Some questions about fixing the pitch of a gutter


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Old 05-02-20, 08:09 PM
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Some questions about fixing the pitch of a gutter

We had our roof done a couple years ago by a crap installer. They hired a crap gutter company to replace the gutters.

A couple of the gutters are pitched wrong - we have standing water in them at the far end.

I'm trying to fix one of them on the 1st floor before I tackle the harder ones.

It's 25' long with the drain at 1 end. Looking at the gutter compared to the soffit, there IS a slope to the drain.

I started wondering if the soffit isn't level, but it appears to be.

What's the right way to get the correct pitch for the gutter (and what do you consider the correct pitch? Googling, I get 1/4", 1/2 and 3/4" per 10 feet).

I'm trying to do this with the gutter still in place and about half of the width of the gutter is covered by the shingle overhang and it's 10' off the ground. So overall, a bit of a nuisance.

I remember back a year ago trying to pitch a drain line on the ground - even that was a pain. Over long runs, how do you keep it accurate?

For the drain line on the ground, I've tried string level, I have a 6' level from harbor freight - I added a little block on 1 end to simulate the slope...

Any other tricks?

Also, the roofer didn't install metal against the facia - the gutters are just screwed into the wood. would adding metal behind the gutter, tucked under the drip rail be a good idea? Oh, and speaking of the drip rail - in some areas, it's far enough away from the facia that I can stick my finger in there, wasps are making a nest... and I can stick a long tie wrap up there and I guess into the attic area!? metal pushed up flush behind the drip rail would likely help keep bugs out, right?

THANKS!
 
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Old 05-02-20, 08:37 PM
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It amazes me that people are so concerned about water in a seamless gutter that doesn't leak. Not directing that at you, but I hear this all the time. And it's not uncommon for gutters to have a little standing water in them from time to time. Gutters do not have so much pitch on them that they run completely dry after a rain. That is not normal.

1/4" in 10 feet is plenty of slope. And you may have some pooling of water here and there when it's like that. Put any more slope than that on it and it looks bad. If you have a deep pool of water at one end, it is pretty simple. Unscrew that end and push it up. If it's as high as it will go, then the rest has to come down. You simply can eye the gutter since it should be in a straight line. The downspout end is set low, the other end is set high, the gutter is installed in a straight line. If there is a downspout on each end of a long run, then the middle is high and the gutter is crowned because water has to run in either direction.

Another easy solution... when the gutter is dry, pour some self leveling Geocel 2310 into the area that's low. Only add about 1/8" at a time. It will fill up the low area so that water doesnt stand there.

Roofers (and gutter guys) are also not in charge of covering your fascia if you havent paid them to cover it. If you want to do it, that's up to you. You would practically need to take the gutter down to do it though. Sounds like they left the shingles hang out way too far over the gutter.
 
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Old 05-02-20, 10:23 PM
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Personally, I always install my gutter level, there is nothing worse looking than seeing a long run of gutter that slopes toward the end(s), makes it look like it was installed wrong!
 
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Old 05-03-20, 04:00 AM
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I too can't stand to see a gutter with pitch. The key is "see". I don't want to see the gutter slope and on a long run with parallel lines from the roof and bottom of the fascia right there it's hard/impossible to put in any slope that's not easily visible.

As for puddles in the gutters sitting on the porch one day I was startled by a scratching, hopping sort of sound from above. Turned out it was birds. They love the gutter puddles and use them as a birdbath.
 
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Old 05-03-20, 07:07 AM
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Install a downspout at the end where the water is standing.
 
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Old 05-04-20, 07:37 PM
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Xsleeper:

Sounds like they left the shingles hang out way too far over the gutter.

My thoughts exactly. I can't get my hand in there to get rid of leaves. 1/2 the width of the gutter is covered. What's typical amount the shingles should extend? With 1/2 covered... oh well? Would you put on another layer of facia board to push out the gutter? but then the drip edge wouldn't be in front of facia. Cut the front edge of the shingles?
 
