The Double Header...Raining On You, Times Two!

Home Inspector with Aspect Inspection

The Double Header: Concentrates the rain to get BOTH shoulders as you walk up the stairs!  (This is #2 in a series on a single flipped house.)


flippers incomplete system

Yes that's right.

The original owner of this flipped property installed the gutter system to keep you dry, from the roof runoff at least, when you walk up the steps to the side door. (The everyday entry for the family).

The flipper replaced the old wood steps and landing, removing the downspouts in the process. And then he left things 'up in the air', literally!  It probably wasn't raining on the day that he finished or hoped it wouldn't be when the house was being viewed.  It wasn't raining when I inspected but I did not miss it.

Now look at this configuration.  This is the bottom edge of a flat low slpoe roof surface with a wider overhang where the side door is The trough or guttering is continuous. It's all a the same height. OK

So why are there two downspout drops here in the same area?  Why is it like that?

The answer it the gutter troughs are basically level.  There is no grading, no slope to cause the water to drain to a lower point where the downspout is positioned. This incorrect.  The minimum is a 1" drop in 12 feet.  I recommend more as such a minimal flow is easily disrupted or blocked.

 So the gutters 'pond' (fill up with water) till it reaches the downspout drain, but some water always stays there. Its like having a bath tub that tilts away from the drain.  There will always be a puddle of water in it.

That 'ponding' causes side effects.   Leaves collect there.  They compost to a mud.  This raises the water levels and causes furthur blockages.  Water can be held against wood facia boards causing them to rot.  Metal clad facias still have wood behind and the metal cladding has overlapping joints, but they are not sealed.  Water will get in.

What does this show us?   stain detail 

It routinely overflows and drips, so that means the downspouts are often blocked. We also see facia details that tell us it is made of wood, covered in the red toned metal and the joints are overlapped but not sealed.


As an experienced professional inspector I will understand that the original guttering was not correctly installed.

The gutters remain unsloped, prone to ponding and overflowing and will need more than normal maintenance to keep clean and operational.

There are conditions conducive to the rot and decay of the roof facias. The metal flashing will keep any such condition hidden for a long time, but I will be advising my client of this risk.

And of couse the downspout system remains incomplete, 'up in the air' where the flipper left it. 


This is #2 of a series on the same flipped house.

1.     Skippy will've skipped, before the water starts to drip.

2.     Double Header...Raining On You, Times Two!

3.     A Case Of New Not Being Better ... A Stair Story 

4.     Posting soon: A Case Of More Not Being Stronger.....A Stair Story. 

5.     Posting soon:  The LANDING Looked Good But Is There A CRASH In The Future?

6.     To come – landing/deck

7.     To come – electrical

8.     To come - exterior & landscaping

Please remember to have an inspection during the real estate process to help eliminate any of these concerns! Put our experience to work for you.

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Show All Comments
Kathy Stoltman
Balboa Real Estate - Ventura, CA
Ventura County Real Estate Consultant 805-746-1793

Great example of why every buyer needs to have a professional home inspection.

Oct 20, 2012 02:05 AM #1
Bryan Robertson
Los Altos, CA

I did a flip and took on the installation of gutters myself.  The thinking was - Hey, it's easy.  Well, it wasn't and I had to have them completely reinstalled by a pro.  Whenever it looks easy, it's probably not and best to be done right by a pro.

Oct 20, 2012 02:41 AM #2
Robert Butler
Aspect Inspection - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection

Thanks Kathy. It is a great example, as are the other blogs in this series.

Oct 20, 2012 08:35 AM #3
Robert Butler
Aspect Inspection - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection

Well Brian, most people would be shy about admitting that type of assumption. In my case I always thought joint taping drywall was easy. Boy, was I wrong.!

Oct 20, 2012 08:38 AM #4
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Robert, that looks like some sort of musical instrument being assembled :)

Oct 20, 2012 02:03 PM #5
Tanya Nouwens
RE/MAX ROYAL (JORDAN) INC. / Tanya Nouwens Inc. - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Real Estate Broker & Stager
That is hilarious! There's a reason why buyers are wary of flipped houses. Although, perhaps in this case, the idea was to create an outdoor shower? The location of it (front steps, entrance) is unfortunate but perhaps this is a nudist colony? LOL
Oct 20, 2012 11:21 PM #6
Robert Butler
Aspect Inspection - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection

Yes Charles, of course 'fully assembled' would be less of an issue. My visual on these serpentine forms is 'snakes'.

Hi Tanya. Buyers should be wary of flipped houses. Wait till you see more of this series, it's all the same house.

Oct 21, 2012 02:37 AM #7
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Robert, Now that is sweet guttering you have there. Showers for two ; )

Oct 22, 2012 12:18 PM #8
Robert Butler
Aspect Inspection - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection

Hi Don. Its right over the steps to the side door. It's a shower, willy nilly.

Oct 23, 2012 12:17 AM #9
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Robert Butler

Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection
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