What I'm Seeing Now


Cracking Under The Pressure

Cracking under the pressure.  You hear that story all the time.

We all have our cracking point.  No matter the context, and no matter how strong we are, there is always a breaking point.  And we feel badly!

This house demonstrates an architectural, or other design, flaw. 

This photo looks at half of the rear roof.  Look carefully.  Virtually all of the rain water (that's a LOT of water) for that half is directed to one little gutter and one downspout.

See it now?

That gutter is about 5' long! 

And it is the narrower 5" gutter and smaller downspout.

You can see staining on the deck under that small gutter, so it has overflowed regularly under heavy rains.  Necessarily!

But even a larger gutter and downspout would not help the other problem created.

All of that water has to discharge.

This house is 9 years old, so nothing has ever been done about this problem.

And it is obvious someone knew about this problem.

It drains right beside a basement door stairwell!

And has for all these years.

That's a lot of water! 
That's a lot of weight!
That's a lot of pressure!

Seems to me things are leaking!  The penetrations through the wall are leaking.  And you can't see them, but there are two cracks in that wall.

This is the worst one.

The homeowners actually put caulking into the crack to "fix" it.

It is directly under that downspout discharge point.

This is actively leaking, with stains on the floor and muck in the stairwell drain.

The solution?

Since they demanded one small gutter and downspout to handle so much roof water, at least they should have designed the larger ones for the load.

And, from construction, had they buried that downspout discharge to drain to the left of the photo at the top, there is open grass there and it would have been a great feeder for the grass, or a garden or tree there.

That's a lot of forethought however.

The construction supervisor should have caught this.
The roofer/gutter installer should have caught this.
The landscaping company should have caught this.


Now there's a different problem to deal with.

My recommendation:  don't discount gutters and downspouts from any home inspection.  Water is THE killer of houses, inside and out.  If not properly controlled and directed water will eventually do what it does best!




Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560


Comment balloon 36 commentsJay Markanich • July 16 2012 05:15AM
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