Gutters are set at a slight angle so that water flows out of them instead of remaining stagnant. They don’t appear slanted because installation companies know what they’re doing, but they are.
Gutters have a specific 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 fasten the downspout so that 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 lower.
Longer sections of gutter, like across the front of a home, may require a downspout on each side. When this is the case, the gutters will need to be pitched from the middle, meaning that the center of the roofline will be the absolute highest point, and both downspouts need to be lower than this middle point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If your gutters are installed incorrectly or if they are loose or bent at all, it can cause problems that might be expensive and difficult to fix.
When there is something wrong with your gutter pitch, it can make water back up in your gutters. Water is a common issue around the home, as it can lead to all of the following issues:
- Water inside of the gutters can cause roof damage because of the standing water. When it backs up in the gutters, water can seep under the shingles and cause harm to the fascia, sub-roofing and even leak inside your house.
- Pooling rain water is one way mold and mildew can grow on sections of your roof, gutters or siding. Getting rid of mold is a challenging task, especially if it appears on your roof. Mold is known for destroying organic materials (many of which exist in your house) and making people feel ill.
- The weight of standing water inside your gutters can cause them to pull away from your house. The gutters can pull fasteners from the walls, damaging your vinyl or other exterior materials. It can also destroy 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 mentioned before, you shouldn’t be able to notice the slope of your rain gutters. If you can noticeably identify where the low point is, it is an indication that your gutter has been damaged or that 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 you can do on your own, with both feet on the ground.
Check for Standing Water
Water naturally follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water in your home’s gutters is an issue. Try to check the gutters right after rainfall so you can see the draining of the water.
This may force you to climb a ladder, so be careful. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, you can have a handyman or a gutter specialist from Lansing Gutters Unlimited check it out for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any little granules left behind in the gutters from your roof shingles means the rain gutters may not have enough pitch, so the water can’t carry these materials out. Seeing grit or sludge inside of your gutters is common after having a new roof installed because it will tend to lose 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 notice 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 typically caused by a blockage, but it can also be the result of incorrect gutter pitch. If water is flowing in the wrong direction, know as “back pitch,” you will probably see water overflowing from the end cap. This can 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 the gutters are clean but you are still seeing overflow, it’s another indicator that there is a gutter pitch problem.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
If your gutter pitch is distorted, it can lead to a lot of problems for your house. All of the problems above can let you know that your gutter pitch is wrong.
Regardless of whether your gutters were damaged or if they were installed incorrectly in the first place, they need to be re-pitched in order to avoid significant home repairs, including damage to siding, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Lansing
The first option will be repairing the existing gutters so the proper pitch is restored. If the gutters are in good condition and undamaged, this should be the route Lansing Gutters Unlimited encourages.
To correct gutter pitch, Lansing Gutters Unlimited will loosen the gutter, but they won’t have to take it all the way down. This lowers labor costs and time. Then the technician will measure and calculate the correct pitch and reinstall the gutters, adjusting fasteners if necessary, to fit the correct measurements.
Gutter Installation in Lansing
If your gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, Lansing Gutters Unlimited may recommend to replace them instead of re-pitching them. This will be more economical over time and time-saving.
If your gutters have to be replaced with new ones, they will come compete with new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer will set the gutters at the correct pitch. You can reference our tips above to ensure the new installation was done the right way.