Roof Design

I am wondering what you guys would have to say in your report (if anything) about this situation. I can’t think of anything to back this up other than common sense and experience, but your opinions would be greatly appreciated.

New construction, Texas. 30 year arch shingle with step flashing and counterflashing present. When valleys terminate into vertical walls, especially in areas where the slope flattens out right at the wall, I regularly see leaks develop. Water and debris tend to rush down, the valley, slam into the wall, and pool in the flat area commonly leading to rusted flashing and early deteriroation of shingles, often leaks. There was already debris gathering.

If you have a minute, please take a look at the pics and let me know what you think? Would you personally comment on this in your report, and if so, what would you have to say? Thanks in advance.




I think common sense and experience is one of our greatest tools. I believe you did a great job explaining your concern.

“Poor roof design may lead to premature failure of the roofing system in the location shown in the photograph.
The Inspector recommends a qualified roofing contractor monitor this area annually for premature deterioration and advises that repairs be performed before roof leaks develop and create damage to the underlying roof/home structure.”

Is that roofing cement or some other type of sealant at the bottom area? If so I bet they’ve had leaking or the builder anticipated a problem.

You see a lot of these type areas with the desire to have multiple roof features on the front of homes to boost curb appeal. I think it is more likely a design issue then a construction but could be both either way it a poor practice, if they are lucky the roofer paid extra attention to this area with the flashing and or ice/water barrier, but you can’t see it so I’d note it as a potential problem area and recommend periodic monitoring and maintenance.

Thanks everyone for your comments… they will be very helpful in writing the report. I’ve been seeing this one for years and have always commented on it, but had recently talked with other inspectors who held different opinions as far as where our responsibility begins and ends with this type of thing.
Kenton - ‘annual / periodic monitoring for early deterioration’ is a phrase I’ll be adding to my statement, thanks for the input.
Kenneth - Around here, this is pretty common for the reasons you mentioned, and many houses on the street had similar or identical areas. I’m sure the builder has been dealing with the issue and beefed up the area, but like you said, it’s not visible at inspection.
David - I agree, and thanks.

I agree this is a poor roof design that will most likely fail prematurely, Kenton said it best.

Just a guess but it appears that this main water runoff is headed towards possibly the front entry area which could be an additional concern.

Also, the dead valley should not have architectural shingles (the slope is insufficient) but should be covered with modified bitumen. It should also terminate at the end of the wall, not 2 feet short. This is not a difficult repair and the builder should have modified the design when building the house.

Gutters would be a recommendation. It will elevate most of the flow of water to the roof deck plain.
Architect must have just left school or is looking to drive roofers MAD. HA HA HA
1.) That brick facade, roof deck transition should be openly flashed with metal running 24" inches up the deck if I was the installer. 12" inches or as the esthetics allows, up the brick facade with a large gummed edge to through the water back into the valley.

1.a)A rubberized membrane underneath as a precaution.

2.) The valleys would be better left open and not closed.

3.) Recommend gutters and downspouts with 3.a) kickouts flashing at badly angled terminations.


open valley

I think you have already answered your own question.