What is Gutter Pitch?
Rain gutters are set at a slight angle so that water flows out instead of remaining stagnant. They don’t look slanted because installation companies know exactly 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 formula tells a gutter installation technician where to fasten the downspout so that even heavier 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 the lower end.
Long areas of gutter, like across the front of a home, require a downspout on each side. When this is the case, the gutters will need to be pitched from the middle, which means 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 gutters are installed the wrong way or if they are loose or bent at all, it can lead to problems that can be expensive and difficult to repair.
When your gutter pitch is wrong, it can make water back up in your gutter channels. Water is a typical issue around the home, as it can result in all of the issues below:
- Rain in the gutters can lead to 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 get inside your home.
- Pooling rain water is one way mold and mildew can grow on sections of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a very hard task, especially when it grows on your roof. Mold is known for destroying organic materials (many of which are common in your house) and 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 tear out fasteners from the siding, damaging your vinyl or other exterior materials. It can also destroy surrounding landscaping and windows.
Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?
To ensure your gutters are correctly pitched, here are a some of the things you can check:
Look for Hanging Spots
Like we mentioned above, you shouldn’t be able to notice the slope of your gutters. If you can noticeably tell where the low spot is, this is an indication 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 their feet on the ground.
Check for Standing Water
Water naturally follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water inside of your gutters is a problem. Try to inspect the gutters right 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 OKC Gutters do it for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any little granules remaining in the gutters from your shingles means the rain gutters might not have enough slope, 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 particles in the first couple of years.
You can climb up and look, or you might see some of these particles making their way out of your gutters through the downspouts. If you see a small amount in these areas, there is a good chance there is more that can’t 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 rain water is flowing the wrong direction, called “back pitch,” you will see water overflowing at 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 you know the gutters are clean but you are still seeing overflow, it’s one more sign that there is a gutter pitch problem.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
If your gutter pitch gets distorted, it can cause a lot of problems for your home. 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 they were installed poorly in the first place, they need to be re-pitched in order to prevent expensive home repairs, including damage to siding, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Oklahoma City
The first option will be repairing your existing gutters so the correct pitch is restored. If the gutters are in good condition and undamaged, this will be the route OKC Gutters recommends.
To restore gutter pitch, OKC Gutters 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 proper pitch and reinstall the gutters, adjusting fasteners if necessary, to fit the specific measurements.
Gutter Installation in Oklahoma City
If your gutters are severely damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, OKC Gutters may recommend that you replace them instead of re-pitching them. This will be more economical over time and time-saving.
If your gutters have to be replaced, they will include new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer should set the gutters at the proper pitch. You can use our tips above to make sure the new installation is done the right way.