Rain gutters are installed at a slight angle so that water flows out instead of sitting stagnant. Gutters don’t appear slanted because installation pros know what they’re doing, but they are.
Gutters should have an angled slope based on this formula:
¼ of an inch of drop per 10 feet of gutter
This formula tells your gutter installation technician where to fasten the downspout so that heavier 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 the lower end.
Long sections of gutter, like across the front of a house, require a downspout on both sides. When this is the case, the gutters will be pitched from the middle, meaning that the center of the roofline will be the highest point, and both downspouts need to be lower than this center point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If gutters are installed the wrong way or if they have become loose or bent at all, it can create problems that can be expensive and difficult to repair.
When there is a gutter pitch problem, it can cause water to back up in your gutter channels. Water is a common problem around the home, as it can cause all of the issues below:
- Water inside of the gutters can lead to roof damage because of the standing water. When water 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 house.
- Pooling water is one way mold and mildew can grow on areas of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a difficult task, especially when it appears on your roof. Mold is known for destroying organic materials (many of which exist in your house) and even making people feel ill.
- The weight of standing water in your gutters can cause them to tear away from your roof. The gutters can pull fasteners from the walls, damaging your vinyl or other exterior materials. It can also ruin surrounding landscaping and windows.
Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?
To make sure your gutters are correctly pitched, here are a some of the things you can do:
Look for Hanging Spots
Like we said above, you shouldn’t be able to notice the slope of your rain gutters. If you can noticeably tell where the low spot is, it is a sign that your gutter is damaged or that it is getting worn out.
You should still 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 naturally follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water in your home’s gutters is an issue. If possible, check 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 don’t feel comfortable doing this, you can have a handyman or a gutter specialist from Knoxville Gutters Plus check it out for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any little granules left behind in the gutters from your roof shingles are a sign that the gutters may not have enough slope, so the water can’t carry these materials away. Grit or sludge in your gutters is common after having a new roof installed because it will tend to lose excess granules in the first couple of years.
You can climb up and take a look, or you might notice some of the particles making their way out of your gutters through the downspouts. If you notice a small amount 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 way, called “back pitch,” you will see water overflowing from the end cap. This can problems for your roof, gutters and landscaping.
To remove the possibility of a blockage, schedule gutter cleaning at least once a year or install gutter guards. If 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
When your gutter pitch gets incorrect, it can cause several problems for your house. All of the issues above can let you decide if your gutter pitch is wrong.
Regardless of whether your rain gutters were damaged or if they were installed incorrectly in the first place, they need to be re-pitched if you want to prevent major home repairs, including siding damage, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Knoxville
The first option will be repairing your existing gutters so the proper pitch is restored. If the rain gutters are in prime condition and undamaged, this will be the route Knoxville Gutters Plus encourages.
To correct gutter pitch, Knoxville Gutters Plus 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 correct pitch and reinstall the gutters, adjusting fasteners if necessary, to fit the correct measurements.
Gutter Installation in Knoxville
If your rain gutters are severely damaged, or if they are starting to rust or wear down with age, Knoxville Gutters Plus may recommend that you replace them rather than re-pitching them. This will be more economical in the long run 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 proper pitch. You can reference the tips in this blog post to ensure the new installation was done the right way.