The Seventh Anniversary of The Tragic and Avoidable Berkeley Deck Collapse is June 16th. We Shall Never Forget You…

Ashley Donohoe, Olivia Burke, Eoghan Culligan, Niccolai Schuster, Lorcán Miller, Eimear Walsh and sadly Aiofe Beary, who was badly injured but survived the initial fall, sadly passed away recently. Seven lives cut short. Six lives permanently altered.

Last weekend I was in Berkeley. I stayed right around the corner from 2020 kittredge Street where the balcony collapsed. I was looking for a place to park my vehicle and they have a parking area there. It didn’t even strike me at the time when I drove in and parked that this was holy ground.

I walked outside of the garage and was on the sidewalk… I looked at it and then I looked up. When the place was library gardens there were two decks, one of which fell. As I walked down that sidewalk where they lay I trembled.

The Berkeley deck collapse was entirely preventable…and must not happen ever again. I call upon every state in the nation to implement deck inspections. Lives are at stake.

The Future is Here For Condo’s That Don’t Maintain; and It Doesn’t Look Good From Where I Stand

In a search today for something entirely unrelated to decks, I stumbled upon the news that a Homeowners Association in Diamond Bar CA had been red-tagged and the residents ordered to leave their homes because of deferred maintenance leading to structural concerns. The order to leave has been rescinded after the first engineers report declared the property and immediate hazard and recommended evacuating units was found to be lets say “over cautious”. There are 155 condos at the property on the first and second floors. The second floor units have balconies while first floor units have a patio.

Photo credit to The Patch Diamond Bar.

 Several structural engineers reports on the conditions found at The Village at Diamond Bar came to the conclusion that “while there are substantial deferred maintenance issues that should be addressed throughout the complex property, the condition does not create a widespread and immediate danger to the life or safety of all occupants of the individual units as previously recommended via a report by Khatri International, a structural engineer hired by the Diamond Bar Village Homeowner’s Association.

Continue reading The Future is Here For Condo’s That Don’t Maintain; and It Doesn’t Look Good From Where I Stand

Opinion – The California State License Board (CSLB) Has a License Classification Problem For Deck Waterproofing

Multiple Classifications of Contractors Can Waterproof Decks, But Few Have to Pass a Written Proficiency Test

D-12 Synthetic Products Classification Doesn’t Require a Proficiency Test

Manufacturer’s Accept D-12 License’s to Become Authorized Applicators

If you want to be a general contractor, plumber, electrician, earth mover, well driller, roofer.. CSLB requires you to have 3 years certifiable experience in that trade, plus take a legal exam on CSLB and state contracting laws AND pass a 3 hour test on your proficiency in that trade. You have to prove you know what your doing before they give you a license to do it. There’s a risk to consumers from people who don’t know what their doing. CSLB goes out of their way to run sting operations on unlicensed contractors, running press releases and posting hidden videos of their stings.

However, if you want to be a contractor that installs waterproofing for foundation walls and decks, decks like say the balcony in Berkeley, you don’t need a license that has a test that proves you have some knowledge; you can obtain a D-12 Synthetic Products license like this author has. A D-12 Synthetic products contractor does not have to pass a written test of proficiency in the subject of waterproofing! You just need to apply for it if your licensed in another trade and add it to your classifications and start waterproofing decks and foundations as most of the deck manufacturer’s accept the D-12 classification to sell and install their products.

How do I know this? Because I have/had a D12 license classification with which I used it to waterproof decks and balconies. But I’m not the only one, there are many contractors out there waterproofing decks using a D12, as well as using a C8 (concrete) or a C33 painting license improperly apparently, and CSLB seems to have a lassez faire attitude about this issue.

Will CSLB change the licensing requirements for becoming a deck waterproofing contractor?

Continue reading Opinion – The California State License Board (CSLB) Has a License Classification Problem For Deck Waterproofing

I Did That

No grifters will be tolerated by myself in my industry of Balcony Inspections under Civil Code 5551 SB 326. I received a copy of a deck inspection report for an HOA that was apparently illegally and fraudulently signed by a Civil Engineer.

Raffi Abkarian is a Civil Engineer who I’ve accused of signing the report. If you are an HOA in the Orange County, LA County, San Diego or Coachella Valley areas, and got a balcony inspection by Deck Inspectors Inc check the signature on your report.

