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Exterior Inspections Contains discussions about the exterior portion of a home inspection. This includes roofs, gutters, downspouts, decks, patios, windows, etc.

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  #1  
Old 5/23/06, 8:13 PM
William J. Decker's Avatar
William J. Decker William J. Decker is offline
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Default Downspouts emptying on lower roof.

I did a warranty inspection on a big house in a development. Many instances of downspouts from upper dormer gutters emptying directly onto the lower roof. Also, a gutter in a dormer that had no downspout but had the back end (towards the roof surface) open and the water just flows out the back and onto the lower roof.

I called these out and the owner sent the report to the builder (Toll Brothers). The response from the builder reads "The gutters were installed per industry standard. No action to be taken."

Does anyone know a web site or document that would prove these guys wrong?

Thanks;



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  #2  
Old 5/24/06, 1:29 AM
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Kenton Shepard, CMI Kenton Shepard, CMI is online now
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Default Re: Downspouts emptying on lower roof.

I don't think they are wrong. I see this all the time and I never call it. I expect it shortens the life of the shingles that get the drainage, but the only option I see is to install an ugly, expanded downspout system and I think people would rather go for the asthetics and replace some shingles sooner. -Kent
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  #3  
Old 5/24/06, 1:33 AM
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Joe Funderburk, CMI Joe Funderburk, CMI is online now
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Default Re: Downspouts emptying on lower roof.

I'm with Kent.



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Old 5/24/06, 2:00 AM
A Dan Leleika A Dan Leleika is offline
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Default Re: Downspouts emptying on lower roof.

Will,
I usually let my clients know the disadvantages from this type of practice with the following statement:

One or more downspouts terminate above roof surfaces rather than being routed to gutters below or to the ground level. This is very common, but it can reduce the life of roof surface materials below due to large amounts of water frequently flowing over the roof surface. Granules typically are washed off of composition shingles as a result, and leaks may occur. Recommend considering having a qualified contractor install extensions as necessary so downspouts don't terminate above roof surfaces.

Not necessarily that it is wrong, but that they may want to consider that it be changed.
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Old 5/24/06, 8:04 AM
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Michael W. Gault Michael W. Gault is offline
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Default Re: Downspouts emptying on lower roof.

I'm glad I don't see much of it here...



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  #6  
Old 5/24/06, 8:27 AM
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Bruce M. Graham, III, CMI Bruce M. Graham, III, CMI is offline
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Default Re: Downspouts emptying on lower roof.

I see this all the time and call it out as wrong and detremintal to the roof, as well as the lack of gutting above a lower roof plane. When I was a remodeling contractor I did a lot of work with an architect group, they were addimint about routing the down spout so they were not dumping on the roof and they still looked good. There may also be a roofing warranty issue if one were to look. I my opinion there is just no reason for it givin the damage it can cause.

Last edited by bgraham; 5/24/06 at 12:02 PM..
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  #7  
Old 5/24/06, 8:30 AM
Raymond E. Wand Raymond E. Wand is offline
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Default Re: Downspouts emptying on lower roof.

See it up here all the time. It is a better building practice to provide the downspouts. It is not a building code requirement up here either.
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  #8  
Old 5/24/06, 11:05 AM
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Russel Ray Russel Ray is offline
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Default Re: Downspouts emptying on lower roof.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kshepard
I don't think they are wrong. I also see this all the time and I never call it. I expect it shortens the life of the shingles that get the drainage, but the only option I see is to install an ugly, expanded downspout system and I think people would rather go for the asthetics and replace some shingles sooner. -Kent
I don't think they are wrong either, as far as it being an industry standard. However, codes are an industry standard, and we all know that codes are the minimum, right? And that some professionals use industry standards as the minimum and then (1) stick with those minimums or (2) go above and byond the minimums.

