What I'm Seeing Now

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Siding And A Wall Overwhelmed By Water

This is the case of siding and a wall overwhelmed by water.  When a client calls with a problem to investigate, even someone I know, like Margaret Woda, I am always excited by the prospect.

She sent me a photograph of a spot outside a house that not only showed moisture but damage.  Pretty sure I had it diagnosed from the photo, but I needed to see it to determine if what I thought was the cause.

The house next door, the one to the right in this photo, has all of its rear roof rain water collected and then drained by one downspout.

I estimated the total roof surface to be about 700 square feet.

The upper roof drains directly into the gutter of the lower roof, shown in the red circle.

A gallon of rain water is contained in an area 21"x11"x1".  During a heavy rain this one small downspout is expected to discharge between 400 and 450 gallons for each inch of rain.

Obviously that would overwhelm it, including splashing over the gutter, especially as so much water is rushing toward one spot.  Doubling the problem is the lack of a kick-out flashing at the chimney of the subject house on the left.

Built today kick-out flashing would be required at this location.  This house was built in 1984 however, and there is none.  This complicates the problem.

Perhaps hard to see in this photo staining can be seen on the gutter, downspout, chimney siding and beige house siding.

Certainly this is a source of the moisture, if not THE source.

Testing my theory I turned on the hose and sprayed water right at that red circle for about 10 seconds.

After, while  watching the pattern of water draining down the siding, my theory proved correct.   The dripping and splatter was a direct hit onto the retaining wall between the houses.

Damage to the concrete block in the wall is evident.  This has been happening little by little for a long time.  Think Grand Canyon!  From here a mason or engineer can be contacted about the concrete block.  But the neighbors have to be contacted about the overflowing rain water!

A larger lower gutter (a covered, 6" gutter would be the Best Practice) and downspout will likely solve most, if not all, of the overflowing problem.  And the gutter will no longer be overwhelmed.

My recommendation:  home inspectors do small jobs too!  Try calling one to see.   Sometimes a solution to a problem is not found, but oftentimes it is!  And an objective opinion can be rendered.  Peace of mind is worth a million bucks.  But your home inspector won't charge that much.

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

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

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 36 commentsJay Markanich • September 19 2014 03:31AM

Comments

Morning Jay that sir is some damage as you said that has taken some time to happen.  I'm sure the client will follow your suggestion and stop it before it gets an worse.

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) almost 4 years ago

And that depends on the willingness of the neighbor James!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Oh yes, water and time.  Hopefully they can fix this issue.  Nice sleuthing.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) almost 4 years ago

I didn't take too long Debbie.  I didn't stop for a shower.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Well, it doesn't take a Rhodes Scholar to know that downspouts need an extension when they dump water all over a pourous foundation.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) almost 4 years ago

This one actually does dump into an extension Lenn, at the ground.  What's happening is overflow.  I don't know what percentage gets into the downspout, but certainly not all of it!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago
Thanks for coming out yesterday, Jay. Since this retaining wall literally holds up one neighbor's yard, it's important to them as well as the neighbor where the erosion of the wall is visible. Better to identify the issue and make the repair before that wall fails and the upper patio caves in. Nice to see you, Jay, but I hope the next time will be at a social gathering rather than a problem situation. :)
Posted by Margaret Woda, Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) almost 4 years ago

For sure Margaret!  Thanks for calling and the social stuff is more fun.

But I really like figuring out problems!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

While reading this one thing came to mind again...water is the major culprit with many of the problems I see with homes.

Posted by Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC, ... a small office, delivering big service! (Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Great explanation Jay. I like the fact that you are willing to test your theory, and not just come up with an idea that is unproven.

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 4 years ago

Jay Markanich that looks like it been doing that for quite some time. It is amazing that kick out flashings are so often omitted.

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Yes to this post and often after reading, I am content and on top...keep up the good work and thank you

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) almost 4 years ago

That concrete has an obvious problem! I would have had that fixed before deciding to sell. 

