Thursday, September 2, 2010

Nashville Building Inspections - Roof Drainage Systems - 9.2.10

Nashville Building Inspections: Roof Drainage Systems

Nashville area building inspections completed by HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC, involve inspecting the roof drainage systems. These systems are critical to maintain the condition of the foundation and avoid issues with mold. Look at the pic below of a downspout to extension system at a Church. What's wrong?

HINT: Two things need to be mentioned to the Client.

ANSWER: First, it should be apparent that the downspout-to-plastic extension connection has separated and should be repaired. Failure to do so will allow water from the roof to be deposited at the foundation wall. This defect is known to cause foundation movement and resultant structural failure as well as water intrusion into crawl spaces and basements.

What may not be so apparent is the open plastic underground drain pipe in the background and below the downspout. What's up with that? Some may think this is there to catch the downspout water, which was true at one time. Originally the downspout connected to an underground drainage system that carried water away from the building to hopefully a functioning termination point. But, in this case, that underground system has been abandoned and the above ground extension has been installed to carry the roof drainage away. This is OK, but the Client who is buying this property needs to know that, in addition to the disconnected downspout, there is an underground system present but that it has been abandoned, versus being repaired to work properly.

Thank you,

Richard Acree


  1. Hiring a building inspector to carry out an inspection on a property before it is bought is a fantastic idea. They can spot any structural damage that could result in unexpected costs in repairs.

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