What is Gutter Pitch?

correcting gutter pitch

Gutters are fastened at a slight angle so water drains out instead of sitting stagnant. They don’t appear slanted because installation companies know exactly 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 gutter

This calculation tells a gutter installer right where to fasten the downspout so that heavier amounts of precipitation can flow unobstructed from your roof. The side of your roof where the downspouts are is the side that should be the lower end.

Long sections of gutter, like across the front of a house, may require a downspout on both sides. When this is the case, the rain gutters will need to be pitched from the middle, meaning that the center of the roofline will be the absolute highest point, and both of the downspouts need to be lower than this middle point.

Gutter Pitch Problems

If your gutters are installed incorrectly or if they have become loose or bent, it can lead to problems that might be costly and complex to fix.

When there is something wrong with your gutter pitch, it can cause water to back up in your gutter channels. Water is a common issue around the home, as it can lead to all of the following issues:

  • Rain inside of the gutters can lead to roof damage due to the standing water. When rain backs up in the gutters, water can seep under the shingles and cause damage to the fascia, sub-roofing and even leak inside your house.
  • Standing rain 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 grows on your roof. Mold is known for destroying organic materials (many of which exist in your home) and even making people sick.
  • The weight of standing water inside your rain gutters can lead them to tear away from your home. 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 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 gutters. If you can visibly tell where the low point is, it is an indication that your gutter has been damaged or that it is getting old.

You should be able to notice a dip in the gutters from the ground, so this is a safe job that homeowners can do on their own, with both feet on the ground.

Check for Standing Water

Rain water follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water inside of your gutters is a problem. If possible, check the gutters immediately after rainfall so you can see the draining of the water.

This might require 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 Huntersville Gutters & Exteriors do it for you.

Inspect for Shingle Particles

Any tiny granules left behind in the gutters from your roof 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 having a new roof installed because it will tend to lose a lot of excess granules 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 because of incorrect gutter pitch. If water is flowing the wrong way, called “back pitch,” you will see water overflowing from the end cap. This can cause problems for your roof, gutters and nearby landscaping.

To stop 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 another indicator that there is a gutter pitch problem.

Professional Gutter Damage Repair

If your gutter pitch gets distorted, it can create a lot of problems for your house. All of the problems above can let you decide if your gutter pitch is wrong.

Regardless of whether your gutters were damaged during a storm or they were installed incorrectly to begin with, they need to be re-pitched if you want to avoid major home repairs, including damage to siding, leaks and landscape damage.

Gutter Repair in Huntersville

The first option will be repairing your existing gutters so the pitch is restored. If the gutters are in excellent condition and undamaged, this will be the route Huntersville Gutters & Exteriors encourages.

To restore gutter pitch, Huntersville Gutters & Exteriors 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 pitch needed and reinstall the gutters, moving fasteners if necessary, to fit the correct measurements.

Gutter Installation in Huntersville

If your rain gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, Huntersville Gutters & Exteriors may recommend to replace them instead of re-pitching them. This will be more economical in the long run and time-saving.

If your gutters need to be replaced with new ones, they will come compete with new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer will set the gutters at the appropriate pitch. You can reference the tips above to ensure the new installation is done correctly.