What is Gutter Pitch?

correcting gutter pitch

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

This calculation tells your gutter installer right where to place 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 the lower end.

Longer sections of gutter, like across the front of a house, require a downspout on each side. When this is the situation, the gutters will be pitched from the middle, which means that the middle of the roofline will be the absolute highest point, and both downspouts need to be lower than this center point.

Gutter Pitch Problems

If gutters are installed incorrectly or if they are loose or bent at all, it can lead to problems that can be expensive and complex to fix.

When there is something wrong with your gutter pitch, it can make water back up in your gutters. Water is a common problem around the house, 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 water backs up in the gutters, water can seep under the shingles and cause harm to the fascia, sub-roofing and even leak inside your home.
  • Pooling water is one way mold and mildew can grow on sections of your roof, gutters or siding. Getting rid of mold is a challenging project, 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 blocked water in your rain gutters can lead them to pull away from your roof. The gutters can tear out fasteners from the walls, damaging 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 some of the things you can check:

Look for Hanging Spots

As we mentioned above, you shouldn’t be able to see the slope of your rain gutters. If you can visibly tell where the low spot is, this is an indication that your gutter has been damaged or that it is getting old.

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 their feet on the ground.

Check for Standing Water

Water naturally follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water in your home’s gutters is a problem. If possible, check the gutters right after rainfall so you can see the draining of the water.

This could force 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 Charlotte Gutter Solutions check it out for you.

Inspect for Shingle Particles

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

You can climb up a ladder and look, or you might see some of the particles making their way out of your gutters from 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 due to incorrect gutter pitch. If rain water is flowing the wrong direction, 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 eliminate the possibility of a blockage, schedule gutter cleaning at least once a year or install gutter guards. If the gutters are clean but there are still signs of overflow, it’s one more indicator that there is a gutter pitch problem.

Professional Gutter Damage Repair

If your gutter pitch gets distorted, it can result in a lot of problems for your house. All of the problems above can let you determine if your gutter pitch is off.

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

Gutter Repair in Charlotte

The first option will be repairing the existing gutters so the proper pitch is restored. If the gutters are in excellent condition and undamaged, this will be the route Charlotte Gutter Solutions encourages.

To restore gutter pitch, Charlotte Gutter Solutions will loosen the gutter, but they won’t need to take it all the way down. This lowers labor costs and time. Then the technician will measure and calculate the proper pitch and reinstall the gutters, adjusting fasteners if necessary, to fit the correct measurements.

Gutter Installation in Charlotte

If your gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are starting to rust or wear down with age, Charlotte 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 need to be replaced, they will include new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer should set the gutters at the appropriate pitch. You can use our tips above to ensure the new installation is done correctly.