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Old 05-04-20, 07:52 PM
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Personally... I let the starter protrude 1/4" and the first course another 1/4", for a total of 1/2". That's above a gutter. Here is a typical installation instruction sheet. It specifies 3/4" maximum past the metal edging. Any more and they are susceptible to wind uplift and damage.

No, I would not take the gutter down to add more fascia. If you do anything, you would cut the shingles back. And when I say "you", I mean I'd be calling the installer back to do it. And telling him it better be a straight cut.
 
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Old 05-04-20, 08:32 PM
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Oh, he's not coming back.... I hadn't paid him everything 'cause he botched loads of things / workmanship was crap. And we are usually picky / overthink / triple check things but we have amazingly bad luck with contractors... maybe 'cause I know a little I see stuff others don't see? Complained to the shingle manufacturer - he's listed on their website...turns out all you have to do is pay the manufacturer - no low bar of having taken their classes, etc. was an eye opener that the manufacturer didn't do anything - even to come out to see the work and say I was expecting too much. And the warranty really doesn't seem to be worth much of anything.

Other than you guys / people on this forum, how many people would even know there's standing water in a gutter? They hire someone to clean them, never get on roof,etc.

This guy was a good salesman - and we are jaded to salesmen - makes him even better than he got past us.

1 thing that sticks in my mind - he said we clean up after. Use a magnet broom, etc. If you find more than 3 nails on the ground call us back and we'll sweep again.

I really liked (fell for) him quantifying the number of nails and what he was going to do (i'd expect most would say 'call us if you find nails'. not saying what they'd do...

turns out we found 2 nails on the ground. but on the roof?! easily a couple dozen nails, scrap shingles, metal trim, cut marks (they cut shingles on top of existing shingles, scuff marks, some vent pipe covers had nails, some didn't. those with nails some were cauiked, some weren't. The ridge shingles - nails at the end - some caulked, some not, nails pressed into shingles (left on roof then they stepped on them), etc.

 
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Old 05-04-20, 09:47 PM
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Well get yourself a big pair of aviator snips, chalk a line and start cutting. I've found there are very few really "good" roofers. Most are fast... but not usually fast and good.
 
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Old 05-05-20, 01:02 PM
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xsleeper - aviation snips?! I hadn't thought of that - I was thinking the utility knife with hooked blades?

So given that the roof does extend / cover about half of the gutters (they were consistent in the over extending), is cutting back the shingles something you'd recommend / makes sense?

For the efforts, what would that gain me? Easier cleaning of the gutters for sure. The rain doesn't overrun the gutters (coming down the roof, it doesn't overshoot the gutters even in a heavy rain).

I always love coming here - you guys know how to do things right... and then balance the asthetics part of things - how the pitch looks, etc.. Doing things per the book may not always be the right answer.

That said, my thinking on no standing water is that it'll get algae buildup, bad smell? mosquito breeding? leaves will collect and make a mucky mess that keeps water from flowing in rain? And yes, I've seen the birds there. We do have a birdbath for them also.

By the way - how often do you clean the gutters? I am up there 2 - 3 times a year. the house / gutters are at least 25' away from any trees. But then there's a few tall pine trees. And I guess sycamore / maple trees that have the helicopter seed pods. between them, it'll be a heavy rain, the gutters are overflowing (because the downspout is clogged with helipcopters and thin pine needles) and I am out there cleaning the downspouts in the rain : )
 
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Old 05-05-20, 01:29 PM
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The large straight pattern snips are easier than a hook blade, especially the colder it is and the thicker the shingles get. If you want to clean your gutters, you have to open them up. 2-3x a year is about right but it depends on your type of trees. I typically suggest doing it once in spring and twice in the fall for customers who need it done. Fall is usually easily done with a leaf blower.
 
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Old 05-06-20, 10:22 AM
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I really appreciate all the effort you guys put into answering questions here. Not knowing issues I'm going to stumble on, along with my overthinking of things, I wind up not getting things done. But coming here and having you guys answer questions helps me move forward!

