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How to Fix Standing Water in Gutters (And Why You Need To)

How to Fix Standing Water in Gutters (And Why You Need To)

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Gutters are more important than you think. Their main purpose is to prevent water damage by directing it away from your siding and foundation.

So, if you notice that the water isn’t moving in the gutters, that can be a big problem. Of course, water damage probably won’t happen overnight, but it’s essential to fix the gutters as soon as possible.

So, what can cause this issue? And how can you fix it?

Look no further for the answers! In today’s article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about how to fix standing water in gutters. Let’s jump into the details right away.

Causes of Standing Water in Gutters

Before we tell you how to fix your gutters, you need to understand how they work. Fundamentally, gutters collect rainwater from the roof of your house and direct them to a safe disposal area using downspouts.

Ideally, you want to get rid of the rainwater in an area far enough from your house to avoid foundation damage. You can also use rain barrels to save water for other purposes.

Unfortunately, standing water is a sign that your gutters aren’t working properly. In that case, addressing the issue as soon as possible is essential to avoid any damage to your house.

The most common reason for standing water is clogged pipes. Additionally, an inadequate slope can cause issues with the water flow, which, in turn, can cause water to stop moving.

Moreover, it might be because your roof isn’t properly pitched. An improper roof pitch can lead to the formation of flat spots.

In that case, the ideal solution is to install another downspout at the location of the issue. Finally, stagnant water can occur in the case of sagging gutters.

How to Fix Clogged Gutters

Clogged pipes and downspouts are the most common reasons for standing water in gutters. So, they should be the first things to check.

The problem with downspouts is that many things can clog them. That includes tree branches, animal nests, pine needles, and leaves.

On top of that, it’s not unusual to find items like stray tennis or golf balls clogging your downspouts, especially if you have kids.

Generally, unclogging your gutters is simple, so you can do most of the work yourself. However, you might require special tools to remove the clog in some situations.

In that case, it’s best to contact a local maintenance professional.

You can easily remove clogs in a downspout cage. On the other hand, elbow clogs can be harder to remove.

That said, let’s check out some common scenarios and how to fix each one.

1 – Clogged Downspout Cage

The downspout cage is a wire strainer that traps debris. However, the filter can get clogged or damaged in many situations.

To unclog the cage, you can proceed with the following steps:

  1. Remove the cage from the downspout.
  2. Clean the cage from any debris and check for any signs of damage.
  3. If the strainer is damaged, you’ll need to replace it as soon as possible.
  4. After that, clean accumulated debris.
  5. Then, pour some water and make sure the downspout is draining properly.
  6. Finally, put the cage back into the downspout.

2 – Clogged Elbow or Seam

The process mainly depends on the location of the clog. Some clogs can be easily reached from above, while others might require a special tool to remove them.

In some cases, you might need to disassemble the downspout completely to remove the clog.

Generally, you’ll need a stick, a pressure washer with a telescoping wand, or a plumbing snake to remove an elbow clog.

3 – Below Grade Clogs

Below-grade clogs are the toughest to remove. In fact, removing them might require excavation.

However, before calling the maintenance professionals, there are some things you can try:

  1. Uninstall the downspout where it enters the ground.
  2. Use a plumbing snake to clear the clog.
  3. If that doesn’t work, you can try forcing a garden hose into the line. Then, use the pressure from the water to dislodge the clog.

How to Fix Inadequate Gutters Slope

For gutters to work properly, they must be installed at a certain angle. That’s to help the rainwater flow into the drainage and away from the house.

Generally, installing rain gutters requires a residential roofing technician, as it can be a complicated task. Overall, the ideal slope is 0.5 inches per 10 feet.

If your gutters aren’t sloped enough, you might see water standing, and eventually, it’ll spill over the sides.

Unfortunately, fixing the slope isn’t a simple task. So, you’ll need to contact a local technician to fix it for you. Typically, the technician will remove some sections of the gutters and use a leveler to realign them correctly.

How to Fix Sagging Gutters

Sagging gutters can occur when debris and leaves form a small clog. As more debris builds up, it can add weight and pressure on the pipes, leading to sagging of the gutters.

In most cases, you can fix this issue yourself. However, in some cases, you might need to install a new draining system.

That said, let me tell you how to fix sagging gutters.

1 – Unclog the Gutters

The first thing to do is to remove the cause of the issue, which is the clog. You can follow the steps we previously mentioned to unclog your gutters.

2 – Adjust the Slope

After removing the clog, you must clean the gutters and remove debris. Then, pour water into the gutters to ensure they’re draining properly.

It can be a slope issue if you can still see standing water. Therefore, you’ll need to realign the slope of your gutters or contact a technician to do it for you.

3 – Install Another Downspout

Installing a new downspout beneath the sagging area can be enough in some scenarios. If a lot of water accumulates in one area, installing a downspout can fix the issue.

4 – Reinforce the Gutters

After adjusting the slope, you should reinforce the gutters to avoid facing this problem again. In most cases, tightening the slope will be enough, but replacing them is always best.

You also might need new hangers if the old ones were damaged. Moreover, many recommend adding extra straps to support the sagging sections.

Is Standing Water in Gutters Dangerous?

The answer is yes! Having stagnant water in your gutters for prolonged periods can cause a lot of problems.

Let me tell you why you should fix your gutters as soon as possible.

1 – Risk of Mold

As you might know, mold forms and spreads around any damp area. The problem is that mold can cause serious structural damage to your home.

That’s because it feeds on organic matter in your home’s structure. In addition, mold can cause health issues for you and your family.

2 – Increased Pressure on Your House’s Foundation

Your house’s foundation bears the weight of everything, including the guttering system and stagnant water. Additionally, if your gutters overflow, the ground underneath them will be drenched in water.

In turn, this can damage the sides of your foundation.

Further, the water can seep through cracks and reach your basement. So, you might end up with a flooded basement, causing more structural damage.

3 – Pest Infestations

Stagnant water can eventually cause pest infestations, which can be harmful to the health of the residents. Additionally, the standing water can attract mosquitos, as well as birds that leave behind their waste.

Gutters Maintenance to Avoid Standing Water

The best way to avoid having stagnant water in your gutters is by performing regular maintenance. Let’s check out how to do so.

1 – Regular Gutters Cleaning

Cleaning your gutters regularly can increase their lifespan, as well as ensure the proper flow of the water.

Ideally, you want to clean the gutters twice a year thoroughly. Further, checking the gutters for any debris or leaves after every rainstorm is best.

2 – Cleaning the Roof

Most of the debris and leaves that end up in your gutters come from your roof. If there’s a chance of rain, it’s best to use a rake to remove any leaves or debris from your roof.

3 – Get Rid of Rodents or Pests

Many types of small animals and pests can find your gutters a suitable place to live. The problem is that they might build nests or leave waste behind, which can end up clogging the gutters.

For that reason, you need to relocate any nests and get rid of the animals or pests living around your gutters.

Final Thoughts

So, how to fix standing water in gutters?

The most common reason for standing water in gutters is clogged drainage. So, you’ll need to remove any clogs and ensure the drainage is working properly.

Additionally, you need to ensure that your gutters have a proper slope. Further, your gutters might have a sagging section.

Typically, installing a new downspout can fix this issue. You can also reinforce the sagging system to ensure this issue doesn’t recur.

Finally, regular maintenance is the best way to avoid having standing water in gutters. In any case, you should fix the issue as soon as possible to avoid structural damage or health issues.


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