Gutters are installed at a slight angle so water drains out of them rather than remaining stagnant. Gutters don’t look slanted because installation companies know 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 gutter
This calculation tells a gutter installation technician right 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 located is the side that should be lower.
Longer areas of gutter, like across the front of a house, require a downspout on both sides. When this is the situation, the rain gutters will be pitched from the middle, meaning 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 cause problems that can be expensive and difficult to repair.
When your gutter pitch is wrong, it can cause water to back up in your gutter channels. Water is a typical problem around the house, as it can result in all of the following issues:
- Rain in the gutters can cause roof damage due to the standing water. When water backs up in the gutters, water can get underneath the shingles and cause harm to the fascia, sub-roofing and even leak inside your house.
- Standing rain water is one way mildew and mold 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 exist in your home) and even making people feel ill.
- The weight of standing water inside your gutters can cause 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 landscaping and windows.
Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?
To be confident your gutters are correctly pitched, here are a some of the things you can check:
Look for Hanging Spots
Like we said before, you shouldn’t be able to notice the slope of your gutters. If you can noticeably identify where the low spot is, it is a sign that your gutter is damaged or it is getting worn out.
You should be able to notice a dip in the gutters from the ground, so this is a safe job that homeowners can do on their 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 home’s gutters is a problem. If possible, inspect the gutters right after rainfall so you can see the flow of the water.
This might require 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 Berkeley Gutter Service check it out for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any tiny granules left behind in the gutters from your roof shingles are a sign that the rain gutters might not have enough slope, so the water can’t carry these heavier materials away. Seeing grit or sludge in your gutters is more common after having a new roof installed because it will tend to shed excess particles in the first few years.
You can climb up a ladder and take a look, or you might see some of the particles making their way out of your gutters by way of the downspouts. If you see 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 usually caused by a blockage, but it can also be the result of incorrect gutter pitch. If rain water is flowing the wrong way, know as “back pitch,” you will see water overflowing at the end cap. This can cause problems for 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 you know the gutters are clean but you are still seeing overflow, it’s one more indicator that there is a gutter pitch problem.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
If your gutter pitch is distorted, it can result in several problems for your home. All of the problems above can let you know that your gutter pitch is wrong.
Regardless of whether your gutters were damaged or they were installed incorrectly in the first place, they need to be re-pitched in order to prevent major home repairs, including damage to siding, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Berkeley
The first option will be repairing your existing gutters so the proper pitch is restored. If the gutters are in excellent condition and undamaged, this should be the route Berkeley Gutter Service encourages.
To restore gutter pitch, Berkeley Gutter Service will loosen the gutter, but they won’t need to take it totally down. This lowers labor costs and time. Then the technician will measure and calculate the pitch needed and reinstall the gutters, adjusting fasteners if necessary, to fit the correct measurements.
Gutter Installation in Berkeley
If your gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, Berkeley Gutter Service may recommend that you replace them rather than re-pitching them. This can 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 appropriate pitch. You can reference our tips above to make sure the new installation was done the right way.