All gutters are set at a slight angle so water flows out of them instead of sitting 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 installer where to place 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.
Long areas of gutter, like across the front of a house, may require a downspout on each side. When this is happening, 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 should be lower than this middle point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If gutters are installed incorrectly or if they are loose or bent, it can lead to problems that can be expensive and complex to repair.
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 cause all of the issues below:
- Water in the gutters can lead to roof damage because of the standing water. When water 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 water is one way mildew and mold can grow on areas of your roof, gutters or siding. Getting rid of mold is a challenging project, especially when it grows on your roof. Mold is known for ruining organic materials (many of which are common in your home) and even making people feel ill.
- The weight of pooling water inside your gutters can lead them to pull away from your roof. The gutters can pull fasteners from the siding, 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 correctly pitched, here are a some of the things you can do:
Look for Hanging Spots
As we mentioned before, you shouldn’t be able to see the slope of your gutters. If you can visibly identify where the low spot is, it is a sign 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 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 inside of your home’s gutters is an issue. Try to check the gutters immediately after rainfall so you can see the draining of the water.
This could force you to climb a ladder, so exercise caution. If you aren’t comfortable doing this, you can have a handyman or a gutter specialist from Palatine Gutter Cleaning do it for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any small granules left behind in the gutters from your shingles means the rain gutters might not have enough pitch, so the water can’t carry these materials out. Grit or sludge inside of 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 may see some of the particles flowing out of your gutters through the downspouts. If you see 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 sometimes 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 at the end cap. This can cause problems for your roof, gutters and landscaping.
To stop the possibility of blockage, schedule gutter cleaning at least once a year or install gutter guards. If the gutters are clean but there are still signs of overflow, it’s another sign that your gutter pitch may be wrong.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
If your gutter pitch gets incorrect, it can cause a lot of problems for your home. All of the issues above can let you decide if your gutter pitch is not right.
No matter if your gutters were damaged or they were installed poorly to begin with, they need to be re-pitched if you want to avoid significant home repairs, including siding damage, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Palatine
The most affordable option will be repairing your existing gutters so the proper pitch is restored. If the gutters are in good condition and undamaged, this should be the route Palatine Gutter Cleaning recommends.
To restore gutter pitch, Palatine Gutter Cleaning will loosen the gutter, but they won’t need to take it all the way down. This saves labor costs and time. Then the technician will measure and determine the correct pitch and reinstall the gutters, relocating fasteners if necessary, to fit the specific measurements.
Gutter Installation in Palatine
If your rain gutters are severely damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, Palatine Gutter Cleaning 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 include new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer will set the gutters at the correct pitch. You can reference our tips in this blog post to ensure the new installation is done correctly.