Do Your Gutters Look Like This?
Improperly sloped gutters can vary in severity; the photos below show gutters with differing gutter slope issues. Sometimes pitch problems are difficult to notice, and as you’ll see in the photos, some slope issues are more than obvious. If any of these gutter images look familiar, call the experts at AquaGuard Foundation Solutions. They offer a free inspection to access your complete water management situation.
Many Georgia homeowners have probably given the slope of their gutters very little thought if any. If your gutters are sloped or pitched incorrectly, you could be creating a big problem. Water can overflow, spilling over the top and dumping directly next to your home’s basement or crawl space.
When gutters are sloped correctly, they have a slight decline slope, which allows water to easily travel through the gutter system where it is carried out and away from your home. If the slope isn’t steep enough, or there isn’t a slope at all, water will pool in the gutter trough and spill over the top.
Since gutters have one job, move water away from the foundation of your home, the failure to do this means the structural integrity of your home is at risk. Learn more about the importance of properly sloping or pitched gutters and how to determine if your gutters need repair.
Tips for Dealing With Improper Gutter Slope
Frequent rainfall is common in Georgia. The state receives more than the national average of rain per year, and in certain areas, like the northeastern corner receiving nearly three times the national average. Learn tips for dealing with improperly sloped gutters.
Always Clean Gutters First
Since clogged gutters and improperly sloped gutters often display the same problem signs, make sure your gutters are free of debris and foreign objects blocking the flow of water. Safely clean and clear your gutters at least twice a year. Typically, cleaning in the fall and spring is common because the Georgia trees drop the most debris during these times. Using a gutter cleaning company, or doing it yourself, make sure to run a garden hose through the gutters to make sure the water flows through the entire length of the downspout as well.
Use a Level to Confirm Slope
It may be difficult to notice an improperly sloped gutter with your bare eye, so confirm using a level. Carefully place a level on the lip of the gutter to ensure it is sloping down in the direction of a downspout. Gutters should be level from front to back, but have a pitch, about a quarter-inch to a half-inch per 10 feet of gutter. The specific slope should be determined by your gutter professional. They will assess your home’s unique qualities and offer the ideal pitch to keep water flowing.
Standing Water In Gutter
Pooling water inside the gutter trough is a common indicator your gutters aren’t sloped correctly. After a particularly heavy rain, carefully inspect your gutters, looking for areas where water is trapped. If no clog can be found, it is most likely you need to have your gutter pitch redone.
Answers to Commonly Asked Questions about Sloping Gutters
Since gutter slope is such an important element of functioning gutters, it may be surprising that, yes, the slope of your gutters can be repaired without replacement. If your Georgia home has gutters in good condition, without major wear or tear, gutter pitch can generally be repaired. A heavy wind storm, or a stubborn clog that went unnoticed for a while, can change the pitch of your gutters without rendering them useless.
The problem with DIY gutter repairs is not only is it dangerous to both climb and work on a ladder but precisely identifying the right slope is an added challenge. If the new pitch is incorrect, you could be creating additional problems at your home.
Sure, gutters are designed to handle water daily if needed, but stagnant, standing water is a different story. Not only does standing water cause issues on the ground below, like soil erosion, but it can also lead to sloping or gutters pulling away. Water is heavy, and eventually, even the strongest gutters will fail under this enormous weight.
Standing water is also a breeding ground for insects like gnats and mosquitos, as well as a draw for rodents like squirrels and opossums. Where insects are frustrating to deal with, these small rodents can cause serious issues to your roof by chewing shingles and, in some cases gaining access to your attic. It is best to keep insects and rodents away by eliminating any standing water as soon as it is identified.
Even though your Atlanta home’s gutters take daily abuse day after day from wind, rain, and extreme weather, gutters have a lifespan of around 20 years when properly maintained.
Keeping in mind the importance of gutters to your home’s structural integrity, learn more about signs your gutters need to be replaced.
Cracks: Gutters with cracks basically defeat the purpose of gutters entirely. Look for cracks after a rainstorm, so dripping is visible, but large enough cracks can also be seen from the ground. Although it’s possible to use caulk or epoxy to repair the problem, the solution is not water-tight, allowing the same problem to occur in the future.
Peeling Paint: If you noticed your exterior paint peeling or bubbling, it might be because your gutters are leaking and dripping, causing problems. Check the surrounding gutters for signs of damage.
Mildew: If you begin to see mildew both on the walls of your home as well as the gutters themselves, it’s a major red flag that your gutters are not performing their job properly and need to be replaced.
Since your gutters perform such an essential function for your home, it’s essential to replace your gutters promptly so they don’t cause additional problems for your home.
The reality is gutters are almost always necessary to protect your home’s foundation, the basement, or the crawl space. However, if you live in an area with extremely little rainfall, or if your house has only concrete surrounding it, no plants or grass, you may be able to get away without gutters. In these extreme cases, also consider the slope or grade of the concrete surrounding your home and the size of roof overhang you have.
As it may sound, deciding not to put gutters on your home is a big decision that should be discussed with a gutter professional like those at AquaGuard. Our inspectors know both the importance of gutters and the area conditions because they live and work in the surrounding areas.
Let AquaGuard Solve Your Gutter Slope Problems
If you’re struggling to determine if your gutters are sloped correctly, or you know they are not, the experts at AquaGuard Foundation Solutions can help. Our team of trained professionals knows exactly what to look for and will do a full inspection to determine the correct cause of your gutter pitch problem. Our solutions come with a warranty, so you can be sure our products and installation are always top-notch.