Rain gutters are installed at a slight angle so water flows out instead of remaining stagnant. Gutters don’t appear slanted because installation companies know what they’re doing, but we assure you they are.
Gutters have a specific slope based on this formula:
¼ of an inch of drop per 10 feet of gutter
This formula tells your gutter installer where to fasten the downspout so that heavy amounts of rain can flow smoothly 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, may require a downspout on each side. 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 of the downspouts should be lower than this center point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If your gutters are installed the wrong way or if they are loose or bent, it can create problems that might be expensive and complex to repair.
When there is something wrong with your gutter pitch, it can cause water to back up in your gutters. Water is a typical problem around the house, as it can result in all of the issues below:
- Rain in the gutters can cause roof damage due to the standing water. When rain backs up in the gutters, water can seep under the shingles and cause damage to the fascia, sub-roofing and even leak inside your house.
- Standing rain water is one way mildew and mold can grow on sections of your roof, gutters or siding. Getting rid of mold is a difficult project, especially when it grows on your roof. Mold is known for ruining organic materials (many of which are common in your home) and making people feel ill.
- The weight of standing water in your rain gutters can cause 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 surrounding landscaping and windows.
Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?
To be confident your gutters are properly pitched, here are a few things you can do:
Look for Hanging Spots
Like we said before, you shouldn’t be able to notice the slope of your rain gutters. If you can visibly identify where the low spot is, it is a sign that your gutter is damaged or that it is getting old.
You should be able to see a dip in the gutters from the ground, 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 in your gutters is an issue. If possible, check the gutters immediately after rainfall so you can see the flow of the water.
This might require you to climb a ladder, so be careful. If you aren’t comfortable doing this, you can have a handyman or a gutter specialist from KC Gutter Cleaning check it out for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any tiny granules remaining in the gutters from your shingles are a sign that the gutters might not have enough pitch, so the water can’t carry these heavier materials away. Grit or sludge inside of your gutters is more common after getting a new roof installed because it will tend to lose excess granules in the first couple of years.
You can climb up a ladder and take a look, or you might notice 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, there is a good chance there is more that is unable to make its way out.
Why is There Overflow?
Gutter overflow is sometimes caused by a blockage, but it can also be due to incorrect gutter pitch. If water is flowing the wrong way, know as “back pitch,” you will see water overflowing from the end cap. This can cause damage to your roof, gutters and nearby 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 one more indicator that there is a gutter pitch problem.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
When your gutter pitch is distorted, it can lead to many problems for your home. All of the issues above can let you determine if your gutter pitch is off.
Regardless of whether your rain gutters were damaged during a storm or if they were installed poorly to begin with, they need to be re-pitched if you want to avoid significant home repairs, including damage to siding, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Kansas City
The first option will be repairing the existing gutters so the pitch is restored. If the gutters are in good condition and undamaged, this will be the route KC Gutter Cleaning encourages.
To re-establish gutter pitch, KC Gutter Cleaning will loosen the gutter, but they won’t have to take it totally down. This saves labor costs and time. Then the technician will measure and calculate the correct pitch and reinstall the gutters, moving fasteners if necessary, to fit the specific measurements.
Gutter Installation in Kansas City
If your rain gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, KC Gutter Cleaning may recommend to replace them instead of 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 come compete with new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer should set the gutters at the appropriate pitch. You can reference the tips above to ensure the new installation is done the right way.