Here’s What to Do If You Have Standing Water in Your Gutters

Bry'Ana Arvie
Written by Bry'Ana Arvie
Updated May 5, 2022
Steel rain gutter with downpipe on the house roof
Photo: Ratchat / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images


  • Standing water in gutters can cause foundational damage, flooding and mold in basements, and pest infestations.

  • It’s typically a result of clogged, sagging, or poorly sloped gutters.

  • You can call a gutter repair pro if you’re concerned about standing water.

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While they’re not noticeable, gutters play a major role in your home’s ecosystem. But what happens if you notice that they’re holding rainwater instead of draining it? Standing water in gutters is a common gutter problem. So, let’s discuss why you can’t ignore it, what’s causing it, solutions, and when to contact a gutter repair pro.  

Dangers of Standing Water in Gutters

Water in gutters that most people can’t see shouldn’t be a big deal, right? While water in your gutters might sound like the least of your worries, here are a few situations that can occur if the issue isn’t fixed. 

1. Foundational Damages

Standing water can lead to severe problems for your foundation. If the water isn’t able to run off your gutter as intended, it’ll eventually overflow and leak around your home's foundation. And, too much stagnant water around your home will saturate the soil, not allowing it to dry properly, causing it to expand and place excessive pressure on your foundation walls, leading to cracks and bulging.

2. Bugs and Pests

When you have standing water in your gutters, it creates a breeding ground for mosquitoes and flies that can carry diseases. Beyond breeding, standing gutter water creates a perfect ground for insect larvae to hatch and grow, thanks to decomposing leaves and debris that is soaking in the water. 

3. Flooding or Mold in Your Basement

When the water doesn’t drain off properly and stays around your foundation, besides damaging the foundation itself, it can damage your basement, exposing it to high levels of moisture. This moisture overload can flood your basement, damage stored items, and cause mold growth in your walls.

Causes of Standing Water in Gutters and What to Do

A metal roof gutter
Photo: R.Tsubin / Moment / Getty Images

Now that you know why you should take care of standing water in your gutters, here are a few reasons why it’s there in the first place and how you can remove it. 

1. Clogged Gutters

If you have standing water in your gutters, one of your first steps is to see if they’re clogged with dirt and debris, such as leaves and twigs. You can unclog and clean your gutters by manually removing everything that’s preventing runoff water to flow smoothly. And to keep your gutters free from standing water, you’ll need to perform this gutter maintenance task at least twice a year to get the job done. 

But if cleaning them yourself doesn’t get you pumped up, you can always DIY gutter guard installation, which will erase your problem of clogged gutters. But if you want the guards without doing the labor, the cost to professionally install gutter guards is $600 to $2,000.  

2. Improper Slope

You might have standing water in your gutters because they have an improper slope or pitch. For the rainwater to successfully reach your downspout, your gutters must be sloped at least one-fourth of an inch every 10 feet. To see if an improper slope is why you have standing water in your gutter after it rains, use a ladder to inspect them. You might have a sloping problem if you see standing water, but it isn’t clogged.  

If you’re up for the task, here’s how you can realign your gutter’s slope:

Remove the brackets.

  1. Use a screw to keep the gutter’s center against the fascia board temporarily.

  2. Pull the end of the gutter down three-quarters of an inch to create a new slope. 

  3. Screw it down in place.

  4. Reinstall the brackets.

3. Sagging Gutters

If your gutters are sagging, it’s likely because the hangers have pulled away from the fascia board. You can fix your gutters by replacing your old hangers with new ones while also making sure that it’s still correctly sloped. 

When to Contact a Professional Gutter Repair Service

While it’s doable to DIY gutter repair jobs, some homeowners shouldn’t if they don’t have experience climbing ladders, have tall roofs, or are uncomfortable. And other homeowners frankly don’t want to add this task to their weekend to-do list. You can contact a gutter repair pro near you for this project if you fall in either of those categories but are still dealing with a clogged, sagging, or poorly pitched gutter.

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