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Do Gutters Need to Slope? (Plus Tips to Fix Pooling)

Do Gutters Need to Slope? (Plus Tips to Fix Pooling)

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If you live where it rains regularly, having gutters will be a must. Gutters collect the excess water that pools on top of your roof and directs it into a drainage system so it doesn’t spill down your walls and collect around your property’s foundation.

But to do their job, there are several considerations that you need to pay attention to while installing gutters.

So, do gutters need to slope? If yes, then what is the right angle?

We’re here to answer these questions and help you ensure your gutters are installed to do their job efficiently, so let’s dive in.

Do Gutters Need to Slope?

Installing and maintaining a functional gutter system is one of the best ways to protect your home from water damage due to flooding. Although you might think that gutters are installed parallel to the roof, there must be some slope to help them function.

The purpose of the slope is to help direct the runoff water toward the downspouts. This guarantees that the excess water from the rain and hail will be directed toward the pipes of the system, where it can be transferred to the main gutters on the street or the drainage system.

Without the proper slope, this won’t happen. Instead, water will pool on top of your roof, which can cause substantial damage to your roofing material.

Moreover, the excess moisture will damage your attic and lead to the formation of mold and mildew.

The water will also slide down your sidings, where it travels down the walls and pools around your house’s foundation. Water damage can amount to several thousand dollars and can lead to several health risks.

What’s the Right Downspout Angle?

The downspout is a crucial part of the gutter system. The downspout elbow will direct the runoff water away from the pipes to deposit them where they cause no damage to your home’s foundations.

Whether installing gutters by yourself or hiring a professional to do the job on your behalf, you need to consider the downspout angle to ensure that this system will work properly.

The bend angle can be set to different degrees to provide various solutions.

30-Degree Angle

This is the smallest angle available for gutters’ slope, and it’s suitable for situations where the distance between the fascia and the exterior wall is too short. This gentle slope will help direct the water away from the roof and sidings.

Where it rains regularly, this angle might work because of the high volume of water. However, if you live in arid conditions where it doesn’t rain much, this small slope might not be potent enough to direct water away.

45-Degree Angle

This bigger angle increases the velocity of water, so it’s commonly used on the upper parts of the downspouts. Thanks to the increased velocity, this angle will help clear any clogs that might affect the function of your gutter system.

75-Degree Angle

This is the most common choice for most homeowners. This sharp angle is usually installed at the bottom part of the downspout elbow to clear any objects that might clog the system and affect its function.

90-Degree Angle

Although it’s not that common, the 90-degree angle will work in situations where you want to significantly increase the velocity of the water.

Homeowners might consider this option to push the water further away from the house. This option will also work for you if you want to work around tight corners.

How to Fix Gutter Slope

If you’ve previously installed gutters and the water seems to pool in the wrong places, there might be a problem with the gutter slope.

Your gutter system needs to have some slope to allow the runoff water to move away instead of pooling on top of your roof. Without fixing the slope, the water will overflow and affect different areas in your house.

Moreover, debris like leaves, rocks, sand, and dirt will stay on top of your roof, adding unnecessary weight and clogging your gutters. The right slope will increase the water’s velocity to prevent clogging.

So, if you think that your gutters’ slope needs to be adjusted, you should do the following.

Check First

Before you attempt to do anything, you should inspect your gutters first. You need to determine if the slope needs to be adjusted or if there’s something else wrong with your system.

You might not be able to do this on your own. So, it’s best to hire a professional to inspect the system.

Remove the Hangers

Fixing the slope is something that you can do with the help of a friend. Ask someone to hold the gutter while you remove the hangers to be able to adjust the angle.

Pull It Down

Pull the gutter down about ¾ of an inch of its original location to readjust it. Then, adjust the gutter to have a quarter of an inch of slope per ten feet.

Once you have picked the right spot, screw the gutter in place. Next, screw in the hangers or brackets, and your slope will be adjusted.

Final Thoughts

The right slope guarantees that your gutter system will work efficiently. When you’re installing your downspout elbows, you can choose between various angles to provide different solutions.

Without a proper slope, the system won’t be as efficient as the water will pool on top of the roof, and the pipes might get clogged by debris. So, if you feel that your pipes are too level, you can easily adjust the angle.


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