If it was signed by Raffi Abkarian it is fraudulent! Civil engineers cannot inspect or stamp/sign balcony reports. Complain at once to the Board of Professional Engineers and sue Deck Inspectors Inc for fraud, theft of funds and whatever else your attorney can think of.

The owner of Deck Inspectors Inc is the lowest of the low and is only out to steal your money. I know, because I’ve been investigating this bastard for years now and it just keeps getting worse. There’s a reason he’s sued me for a million dollars, to shut me up so he can keep on thieving.

I, William Leys, will not allow grifters to walk freely in my industry. I will hunt you down and expose your grifts and thefts.
Check your Deck Inspectors Inc report for this signature. Raffi is a civil engineer, not a structural. Raffi is a piece of shit and so is David Mazor. Justice is coming and she is pissed.

Need more info? www wicrleaks.com or get in touch with me here.

Surveillance video shows ashtray catching fire at a NJ Moose Lodge

Well here it is folks, the proof of how dangerous a cigarette can be. Extinguish your butt and discard it properly. In water. Watch the video. Then read the article and see how this building narrowly escaped burning to the ground.

Luckily the fire department saved the building. Others aren’t so lucky.

Surveillance video provided to the New Jersey Herald shows an ashtray igniting on the deck of the Moose Lodge in Newton. https://uw-media.njherald.com/embed/video/10131151002?placement=snow-embed

My Words From 2017 Still Stand Today

I stumbled upon the minutes of A Building Standards Commission meeting from January of 2017…and I spoke out four times during that meeting. I still stand by these words today.

AND STILL TOTALLY TRUE TODAY!
ARCHITECTS OR AT LEAST 98%, DON’T UNDERSTAND WATERPROOFING BECAUSE THEY DON’T TEACH IT AT ARCHITECT SCHOOL!
HELLO, IS IT ME OR IS IT ARCHITECTS? CAN CAL POLY AND OTHER ARCHITECTURE SCHOOLS ACTUALLY TEACH WATERPROOFING FIRST TO THEIR STUDENTS?

And then there’s this, from the Irish Sun, where I put it bluntly. And I have to wonder, are things really any better today?

YEAH THE IRISH SUN QUOTED ME, ALMOST…THEY CAN’T PRINT MY EXACT WORDS ABOUT BERKELEY

The Spring Issue of Waterproof! Magazine Is Out

I recently got my spring issue of Waterproof! Magazine in the mail… This issue has a great article on using crystalline admixtures for waterproofing concrete. I have used Kryton myself in the past on several projects with great success.

There’s also a very interesting article on waterproofing being done on a yearly basis at Niagara Falls in Buffalo New York.

The other article that I found very interesting was by amir Hassan on protecting parking decks.

Be sure to click on waterproof magazine’s ad and go to their website and while you’re there subscribe I think it’s still only 20 bucks a year.

Excellent Q&A From Frank Woeste via Journal of Light Construction – Drainage Problems on Low Slope Roof Decks

I’ve had this Q & A page at JLC online on my to do list for a while now to post up here for you all…while the discussion is about drainage problems on low slope roofs, the photo they use is a deck over living space with tile on it and ponding water. And of course, decks over living space with tile or pedestrian traffic coatings on them are roofs as well, just that we walk on them too.

Frank discusses how a roof deck can pond water even when it’s “built to code” from loads placed on the deck. Recommended reading for designers, architects, builders, waterproofers and anyone interested in increasing their knowledge and skills.

Drainage Problems on Low-Slope Roofs

By Frank Woeste

Q. Can deflection of a low-slope roof cause ponding? How can this be avoided?

A. Frank Woeste, P.E., professor emeritus at Virginia Tech, responds: Historically, structural designers and builders have assumed that a design slope of 1/4 inch per foot (1:48) is sufficient to prevent ponding action, thinking that the installed roofing system will maintain at least a 1:48 slope in-service as required by some roof covering systems. However, in many cases and for different reasons, ponding on limited areas of low-slope roofs is common. That’s due to roof deflection, which over time can cause water to collect in some areas of a roof where the design slope for drainage is not adequate, and in fact changes from a “positive” drainage slope to a “negative” slope (see photo below).

  DOWNLOAD THE PDF VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE. (666.96 KB)

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