What is Gutter Pitch?

correcting gutter pitch

Rain gutters are set at a slight angle so water flows out of them rather than remaining stagnant. They don’t look slanted because installation pros know exactly what they’re doing, but they are.

Gutters should have an angled slope based on this formula:

¼ of an inch of drop per 10 feet of gutter

This formula tells your gutter installation technician where to attach the downspout so that heavier amounts of precipitation can flow smoothly 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 both sides. When this is the case, the gutters will need to be pitched from the middle, which means that the middle of the roofline will be the highest point, and both downspouts need to be lower than this middle point.

Gutter Pitch Problems

If gutters are installed the wrong way or if they have become loose or bent, it can create problems that might be costly and difficult to repair.

When there is a gutter pitch problem, it can make water back up in your gutters. Water is a common issue around the house, as it can result in all of the issues below:

  • Rain in the gutters can lead to roof damage due to the standing water. When it backs up in the gutters, water can get underneath the shingles and cause damage to the fascia, sub-roofing and even leak inside your house.
  • Pooling water is one way mold and mildew can grow on areas of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a very hard project, especially if it appears on your roof. Mold is known for destroying organic materials (many of which exist in your home) and even making people feel ill.
  • The weight of pooling water in your rain gutters can cause them to tear away from your home. The gutters can tear out fasteners from the walls, damaging your vinyl or other exterior materials. It can also destroy landscaping and windows.

Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?

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

Look for Hanging Spots

Like we said before, you shouldn’t be able to notice the slope of your gutters. If you can noticeably tell where the low spot is, it 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 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 naturally follows the path of least resistance, so any amount of water inside of your gutters is a problem. Try to inspect the gutters right after rainfall so you can see the draining of the water.

This might 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 EZ Eugene Gutters do it for you.

Inspect for Shingle Particles

Any small granules remaining in the gutters from your shingles are a sign that the rain gutters might 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 having a new roof installed because it will tend to lose excess particles in the first few years.

You can climb up and take a look, or you may see some of these 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 sometimes caused by a blockage, but it can also be the result of incorrect gutter pitch. If rain water is flowing the wrong way, called “back pitch,” you will probably see water overflowing from the end cap. This can cause damage to your roof, gutters and surrounding landscaping.

To prevent the possibility of a 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 indicator that your gutter pitch may be wrong.

Professional Gutter Damage Repair

When your gutter pitch gets distorted, it can create several problems for your home. All of the issues above can let you determine if your gutter pitch is wrong.

Regardless of whether your gutters were damaged or they were installed poorly in the first place, they need to be re-pitched in order to avoid expensive home repairs, including siding damage, leaks and landscape damage.

Gutter Repair in Eugene

The most affordable option will be repairing the existing gutters so the correct pitch is restored. If the rain gutters are in excellent condition and undamaged, this should be the route EZ Eugene Gutters recommends.

To re-establish gutter pitch, EZ Eugene Gutters 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 pitch needed and reinstall the gutters, adjusting fasteners if necessary, to fit the correct measurements.

Gutter Installation in Eugene

If your gutters are permanently damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, EZ Eugene Gutters may recommend to 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 proper pitch. You can use our tips above to make sure the new installation is done the right way.