Uncontrolled Roof Runoff Water

Home Inspector with King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. Home Inspector Lic #207

If you look at the photo below, you will see evidence of why a home in an area that gets significant rainfall should have gutters and downspouts. The wood fascia, below the roof, has had heavy runoff water routed over it for about five years. Wood that is subjected to heavy moisture will eventually decay. Fungus is moving in on us here, slowly but surely.

If a roof have proper overhang, over the gutters, that wood will be afforded a great degree of protection. And that is very helpful in the long run. This home, like many houses that do not have gutters, is located in a heavy snow region so the owner is probably reluctant to install gutters. They can be prone to coming down when snow and ice collect inside of them. But, without the gutters, the wood is under constant assault in this wet northwest climate.  




Posted by

Steven L. Smith

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Suzanne Taylor
Ultima Real Estate - Corpus Christi - Corpus Christi, TX
Home Sales In Corpus Christi, TX

Nice view, we just finished putting gutters on our home, can't believe they did not do that when they built it.

Feb 03, 2011 03:53 PM #1
Chandler Real Estate Liz Harris, MBA
Liz Harris Realty - Chandler, AZ

Gutters are great... I am amazed at how few homes in Arizona have them... when it rains here, the water just tends to smack you as you walk out the front door.

Feb 03, 2011 03:55 PM #2
Bruce Breedlove
Avalon Inspection Services - Colorado Springs, CO

Do they not paint exposed wood in your area either?

Feb 03, 2011 03:56 PM #3
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector


That had clear sealant which is now bye-bye....too much water on it for too many years.

Feb 03, 2011 04:07 PM #4
Robin Risley
Kamali Sotheby's International Realty - Cannon Beach, OR
CRS, GRI, Principal Broker

I agree that a gutter is very important especially at the North Oregon Coast.

It is also important to have something at the bottom to distribute the water so that the soil is not washed away below to hurt the foundation.

Feb 03, 2011 04:21 PM #5
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC



I see this a lot over here. And they almost never flash them on top of that.

Feb 03, 2011 04:22 PM #6
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029


Great post Steve. I am amazed at the harshness of the NW environment. I see moss occasionally on roofs, I'm sure, for you, it is a common occurrence...


Feb 03, 2011 09:22 PM #7
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Sounds like a very harsh area with so much precip - rain and snow.  What do they do out there for water collection if they don't want to use gutters due to ice?  Here the capped gutters do pretty well for that.

A friend of mine is the local distributor for these:   http://www.kguard.com/

Feb 03, 2011 10:29 PM #8
John McCarthy
Bean Group Portsmouth NH - North Hampton, NH
Realtor - Seacoast NH

Hi Steven,

Gutters have their good and bad points. Up here in Seacoast NH, they help protect our basements from water seepage, but they also are the major cause of ice damming in the winter. We have moss if the roof is shaded by large trees. The roof in your photo does not appear to have aluminum drip edge which would extend the drip line out about 3/4" from the vertical plane of the fascia.

Feb 03, 2011 10:30 PM #9
Charles McDonald
Charlottesville Real Estate Solutions - Charlottesville, VA
REALTOR®, Blogger, Principal Broker®, Owner

This is another case of a picture being worth a thousand words. Thanks for the post.

Your Friend in Charlottesville

Feb 03, 2011 11:54 PM #10
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector


They either do that or put on gutters they can remove in icy weather, if the place is small.


That is true, there are good and bad. The flashing would be a good idea, but if you see the rest of the siding the pounding rain is impacting that as well. Splashing up onto it. That would still be an issue even with a flashing. By state law, here, an inspector is required to cite missing gutters as a conducive condition if doing a WDO report.

Feb 04, 2011 02:41 AM #11
Michele Miller ~ REALTOR®, LMC, HSE, CHS, SRES, CMRS
ERA Key Realty~Worcester County Realty Group - Worcester, MA
'Helping You Make the Best Move"


Gutters are good to have and save alot of issues in basements as well.

Have a great weekend!

Feb 04, 2011 06:04 AM #12
Dave Halpern
Keller Williams Realty Louisville East (502) 664-7827 - Louisville, KY
Louisville Short Sale Expert

Frugality in the wrong place is more expensive in the long run.

Feb 09, 2011 09:04 PM #13
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Bellingham WA Home Inspector
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