So to wrap this up - 2 issues

1) Length of the shingle overhang. It's 2 1/2" from the fascia board when the gutters are 5" wide. It's OK to cut back, what, something like 1 3./4"?!

2) When dealing with the standing water / pitch, seeing the fascia wood need and seeing that the drip edge is, on some runs, about 1/4 - 3/8" away from the facia board and wasps are getting under there / under the sheathing I am thinking I should put a piece of aluminum in front of the fascia - covers the unprotected fascia, , skips the need to paint the fascia and maybe even puts up a block for the wasps getting under the sheathing?

Any thoughts / comments? I was going to get rolled 6" aluminum but that comes unpainted. 12" trim coil - I'd never cut a straight edge!, so I guess this is the best option?

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Amerimax-1-...Fascia/4650623
 
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Old 05-06-20, 10:34 AM
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As you have it drawn, your metal edging sticks out some. Your shingles could be flush with it, as those insturctiins I mentioned earlier said. IMO the shingles should stick out beyond the front of that drip edge by 1/4-3/4". If you need the clearance to get your hand in there, trim it flush. If you trim it flush, a hook knife would probably do a better job. If you use the snips you will need to chalk a line and then follow it closely.

Technically, that's the wrong drip edge to have there, but people all across the US use it for some reason. The correct flashing to use above a gutter is called gutter apron. It does not stick out like d-style edge does, and it is longer and covers the back edge of the gutter better.

As for your second point, no one has ever worried about the gap behind the drip edge. The fascia usually meets the bottom the the roof sheathing fairly closely and if it doesnt, it's called ventilation. You need some gap there to shove the gutter up, because the back of the gutter is supposed to slide up behind your flashing. If it's too tight you will never get the gutter up.

Cover it with aluminum fascia cover if you want to.
 
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Old 05-06-20, 11:02 AM
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The only drip edge I have ever seen is the D-Ga, I've never heard the term "gutter apron"!

I always tuck the back edge of the gutter under the drip edge, that gutter looks way too low!

As far as trimming shingles, if you have aviation snips they will work, if your going to buy something large sheet metal sheers work great, cut like a piece of paper but be aware they will not be the same when your done so dont use anything good.

Cleaning gutters, who the hell does that!

Another topic that is well discussed, I just replaced some 10 year old Gutter Stuff, it's the foam material you put in the gutters.

Over the past 40 years I have tried every frigging material known to man and this is by far the best, easiest to install!
 
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Old 05-06-20, 11:35 AM
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I've mostly seen the D (T?) type drip edge.

The photo of the gutter is with most of the middle of it unscrewed as I try to figure out getting the slope right (Can;'t believe i never had a line level before this...eager to try it out : )

Marq1: if you are tucking the gutter under the drip edge, what about the pitch issue that started my post : ) You don't have any - as others were saying, a slope doensn't look right? (over a long run, the low end is too low to reach the bottom of the drip edge?

Gutter stuff?! ARGHHHH Now I'll be looking into that / something else vs. just clean the gutters. I've heard that most any of them don't work. Pine needles still stick in there / all the pine needles standing up catch leaves, they stop water getting into the gutters, etc... No?

 
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Old 05-06-20, 11:46 AM
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Yeah I'm not saying people don't use d-style, (it's called 5" d-style, but there is also 6" d-style which is a lot longer in front) I'm saying there are better flashing to use over a gutter. (Thus the name, gutter apron) That 1" lip on d-style never fully covers the entire back edge of the gutter and then it leak behind. The gutter hits the sheathing halfway up when you shove it behind it for crying out loud.

I think it's just the roofers who only want to have/install 1 type of flashing. That's why people in certain parts of the country have never heard of it.
 
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Old 05-06-20, 04:12 PM
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they stop water getting into the gutters, etc... No?
So nothing is perfect, you dont want anything getting into the gutters, probably should just get rid of the gutters.

I've tried them all, panels, screens, expanded metal, all had their issues, the foam inserts require no fasters are easy to install and unlike a lot of the other products you dont have to shove the krap up under the shingles. Even your excessive overhang you could stuff this in there without a lot of trouble!
 
 

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