What is Gutter Pitch?

correcting gutter pitch

All gutters are set at a slight angle so that water flows out of them instead of remaining stagnant. Gutters don’t look slanted because installation pros know what they’re doing, but 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 right where to attach the downspout so that heavy amounts of rain can flow smoothly from your roof. The side of your home’s roof where the downspouts are located is the side that should be lower.

Long areas of gutter, like across the front of a home, require a downspout on both sides. When this is the situation, the gutters will 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 at all, it can lead to problems that might be costly and complex to repair.

When there is a gutter pitch problem, it can cause water to back up in your gutter channels. Water is a common issue around the house, as it can result in all of the following issues:

  • Water in the gutters can cause roof damage due to 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 get inside your house.
  • Pooling water is one way mold and mildew can grow on sections of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a difficult task, especially if it appears on your roof. Mold is known for ruining organic materials (many of which are common in your house) and making people feel ill.
  • The weight of pooling water inside your gutters can lead them to pull away from your roof. The gutters can tear out fasteners from the siding, damaging your vinyl or other exterior material. 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 rain gutters. If you can noticeably identify where the low point is, it is a sign that your gutter is damaged or 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 naturally follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water inside of your gutters is an issue. If possible, inspect the gutters immediately after rainfall so you can see the flow of the water.

This could require you to climb a ladder, so exercise caution. If you aren’t comfortable doing this, you can have a local handyman or a gutter specialist from Bellingham Gutters check it out for you.

Inspect for Shingle Particles

Any small granules left behind in the gutters from your roof shingles are a sign that the gutters might not have enough slope, so the water can’t carry these heavier materials away. Seeing grit or sludge inside of your gutters is more common after getting a new roof installed because it will tend to shed excess granules in the first couple of years.

You can climb up and take a look, or you might see some of the particles making their way out of your gutters by way of the downspouts. If you see a little 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 due to incorrect gutter pitch. If rain water is flowing in the wrong direction, called “back pitch,” you will see water overflowing from the end cap. This can cause damage to your roof, gutters and surrounding landscaping.

To stop the possibility of a blockage, schedule gutter cleaning at least once a year or install gutter guards. If the gutters are clean but you are still seeing overflow, it’s one more indicator that your gutter pitch may be wrong.

Professional Gutter Damage Repair

If your gutter pitch is distorted, it can lead to a lot of problems for your home. All of the issues above can let you determine if your gutter pitch is off.

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

Gutter Repair in Bellingham

The most affordable option will be repairing the existing gutters so the correct pitch is restored. If the rain gutters are in good condition and undamaged, this will be the route Bellingham Gutters encourages.

To restore gutter pitch, Bellingham Gutters will loosen the gutter, but they won’t need to take it totally down. This lowers labor costs and time. Then the technician will measure and calculate the correct pitch and reinstall the gutters, relocating fasteners if necessary, to fit the specific measurements.

Gutter Installation in Bellingham

If your gutters are severely damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, Bellingham Gutters may recommend that you replace them instead of re-pitching them. This can be more economical in the long run and time-saving.

If your gutters need 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 is done the right way.