Troubleshooting Rain Gutters

Gutter problems can become big problems if you don’t catch them before they cost a lot of money. But how do you know the difference? This brief guide to some common gutter problems can help you easily identify issues, and implement some straightforward solutions before the merely problematic becomes costly.


After a rain storm, the most common reason for a tapping sound is water dripping down and hitting the metal elbow inside the downspout. If the noise is so loud it becomes annoying or distracting, a downspout silencer or downspout insert will help eliminate the sound.


When water drips from:

  • a gutter miter or an end cap – it hasn’t been properly sealed or the caulking has aged/pulled away
  • an elbow at the downspout – either it’s been installed incorrectly or it needs resealing
  • the gutter down behind into the fascia – check for roofing issues such as flashing that needs resealing or if the roof valley  requires repairing or replacing


Water that remains standing in the gutter channel could be a sign that the gutters are not sloped enough to drain all the water that is coming down from the roof. If standing water is an inch or more high, the gutter slope should be readjusted so that all the water can be drained from the channel into the downspout.


Don’t forget that downspouts are part of the gutter system. If water is pooling around the mouth of the downspout where water exits, it could be an indication of drainage issues. A downspout should drain rainwater at least 6 to 10 feet away from the foundation. When water is being deposited someplace it can’t sink into the ground such as a driveway or an over-saturated landscaped area, use a gutter extension to direct the water further away from your home to prevent damage to the foundation.