What is Gutter Pitch?

correcting gutter pitch

All gutters are fastened at a slight angle so water drains out of them rather than sitting stagnant. They don’t look slanted because installation companies know exactly what they’re doing, but we assure you they are.

Gutters should have a specific 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 heavy amounts of precipitation 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 areas of gutter, like across the front of a house, may 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 center of the roofline will be the highest point, and both downspouts should 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 lead to problems that might be expensive and complex to fix.

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

  • Rain inside of the gutters can cause roof damage because of the standing water. When it doesn’t flow from the gutters, water can seep under the shingles and cause damage to the fascia, sub-roofing and even get inside your house.
  • Pooling water is one way mold and mildew can grow on sections of your roof, gutters or siding. Removing mold is a challenging project, especially if it grows on your roof. Mold is known for destroying organic materials (many of which exist in your home) and even making people sick.
  • The weight of standing water in your rain gutters can lead them to pull away from your roof. The gutters can pull fasteners from the walls, destroying your vinyl or other exterior material. It can also destroy surrounding landscaping and windows.

Do You Have a Gutter Pitch Problem?

To ensure your gutters are properly pitched, here are a few things you can check:

Look for Hanging Spots

Like we said above, you shouldn’t be able to see the slope of your gutters. If you can noticeably tell where the low spot is, this is a sign that your gutter is damaged or it is getting old.

You should be able to notice a dip in the gutters from the ground, so this is a safe job that you can do on your own, with their 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 an issue. If possible, inspect the gutters right after rainfall so you can see the draining of the water.

This could require 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 Spokane Gutters Plus 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 might not have enough pitch, so the water can’t carry these materials away. Seeing grit or sludge inside of your gutters is common after having a new roof installed because it will tend to shed excess particles in the first few years.

You can climb up and look, or you might notice some of these 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 can’t make its way out.

Why is There Overflow?

Gutter overflow is typically caused by a blockage, but it can also be the result 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 problems for your roof, gutters and surrounding landscaping.

To prevent the possibility of blockage, schedule gutter cleaning at least once a year or install gutter guards. If you know the gutters are clean but there are still signs of 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 cause a lot of problems for your home. All of the problems above can let you know that your gutter pitch is off.

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

Gutter Repair in Spokane

The most affordable option will be repairing your existing gutters so the correct pitch is restored. If the gutters are in good condition and undamaged, this should be the route Spokane Gutters Plus recommends.

To correct gutter pitch, Spokane Gutters Plus 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, moving fasteners if necessary, to fit the correct measurements.

Gutter Installation in Spokane

If your rain gutters are severely damaged, or if they are rusting or wearing down with age, Spokane Gutters Plus may recommend that you replace them instead of 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 will set the gutters at the correct pitch. You can reference our tips above to make sure the new installation was done the right way.