Need advise on raingutters; had gutters cleaned in Dec (preparing for new roof), I climbed up this weekend to check if gutters clear &found two areas with standing water. I cleaned debris out, but water still not draining in some areas. My guess is gutters have to be pretty level to look nice on the house; we have seamless aluminum Fascia style gutters, attached with hidden hangers and 1 1/2″ zip in screws. What is acceptable for standing water left in drains? Is there a standard for what distance a downspout should be placed? Is it normal to have standing water until maybe summer and the rains are past? We have approx 227 feet of gutter and 4 downspouts – should we have more downspouts?

In a perfect world there should not be any water left sitting in your gutter. But the slope on a typical gutter is very slight. 3/4 inch plus or minus for every 10 feet of gutter. Most use even less of a slope (Some use 1/4 inch slope for 10′). So if the gutters are just slightly off slope you’ll have some low spots that will collect water and debris. As long as they flow properly when it rains I wouldn’t get to worried about a few spots. Water should never back up enough to cause them to overflow or to allow water to back up under your roofing. If you have down spouts at both ends then the gutter should peak near the center of the roof and slope toward each downspout. Pour a bucket of water into the gutter if most of it makes it to the downspout then they should be OK.

In my opinion most installers don’t use nearly enough hangers. Maximum spacing for hangers should be every 2 1/2 feet. most stretch them out to 3 feet. If you live in an area with lots of snow or ice I’d use even closer spacing on the hangers. You can always put in more screws and hangers if you want. I also prefer the type of hanger that has a strap that goes under the roofing shingles and screws into the rafter boards. But unless your replacing the roof they aren’t worth the effort.

You have nice gutters – in my experience, the larger the gutters the better including the downspouts. I have few if any issues with the larger gutters but the smaller ones, even with leaf guards, do clog and do not drain well. Most gutters come in a size designation and for homes they are from the smallest 4K – 5K – 6K and larger for commercial installations. On my house I have a few 4k gutters but they do not work well and you are better off with 5K or 6K gutters. They are less prone to clogs and will drain better. I know you probably do not want to replace your current expensive seamless gutters but maybe just replacing the downspouts to a larger size would help. Also make certain you have at least a slight slope.

If you decide to replace your gutters get a bid from a “professional” as although it looks like an easy job and it is for a simple installation, but usually you will have a better system with a good installation company. I am not an expert but some experts will want to size your gutters, but don’t let them install the smaller gutters – go the next size up.

Maybe the roofer can look at replacing the downspouts. I have no idea what size they are (4K 5K 6K) don’t know what measure this is. We live in the San Francisco Bay area of Calif and sometimes get pretty good rainfall. We did have one overflowing gutter, which I cleaned out the clog in the middle of a rainstorm, so that is not the problem currently with the standing water. I don’t think it has adequate slope and has a really long run before it turns the corner; maybe the rain gutters over time slipped down at the corner (easy to do with the heavy standing water in them) and silly me, never thought to check….

I would hate to replace as even though old, they are in good shape and are custom color matched (painted) to match the house, so the downspouts and gutters are really not standing out, gives a nice look to the house. What a difference to the look of our house when we had these installed, it really modernized the look of the house. Now we are going to have a steel roof installed; Decra Tile steel roof that looks like tile, but is not. It will never burn.

I will keep this as a guage of what is normal and will check with a bucket of water. I suspect the installer did not put in enough downspouts, there are only four and they all wrap around corners. I mentioned the standing water to the roofer yesterday, he said they don’t like to adjust old rain gutters as this can cause problems and leaks, but they will look at it once roofing is done and can add downspouts if needed. I think at least one is needed at back of the house where that water is as it is lower than where the downspout is placed.