All gutters are fastened at a slight angle so that water flows out of them rather than sitting stagnant. Gutters don’t appear slanted because installation companies know what they’re doing, but we assure you they are.
Gutters should have a specific 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 attach the downspout so that heavier 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 each side. When this is happening, the rain gutters will be pitched from the middle, which means that the middle of the roofline will be the absolute highest point, and both downspouts need to be lower than this middle point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If gutters are installed incorrectly or if they have become loose or bent at all, it can cause 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 gutter channels. Water is a common issue around the home, as it can cause all of the issues below:
- Water inside of the gutters can lead to roof damage because of the standing water. When rain doesn’t flow from the gutters, water can get underneath the shingles and cause damage to the fascia, sub-roofing and even get inside your house.
- Standing rain water is one way mold and mildew can grow on areas of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a very hard task, especially when it appears on your roof. Mold is known for ruining organic materials (many of which are common in your home) and making people sick.
- The weight of blocked water in your gutters can lead them to pull away from your home. The gutters can pull 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 be confident your gutters are correctly pitched, here are a few things you can check:
Look for Hanging Spots
Like we said above, you shouldn’t be able to notice the slope of your rain gutters. If you can noticeably identify where the low spot is, this is a sign that your gutter has been damaged or it is getting old.
You should 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
Water naturally follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water inside of your home’s gutters is a problem. If possible, inspect the gutters immediately 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 local handyman or a gutter specialist from Charleston Gutter Solutions do it for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any small granules left behind in the gutters from your shingles means the gutters might not have enough pitch, so the water can’t carry these heavier materials away. 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 few years.
You can climb up and take a look, or you may notice some of these particles making their way out of your gutters by way of the downspouts. If you see a little in these areas, there is a good chance 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 because of incorrect gutter pitch. If water is flowing in the wrong direction, called “back pitch,” you will see water overflowing at the end cap. This can cause damage to your roof, gutters and landscaping.
To eliminate the possibility of a blockage, schedule gutter cleaning at least once a year or install gutter guards. If the gutters are clean but you are still seeing overflow, it’s another indicator that your gutter pitch may be wrong.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
When your gutter pitch is incorrect, it can result in a lot of problems for your house. All of the problems above can let you determine if your gutter pitch is wrong.
No matter if 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 prevent expensive home repairs, including damage to siding, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Charleston
The first option will be repairing the existing gutters so the proper pitch is restored. If the rain gutters are in excellent condition and undamaged, this should be the route Charleston Gutter Solutions encourages.
To re-establish gutter pitch, Charleston Gutter Solutions will loosen the gutter, but they won’t need to take it all the way down. This saves labor costs and time. Then the technician will measure and calculate the proper pitch and reinstall the gutters, adjusting fasteners if necessary, to fit the specific measurements.
Gutter Installation in Charleston
If your gutters are severely damaged, or if they are starting to rust or wear down with age, Charleston Gutter Solutions may recommend that you replace them rather than re-pitching them. This can be more economical over time 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 should set the gutters at the appropriate pitch. You can use our tips above to make sure the new installation was done the right way.