Fact or fiction? An inspector should mark as deficient a roof without gutters if the inspector thinks a lack of gutters presents a risk of flooding or water damage to the property.
Fiction. Inspectors are only required by TREC rules to inspect gutters that are present, not determine whether they should be present.
I think they should be allowed to tell a client why gutters are a good thing.
This is an important topic for buyer education. They often ask if they should add gutters. I’m a fan of “homeowner information” as long as the Inspector clearly distinguishes between “defects”, “information”, and potential “improvements”. Regarding gutters, there’s no one size fits all. Discussion should be limited to the specific property. Are gutters are always needed and cost effective? When could they be a detriment or not worth the cost and maintenance? Just a few thoughts: If you have a basement, they might be essential. Also, gutters can help control heavy runoff over flower beds. However, if you have good… Read more »
Except for some homes, especially with lots of trees, gutters can actually cause problems.
Absolutely correct. If experts are needed they refer to a drainage expert. Gutters are part of the drainage system.
Gutters are recommended for all properties, residential and commercial. Unless proper grading is present, the excess water will cause problems to the structure over time.
No, they shouldn’t. They’re inspectors not licensed roofers. They have too much say so as it is now.
Roofers do not hold a license in Texas but inspectors do.
Roofing is not a licensed profession in Texas.
No, I believe it’s an opinion and gutters are not required by any code
Gutters are required by the International Residential Code (IRC Section R801.3, 2018 Version) when expansive or collapsible soils are known to exist. Many, many locations in Texas do have highly expansive soils which necessitates the need for gutters to drain roof run-off away from the structure. This has been in the IRC since its first cycle in 2000 and past codes used for construction. If you prefer not to review the Building Codes since the home may have predated them you can then turn to the Engineers of the Foundation Performance Association here in Texas that wrote the “Owners Guide… Read more »
Thank you Emmanuel. Spot on. This is a dumb article.
Is this true even with VA inspectors?
The pooling of water next to the slab is a grading deficiency. When we observe that the lack of gutters is causing this problem. We do point out the grading problem and do recommend gutters.
The job of an inspector is to educate the client as to the condition of the property on the day of the inspection. The inspector is required to inspect installed gutters as stated in Rule §535.228 (b)(C) of the SOPs (Standards of Practice) adopted by the Texas Real Estate Commission. The SOPs are the minimum requirements for a real estate inspection. If the lack of gutters is causing damage to the property then it’s worth mentioning in the inspection report, not as a deficiency but as a buyer’s note for the purpose of educating the client. It is also the… Read more »
Gutters are a requirement in The State of Texas when construction of the home required following the International Residential Code and expansive or collapsible soils are present.
If the lack of gutters is known to cause damage to the property then it is beyond worth mentioning and is an actual deficiency to be reported.
Thank you! TREC rule is very clear. Adding those extra comments on the inspection report as required makes any first time buyer nervous. Inspectors should follow the rules and only inspect them if they are present. I’m keeping this article for reference on of my negotiations for the next deal
Seriously? Gutters are required for expansive soils according to the IRC. Read some of the comments before yours.
An inspection is done on order to bring notice to deficiencies.
Home owner education is great. But should not be part of an inspection report.
When helping a client value a potential property or set the value of their own home, presence or absence should be noted and the implications explained to the client.
The article is only partially correct. Yes according to 535.228(b)(1)(C) Inspectors are required to inspect gutters that are present. However the article does not point out that the SOP defines the “minimum requirements for a real estate inspection” as stated in 535.227(a)(2) and does not prevent an Inspector from exceeding those minimums as stated in 535.227(a)(4). There is a difference between what an Inspector is “required” to do and if an Inspector chooses to exceed those minimum requirements. Gutters are an integral part of the drainage system not only when expansive soils exist but also to help prevent erosion around… Read more »
Everyone please read Emmanuel’s comments BEFORE you comment. He is absolutely correct.
I can think of no situation involving uncontrolled runoff from a roof that is beneficial to a property owner.
R801.3 Roof Drainage
In areas where expansive soils or collapsible soils are known to exist, all dwellings shall have a controlled method of water disposal from roofs that will collect and discharge roof drainage to the ground surface not less than 5 feet (1524 mm) from foundation walls or to an approved drainage system.
Been inspecting for over 12 years, 5,527 inspections completed – bet you didn’t know we keep Log Books 🙂 This is where Realtor(s) need to learn to stay in their lane. Cherry picking the TREC SOPs to fit a narrative is not advisable and risky. A better look at TREC SOPs 535.227 (a) Scope section & (4) shows SOPs are a minimum standard inspectors are required to follow and allowed to expand on. If you were a Home Inspector, you would know what all classes/tests/CEC(s) cover….IRC….The International Residential Code (IRC) which is the same as the International Code Council (ICC);… Read more »
Totally agree! I am a real estate agent and won’t pretend to understand all of the ins and outs. BUT, after selling a bunch of new builds and using an inspector who is himself a former city inspector + firefighter, I have learned a ton about the IRC as well as NEC. At the end of the day, I want what’s best for my buyers. This ESPECIALLY means walking with first-timers through any doubts caused by their home buying inexperience. It is our job to educate our clients so they can make informed and confident decisions. That is the whole… Read more »
Agreed. As real estate agents, we can help prepare our buyer’s on what to expect when they receive their inspection report. A good report is expansive and can “freak” an unprepared buyer. Our demeanor will add to/or ease the client’s apprehension. Too, I have never had an inspector who was not willing to respond back to inquiries from myself or my clients. Reports are, or should be, cold facts; by discussing the inspector’s “finds” and enabling them to explain areas of concern for the buyer (who are most often novices) can help alleviate misconceptions and fears.
Thank you Steven!
INFORMATION: The lack of a full gutter and downspout system at the perimeter of the structure may cause drainage conditions that would not be wanted. It is recommended that, as a structural improvement, gutters be installed on all horizontal fascia that have a watershed, and that the downspouts direct drain water at least 5′ away from the structure. This will improve drainage and reduce erosion and/or standing water which can adversely affect foundations, driveways, and sidewalks.