Gutters are installed at a slight angle so that water drains out instead of remaining stagnant. They don’t look slanted because installation companies know exactly what they’re doing, but they are.
Gutters have an angled slope based on this formula:
¼ of an inch of drop per 10 feet of horizontal gutter
This formula tells your gutter installation technician right where to attach the downspout so that even heavy amounts of rain can flow unobstructed from your roof. The side of your home’s roof where the downspouts are is the side that should be the lower end.
Long areas of gutter, like across the front of a house, may require a downspout on both sides. When this is happening, the gutters will need to be pitched from the middle, meaning that the center 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 are loose or bent, it can cause problems that might be costly and difficult to fix.
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 lead to all of the issues below:
- Rain inside of the gutters can cause roof damage because of the standing water. When it doesn’t flow from the gutters, water can seep under the shingles and cause harm to the fascia, sub-roofing and even get inside your house.
- Pooling water is one way mold and mildew can grow on areas of your roof, gutters or siding. Getting rid of mold is a very hard project, especially when it appears on your roof. Mold is known for ruining organic materials (many of which exist in your home) and making people sick.
- The weight of blocked water in 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 materials. It can also ruin landscaping and windows.
Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?
To ensure your gutters are properly pitched, here are a few things you can check:
Look for Hanging Spots
Like we mentioned above, you shouldn’t be able to see the slope of your 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 worn out.
You should be able to see 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
Rain water follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water in your home’s gutters is an issue. If possible, inspect the gutters immediately after rainfall so you can see the flow of the water.
This could force you to climb a ladder, so exercise caution. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, you can have a handyman or a gutter specialist from Portland Gutter Solutions do it for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any tiny granules left behind in the gutters from your roof shingles means the gutters might not have enough slope, so the water can’t carry these materials away. Seeing grit or sludge in your gutters is common after getting a new roof installed because it will tend to lose a lot of excess particles in the first few years.
You can climb up and take a look, or you may see some of the particles flowing out of your gutters from the downspouts. If you notice 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 typically caused by a blockage, but it can also be the result of incorrect gutter pitch. If water is flowing the wrong direction, know as “back pitch,” you will see water overflowing at the end cap. This can 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 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 incorrect, it can result in a lot of problems for your house. All of the problems above can let you decide if 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 in order to prevent major home repairs, including siding damage, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Portland
The first option will be repairing the existing gutters so the correct pitch is restored. If the rain gutters are in prime condition and undamaged, this should be the route Portland Gutter Solutions recommends.
To restore gutter pitch, Portland Gutter Solutions will loosen the gutter, but they won’t need to take it completely down. This lowers 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 Portland
If your gutters are severely damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, Portland Gutter Solutions may recommend to replace them instead of re-pitching them. This will be more economical over time and time-saving.
If your gutters need to be replaced, they will come compete with new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer will set the gutters at the appropriate pitch. You can use the tips in this blog post to ensure the new installation was done correctly.