Gutter Defense recommends.
To restore gutter pitch, Detroit Gutter Defense 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 pitch needed and reinstall the gutters, relocating fasteners if necessary, to fit the specific measurements.
Gutter Installation in Detroit
If your gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are starting to rust or wear down with age, Detroit Gutter Defense may recommend that you 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 proper pitch. You can reference our tips above to ensure the new installation is done the right way.