What is Gutter Pitch?
All gutters are fastened at a slight angle so water flows out rather than sitting stagnant. Gutters don’t look slanted because installation pros know exactly what they’re doing, but they are.
Gutters should have an angled slope based on this formula:
¼ of an inch of drop per 10 feet of gutter
This formula tells a gutter installation technician right where to fasten the downspout so that even heavier amounts of precipitation can flow smoothly from your roof. The side of your home’s roof where the downspouts are is the side that should be the lower end.
Longer areas of gutter, like across the front of a home, require a downspout on each side. When this is happening, 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 gutters are installed incorrectly or if they are loose or bent at all, it can create problems that can be expensive and difficult to repair.
When there is something wrong with your gutter pitch, it can cause water to back up in your gutters. Water is a common problem around the home, as it can result in all of the following issues:
- Rain inside of the gutters can cause roof damage because of the standing water. When water backs up in the gutters, water can seep under the shingles and cause damage to the fascia, sub-roofing and even leak inside your home.
- Pooling rain water is one way mildew and mold can grow on sections of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a challenging project, especially if it grows on your roof. Mold is known for ruining organic materials (many of which are common in your house) and making people sick.
- The weight of standing water inside your rain gutters can cause them to pull away from your home. The gutters can tear out fasteners from the walls, damaging your vinyl or other exterior material. It can also damage 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
Like we mentioned before, you shouldn’t be able to see the slope of your gutters. If you can visibly tell where the low point is, this is a sign that your gutter has been damaged or it is getting worn out.
You should still be able to notice a dip in the gutters from below, so this is a safe job that you can do on your 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 examine the gutters right after rainfall so you can see the flow of the water.
This might force you to climb a ladder, so exercise caution. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, you can have a local handyman or a gutter specialist from Fort Collins Gutter Service do it for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any small granules remaining in the gutters from your roof shingles means the gutters may not have enough pitch, so the water can’t carry these materials away. Grit or sludge in your gutters is more common after having a new roof installed because it will tend to shed a lot of excess granules in the first few years.
You can climb up a ladder and look, or you might see some of these particles flowing out of your gutters through the downspouts. If you see a little in these areas, chances are 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 the result of incorrect gutter pitch. If water is flowing the wrong direction, called “back pitch,” you will probably see water overflowing from the end cap. This can damage to 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 the gutters are clean but there are still signs of overflow, it’s one more indicator that there is a gutter pitch problem.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
When your gutter pitch is distorted, it can lead to several problems for your house. All of the problems above can let you know that your gutter pitch is not right.
Regardless of whether your rain gutters were damaged during a storm or if they were installed incorrectly to begin with, they need to be re-pitched if you want to prevent significant home repairs, including damage to siding, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Fort Collins
The first option will be repairing the existing gutters so the pitch is restored. If the rain gutters are in prime condition and undamaged, this should be the route Fort Collins Gutter Service recommends.
To correct gutter pitch, Fort Collins Gutter Service will loosen the gutter, but they won’t have to take it totally down. This lowers labor costs and time. Then the technician will measure and determine the proper pitch and reinstall the gutters, adjusting fasteners if necessary, to fit the specific measurements.
Gutter Installation in Fort Collins
If your gutters are severely damaged, or if they are starting to rust or wear down with age, Fort Collins Gutter Service may recommend to 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 should set the gutters at the proper pitch. You can reference our tips in this blog post to make sure the new installation is done correctly.