Home inspectors routinely call out the termination of downspouts right at the house foundation. Concentrated quantities of water at spot locations around the foundation can result in water intrusion into basements and crawl spaces as well as cause settlement of the foundation.
Ideally proper drains should be installed to collect the roof water and drain it properly away from the home. These drains are called tight-line drains and are typically separate from footing drains—or at least should be. Lots of debris can end up going into roof water drains and we don’t want to clog up the footing drains with leaves and other debris.
Most jurisdictions also do not allow them to terminate into the city sewer either. However, in lots of older cities everything goes into a common sewer, which obviously affects sewage treatment costs.
I could not help but chuckle at a recent inspection when I saw someone’s attempt to get the roof water away from the foundation….
….only to end up dumping at another location right next to the foundation.
Is it the thought that counts?
I think not.
Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
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WA State, Home Inspector Advisory Licensing Board