Pulling up to a beautiful house today * (and this picture is only a part of it) I noticed something that bothered me before I got out of the car.
There are no gutters.
Now you can look at where the gutters should normally be and see that this was the design.
The fascias drop off at a 45 degree angle, intentionally, which is not exactly easy to hang a gutter onto!
The fascias have become an architectural feature. This is a very lovely detail, but it isn't as if we don't have any rain around here.
Rainwater can move very fast along a roof during heavy rains. Notice in this spot how the upper roof drains onto a lower roof.
And how water from those two lower roofs drains into a single valley.
Water from that valley must shoot out with some force when it is raining hard.
This is the result.
Gallons of water will eventually carve quite the valley into garden soil. It already has.
What most people don't realize is this: 1" of rain water will drop 6,000 gallons of water onto a 1,500 square foot roof.
That represents a fairly normal, if not small, house, with a roof slightly larger than 30'x45'.
The house in this post is substantially larger than that!
A couple of weeks ago we had 6" of rain in about two days. I would estimate that represented around 200,000 gallons of rainwater draining around the foundation of this house.
Without gutters this water cannot be carried away from the house. Grading cannot be steep enough to do that.
HOUSES DON'T MAKE VERY EFFECTIVE BOATS!
Water must be carried away.
Fortunately the foundation walls in this six year old house were dry to date. There is a sump pump, which means there are drain lines around the base of the foundation. That puppy must have had a workout in the past couple of weeks!
But still, even though there is a sump pump, that is a lot of water! It is hard for any foundation to handle.
Virtually all foundations leak. It is not so much a question of if, but when and how much!
My recommendation: When you see gutters, look to see how effectively and how far they drain water away from the house. The further, usually, the better! In this case, we will see how long this foundation can withstand the deluge!
* Today's inspection was with AR Ambassador Konnie Mac, whom I found to be delightful. I hope to see her again soon, and then again and again for other inspections there after!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560