GF-Gutter Holds Water - How to Fix - image

Sometimes, after a gutter system is installed, you will have a longer run of gutter hold water. Why this gutter holds water could be caused by several reasons ranging from gravity, to possibly even installer error. It is not always the long runs that hold water; short runs hold water as well! Most of the time, I find that the shorter runs that hold water result from installer error.

First, I will cover the bigger runs of gutter. You can stand back in your yard and diagnose the longer runs. If you have can see waves when looking at the gutter from the side, or the gutter looks like a smile, you do have deep spots where water sits. There are different ways to handle this situation depending on whether you have one downspout, two downspouts, one on each end. I have also seen downspouts placed center of a really long run, and this is the only reason you may see a little bit of a smile on purpose.

I will cover the one downspout-long gutter run first. You will want to disconnect the top of the downspout from the gutter by taking loose top A or B elbow. After you take care of this, you will need to loosen the inside clips holding the gutter in place on both ends leading back to the center as you go. Be careful – when the ends of the gutter are loose, they tend to fall out away from the fascia and flop around a bit. You don’t want to get knocked off your ladder!

When you have worked back to the center of the gutter, you should leave the center three clips in place. Get yourself centered and steady on the ladder before going further because the gutter will possibly be shifty or come loose when you get to the center clip. Be sure the gutter run is extra clean so there is no extra weight to handle.

If a gutter is 40 feet long, you are possibly looking at 30 pounds with the clips in place along with this weight, and the long runs are flexed quite a bit. Before you take that last clip out, have a little plan in place. If the gutter run is as high as it can go on the fascia, plan to drop it around 1/2 inch from where you are standing in the center.

Once you have that gutter dropped the half inch into place, go ahead and screw back the center clip to hold gutter for you. You will need a two- or three-foot lever for the next steps. Once you have your level in your hand, keep in mind that your gutter needs to run slightly downhill towards the one downspout.

If you are starting to fasten back the gutter in place, you work back the direction away from the downspout going slightly up hill, and from the center downhill slightly to the downspout. You notice I say slightly; it is because it doesn’t take much to have water run downhill.

A two downspout run will be exactly the same, except you leave the center of the run as high up as possible in the center of the run, then you would go slightly downhill on both sides of center. To be sure about whether the uphill or downhill option is best, take your level and lay it across the bottom of the gutter or the top ridge of the gutter.

Once you get the gutter run fastened back all the way across on both sides, you will need to reattach the downspout. You may find that the downspout is now too tall once you have made the adjustments or maybe even too short. Downspouts are luckily fairly easy to adjust up or down.

If the downspout happens to be too tall, take the top elbow and cut half an inch off the top to adjust height if needed. If the downspout is too short, you can usually slide some of the lower adjoining parts out some to extend the downpipe.

Short runs of gutters that hold water – short runs being 10 feet or less. I have found short runs to be fairly easy.

John Weems