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FLASHING MEMBRANES PEEL & STICK
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FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP
FOOTING & FOUNDATION DRAINS
FOUNDATION CRACKS & DAMAGE GUIDE
GALVANIC SCALE & METAL CORROSION
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GUTTERS & DOWNSPOUTS
HEAT TAPES & CABLES on Roofs for Ice Dams
HOUSE PARTS, DEFINITIONS
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PAINT SURFACE PREPARATION
PORCH CONSTRUCTION & SCREENING
RETAINING WALL DESIGNS, TYPES, DAMAGE
RETAINING WALL GUARD RAILINGS
ROOF ARCHITECTURAL STYLES - PHOTO GUIDE
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ROOF COLOR RECOMMENDATIONS
ROOF DORMER TYPES - PHOTO GUIDE
ROT RESISTANT LUMBER
SIDING TYPES, INSTALLATION, DEFECTS
SINKHOLES, WARNING SIGNS
STAINS on & in BUILDINGS, CAUSES & CURES
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING EXTERIORS
STUCCO WAll FAILURES DUE TO WEATHER
STUCCO WALL METHODS & INSTALLATION
STUCCO PAINT FAILURES
SURFACE GRADING, SITE DRAINAGE
THERMAL EXPANSION of MATERIALS
TREES & SHRUBS, TRIM OFF BUILDING
TRIM, EXTERIOR CHOICES, INSTALLATION
VAPOR BARRIERS & CONDENSATION in BUILDINGS
VENTILATION in BUILDINGS
WALL CONSTRUCTION BARRIER vs CAVITY
WATER BARRIERS, EXTERIOR BUILDING
WATER ENTRY in buildings
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
This article describes defects in roof leaders or downspout systems such as inadequate number of downspouts to handle the volume of roof drainage, missing, lost, or damaged downspouts. This article series discusses how to choose, install, diagnose & maintain roof gutters & downspouts, & roof drainage systems to prevent building leaks and water entry.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2013 InspectAPedia.com, All Rights Reserved. Author Daniel Friedman.
Also see DOWNSPOUT LEAKS or start this topic at DOWNSPOUT / LEADER DEFECTS; also see GUTTER DEFECTS LIST for other sources of wet basements or crawl spaces caused by problems with the roof drainage system.
Our photo of an upper roof with no gutter (below left) shows how seriously water splash-up may stain or affect building walls. Not shown (not visible) in that photo is wear on the roof shingles from water splashing from above. Our photo at below right shows algae growth on shingles from a downspout spilling across roof shingles.
We often see early roof shingle wear, staining, or even roof leaks on lower roof slopes in areas where drainage from an upper or secondary roof slope spills onto the lower roof slope.
Sketches in this section courtesy of Carson Dunlop Associates.
Use of strainers both helps and hurts with the downspout and gutter clog and overflow problem.
Installing a strainer in the gutter where it empties into a downspout helps keep the downspouts clear of debris and clogs. As Carson Dunlop point out, the gutter itself will clog more quickly with a strainer installed however.
Watch out: if your downspout system includes buried lines, clearing a clogged buried drain line can be difficult and expensive. For buried drain line systems we recommend that you always keep strainers installed at the downspouts at the gutter drain points.
[Click any image or sketch to see an enlarged, detailed version.]
It's usually easier to clean the gutter than to clean the buried downspout drain line. Sketch courtesy of Carson Dunlop Associates.
Our photos below show unusual downspout extension damage - doesn't it look as if something has "chewed" the aluminum downspout ends? in fact that was just the case. The building owner explained that when a squirrel or other rodent entered the downspout the family dog became quite excited by the animal's noise or odor even though the humans were unaware of their visitor.
The dog, frantic to get to the now trapped animal, tore up the downspouts with its bare teeth. The second downspout dog bite photo (below right) was the same phenomenon observed at a different property. More than one dog with strong jaws finds downspouts interesting.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Questions & answers or comments about downspout leaks, repairs, installation, maintenance.
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Technical Reviewers & References
Related Topics, found near the top of this page suggest articles closely related to this one.