All gutters are set at a slight angle so water drains out instead of remaining stagnant. They 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 horizontal gutter
This calculation tells a gutter installer right where to attach the downspout so that heavy 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 lower.
Longer sections of gutter, like across the front of a house, require a downspout on each side. When this is the situation, the gutters will need to be pitched from the middle, meaning that the middle of the roofline will be the highest point, and both downspouts need to be lower than this middle point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If your gutters are installed the wrong way or if they have become loose or bent at all, it can lead to problems that might be expensive and complex to repair.
When there is something wrong with your gutter pitch, it can make water back up in your gutter channels. Water is a common issue around the house, as it can lead to all of the issues below:
- Rain inside of the gutters can cause roof damage due to the standing water. When it 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 home.
- Standing water is one way mildew and mold can grow on sections of your roof, gutters or siding. Getting rid of mold is a challenging project, especially if it appears on your roof. Mold is known for destroying organic materials (many of which are common in your home) and even making people feel ill.
- The weight of pooling water in your rain gutters can cause them to tear away from your roof. The gutters can pull fasteners from the siding, destroying your vinyl or other exterior material. It can also damage surrounding landscaping and windows.
Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?
To make sure your gutters are properly pitched, here are a some of the things you can do:
Look for Hanging Spots
Like we said before, you shouldn’t be able to notice the slope of your gutters. If you can visibly identify where the low point is, this is an indication 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 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. Try to inspect the gutters immediately after rainfall so you can see the flow of the water.
This may force 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 Oakland Gutter Service 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 out. Grit or sludge inside of your gutters is more 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 see some of the particles flowing out of your gutters by way of the downspouts. If you see a little in these areas, chances are there is more that can’t 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 direction, called “back pitch,” you will see water overflowing from the end cap. This can problems for your roof, gutters and landscaping.
To prevent the possibility of blockage, schedule gutter cleaning at least once a year or install gutter guards. If you know the gutters are clean but there is still overflow, it’s one more indicator that your gutter pitch may be wrong.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
If your gutter pitch is distorted, it can cause a lot of problems for your home. All of the problems above can let you determine if your gutter pitch is wrong.
No matter if your rain gutters were damaged or if they were installed poorly in the first place, they need to be re-pitched in order to prevent expensive home repairs, including siding damage, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Oakland
The most affordable 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 Oakland Gutter Service recommends.
To correct gutter pitch, Oakland Gutter Service 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 determine the pitch needed and reinstall the gutters, adjusting fasteners if necessary, to fit the correct measurements.
Gutter Installation in Oakland
If your rain gutters are severely damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, Oakland Gutter Service may recommend to replace them rather than re-pitching them. This will 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 use the tips above to make sure the new installation is done correctly.