All gutters are installed at a slight angle so that water drains out rather than remaining stagnant. They don’t appear slanted because installation pros know exactly what they’re doing, but they are.
Gutters should have an angled slope based on this formula:
¼ of an inch of drop per 10 feet of gutter
This formula tells your gutter installer where to attach the downspout so that even heavier amounts of precipitation can flow smoothly from your roof. The side of your home’s roof where the downspouts are is the side that should be lower.
Longer areas of gutter, like across the front of a house, may require a downspout on each side. When this is the case, the gutters will be pitched from the middle, meaning that the center of the roofline will be the absolute highest point, and both downspouts should be lower than this center point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If gutters are installed the wrong way or if they have become loose or bent at all, it can create problems that might 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 typical issue around the home, as it can result in all of the following issues:
- Water in the gutters can cause roof damage due to the standing water. When rain backs up in the gutters, water can get underneath the shingles and cause damage to the fascia, sub-roofing and even leak inside your home.
- Standing water is one way mildew and mold can grow on areas of your roof, gutters or siding. Getting rid of mold is a very hard task, especially if it appears on your roof. Mold is known for destroying organic materials (many of which exist in your home) and even making people feel ill.
- The weight of standing water inside your gutters can lead them to tear away from your house. 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 ensure your gutters are correctly pitched, here are a few things you can do:
Look for Hanging Spots
Like we mentioned above, you shouldn’t be able to notice the slope of your 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 still 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
Rain water naturally follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water in your home’s gutters is an issue. If possible, check the gutters right after rainfall so you can see the flow of the water.
This could 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 Des Moines Gutter Service do it for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any small granules left behind in the gutters from your roof shingles means the gutters might not have enough pitch, so the water can’t carry these materials away. Seeing grit or sludge inside of your gutters is more common after having a new roof installed because it will tend to lose a lot of excess granules in the first couple of years.
You can climb up and look, or you may see some of these particles flowing out of your gutters through the downspouts. If you notice a small amount in these areas, chances are there is more that is unable to make its way out.
Why is There Overflow?
Gutter overflow is typically caused by a blockage, but it can also be the result of incorrect gutter pitch. If rain water is flowing in the wrong direction, called “back pitch,” you will probably see water overflowing at the end cap. This can damage to 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 is still overflow, it’s another indicator that there is a gutter pitch problem.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
If your gutter pitch is incorrect, it can create several problems for your home. All of the problems above can let you know that your gutter pitch is wrong.
No matter if your rain gutters were damaged during a storm or if 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 Des Moines
The first option will be repairing the existing gutters so the proper pitch is restored. If the rain gutters are in good condition and undamaged, this should be the route Des Moines Gutter Service recommends.
To restore gutter pitch, Des Moines Gutter Service will loosen the gutter, but they won’t have to take it completely down. This lowers labor costs and time. Then the technician will measure and calculate the pitch needed and reinstall the gutters, moving fasteners if necessary, to fit the correct measurements.
Gutter Installation in Des Moines
If your gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are starting to rust or wear down with age, Des Moines Gutter Service may recommend that you replace them rather than re-pitching them. This can be more economical in the long run 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 proper pitch. You can reference the tips above to ensure the new installation is done the right way.