What is Gutter Pitch?

correcting gutter pitch

Gutters are installed at a slight angle so that water flows out rather than sitting stagnant. They don’t appear slanted because installation companies know what they’re doing, but we assure you they are.

Gutters have a specific slope based on this formula:

¼ of an inch of drop per 10 feet of horizontal gutter

This formula tells your gutter installer right where to place 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 lower.

Longer areas of gutter, like across the front of a house, may require a downspout on both sides. When this is happening, the 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 your gutters are installed the wrong way or if they are loose or bent at all, it can create problems that might be costly and difficult to fix.

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

  • Rain 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 harm to the fascia, sub-roofing and even get inside your home.
  • Standing water is one way mold and mildew can grow on areas of your roof, gutters or siding. Getting rid of mold is a difficult task, especially if it appears on your roof. Mold is known for destroying organic materials (many of which exist in your home) and making people feel ill.
  • The weight of blocked water in your gutters can lead them to tear away from your home. The gutters can tear out fasteners from the walls, destroying your vinyl or other exterior material. It can also damage landscaping and windows.

Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?

To be confident your gutters are properly pitched, here are a few things you can check:

Look for Hanging Spots

As we mentioned before, you shouldn’t be able to see 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 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

Water 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 might require you to climb a ladder, so exercise caution. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, you can have a handyman or a gutter specialist from Total Tigard Gutters do it for you.

Inspect for Shingle Particles

Any little granules left behind in the gutters from your shingles are a sign that the rain gutters may not have enough pitch, so the water can’t carry these materials out. Seeing grit or sludge inside of your gutters is common after having a new roof installed because it will tend to lose excess granules in the first few years.

You can climb up and look, or you may notice some of the particles flowing 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 is unable to make its way out.

Why is There Overflow?

Gutter overflow is usually caused by a blockage, but it can also be the result of incorrect gutter pitch. If water is flowing the wrong way, called “back pitch,” you will probably see water overflowing from the end cap. This can cause problems for your roof, gutters and nearby landscaping.

To stop 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 another indicator that your gutter pitch may be wrong.

Professional Gutter Damage Repair

If your gutter pitch is incorrect, it can cause a lot of problems for your house. All of the problems above can let you decide if your gutter pitch is off.

No matter if your rain gutters were damaged or they were installed poorly in the first place, they need to be re-pitched if you want to avoid expensive home repairs, including siding damage, leaks and landscape damage.

Gutter Repair in Tigard

The most affordable option will be repairing the existing gutters so the pitch is restored. If the gutters are in excellent condition and undamaged, this will be the route Total Tigard Gutters recommends.

To restore gutter pitch, Total Tigard Gutters 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 correct pitch and reinstall the gutters, adjusting fasteners if necessary, to fit the specific measurements.

Gutter Installation in Tigard

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

If your gutters need to be replaced, they will come compete with new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer will set the gutters at the proper pitch. You can use the tips in this blog post to ensure the new installation is done correctly.