What I'm Seeing Now


Gutters Are There To Capture The Water

Rain gutters on the side of the roof are reservoirs and the gutters are there to capture the water. 

When water is spilling over the outside, or running down behind there is a problem!  Water not getting to the downspout means the gutter is clogged, or it has pulled away from the house, or the roofing does not extend far enough out to introduce the water into the canal.

When a front porch roof fascia has staining all along its way, stains from water getting behind the gutter, it means that water is not getting to the gutter.  And  that will eventually cause other problems.

Like wood rot.

And structural damage.

This photo is taken during a one-year warranty inspection so the roof is only one year old.

This is a sheet-metal roof.

Metal is a fabulous roofing material.  Properly installed it will last well over 100 years.

The epoxy paints used on the sheets is extremely long lasting.

And the metal is slow to rust, and if it does will not leak for decades.

This house has a copper roof and it will certainly be long lasting.

But in this case the carpentry underneath is the problem.

The roof is flat at the bottom, and in some areas actually points upward.

The puddles at the lower edge of the roof indicate that water merely sits there.

Even with that lip over the edge, water wick in and get behind the gutter.

And there are other problems - with the roof installation!

Many of the joints have holes.  So water is getting UNDER the metal to wet the subsurface and structure.

A metal roof requires skills. 

Good skills are learned from someone who uses Best Practices in metal-roof installation.

Good skills are not learned from someone who does not have them.  Teaching is best when done from a position of knowledge and understanding, and not ignorance.

A proper metal roof is not slapped together.

Crimps have to be done right, in most cases three times.  A little fold over here and and another over there is not right.  Many of the holes I saw on this roof look to have been there from installation. 

Obviously there was no home inspection before occupancy.  Maybe this builder convinced the buyer that one wasn't necessary as "there are so many inspections on the house a private inspection is simply a waste of money," or some such statement similar to that.

Maybe now he will recommend some duct tape, or maybe staples, or some special roofing caulk, to fix what might be said to be "little issues."

My recommendation:  a one-year inspection is a very, very good thing!  A final inspection before occupancy is better.  I recommend both!  In this case I suggested to my client that he have me back to examine the repairs that were done.  Let's see if he takes my advice.




Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

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


Comment balloon 39 commentsJay Markanich • September 16 2013 04:35AM


GOOD MORNING JAY ... you would have a field day with a variety of "Really?" photos if you saw my gutters.  This inspires me to call a professional to fix it...!

Posted by Gabrielle Kamahele Rhind, Broker/Owner (KGC Properties LLC, Tucson Property Management & Real Estate) almost 7 years ago

That's too bad. It doesn't look like it's easy to solve at this point.  LOL on good teaching.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) almost 7 years ago

Another excellent post, Jay. I will re-blog this. Thanks for your tips.

Have an outstanding week.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) almost 7 years ago

Proof to me that people in Tucson need gutters, Gabrielle, despite that desert reputation!

Debbie - it isn't!  I bet the builder poo poos it.

Roy - thanks for that!  This kind of info needs to get around.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Good morning Jay,

I will have to keep a lookout for a metal roof; that are just starting to be used in the area.

Make yourself a great day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) almost 7 years ago

Hi Jay,

I rerally like the "Raised Rib Roofing applications". But they do have to be installed correctly. I have done a number of these roofs. They are a pain. But you do have to install the right way every time.

Have a good day in Bristow.

Best, Clint McKie

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) almost 7 years ago

How dare we question the bulders statement that the buyers don't need an inspection prior to occupancy? After all... they are "the builder" ... "the creator!" :-) Cough cough

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) almost 7 years ago

Jay  In 37 years I have never listed or sold a home with a metal roof

Posted by Karen Kruschka, - "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS" (RE/MAX Executives) almost 7 years ago

There is nothing like a little surface tension to ruin a roof's day :)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 7 years ago

Good Morning and this is a great post:  keep up the good Info and good luck with your business,  E

Posted by Ed & Tracy Oliva, The Oliva Team Arizona Agents (West USA Realty - Arizona) almost 7 years ago

Jay, we lived in a house with a metal roof several years ago. Never had a problem with it.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA almost 7 years ago

All builder failures with inadequate construction supervisor attention.

If only. . . . . .

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) almost 7 years ago

I like your idea of both better...a little bit of money upfront saves a lot of problems down the road.

Posted by Marc McMaster, Putting my clients before myself (RE/MAX Centre Realty) almost 7 years ago

Jay, we have a number of homes with metal roofs in our more rural areas outside of Nashville. In fact, a neighbor who is a fencing contractor put on his own metal roof. Whew, scary!

Posted by Tom White, Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN (Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or www.FranklinHomesRealty.com) almost 7 years ago

You don't have to look hard to find mistakes in something like this. It really does take a craftsman to do it right the first time, and everytime. 

Posted by Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector, The Home Inspector With a Heart! (SLS Home Inspections-Bradley Bourbonnais Kankakee Manteno) almost 7 years ago

A good gutter does what it was intended to do...a Bad one makes for much mischief

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) almost 7 years ago

Jay, a one year inspection is a great idea.  I love a metal roof, but it has got be done properly.  What a nightmare it can cause otherwise.

Posted by Mike Cooper, GRI, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) almost 7 years ago

Jay - don't have too much use for rain gutters around here. (well, actually last week we could have all used them) Good info.

Posted by Jeff Stevens, Jeff Stevens, Associate Broker (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Mexico Properties) almost 7 years ago

In trying to pull in the most money possible contractors and sub-contractors tend to ignore the golden rule: "Stick to what you know and if you don't know it find the guy who does". Unfortunately to fix it correctly will not be easy or cheap.

