Steven L. Smith, Bellingham, WA Home Inspector (King of the House)


Bow Washington Home Inspections: Puzzle -- See if you can figure this one out

  I could say, only in the wet northwest, but will hold back on that in describing this photo. The picture below was taken at a new home that I inspected. Odd as it may seem, the downspout was turned in towards the floor of the deck and drained onto it. So that is odd in itself. But can you guess why there was flooding over the deck, by about two inches, on a new waterfront luxury house? Why was the water not draining between the decking boards? Think about it and the answer is below. By the way, this house had received the final approval from code inspectors -- they saw no problems worth mentioning. 


Answer: The TREX deck is up high, built on top of a flat roof. If you read one of my earlier posts, you know that a flat roof should not really be flat -- it needs to drain too. But in this case the flat roof is not draining so there is enough water collected on it to also come up above the decking boards that are above it. If you  think about how thick a deck would be, that is one heck of a lot of water and weight. And the structural wood and deck, TREX or not, are not designed to be on the exterior of a submarine -- submerged. Again, this house was brand new. This is another example of why a "common sense" home inspection is important even if a code inspection has been done. They are not the same thing at all!

 Thanks for guessing.

Bellingham WA home inspector

Steven L. Smith


Steven L. Smith

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Comment balloon 4 commentsSteven L. Smith • July 10 2007 06:26PM


Interesting thanks for the input.
Posted by Chris Gempeler, Mountain Top Realtors (Breckenridge Mountain Top Realtors ) over 12 years ago
Question is, did the builder make the needed repairs or in this case, did they correct the defects???
Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 12 years ago


 The builder did not come up with the design. Not his fault. He was a quality builder. The design by the architect and approved by the planners with the county. It was a custom home, owner designed much of it and was pleased with the design. The point is, according to the authorities and owner, this was just fine. Again, a good reason to have an inspection because you might not feel the same way if you were buying it.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) over 12 years ago
Oh come on Steve.  You're just being nitpicky.  Obviously the owners wanted a wading pool outside their bedroom.  This is the latest in luxury appointments.
Posted by David Helm, Bellingham, Wa. Licensed Home Insp (Helm Home Inspections) over 12 years ago