Roof-Drainage Maintenance: Part 1 of 3


Spring rains are just around the corner here in the south of the US.  It’s time to give a little extra attention to your roofs drainage system to ensure it is doing it’s job-taking water away from your home and foundation.

Next time you are outside your home with some good daylight, take a look at the surfaces you can see from the ground.  Make sure there are no trees or branches withing 5 feet of your roofs surface.  Also look for any debris that may have accumulated over the winter.  If you see either, make a plan to remove both safely as soon as possible.  A little money spent now on a handyman could save you big bucks down the road.


Guttering is one of the best ways to channel water where you want it to go.  While cleaning out the gutters may not be everyone’s favorite home-maintenance task, gutters filled with debris will not drain properly. Ice dams can form in freezing weather, which can essentially shut down your roof’s entire drainage system, possibly forcing unwanted moisture in through your roof and attic. Also, if runoff from the roof is allowed to discharge too close to the home’s foundation, either because of neglected gutter maintenance or even improper system installation, serious structural problems can develop that can compromise the stability of the entire home. That’s why it’s essential that you monitor and maintain your roof-drainage system.

The most common roof-drainage system in residential construction is gutters hung from the roof edge attached to downspouts. The gutters may be open or covered on top, with seams, or seamless. The gutters should be connected to downspouts that direct water away from the home’s foundation. The downspout may lead down to a concrete splash block that prevents water from draining directly into the soil next to the foundation.

The gutter problems you discover may be related to the materials from which the gutters are made, the quality of the installation, environmental conditions, or a combination of all three.

Check back for more information on keeping the water away from your home!

Scott Price, CPI, #1532
Certified Home Inspector
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