There are several factors that play a role in an efficient gutter and drainage system, and one of the most important here is the slope, or pitch, of the gutter itself. Gutters need to properly slope slightly downward toward their downspouts to allow the water they collect to flow out in the right ways, and issues here can lead to everything from standing water to weight concerns on certain sections of the drainage system.
At Wizard Rain Gutters, we’re proud to offer comprehensive rain gutter repair services in cases where your gutters go out of alignment or are no longer leveled to the proper slope (plus for a wide range of other issues). What are the proper slope levels for a given gutter system, and how might you be able to determine if your gutter is sloping incorrectly? Let’s look at these questions plus how our team is always on-hand to ensure you don’t attempt anything unsafe while checking on this sort of thing.
Recommended Pitch Levels
While it’s vital that a certain level of slope be present for gutters, it’s important to realize that the slope also can’t be too great. Too strong a slope will cause downspouts to flood based on high quantities of water, often resulting in overflowing and erosion of home foundation in the area. This means it’s very important to get the precise slope level right when it comes to gutters.
So what is that level? Based on the simple realities of gravity, we generally recommend a pitch between one and two inches for every 40 feet of gutter space. This will allow the proper downward water flow without risking flooding at downspouts.
Water Flow Test
It’s also vital to note, however, that elements like wind, water, debris and even home settling can contribute to gutters falling out of alignment over time. For this reason, tests and inspections at least once a year to confirm the proper slope are important.
One home test some homeowners can perform safely (do not attempt it otherwise): Testing for water flow. Fill a one-gallon bucket of water and then pour it into the gutter at the highest point. Then watch for any water that slows or stops on its way to the downspout, continuing to pour until you can locate the specific area that’s not sloped properly.
Common Issue Sources
The most common source of issues during the water flow test is not slope at all – it’s debris that’s built up, which is easy enough to identify and remove. If this is not the case, however, the gutters may need to be realigned to allow for proper flow.
If realignment turns out to be necessary, we strongly recommend calling our team to perform these services rather than attempting them on your own. Gutter leveling is an area that requires some professional expertise to get right, and you could be risking both your safety and the quality of your gutters if you attempt this by yourself.
For more on gutter alignment and slope, or to learn about any of our rain gutter repair or replacement services, speak to the staff at Wizard Rain Gutters today.