What is Gutter Pitch?

correcting gutter pitch

Gutters are set at a slight angle so that water flows out rather than sitting stagnant. Gutters don’t look slanted because installation pros know 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 calculation tells a gutter installation technician right where to attach the downspout so that heavy amounts of rain can flow unobstructed from your roof. The side of your roof where the downspouts are located is the side that should be lower.

Longer sections of gutter, like across the front of a home, require a downspout on each side. When this is happening, the rain gutters will be pitched from the middle, which means that the middle of the roofline will be the absolute highest point, and both of the 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 create problems that might be costly and difficult to fix.

When there is a gutter pitch problem, it can make water back up in your gutter channels. Water is a typical issue around the house, as it can lead to all of the following issues:

  • Rain inside of the gutters can lead to roof damage because of the standing water. When rain 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 house.
  • Pooling water is one way mold and mildew can grow on of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a difficult project, especially if it grows on your roof. Mold is known for ruining organic materials (many of which exist in your house) and making people sick.
  • The weight of standing water inside your rain gutters can lead them to pull away from your house. The gutters can pull fasteners from the siding, damaging your vinyl or other exterior materials. It can also ruin landscaping and windows.

Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?

To ensure your gutters are correctly pitched, here are a some of the things you can check:

Look for Hanging Spots

Like 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 worn out.

You should still be able to see 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

Water follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water in your home’s gutters is a problem. If possible, examine 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 don’t feel comfortable doing this, you can have a handyman or a gutter specialist from Westfield Gutter Service check it out for you.

Inspect for Shingle Particles

Any small granules remaining in the gutters from your roof shingles means the rain gutters may not have enough slope, so the water can’t carry these heavier materials away. Grit or sludge inside of your gutters is more common after getting a new roof installed because it will tend to lose excess granules in the first few years.

You can climb up a ladder and take a look, or you may notice some of the particles flowing out of your gutters from the downspouts. If you see a small amount 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 because of incorrect gutter pitch. If water is flowing in the wrong direction, called “back pitch,” you will see water overflowing from the end cap. This can cause damage to 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 sign that there is a gutter pitch problem.

Professional Gutter Damage Repair

If your gutter pitch gets distorted, it can cause several problems for your home. All of the problems above can let you know that your gutter pitch is not right.

No matter if your gutters were damaged during a storm or they were installed incorrectly in the first place, 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 Westfield

The most affordable option will be repairing your existing gutters so the proper pitch is restored. If the rain gutters are in prime condition and undamaged, this will be the route Westfield Gutter Service encourages.

To restore gutter pitch, Westfield Gutter Service will loosen the gutter, but they won’t have to take it all the way down. This lowers 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 Westfield

If your gutters are severely damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, Westfield Gutter Service may recommend to replace them instead of re-pitching them. This will be more economical over time 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 appropriate pitch. You can reference the tips in this blog post to ensure the new installation is done correctly.