Posted by Michael Therriault, The name to remember when you want it done right. (Michael Therriault Contracting - M.T. Contracting) almost 7 years ago

I love the idea of a metal roof, mainly because it's so different than what we normally see around here. But of course, they have to be done right. It's a shame.

Posted by Suzanne Otto, Your Montgomery County PA home stager (Six Twenty Designs) almost 7 years ago

Jay -- if the builder says it is not a problem, and since we know the metal roof should last 40-60 years, perhaps the builder will warrantee the wood under the edge against moisture intrusion for the length of the useable life of the roof!    ;-)

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) almost 7 years ago

You could eat off those gutters in the second photo.

Posted by Jay & Michelle Lieberman, Creating Calm in the Buying and Selling Chaos (Keller Williams World Class) almost 7 years ago

Jay, your explanations are so thorough!  I wish you were near me; we had a huge storm afterwards, my garbage disposal switch in the wall between the new and the old parts of the house leaked.  I think I will have to call a roofer? 

Posted by Elise Harron, Rural Vacant Land and Development Specialist (Dirt Road Real Estate) almost 7 years ago

Cleaning gutters are not my idea of a good time but we do. We also get them replaced periodically with our hail storms and they are done along with the new roof.

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) almost 7 years ago

Good evening, Jay. Catch water? Really? Around here, they catch mostly leaves. We have some wonderful gutter gardens here in Middle TN. I hear they rival the hanging gardens of Babylon...

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) almost 7 years ago

Excellent advice here as always, Jay.  Very educational and as you say, an inspection is always a good idea!

Posted by Matt Kombrink, Your #1 Source For Real Estate (RE/MAX All Pro) almost 7 years ago
As always, you write such informative helpful posts! Thank you for sharing.
Posted by 1~Judi Barrett, BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK (Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745) almost 7 years ago

Jay, just today I had a conversation with a customer about having larger gutters installed because the size was not adequate for the job and the impact that gutters have on homes when they are right and when there is something wrong.  Nice reminder.

Posted by Kelly Young, Colorado Springs Real Estate ~ 719-226-0126 (The Platinum Group Realtors) almost 7 years ago


   Gutters and downspouts need to be sized properly prior to installation, just like plumbing drains.  Even the concrete gutters that I used to hold onto as a young man after a heavy night of hearty partying...


Posted by John J. Woods, Going where no man has gone before - wouldn't you? (Big Dog Press, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Really Raymond?  Only recently?  All of the older houses and barns have had them for centuries here!

Of course Clint!  How much space does water need to get in?  ;>)

The creative designer Fred - AKA God.  Who are we lowly inspectors to question anything the Creative Designer does?

Karen - I wish I had a metal roof!  I do have a bay window on the side of my house with a small, metal roof.  The guy below your comment might have something to say about metal roofs!

That tension prevents the brook from babbling Charlie.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Thanks for stopping by E&T!

Mike - installed right it will last 100 years or more!

Lenn - you are right about all of that for sure.  Had I done the final inspection this would have been caught then.  Surely there has been unseen damage in the past year.

Marc - overall every new house needs three inspections.  My opinion, but I am in the business!

Tom - I hope he didn't learn how to do it from a TV DIY show, or a video tape from the hardware store!


Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Scott - the front porch roof had two ridges with various ribs.  All that has to abut right!

Richie - both large and small!  But the water has to kind of get to it, or all the mischief is for naught...

Thanks Mike.  Your avatar photo went from your grand dad to your son!

Jeffrey - they save the foundation!  If what you have is a slab and no gutters, just make sure there is no splatter back onto the house.

Michael T. - let me know when that day arrives!  Please!  Well, thinking further I take that back.  That would substantially cut into my income and the need for my services!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Suzanne - my grandmother's 1910 house had a metal roof and going into the attic during rain storms was very musical!

Steven - I will propose that to the next builder who questions what my reports might say!

J&M - no leaves around, no asphalt shingle granules - just a metal roof where water never arrives!

Hard to tell Elise!  Maybe a siding or window guy?  It's likely not traveling that far from the roof, unless the roof is 6' above the disposal!

Joe - hail does its damage!  To everything metal.  I bet your ridge vents have to be replaced as well.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Michael - Billy Jays has a great product - Grow Yer Gutter Garden!  It has proven to be a fan favorite, nationwide!

Glad you feel edjumakated Matt!

Thanks Judi.  I hope they contain info you can use with your clients there.

Kelly - gutter size is crucial and they should be sized depending on the square footage of roof that drains into them, or whether there is a debris source nearby (like trees).  One side of my house has large trees and I have this gutter there:   http://www.kguard.com/.  It's a terrific gutter, never clogs and is 6" wide with huge downspouts.

John - what I said to Kelly above!  And those must have been some strong gutters!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Your last statement said a lot.  We'll see if they call you back after the repairs are done.  :)

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) almost 7 years ago

I don't know James!  I have to wonder how the builder will handle this one!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

I often wonder about repairs to roof, crawl spaces, and hard to get to areas; no one ever follows me to check the work that I have done. I have seen to work of others and thought it criminal. They knew no one was going to check up on what they had done and did a shoddy job at best.

I hope to hear about the result of this one Jay.

Posted by Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366, General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage (Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366) almost 7 years ago

Jay, We are lucky to see a gutter in these parts.  But you are right the water has to get into the gutter.

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

This house is not nearby me and if I am to find out it will be because they call me or ask me to return to check the work Tom.

Don - of all places not to have gutters!  My son's house in Maple Valley has gutters!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

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