How to Adjust a Gutter's Pitch

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Gutters serve an important part of keeping your home structurally sound by draining water into the downspouts and directing it away from the foundation of the home. However, for gutters to function correctly they require a slight slope, called a pitch, which causes rainwater to flow to the downspouts. Since gutters settle as screws and brackets loosen, it’s a good idea to periodically check the pitch of the gutters and adjust them if needed.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Ladder
  • Pencil
  • Screwdriver
  • Chalk line tool
  • Garden hose or bucket of water
  • Measure the side of the house directly under the gutter to determine the length of it in feet. Multiply the number of feet by 1/16 inch to determine the total slope the gutter requires. For example, if the gutter is 16 feet long, the end near the down spout must be 1 inch lower than the starting end.

  • Place a ladder at the left side of the house, and measure from the roof down to the gutter. Note the measurement.

  • Slide the ladder to the other end of the gutter, and measure down from the roof to the gutter. Measure down 1 inch past the first measurement, and mark it with a pencil.

  • Loosen the screws into the gutter brackets using a screwdriver until the gutter detaches from the side of the house. Pull the end of the gutter free from the downspout, if needed.

  • Place a chalk line along the top of the gutter holding one end at the left top side of the gutter and holding the other end of the line at the pencil mark. Snap the chalk line to create a guide for adjusting the gutter height. It helps to have another person assists with this.

  • Place the gutter back up to the house, and align the top edge with the chalk line. Re-secure all brackets and screws to attach the gutter back to the house. Reinsert the end of the gutter into the downspout.

  • Test the pitch of the gutter by turning on a garden hose and directing the water into the farthest part of the gutter from the downspout. Watch the water to ensure it begins to flows down toward the downspout. If you don’t have a garden hose, you can test the pitch using a bucket of water.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have a length of gutter that is more than 35 feet long, the center point should be the highest and each side should pitch down toward the downspouts on either end.

References

  • Photo Credit Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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