If you are shopping for or already own a home that is missing gutters, downspouts and leaders then this article was written for you.  One out of  twenty homes are missing gutters on their home and or garage.  Two out of three homes and/or garages are missing leaders and splash blocks.  My recent home inspection in Elmhurst, Illinois happened to be missing gutters on the garage and leaders on the home.

I consider  missing gutters and or leaders to be a major problem on a home.  The cost of installing gutters and/or leaders is very inexpensive.  The reason why the missing gutters and the missing leaders on the home were listed as a defective issue on my inspection report for the Elmurst home inspection was because there are opportunities for this issue to cause structural issues to the homes foundation.  Here are the issues that can come from missing gutters and/or missing leaders.

  • Water in your basement is probably the first result you will see from the lack of gutters and/or leaders on your home.  The fact that you have water entering your basement will eventually lead to the following problems on your home.  The water that enters your basement can cost thousands of dollars in repairs and even more if the basement is finished.  Mold is one of the key issues that will develop in your basement.  Mold in a basement can cost thousand just to get it abated.
  • Foundation cracks can develop and can allow water to enter the basement and possibly cause mold issues if the basement is finished.  These cracks can eventually turn into structural issues that will be seen on the exterior of the home.  Step cracking and displacement on the brick exterior of a home can be a result from the lack of cracks in your foundation.  These cracks can be repaired by Perma-seal for $300.00 dollars a crack.  The installation of a leaders and splash blocks will still need to be done to prohibit further cracks in the foundation.  The installation replacement price for leaders and splash blocks are generally under $200.00 for a large home.
  • Cracked slab in a basement or a garage is inevitable if the property is missing a roof drainage system.  The Elmhurst home inspection was missing gutters, downspouts and leaders on the garage.  The garage was already seeing cracks develop from the water undermining the slab and causing cracks in the slab.  Getting the water 6′ away from the property is my advice.  Without a roof drainage system installed this is impossible.  The replacement price for a gutter system for a standard 2 car garage is $600.00.

As you can probably guess, the Elmhurst home inspection also had foundation cracks from the lack of leaders and splash blocks around the home.  There were no structural issues yet.  I also believe that the poor grading around the home played a role in the foundation cracks that would need to be repaired.

As you can see, the use of a roofing drainage system is definitely needed on your home and garage.  If you have questions that need answering please contact me at The Thermal Home Inspector or 312-961-4228.

Thanks for stopping by and stay safe.

Jim Kolke

  • Thanks for offering your insight Jim. Good photos by the way. I’ll be grabbing those from the InterNACHI site for use in my reports!

    Stay safe,

    Housecall Property Inspections

  • As you said above, gutter system is a crucial part in any home. If gutters are missing from your home, it is very important that you act quickly to find gutter installer to do the job or if you can, replace them yourself. As the writer mentioned above, the damage that can happen will be very costly compared to the gutter installation costs.

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