The Operating Systems, Lower Level, Interior and Exterior Inspection sections are EXTREMELY condensed versions of those found in our home inspection book: Home Inspection Business From A to Z

Real Estate Appraisers are not required to be home inspectors. However, I will include these sections anyway to give you some basic details about home inspections.


Gutters, Downspouts and Leaders

Gutters are installed along the bottom edge of the roof to catch the rainwater running off the roof. Downspouts are installed near the ends of the gutters and are used to drain the water from the gutters so they don't overflow. Leaders are installed at the bottom of the downspouts to direct the rainwater away from the side of the structure.

The majority of gutters, downspouts and leaders are made of aluminum because it's lightweight, inexpensive and rust and rot resistant. Sometimes on older houses the gutters, downspouts and leaders will be made of copper. If copper gutters are painted, the only way to know if they're copper is to look for soldered joints. Wood gutters are not recommended since they have a short life expectancy due to rot.

There should be at least one downspout for every 30 feet of gutter to prevent any excessive weight from the rainwater from damaging the gutters. All downspouts should have leaders to pipe the rainwater at least five feet away from the foundation to help prevent any water problems in the lower level.

Some downspouts drain directly into the ground. These lead to dry-wells or underground drainage lines. They need to be checked periodically for clogging due to leaves and small animals getting stuck in them. In most areas, the local building codes prohibit sump pumps, gutters and downspouts from discharging water into the house plumbing drainage lines. This restriction is designed to prevent an excessive amount of water from entering the municipal sewer system.

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