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Incorrect Gutter Slope

An incorrect slope can appear subtly and go unnoticed to the untrained eye. If your gutters aren't working as intended, this could be the reason — read on to learn more.

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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.  

Understandably, most Georgia homeowners don’t think about the slope of their gutters very often, if at all. Ensuring proper slope for your gutters (also known as “pitching”) is crucial. Failing to spot and address the problem quickly can lead to additional home damage. Without the proper pitch, water in your gutters will overflow and spill out of the trough, causing puddles around your foundation.  

Properly sloped gutters possess a slight incline, enabling them to swiftly direct water through the gutter system 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.  

Effects of Incorrect Gutter Slope

  • Improper Drainage: If your gutters aren’t sloped correctly, they won’t drain properly. Water can pool in certain sections, leading to overflows during heavy rains.
  • Water Damage: Pooled water or overflowing gutters lead to water seeping into your home. This can cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas.
  • Basement Flooding: Overflowing gutters also lead to water pooling around the foundation of your house, which could result in basement flooding.
  • Mold and Mildew Growth: Dampness due to incorrect gutter slope contribute to the growth of mold and mildew, especially in your attic, which can pose health risks.
  • Roof Damage: Improperly sloped gutters can lead to standing water, which can damage your roof and cause leaks.
  • Damage to Gutters: The weight of water pooling in improperly sloped gutters can cause the gutters to sag or pull away from the house, damaging the gutter system itself and potentially the siding and structure of the home.
  • Landscape Erosion: Overflowing water may wash away mulch and soil around your home, disrupting your landscaping efforts and potentially damaging plants.
  • Pest Infestation: Pools of standing water attract pests like mosquitoes, leading to an infestation problem.

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. Keep in mind, working with a professional gutter team provides you with the best slope measurement, so consider hiring some help for this tip..   

Standing Water In Gutter 

If you notice water stuck inside the gutter trough after a heavy rain, inspect your gutters carefully to find areas where water is trapped. If you can’t find any clogs, it’s likely that your gutter pitch needs to be redone because your gutters are not sloped correctly.

FAQs

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 uncertain if your gutters are sloped incorrectly, or know that they aren’t, let AquaGuard Foundation Solutions’ team of experts help you out. 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.   

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