Rain gutters are set at a slight angle so water flows out rather than remaining stagnant. Gutters don’t look slanted because installation pros know what they’re doing, but we assure you they are.
Gutters have an angled slope based on this formula:
¼ of an inch of drop per 10 feet of horizontal gutter
This calculation tells a gutter installer where to attach the downspout so that even heavier amounts of rain can flow unobstructed 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, may require a downspout on both sides. When this is the situation, 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 should be lower than this center point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If gutters are installed incorrectly or if they have become loose or bent, it can cause problems that might be costly and complex to fix.
When your gutter pitch is wrong, it can make water back up in your gutters. Water is a common issue around the house, as it can cause all of the issues below:
- Water in 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 house.
- Standing rain water is one way mildew and mold can grow on areas of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a challenging task, especially when it appears on your roof. Mold is known for ruining organic materials (many of which exist in your house) and even making people sick.
- The weight of pooling water inside your rain gutters can lead them to tear away from your home. The gutters can tear out fasteners from the walls, destroying your vinyl or other exterior materials. It can also damage landscaping and windows.
Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?
To ensure your gutters are properly 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 a sign that your gutter is damaged or it is getting worn out.
You should be able to see a dip in the gutters from below, so this is a safe job that homeowners can do on their own, with both feet on the ground.
Check for Standing Water
Water follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water in your gutters is a problem. Try to inspect the gutters right after rainfall so you can see the draining of the water.
This may require 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 Denver Gutters Plus do it for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any small granules left behind in the gutters from your shingles means the gutters may not have enough pitch, so the water can’t carry these materials out. Seeing grit or sludge in your gutters is common after getting a new roof installed because it will tend to shed a lot of excess granules in the first couple of years.
You can climb up a ladder and look, or you might see some of these particles flowing out of your gutters through 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 sometimes 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 see water overflowing at the end cap. This can cause problems for your roof, gutters and nearby landscaping.
To prevent 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 sign that there is a gutter pitch problem.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
When your gutter pitch gets distorted, it can create a lot of problems for your house. All of the problems above can let you know that your gutter pitch is not right.
No matter if your gutters were damaged during a storm or they were installed poorly to begin with, they need to be re-pitched in order to avoid significant home repairs, including siding damage, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Denver
The most affordable option will be repairing the existing gutters so the proper pitch is restored. If the gutters are in prime condition and undamaged, this should be the route Denver Gutters Plus recommends.
To correct gutter pitch, Denver Gutters Plus 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 determine the pitch needed and reinstall the gutters, moving fasteners if necessary, to fit the specific measurements.
Gutter Installation in Denver
If your gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, Denver Gutters Plus may recommend that you replace them instead of re-pitching them. This can 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 correct pitch. You can use the tips above to ensure the new installation was done the right way.