So I do call it out since, as you stated, it "shortens the life of the shingles." That is a maintenance concern, and my home inspections point out maintenance concerns. Informed by knowledge, my Clients can then make their own decisions as to whether or not they would rather "install an ugly, expanded downspout system" or "go for the asthetics and replace some shingles sooner."



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  #9  
Old 5/24/06, 11:09 AM
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Russel Ray Russel Ray is offline
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Default Re: Downspouts emptying on lower roof.

Dan's got a really nice paragraph, even nicer than mine. I'm going to start using Dan's, if he'll let me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aleleika
One or more downspouts terminate above roof surfaces rather than being routed to gutters below or to the ground level. This is very common, but it can reduce the life of roof surface materials below due to large amounts of water frequently flowing over the roof surface. Granules typically are washed off of composition shingles as a result, and leaks may occur. Recommend considering having a qualified contractor install extensions as necessary so downspouts don't terminate above roof surfaces.
Great writing.



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  #10  
Old 5/24/06, 12:31 PM
Adam J. Slimack Adam J. Slimack is offline
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Default Re: Downspouts emptying on lower roof.

Whether 'right' or wrong, I certainly have enough photos that illustrate why it shouldn't be done. I'm sure you do as well. Share em'.

If that is industry standards, then maybe they should be responsible for coming back and doing the repairs to those roof areas 5 years before the rest of the roof needs replacement.

On a more realistic life note, i always recommend the elbows and extensions on every home where they are not present. There are often some case studies within sight of the home being inspected to show them examples.

Adam, A Plus
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  #11  
Old 5/24/06, 2:37 PM
A Dan Leleika A Dan Leleika is offline
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Default Re: Downspouts emptying on lower roof.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rray
Dan's got a really nice paragraph, even nicer than mine. I'm going to start using Dan's, if he'll let me.



Great writing.
Thanks Russel.
Please feel free to use. Thats what we are all here for...to help each other.
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  #12  
Old 5/24/06, 3:09 PM
Doug Edwards Doug Edwards is offline
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Default Re: Downspouts emptying on lower roof.

It may be acceptable but unfortunately I almost always find this adjacent to an area of the roof or dormers that is poorly flashed or not flashed at all. As others have said, the damage often shows up years earlier than should be reasonably expected. I love it whenever someone tells me or ask me if "it meets code". I will often tell them "Would you want your surgeon to work to the absolute minimum allowable standards?"
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Old 5/24/06, 7:46 PM
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tneumann tneumann is offline
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Default Re: Downspouts emptying on lower roof.

I wish oh I wish....someone would compile all these great "paragraphs" and put them on a sticky thread!!

Homegauge forum has a thread just for this....

Wonder who could do this?
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Old 5/24/06, 8:07 PM
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Ronald Dawes Ronald Dawes is offline
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Default Re: Downspouts emptying on lower roof.

I see it all the time here too when I do new construction or 1 yr warranty inspections. I even saw it on a $1.2 mil (this is DFW not CA so it was a very large custom home) home that had fancy copper gutters. I include it in the report with a paragraph similar to above and I tell the owner that all the builders do it but if they press, they just may get it fixed. Some builders have made mods to fix it others say no way.
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Old 5/24/06, 9:38 PM
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Russel Ray Russel Ray is offline
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Default Re: Downspouts emptying on lower roof.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tneumann
I wish oh I wish....someone would compile all these great "paragraphs" and put them on a sticky thread!!

Homegauge forum has a thread just for this....

Wonder who could do this?
Each time I find good paragraphs, I save them immediately to my Interactive Report System (IRS) folder and then incorporate them as time permits. If anyone would like a copy of my IRS, email me (be forwarned that my employees require a donation of $10 to the office margarita fund for taking time out to create the disks and mail them).

Ultimately, over at abouthomes.info, I'm considering such a repository as soon as I get the various search functions set up. A lot of people are putting the search function through its paces and things are looking real good judging from the feedback. Thanks to all who are helping me.



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