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Rainwater Runoff Damage

Rainwater Runoff Damage Is A Red Flag For Home Buyers

Rainwater runoff damage is a major concern for homeowners as more and more families purchase real estate in southwestern Pennsylvania. Many people think it’s the perfect place to buy a house and raise a family. Beautiful neighborhoods nestled on rolling hills with gorgeous views of the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio Rivers. However, precipitation rates continue to rise. On average, the area gets pounded with 38 inches of rain and 28 inches of snow annually. Realistically, it’s wet nearly 40% of the time.

Water damage can negatively affect your property value

This means that if want to buy or sell a house in the area, it’s best to understand how the local weather will effect building materials. Most often, when you’re attending an open house, it’s not usually raining, and you may not see the warning signs. It’s very important to get a home inspection report from a certified home Inspector from Foundations Property Inspection. Left noticed, misaligned, gutters and downspouts that do not direct water away from the foundation will cause serious structural problems.

Rainwater runoff damage is quite often hidden in plain sight from home buyers, sellers, and real estate agents

Undetected water damage can cost thousands of dollars in expensive repairs. Professional Home Inspectors at Foundations Property Inspection live in the area and are well acquainted with the harmful effects of local weather on building materials. They inspect homes every day and identify and report the subtle signs of hidden water damage.

rainwater runoff damage cause leaks and frustration for new home owners

Everyone buying a house dreads the possibility of leaks

Rooftop runoff water can streak stains down the side of your house. Leaks cause mold. Black mold is the most dangerous. Undetected, it can spread rapidly behind your interior walls and contaminate the HVAC system. A musty or mildew smell lingers and is more prominent when it rains. Wet basements and dark areas are routinely breeding grounds for toxic mold.

Warning signs of rainwater runoff damage

Lifting shingles and distorted roof line are both alarming signs of rainwater runoff damage
Roof Distortion & Lifting Shingles
rainwater runoff can freeze and thaw causing excessive damage
Snow Build-Up & Ice Damn
Damaged Vents & Flashing
Damaged Vents & Flashing
Misaligned Gutters is a major contributor to rainwater runoff damage
Misaligned Gutters
The #1 source of rainwater runoff damage is downspout that dumps waters directly on foundation
downspout dumps waters directly foundation
Facia & soffit roof water damage
Facia & soffit Water Damage
Exterior water penetration
Exterior Water Penetration
Peeling paint and rotted wood is definitely a sign of severe rainwater runoff damage
Peeling Paint & Rotting Wood
Termites and insect infestation
Termites & Insect Infestation
Exterior water marks and stains indicate rainwater runoff damage
Watermarks & Stains
rainwater runoff damage will drain to the basement
Wet Basement & Wall Cracks
Hidden Toxic Mold Growth
Toxic Mold Growth
Musty or Mildew Smell
Musty or Mildew Smell
Hydraulic pressure from saturated ground will force a foundation to move
Foundation Movement
rainwater runoff will cause ground erosion
Ground Erosion

Roof Covering Materials

Most homeowners don’t realize that pooling rainwater can cause roof nails to lift, shingles to separate, lift, and deteriorate. A roof can weaken over time and decay due to rain dripping over the edge without gutters to funnel the water off the roof and away from the house. Moisture can penetrate along the edge and cause the roof to sag and bow. Unnoticed, moisture can seep inside threatening the structural integrity of the roof.

Snow & Ice Damns

Freezing and thawing in the winter can cause snow and ice buildup on the edge of the roof. This process creates a frozen and blocks the flow of melting snow. Because the water cannot drain, it backs up into the home and causes ceiling leaks.

Vents & Flashing

Cracked or damaged flashing that is lifting away from the shingles will let rainwater into your home. Sometimes it’s difficult to detect because it only takes a slight crack to cause extensive rainwater damage.


Misaligned gutters have weak joints and collect leaves and debris that will clog the gutters. Blockage causes the gutters to overflow and pour under the roof soaking the ceiling, insulation, and the interior walls. Clogged gutters are extremely heavy and can bend away from the structure and pour rainwater behind the exterior siding.


Downspouts that are separated from the top gutter and/or terminate near the foundation is frequently flagged by our Home Inspectors because it is a direct source for wet basements and causes extensive landscape erosion and structural damage. Unfortunately, this problem is commonly overlooked by homeowners. Directing water away from the structure is an essential part of protecting your home from rainwater runoff damage. Downspout extensions and water diverters are key components to control water drainage and prevent serious issues.

Facia & Soffit

Staining, bowing, and chipping are sure signs of rainwater runoff damage on your Facia and soffit. If moisture constantly gets under your fascia and soffit, they can develop wood rot over time and become weak and unstable. Soggy areas under the eaves make inviting opportunities for animals to take up residence.

Moisture that finds its way behind the exterior siding will get progressively worse. Bulging or buckling brick, sagging or swelling vinyl siding, or bowing clapboard are signs of water saturation. The unstable exterior material must be removed to expose and correct the moisture damage.

Peeling Paint & Rotting wood

Peeling paint is a telltale sign of hidden rainwater runoff damage. Over time, saturated building material will break down and deform and rot. Undetected rot can destroy wooden building materials.

Termites & insect infestation

Homes with rainwater runoff damage can be breeding grounds for termites. Invasive insects flourish in moist, damp areas, especially where groundwater touches the exterior of the home. Rotting wood and foundation crack are prime targets for termites.

Watermarks & Stains

Water that finds its way into the house will eventually stain the walls and ceilings. Discolored paint, blotches, bulging plaster, patched and uneven surfaces are red flags you can’t ignore when it comes to hidden rainwater runoff damage.

Wet basement & Wall Cracks

Ponding water at ground level that isn’t draining away properly can over saturate the ground and flood the basement. Standing water or staining on or near the exterior foundation walls can be an indication of excessive rainwater runoff. Rainwater that is not directed away from the home with a downspout diverted will cause the ground to become oversaturated. The water will seep into the ground and can enter your basement walls through cracks. Basement wall cracks are scary and could sign a much more costly, structural problem.

Extreme Rainwater runoff can cause hydrostatic pressure which puts enormous force against the foundation and pushes water through basements walls and concrete floors. This problem will worsen with every rainstorm. Basement walls can bow, crack, and collapse.

If the yard around your house isn’t graded so that rainwater runoff flows away from the structure, repeated flooding will undermine the foundation. Heavy rains can cause severe property damage. Low-lying areas are prone to ground erosion. Rainwater runoff is more than a nuisance. It can uproot trees, destroy driveways, crumbling sidewalks and steps, and collapse retaining walls.

Buying a home is deep water

Before you get in over your head demand and schedule a professional Home Inspection from the local experts at Foundations Property Inspection. Our certified home Inspector will answer your questions and concerns and provide a detailed report that covers all the critical components of the home. You’ll have the necessary information to make an informed decision with your real estate agent to make a confident offer.