Nashville Home Inspection - Gutters Full of Debris? How Bad Can It Be?

Home Inspector with HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC

Nashville Home Inspection - Gutters Full of Debris?  How Bad Can it Be?

Ever known that your gutters are full of debris and overflowing when it rains?  And did nothing about it?  How bad can it be?  If the gutters overflow, the water still ends up on the ground anyway, right?  Look at the picture below.  What is wrong?

HINT:  Mold soup is made when vegetation and pooled rain water stand together over a period of time.

Debris filled gutters

So in the picture above we have gutters filled with tree debris so much that other vegetation has started to grow inside the gutters, the gutters have become so heavy with the wet debris that they start to pull away from the fascia, and the mold soup inside the gutters starts to overflow every time it rains.  How bad can it be?  See below.

Overflowing gutters

So as the mold soup starts to flow down the side of the house, where will it end up?  See below.

Molded windows

And a close-up of the window frame is shown below.  It is just a matter of time before this gets inside the house.

Molded window frame

So the bottom line on all this - keep your gutters and downspouts clean!

Thank you,

Richard Acree


Comments in this blog posting are the copyrighted intellectual property of Richard Acree, President, HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC, and contributing members of the Active Rain Real Estate network, and are intended to educate and otherwise assist home owners, sellers and buyers, building owners, sellers and buyers, realtors, real estate investors, property managers, and lenders in the process of owning, buying or selling homes or commercial buildings.  HABITEC is a residential (home) and commercial building inspection company serving Middle Tennessee including Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Mt. Juliet, Hendersonville, Dickson, Belle Meade, Columbia, Spring Hill and more!  In addition to building inspections HABITEC offers Environmental Services for mold assessments, radon testing and water quality analysis.  Additional information about HABITEC can be found on our website at, or call 615-376-2753. 

Richard Acree is the author of the HABITEC Home and Building Inspections ActiveRain Blog and founder of the ActiveRain Group Tennessee Home and Building Inspectors.  All are welcome to join and see more blogs like this one.  You can also join HABITEC on Facebook or Linked . 


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Fred Griffin presently on Leave of Absence
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Richard, I have a Contractor friend who advises people with heavily wooded yards NOT to have gutters, for the reasons in your Blog. 

He suggests using water diverters over the doorways, so that you can walk into the house without getting drenched, but he really preaches against gutters.

Sep 15, 2011 04:21 PM #1
Ted J. Macy
Top Agents Atlanta Metro - Milton, GA

Thanks for the lessin, and the visuals are great. Really like the "mold soup" phrase, mind if I "borrow" that phrase for my own use??

Sep 15, 2011 04:22 PM #2
Robert Dirienzo
HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC - Franklin, TN
Home Inspections - Nashville TN

Hello Fred and Ted.  Thanks for your comments. 

Fred, I understand why some people prefer not to install gutters.  But I have to lean the other way.  Water allowed to drop off the roof down to the foundation can weaken the foundation and cause structural damage.  Unfortunately we see it often in home and commercial building inspections when gutters are allowed to fill with debris.  Functional gutters/downspout/extension systems that terminate to grade sloped away from the building can help avoid this issue.

Ted, yes, you are welcome to use the "mold soup" phrase.  I learned this phrase when I went to mold assessment school.  And over time I have seen many occasions where this actually plays out in the real world.  We all need to avoid mold soup.



HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC

Sep 22, 2011 02:42 AM #3
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Home Inspections - Nashville TN
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