The Importance of a Proper Rain Gutter Slope
Some signs that you need to replace your gutters are more obvious than others. Cracks, gaps, and peeling paint are all clear signals that your gutters are no longer capable of doing the important job of diverting rainwater away from your home and its foundation.
So, what happens when your rain gutters look fine on the outside but still don’t seem to be working properly? In that case, it’s time to check your rain gutter slope and make any necessary adjustments.
Proper Rain Gutter Slope
For water to drain towards your downspouts, your rain gutters need to harness the power of gravity so that excess water flows downhill. The right rain gutter slope is subtle enough that you won’t notice it from the street but also steep enough so that it easily sheds water towards your downspout.
The standard slope for rain gutters is half of an inch for every 10 feet. This means that your gutter should be a half-inch lower in height at every 10-foot mark until you reach the downspout. For spans longer than 40 feet, it’s wise to have a downspout on each end and start the high spot of the gutter in the center. However, shorter spans can simply slope in one direction.
Testing for Proper Rain Gutter Slope
If you notice that water stands on your roofing instead of draining, check your clogs and clean away any debris impeding the flow of water.
If that doesn’t solve the problem, mark the top of your gutter at the point farthest from your downspout. Use a tape measure to mark a second spot 10 feet closer to your downspout, checking that the line between the two marks is level as you go. This second mark should be at least half an inch higher than the first one. Otherwise, it’s a sign that your rain gutter slope isn’t sufficient and needs adjustment.
If your gutters don’t pass the rain gutter slope test, you’ll need to have them realigned or possibly replaced, as sometimes older gutters can’t stand up to the pressure of being pried off your house and reattached. A professional installer will make sure that your new gutters meet the slope test and drain away all the excess rain that’s been plaguing your home.