What I'm Seeing Now


Be Sure Downspout Water Is Discharged AWAY From The House!

Be sure downspout water is discharged AWAY from the house!

Houses don't make very effective boats.  They don't like to sit in water.  When this house was built, in 1965, foundation drainage and sump pumps were not used. 

Today virtually every newly-built house has such drainage and a sump pump, at least around here.

This downspout drains right at the front corner of the house, and discharges about half of the water from the roof above, some 700 square feet. 

By my calculation, during a single 1" rain storm, that would represent about 225 gallons of water.

Recognizing water intrusion into the basement wall, this homeowner at some point thought to connect a drain line.  But that tubing came off, and the result can be seen below.


















There has not been a lot of recent rain.  So this moisture intrusion and staining has been happening for some time.

What the thermal camera demonstrates, and clearly, is where cooler temperatures are evident inside the wall.  This foundation is masonry block, so the "bricks" are hollow inside.  The cavities can actually hold water. 

The cooler temperatures represent moisture that is saturating inside of the blocks, and in this case the moisture's thermal signature can clearly be seen.

Long-term water pressure against a block foundation wall is not good. 

Long-term moisture around and inside a block foundation wall is not good.

The result?  Saturation, movement, and structural issues, all of which were evident on this house.

My recommendation:  water is THE  killer of houses, inside and out.  It must be controlled, diverted, and drained properly, inside and out.  Water must be paid attention to all over and all around the house! 



Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

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


Comment balloon 10 commentsJay Markanich • August 06 2016 04:14AM


Yes, that doesn't look so hot.  Yes, water can do a lot of damage to a home.  I hope they can fix this.

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

This is a caution we always give to Buyers and put in our newsletter as a reminder as well....water is not your foundation's friend.

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

Now that looks like a disaster waiting to happen

Posted by Jennifer Mackay, Your Bay County Florida Realtor 850.774.6582 (Counts Real Estate Group, Inc.) about 4 years ago

Good morning Jay. This home needs some attention quick! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) about 4 years ago

Water, our most precious resource... and our homes worst enemy!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) about 4 years ago

Great tip Jay Markanich, this is a problem that is common but easily diverted with a little effort and care

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) about 4 years ago

This is an easy fix Debbie.  There is some foundation movement that might be a bit more touchy.

S&D - never has been, never is, and never will be!

Not waiting, Jennifer.  Happening now!

Wayne - there were a few things, but other specialists will be having a look too.



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

Fred - right on both counts!

This downspout is easily diverted Scott.  There are a couple of other things that need some "special" attention.

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

Had the exact problem years ago when we moved into our current house.  The diversion pipe had come loose and the water entered the basement where the sewer pipe exited the basement.  Fixed that one real quick and screwed the pipe to the downspout.  Four years later and still dry!

Posted by Stephen Weakley (Nationwide Mortgage Services) about 4 years ago

It's an easy fix Stephen.  The problem with this house is that the corner had moved so much that air conditioning could be felt through the crack in the foundation and brick!

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

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