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The Homeowner’s Guide to Gutter Pitch

Last Updated on January 31, 2023 by James Redding

Making sure your gutters are functioning is important no matter where you live. But, here in Charleston, professional gutter installation is crucial due to our weather patterns, with heavy rainfall and high winds being common occurrences.

It’s essential that your gutters are installed correctly to avoid water damage to your home and surroundings—and that includes their pitch.

What is Gutter Pitch?

A picture of The Homeowner's Guide to Gutter Pitch with Holy City GutterworksMany people don’t notice it, but when rain gutters are installed on a home, they are strategically positioned at a very slight angle to prevent water buildup and allow for optimal drainage. (Don’t worry—the appearance of seamless gutters is still sleek and streamlined, as the slight incline is executed by experienced installers.)

There is a standard formula that can be used to calculate and determine the most efficient placement of the downspout, ensuring that heavy rainfall can effortlessly flow off the roof. The side of the roof where the downspouts are located should be slightly lower than the rest of the roof.

In instances where longer sections of gutter are present, such as across the front of a house, a downspout on both sides may be necessary. In this case, the gutters may have a pitched slope from the center, with the highest point being the center of the roofline and both downspouts positioned lower than this point.

If your gutters get bent or otherwise become loose—or if they were installed incorrectly in the first place—it can cause some real problems. (And here in Charleston, our notorious windy weather doesn’t help!)

A picture of The Homeowner's Guide to Gutter Pitch with Holy City Gutterworks

For example, if the angle of your gutters becomes “off,” standing water can quickly start to accumulate. Standing water can lead to roof/fascia damage, water leaking into your house, mold growth on your roof and gutters, and can even tear your gutters away from your house. (In the South Carolina Lowcountry, we also have to worry about standing water leading to mosquito infestations—yikes!)

These issues can also affect the exterior of the house, such as causing harm to the fascia, sub-roofing, windows, and landscaping. So, it’s important to make sure your gutter system is in good shape.

How to Look for Pitch Problems in Your Gutter System

A picture of The Homeowner's Guide to Gutter Pitch with Holy City Gutterworks

A professional gutter installation company will know how to check for proper pitch. But, you can do regular visual inspections of your own to look for signs that the angle needs to be adjusted. To determine if your gutters are properly pitched:

  • Look for hanging spots: If you can visibly see the slope of the gutters, it may indicate damage or wear. (You should be able to notice the dip in your gutters by looking upward standing on the ground, so it shouldn’t be necessary to get up on a ladder.)
  • Check for standing water: Any water remaining in the gutters is a problem, and can be checked after rainfall by climbing a ladder.
  • Inspect for shingle particles: The presence of granules in the gutters may indicate a lack of slope that is not allowing the water to carry them away.
  • Watch for overflow: Overflow is most often caused by a blockage in the gutter system, but if your gutters appear to be clean and are still overflowing, it could possibly be related to incorrect gutter pitch. Overflowing water can damage your roof, fascia, and surrounding landscaping—not to mention your gutters themselves—so it should be addressed quickly.

Charleston Gutter Repair & Installation

To fix pitch problems, the best option in many cases is to repair (or “re-pitch“) gutters to restore the original angle, provided they are still in good condition and undamaged. In other instances where the gutters are beyond repair, either from permanent damage, rust, or simply aging, a professional installer may suggest gutter replacement.

This option can be more cost-effective in the long run, but it’s important to work with an experienced, professional gutter installer who can advise you on this, and make sure your gutters are pitched correctly and properly installed. Whether you have vinyl, aluminum, stainless steel, or even copper gutters, regularly inspecting the pitch of your gutter system is essential.

A picture of The Homeowner's Guide to Gutter Pitch with Holy City Gutterworks

Final Thoughts

Having your gutters professionally cleaned and inspected regularly will help identify any issues with the angle or condition of your gutters. That way, you can be sure that your gutters are functioning as they should be—and keeping your house safe from water damage!

So don’t wait—make sure your rain gutters are running smoothly and efficiently today!

Holy City Gutterworks in Charleston, SC

If you’re looking for gutter repair in the greater Charleston area, get in touch with Holy City Gutterworks. We can provide a free gutter repair estimate (with no sales pitch), help you determine what needs to be done, and get your gutter system back up and running.

Give us a call today at 843-352-9269—or click here to contact us.

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