What I'm Seeing Now

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IT IS NOT GOOD TO DESIGN A ROOF THAT IS GUTTERLESS!

Gutters and downspouts are an extremely important aspect of any roof design and IT IS NOT GOOD TO DESIGN A ROOF THAT IS GUTTERLESS!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This 6 year old house has no gutters anywhere and never has.

Can you see where a large portion of this roof rain water ends up?

A gallon of rain water is contained in an area 21" x 11" x 1".  During heavy rains not only does this water rush to the point indicated by the red circle, but all over the roof to the left.  Where does it end up?

Right at the stairwell!

This leads, of course, to the basement.

Huge holes have been dug into the soil behind the stairwell lip.

You can look into the large holes there all the way down into oblivion.

HOUSES DON'T MAKE VERY EFFECTIVE BOATS!

But look further.

Mud, muck and debris collect at the bottom of the stairs.

And clog the drain, which leads to the sump pump...

And rots the wood trim at the base of the doorway...

And fills up the pit!

My client returned to the house a few days later during a heavy rain and sent me a video she calls "Dancing In The Rain."

The sump pump could not keep up!

What a mess!

And this was just one problem of many all around this house.  And all were water related - draining, cascading, splashing, rushing water!

My recommendation:  houses are often built without gutters as the designer thinks it helps the house to retain an architectural appeal.  It might do that, but form over function is often a very bad idea!  There was not only damage to trim and roofing all around the house, but major soil erosion as thousands of gallons of water collect around house.  That pressure will work on the foundation over time, doing unnecessary, and perhaps one day catastrophic, damage.  Gutters are essential to collect and divert roof water.  Further, these gutters MUST be large enough, with downspouts large enough, to handle the amount of water the roof collects!  The downspouts that this rain water is diverted to must, that is MUST, carry that water well away from the house!  And grading, of course, that also encourages water away from the house, cannot be an afterthought.  As stated above, HOUSES DON'T MAKE VERY EFFECTIVE BOATS!

 

 

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 19 commentsJay Markanich • July 23 2015 03:56AM

Comments

Good morning Jay.  I've seen the same issue around here.  Not often but it does happen

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) about 5 years ago

Wow, Jay.  As an old gutter company owner, it's refreshing to hear a pro discuss this.  I've always said that architects are normally not thinking about water management coming off the roof when they design. A good exercise for us real estate agents is to look at each house and say, "Where is the water going, as it comes off of that roof?" Then look around to see the results of months and years of where that water has landed.

Posted by ROGER HOLLOWAY, Charlotte NC Broker/Realtor® Licensed in NC & SC (ProStead Realty) about 5 years ago

Houses's do not make effective boats? Have you not heard of a house boat? I bet they don't have gutters ;)

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) about 5 years ago

Good morning, Jay Markanich I've seen many new homes built by builders who eliminate this item and tell the potential buyer he is preventing them from getting ice dams in the winter!!!  water and ice shield plus heated coils in the gutter will prevent that, if it's likely to occur....I've never had any in any home I lived in....and they all had gutters and downspouts to divert water away from the foundation....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) about 5 years ago

I seem to see it more and more James.  Not understanding why!

Roger - I see poor gutter/downspout designs many times a week.  Water is water!  It does what water does!  You have to obey physics or physics will punish you!

Jim - I stand corrected! 

Let me think.  (says he, going back to fourth grade)  When is a door not a door?  When it's ajar!  When is a house boat not a house boat?  When it's not aboat!  Hope that works...

Prevent ice dams?  What a diaper load Barbara!  Builders think people are idiots.  Ice dams are caused by poor roof ventilation.  Pure and simple.  And where ice is abundant and pervasive, coils are a great idea.  I think the Detroit airport has heated runways.  Good idea!  You'll like this.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Jay, so many houses in Florida do not have gutters that should have! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) about 5 years ago

Good morning Jay,

If that was done here the winters would have taken a greater toll on cement and wood.

Make yourself a great day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) about 5 years ago

Even if on a slab, a house should divert water away from itself Wayne.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Raymond - I can't think of a roof design where the house would benefit from a lack of gutters.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

We rarely see houses here without gutters. But--almost as important is the grading away from the house where the gutters discharge. If it's not graded properly it's almost like having no gutters at all.

Posted by Tom White, Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN (Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or www.FranklinHomesRealty.com) about 5 years ago

Good morning Jay. I had a new garage without gutters. Water flooded the areas below. I now have gutters and guards. Great point.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) about 5 years ago

I bet even houseboats have gutter! I never thought to look at a house to make sure that it has gutters but I will now. I just assumed they are installed as a matter of course like windows and doors - but I guess not! 

Posted by Lise Howe, Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC (Keller Williams Capital Properties) about 5 years ago

I rarely see this also Tom.  But when I do it is always a problem.

Sheila - problem solved!

Lise - I don't inspect many house boats (well, never) but you are probably right!  They should be a matter of course, but some people want to design form over function.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

I have stood on my soapbox many times saying that gutters is a part of a roof design and that the builders should include them in their package! I recommend them on every house they are not installed on!! I think I have a gutter fetish...

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) about 5 years ago

1.  I want a photo.
2.  You are correct.

But, boy, could I have some fun with that fetish thing, Fred.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

I'm surprised there isn't water in the basement already.  I had a downspout extension come loose during a rather heavy rain.  The water worked its way down through the soil and entered the house where the septic pipe went through the foundation.  Fixed that one real quick!

Posted by Stephen Weakley (Nationwide Mortgage Services) about 5 years ago

The foundation has held firm, so far Stephen.  But they are tickling the sleeping tiger.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

I do Jay... I do! 

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) about 5 years ago

Too much information Fred.  They care calling that "optics" now.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

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