All gutters are fastened at a slight angle so water drains out of them rather than remaining stagnant. Gutters don’t appear slanted because installation pros 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 calculation tells a gutter installer right where to attach the downspout so that heavy amounts of precipitation can flow unobstructed from your roof. The side of your roof where the downspouts are is the side that should be lower.
Long areas of gutter, like across the front of a home, may require a downspout on both sides. When this is the case, the rain gutters will be pitched from the middle, meaning that the center 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 a gutter pitch problem, it can cause water to back up in your gutters. Water is a typical problem around the home, as it can cause all of the following issues:
- Water in the gutters can cause roof damage because of the standing water. When water backs up in the gutters, water can get underneath the shingles and cause damage to the fascia, sub-roofing and even get inside your home.
- Standing water is one way mildew and mold can grow on sections of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a difficult project, especially if it appears on your roof. Mold is known for destroying organic materials (many of which exist in your home) and making people sick.
- The weight of standing water inside your rain gutters can lead them to tear away from your roof. The gutters can tear out fasteners from the siding, destroying your vinyl or other exterior material. It can also damage landscaping and windows.
Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?
To ensure your gutters are properly pitched, here are a few things you can do:
Look for Hanging Spots
Like we said before, you shouldn’t be able to see the slope of your rain gutters. If you can visibly tell where the low point is, this is a sign that your gutter has been damaged or it is getting worn out.
You should still 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 their feet on the ground.
Check for Standing Water
Rain water follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water in your gutters is an issue. If possible, check the gutters right after rainfall so you can see the flow of the water.
This might force you to climb a ladder, so be careful. If you aren’t comfortable doing this, you can have a local handyman or a gutter specialist from Better Buffalo Gutters do it for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any small granules left behind in the gutters from your shingles means the rain gutters may not have enough pitch, so the water can’t carry these materials away. Grit or sludge in your gutters is more common after getting a new roof installed because it will tend to shed excess granules in the first few years.
You can climb up a ladder and take a look, or you may see some of the particles making their way out of your gutters by way of the downspouts. If you notice 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 sometimes caused by a blockage, but it can also be because of incorrect gutter pitch. If rain water is flowing the wrong way, know as “back pitch,” you will see water overflowing from the end cap. This can cause damage to your roof, gutters and surrounding landscaping.
To remove the possibility of a 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 one more indicator that there is a gutter pitch problem.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
When your gutter pitch is incorrect, it can cause several problems for your home. All of the issues above can let you decide if your gutter pitch is wrong.
Regardless of whether your gutters were damaged or they were installed poorly in the first place, they need to be re-pitched in order to avoid expensive home repairs, including siding damage, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Buffalo
The first option will be repairing the existing gutters so the correct pitch is restored. If the rain gutters are in good condition and undamaged, this should be the route Better Buffalo Gutters recommends.
To re-establish gutter pitch, Better Buffalo Gutters will loosen the gutter, but they won’t need to take it completely down. This saves labor costs and time. Then the technician will measure and calculate the pitch needed and reinstall the gutters, adjusting fasteners if necessary, to fit the correct measurements.
Gutter Installation in Buffalo
If your gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are starting to rust or wear down with age, Better Buffalo Gutters may recommend that you replace them rather than re-pitching them. This can 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 should set the gutters at the correct pitch. You can reference the tips in this blog post to make sure the new installation is done the right way.