Posted by Suzanne Otto, Your Montgomery County PA home stager (Six Twenty Designs) almost 4 years ago

Jay: Great 'catch'! I am sure neither the neighbor, nor the seller had a clue of how to correct this problem, Margaret Woda  is lucky she had you to call.

Posted by Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI, Presence, Persistence & Perseverance (Realty National) almost 4 years ago

Jay, that is why people should hire a competent home inspector and a contractor to fix problems on their house.

Posted by Sybil Campbell, REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia (Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia) almost 4 years ago

We had a particularly troublesome downspout issue at one of the properties we manage this year.  The way the water ran off was positioned in such a way that it would pour directly into the basement!  Every long rain would have water pool up in the basement.  Sometimes the design of these things is hard to understand.  

Posted by Kevin Mackessy, Dedicated. Qualified. Local. (Blue Olive Properties, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Gary - water is THE killer of houses, inside and out.

Thanks Tom.  How else to know?

Don - the house is 1984 vintage, so I expect for about that long!

Thank you Richie.  This was a fun one!

Suzanne - it did not come up on the home inspection report (which is why they called me, to investigate).  So I guess nobody saw it as a problem.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

S&N - Margaret had a long way to drive to see me!

Thanks Sybil.  I think I nailed the problem and my solution likely will work too.

Kevin - the downspouts and where they discharge are something I look at on every inspection.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

That was a good lesson

Thank you

 

Posted by David Pylyp (RE/MAX Realty Specialists Inc.,) almost 4 years ago

That was a great catch. This is certainly a case where 'I learn so much on ActiveRain' would be appropriate

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) almost 4 years ago

Jay- a great job of diagnosing the problem.  I hope the neighbor will cooperate and the problem will be resolved.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) almost 4 years ago

When you have an issue the evidence with water always show up somewhere. The solution is not always easy.

Posted by Bill Reddington, Destin Florida Real Estate (Re/max Southern Realty) almost 4 years ago

Jay Markanich wow - such a simple solution for a big problem. (Well, not as big as Grand Canyon...lol!)

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) almost 4 years ago
Really secure those insurance claims. This can happen to everyone.
Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) almost 4 years ago

Yet another well explained and well illustrated problem situation by Jay. Always the best posts.

Posted by Jon Quist, Tucson's BUYERS ONLY Realtor since 1996 (REALTY EXECUTIVES TUCSON ELITE) almost 4 years ago

David - thanks.  That's why I come to AR, as I learn so much.

Ed - learning is probably the most valuable thing about this site.

Me too Joan.  I expect so.

That's true John.  But with water there is a solution.

Not yet Praful.  That may take a bit longer.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Laura - hopefully this won't come to insurance.  But it does require that both neighbors cooperate!

Jon - thank you.  My legal name is Jon by the way, spelled that way!  I've been Jay since I was about 2.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

That's a great reminder - that inspectors don't just do full inspections, but can review small issues as well.  Good catch!

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) almost 4 years ago

Time for that dreaded neighborly discussion...yikes

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) almost 4 years ago

We dont get alot of rain out here in Vegas, but I still found your post fascinating. Thanks for the info.

Posted by Jimmy Chickey, Realtor, Nationally Recognized Author, Teacher (Keller Williams Realty Southwest, Partner in the Jamie Cox Group) almost 4 years ago

I would think that the HOA would get involved if that owner did not want to correct the problem. 

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) almost 4 years ago

Kat - and why not?  What better resource than an objective home inspector?

S&D - any time money is involved, well, things get dicey.

Jimmy - water is water!  What happens with it in one place will happen any place!

Joe - this is in the rear behind fences.  It would show up on no HOA inspection, but hopefully the nazis arent' called in to mediate...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

See this all the time. A standard sized gutter and downspout expecting to capture all the water from the gutter above. Logic would tell us...

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Logic, nature, physics and that code enforced by Mother Nature, Jim.

She is a cruel one, that lady.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Jay, what seems to ba a solution is often the basis for a problem. Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker (Wayne M Martin) almost 4 years ago

These sorts of gutter/downspout arrangements are so common Wayne.  And the problem is set up from the beginning by the builder.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

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