All gutters are set at a slight angle so that water drains out of them rather than sitting stagnant. Gutters don’t look slanted because installation companies know what they’re doing, but we assure you 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 right where to fasten the downspout so that heavy amounts of rain can flow smoothly from your roof. The side of your roof where the downspouts are is the side that should be lower.
Long sections of gutter, like across the front of a home, require a downspout on both sides. When this is the case, the gutters will be pitched from the middle, meaning that the middle of the roofline will be the highest point, and both downspouts need to be lower than this center point.
Gutter Pitch Problems
If gutters are installed the wrong way or if they are loose or bent, it can cause problems that might be expensive and difficult to repair.
When your gutter pitch is wrong, it can cause water to back up in your gutter channels. Water is a typical problem around the home, as it can result in all of the issues below:
- Rain in the gutters can cause roof damage because of the standing water. When water doesn’t flow from the gutters, water can get underneath the shingles and cause damage to the fascia, sub-roofing and even leak inside your house.
- Pooling rain water is one way mold and mildew can grow on of your roof, gutters or siding. Getting rid of mold is a difficult project, especially when it grows on your roof. Mold is known for ruining organic materials (many of which are common in your house) and even making people feel ill.
- The weight of blocked water inside your gutters can lead them to pull away from your roof. 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 make sure your gutters are correctly pitched, here are a few things you can check:
Look for Hanging Spots
Like we mentioned above, you shouldn’t be able to notice the slope of your gutters. If you can visibly tell where the low spot is, this is a sign that your gutter has been damaged or that it is getting worn out.
You should 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 follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water inside of your home’s gutters is an issue. If possible, check the gutters immediately after rainfall so you can see the draining of the water.
This could force you to climb a ladder, so exercise caution. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, you can have a local handyman or a gutter specialist from Lake Oswego Gutter Service do it for you.
Inspect for Shingle Particles
Any tiny granules remaining in the gutters from your shingles means the rain gutters may not have enough slope, so the water can’t carry these materials away. Seeing grit or sludge inside of your gutters is more common after getting a new roof installed because it will tend to shed a lot of excess granules in the first few years.
You can climb up a ladder and take a look, or you may see some of these particles making their way out of your gutters by way of the downspouts. If you notice 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 sometimes caused by a blockage, but it can also be because of incorrect gutter pitch. If water is flowing the wrong direction, know as “back pitch,” you will see water overflowing at the end cap. This can damage to your roof, gutters and surrounding 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 one more sign that there is a gutter pitch problem.
Professional Gutter Damage Repair
If your gutter pitch gets incorrect, it can result in many problems for your house. All of the issues above can let you determine if your gutter pitch is not right.
No matter if your gutters were damaged or if they were installed poorly in the first place, they need to be re-pitched if you want to avoid expensive home repairs, including damage to siding, leaks and landscape damage.
Gutter Repair in Oswego
The first option will be repairing the existing gutters so the correct pitch is restored. If the gutters are in prime condition and undamaged, this will be the route Lake Oswego Gutter Service recommends.
To correct gutter pitch, Lake Oswego Gutter Service 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, moving fasteners if necessary, to fit the specific measurements.
Gutter Installation in Oswego
If your gutters are severely damaged, or if they are starting to rust or wear down with age, Lake Oswego Gutter Service 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, they will include new fasteners, hardware and downspouts. The installer should set the gutters at the correct pitch. You can use the tips above to make sure the new installation is done the right way.