What is Gutter Pitch?

correcting gutter pitch

Rain gutters are set at a slight angle so water flows out of them rather than remaining stagnant. Gutters don’t look slanted because installation pros know exactly 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 formula tells a gutter installer right where to fasten the downspout so that even heavy amounts of precipitation can flow unobstructed 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 areas of gutter, like across the front of a home, may require a downspout on both sides. When this is the case, the gutters will need to 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 the wrong way or if they are loose or bent at all, it can cause problems that might be costly and difficult 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 house, as it can lead to all of the following issues:

  • Rain inside of the gutters can cause roof damage because of the standing water. When rain doesn’t flow from the gutters, water can seep under the shingles and cause harm to the fascia, sub-roofing and even leak inside your home.
  • Standing water is one way mildew and mold can grow on sections of your roof, gutters or siding. Getting rid of mold is a challenging task, especially when it grows on your roof. Mold is known for destroying organic materials (many of which exist in your house) and even making people feel ill.
  • The weight of pooling water in your rain gutters can cause them to tear away from your house. The gutters can pull fasteners from the walls, destroying your vinyl or other exterior materials. It can also destroy surrounding 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

As we mentioned above, you shouldn’t be able to notice the slope of your gutters. If you can visibly identify where the low spot is, it is an indication that your gutter has been 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 home’s gutters is a problem. If possible, check the gutters immediately after rainfall so you can see the draining of the water.

This might require 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 Greenville Gutter Solutions check it out for you.

Inspect for Shingle Particles

Any small granules remaining in the gutters from your roof shingles are a sign that the gutters might not have enough pitch, so the water can’t carry these materials away. Grit or sludge in your gutters is more common after having a new roof installed because it will tend to shed excess particles in the first couple of years.

You can climb up and take a look, or you might notice some of the particles flowing out of your gutters through 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 usually caused by a blockage, but it can also be due to incorrect gutter pitch. If water is flowing in the wrong direction, called “back pitch,” you will probably see water overflowing from the end cap. This can problems for your roof, gutters and surrounding landscaping.

To stop the possibility of blockage, schedule gutter cleaning at least once a year or install gutter guards. If you know the gutters are clean but there are still signs of 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 cause many problems for your home. All of the issues above can let you decide if your gutter pitch is wrong.

No matter if your rain gutters were damaged during a storm or if they were installed incorrectly to begin with, they need to be re-pitched if you want to avoid major home repairs, including damage to siding, leaks and landscape damage.

Gutter Repair in Greenville

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 Greenville Gutter Solutions recommends.

To re-establish gutter pitch, Greenville Gutter Solutions will loosen the gutter, but they won’t need to take it totally down. This saves labor costs and time. Then the technician will measure and calculate the proper pitch and reinstall the gutters, moving fasteners if necessary, to fit the specific measurements.

Gutter Installation in Greenville

If your gutters are severely damaged, or if they are starting to rust or wear down with age, Greenville Gutter Solutions 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 come compete with new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer should set the gutters at the appropriate pitch. You can use our tips in this blog post to make sure the new installation was done the right way.