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Roofing/Free Draining Downspout But Standing Water In Gutter

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Question
Dear Mr Aaron Nelson for AllExperts:

Two or three days after rainfall, we still find standing water in clean new gutters, about inch deep, while downspouts are free draining.  Is it normal for water to remain and why?  The builder claimed that the gutters are pitched within specs.

Sincerely,
JL

Answer
JL,
You indicated "The builder claimed that the gutters are pitched within specs." I would encourage you to inquire to the builder what specs he is referring to, and see if you can get a copy of them so that you can verify that they truly are within specifications.
I've been looking through the building code and I don't find any reference to the slope of gutters, and what that should be. I would assume that provided that there is some slope to the downspouts it would be preferred, however there is a balance between slope and exposure of having the gutter too low on the fascia. I always recommend that there is slope, however sometime that slope is not as aggressive as one would hope. Oftentimes there is good slope, however it looks poor on the residence.
At the downspouts, drops are inserted in the gutter, and generally sealed around with sealant. This creates a raised area, just at the point where water should flow easily. This will cause some amount of ponding around the downspout area. This is not fantastic, however the alternative would be to install the drop on the underside of the gutter, which would not look pleasing.
The long and short of it all is that a small amount of standing water is fairly common. I would not be overly concerned provided that there is a small amount of slope to the downspouts.
Good Luck,
Aaron  

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Aaron Nelson

Expertise

All types of questions with regard to roofing, waterproofing and sheet metal. This includes commercial and residential buildings, along with the various aspects of the construction means and methods, ventilation, steep-slope or low-slope, code requirements, installation errors and other such problems

Experience

I started in roofing fabricating and installing sheet metal flashings out of high school for a large commercial contractor. I worked for the same contractor in the office estimating and project managing commercial project for 10 years. I left the construction side of roofing and now work as a roof consultant, which I have been doing for 8-years.

Organizations
RCI, Inc.

Education/Credentials
I am a Registered Roof Consultant (RRC) and a Registered Roof Observer (RRO) through RCI, Inc. RCI is a international group of building envelope professionals. I am an approved instructor for RCI educational programs.

Past/Present Clients
We have worked with many local school districts, insurance companies, HOA's, building management companies, and we have a national client with buildings located throughout the US.

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