How To Look At A House

McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of  

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How far is minimum gutter downspout discharge distance from house?

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

The code minimum distance that a gutter downspout can discharge is 12-inches away from the walls of a home. That requirement is listed under the “Protection from Decay and Termites” section of both the International Residential Code (IRC) and the Residential Editon of the Florida Building Code (FBC R318.5). It’s intended to avoid puddling and splash-back around the base of exterior walls, which can result in wood rot, and provide the water source that termites need nearby when they attempt to invade and destroy the walls of your home.

    There is also one exception that requires a discharge further away:

    The ideal distance to terminate the downspouts is also around 5-feet or more, but even a couple of feet that terminates in a splash block is still much better. This avoids water puddles near the house foundation, which can also cause settlement and water runoff soil creep, yet another reason to extend it a little further out. See our article What is the difference between soil subsidence, heave, creep, and settlement? for more on this. Also, check out What do home inspectors look for when inspecting gutters? for a listing of common gutter defects. 

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Here’s links to some of our other articles about RAIN GUTTERS:

• Is it alright for a gutter downspout from an upper roof to empty onto a lower roof? 

Should I put gutters on the house? 

Does a home inspector check gutters?

Why do roof edges start leaking?

• What is the average life expectancy of rain gutters? 

• Are rain gutters required by code?

• Does a house need gutters to pass inspection? 

How much is the ground required to slope away from a house?

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