Rain gutters are installed at a slight angle so that water flows out instead of sitting stagnant. Gutters don’t look slanted because installation companies 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 gutter
This calculation tells a gutter installation technician right where to attach the downspout so that even heavier 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 the lower end.
Longer sections of gutter, like across the front of a home, may require a downspout on each side. 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 highest point, and both of the 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 can be expensive and complex to repair.
When there is a gutter pitch problem, it can make water back up in your gutters. Water is a typical issue around the home, as it can result in all of the following issues:
- Water 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 get inside your home.
- Pooling rain water is one way mildew and mold can grow on sections of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a very hard project, especially if it grows on your roof. Mold is known for destroying organic materials (many of which are common in your house) and even making people sick.
- The weight of pooling water inside your gutters can cause them to pull away from your house. The gutters can pull fasteners from the siding, damaging your vinyl or other exterior materials. It can also ruin surrounding 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 above, you shouldn’t be able to see the slope of your rain gutters. If you can noticeably identify where the low spot is, this is an indication that your gutter is damaged or that 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 you can do on your 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, inspect the gutters right after rainfall so you can see the draining of the water.
This may 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 Nifty Napa Gutters do it for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any tiny granules left behind in the gutters from your roof shingles are a sign that the gutters may not have enough slope, so the water can’t carry these materials out. Grit or sludge inside of your gutters is more 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 look, or you may see some of these particles making their way out of your gutters from 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 usually caused by a blockage, but it can also be because of incorrect gutter pitch. If water is flowing the wrong way, know as “back pitch,” you will probably see water overflowing at the end cap. This can problems for your roof, gutters and nearby landscaping.
To remove 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 another sign that your gutter pitch may be wrong.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
If your gutter pitch gets distorted, it can result in a lot of problems for your house. All of the issues above can let you know that your gutter pitch is not right.
No matter if your gutters were damaged or if they were installed poorly to begin with, they need to be re-pitched in order to avoid expensive home repairs, including siding damage, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Napa
The first option will be repairing your existing gutters so the pitch is restored. If the gutters are in good condition and undamaged, this will be the route Nifty Napa Gutters recommends.
To re-establish gutter pitch, Nifty Napa 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, adjusting fasteners if necessary, to fit the specific measurements.
Gutter Installation in Napa
If your gutters are severely damaged, or if they are starting to rust or wear down with age, Nifty Napa Gutters may recommend that you replace them rather than re-pitching them. This will be more economical in the long run and time-saving.
If your gutters have to be replaced, they will come compete with new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer should set the gutters at the correct pitch. You can reference our tips above to make sure the new installation is done the right way.