What I'm Seeing Now

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Little Leak = Big Problem

Little leak = big problem.

What's the little leak?

Downspout joints.

Why is it leaking?  Because it is too small to handle the load required of it.

Why?

Because the entire main house roof, and the front porch roof you see here, drain ALL of the roof water to one small downspout.

Water MUST be provided a place to go.  Too much is too much.

Remember my formula - an area 21"x11"x1" is equal to one gallon of water.

An entire house draining to one downspout would be an overload no matter what.  Gutter design must be smarter.

But what is the result here?  The stained joints were wet (slight rain the night before) and the wondrous duct-taped stained joint under the strap.  All that has been leaking for some time!

That water has also worked on the soil beside the porch.

The corner of the porch slab has sunk.

The column has rotted, completely.

And the column no longer touches the porch slab!  It is virtually blowing in the wind!

The fix here might be a big one!  But what happens now isn't my call.

My recommendation:  things happen for reasons.  Some things take time.  The wrong arrangement over time becomes a problem arrangement sooner or later.  This has taken time to develop.  And even though the painter covered the rotting spot with lots of paint (!), the problem is still there.  Can you imagine a front porch corner post simply swaying while you are painting it and not doing anything about it?

 

 

 

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 6 commentsJay Markanich • April 06 2016 03:25AM

Comments

Good morning Jay. Avoiding a small problem today can have you facing a disaster tomorrow! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) over 3 years ago

That's called maintenance, Wayne!  However, in this case, the disaster today was set up yesterday by a poor gutter/downspout arrangement.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Yikes. Yes, an entire roof draining into one downspout is a problem in the making.

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) over 3 years ago

Took it a while to pull the downspout apart, Kat, but it did and also did in the column and porch.  Water does what water does.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Reminds me of the townhouse you inspected a few days ago.  I never really gave downspouts that much thought, so thanks for the lessons.

Posted by Stephen Weakley (Nationwide Mortgage Services) over 3 years ago

Physics always works, even when it is ignored Stephen. 

And Mother Nature will enforce her codes with impunity.  Even when they are ignored also!

Look at her!

Impunity, I tell you!

Go ahead.  Ignore that.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

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