What is Gutter Pitch?

correcting gutter pitch

All gutters are set at a slight angle so that water drains out of them instead of sitting stagnant. Gutters don’t look slanted because installation companies 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 gutter

This formula tells a gutter installer where to place the downspout so that even heavier amounts of rain can flow smoothly from your roof. The side of your roof where the downspouts are is the side that should be the lower end.

Long sections of gutter, like across the front of a home, may require a downspout on each side. When this is happening, the rain gutters will be pitched from the middle, which means that the center of the roofline will be the highest point, and both downspouts should be lower than this center point.

Gutter Pitch Problems

If your gutters are installed the wrong way or if they are loose or bent, it can lead to problems that might be costly and complex to fix.

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

  • Water in the gutters can lead to roof damage because of the standing water. When it doesn’t flow from the gutters, water can get underneath the shingles and cause harm to the fascia, sub-roofing and even get inside your home.
  • Pooling rain water is one way mildew and mold can grow on areas of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a very hard project, especially when it grows on your roof. Mold is known for destroying organic materials (many of which are common in your home) and making people feel ill.
  • The weight of pooling water inside your gutters can cause them to tear away from your house. The gutters can tear out fasteners from the walls, destroying your vinyl or other exterior materials. It can also damage landscaping and windows.

Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?

To make sure your gutters are properly pitched, here are a some of the things you can check:

Look for Hanging Spots

Like we said before, you shouldn’t be able to see the slope of your rain gutters. If you can noticeably tell where the low point is, it is a sign that your gutter has been damaged or that it is getting worn out.

You should still be able to notice a dip in the gutters from below, so this is a safe job that homeowners can do on their own, with both 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 a problem. If possible, check the gutters immediately 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 SLC Gutter Solutions do it for you.

Inspect for Shingle Particles

Any little granules remaining in the gutters from your roof shingles means the gutters might not have enough slope, so the water can’t carry these materials away. Seeing grit or sludge in your gutters is more common after getting a new roof installed because it will tend to lose excess particles in the first couple of years.

You can climb up a ladder and look, or you might see some of these particles flowing out of your gutters from the downspouts. If you notice a little in these areas, chances are 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 because of incorrect gutter pitch. If water is flowing the wrong way, know as “back pitch,” you will see water overflowing from the end cap. This can cause problems for your roof, gutters and landscaping.

To eliminate the possibility of 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 one more sign that there is a gutter pitch problem.

Professional Gutter Damage Repair

If your gutter pitch gets incorrect, it can lead to many problems for your home. All of the issues above can let you decide if your gutter pitch is off.

No matter if your rain gutters were damaged or they were installed poorly to begin with, they need to be re-pitched in order to avoid major home repairs, including siding damage, leaks and landscape damage.

Gutter Repair in Salt Lake City

The first option will be repairing the existing gutters so the proper pitch is restored. If the gutters are in prime condition and undamaged, this should be the route SLC Gutter Solutions recommends.

To re-establish gutter pitch, SLC Gutter Solutions will loosen the gutter, but they won’t have to take it all the way down. This saves labor costs and time. Then the technician will measure and determine the correct pitch and reinstall the gutters, relocating fasteners if necessary, to fit the specific measurements.

Gutter Installation in Salt Lake City

If your gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are starting to rust or wear down with age, SLC Gutter Solutions 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 with new ones, they will come compete with new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer should set the gutters at the correct pitch. You can reference the tips above to make sure the new installation is done correctly.