Why Does Your Gutter Slope Matter?

Seamless gutters
Without the correct gutter slope, your gutters could accumulate debris.

Gutters are just a trough below your roof, right? Well, yes they are, but there is much more to the seemingly-lowly gutter than that. Gutters are miniature aqueducts that move water from place to place. When they are installed correctly, they do this very well, and they can prevent problems such as clogging. Unfortunately, many people who are new to gutter installation don’t know that gutters should be installed on a slope, and this can lead to problems with your gutters.

Improper Slope is a Common Gutter Problem

Gutter DIY is a common project, and you’ll see many homeowners outside during the summer months trying to install new drainage before the rain and snow comes. However, those who are new to gutter installation may have misconceptions about how gutters need to be installed. 

Gutters need to move the water from place to place. They are not supposed to have water sitting in them in a puddle. Instead, they should efficiently divert water that flows from your roof into a downspout, where it either moves into the ground or into underground drainage.

To ensure that gutters drain properly, make sure that they slope half an inch for every ten feet. 

Longer Sections of Roof Have Their Own Technique 

According to This Old House, “For gutter runs longer than 40 feet, it’s best to pitch the gutter down from the middle to a downspout at each end.” It’s hard to sustain a slope over a long distance without gutter problems such as blockages getting in the way, and that helps you maintain the slope you need for the best water flow. 

What Happens If You Have the Wrong Gutter Slope?

If you install gutters with the wrong slope, you probably won’t notice at first. Unfortunately, over time, if the slope is too low, you will notice that your gutters often clog. The speed of the water is not sufficient to move the water and debris down the gutters. The debris sticks in your gutters, and water starts to pool around it, spilling over at times. 

If your gutters are too sloped, you turn them into a waterslide. Water can move down the gutters too quickly and can bring large debris with it to clog the downspouts. It may also overshoot the downspouts. 

Seamless gutters 

What to Do If Your Gutter Slope Is Wrong 

If your gutters are getting clogged or water is spilling over the sides, you have work to do. You need to check with a gutter professional to see if you can determine what is going on.

Your gutter professional may recommend gutter cleaning, but look beyond that to make sure that debris accumulation is not caused by other gutter problems. If your gutters sag in one place, you may need to add brackets. If they are pitched inadequately, then you may need to re-install the gutters (or add new seamless gutters) at the right slope instead.

At Harry Helmet, we know how to install gutters. This is our work: keeping your home safe and dry. If you want to make sure that your gutters are installed correctly, schedule a free estimate today.

Written by Del Thebaud

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