All posts by Bill Leys

Bill is a waterproofing expert who speaks truth to power, reports on his industry and inspects balconies and decks under the balcony bills in California.

ATTENTION HOA CUSTOMERS OF DECK INSPECTORS INC YOUR INSPECTION REPORT MAY BE INVALID AND FRAUDULENT!

Consumer Alert! Attention all Southern California HOA managers, reserve study specialists, HOA attorneys, CAI and CACM

For immediate release !

DeckExpert.com, after investigation and information provided by anonymous sources has formed the opinion that HOA/condominium balcony inspection reports signed off on by Deck Inspectors Inc. may be invalid and fraudulent. The company, owned by David Mazor, who also owns WICR waterproofing and construction, is performing balcony inspections for condo and apartment complexes in the Southern California area.

A copy of a report from Deck Inspectors Inc that we reviewed has a signature on it by a Raffi Abkarian with a license number of 36207 listed next to the word “engineer” on the “qualifying title” line. Strange that an engineer seemingly can’t remember his own license number? Even stranger to me is that he didn’t state structural engineer just engineer… Or place his stamp on it. Of course obviously he cannot stamp it with a civil engineer stamp. Calls to two phone numbers listed for Mr Abkarian went to voicemail or was disconnected.

A redacted copy of the report we received from our anonymous source.
Deck Inspectors report signed by a Raffi Abkarian, civil engineer, with an incorrect license number.

Our investigation proceeded to look up the license number listed on the report. Needless to say it does not belong to Mr Abkarian. A search by name found Mr Abkarian with a license number of 36027. The license status is listed as clear with an expiration date of June 30th 2022 and it says license type is civil engineer.

According to this license listing Mr Abkarian is a civil engineer.

According to the balcony bill SB 316 only a licensed structural engineer or an architect may sign the report for a common interest development deck inspection. Being that Mr Abkarian is “only” a Civil Engineer”, he isn’t eligible from our understanding of the balcony bill to be eligible to sign off on a report of inspection. Interestingly one source told us that they never saw Mr Abkarian on site inspecting decks at the HOA where they live.

From our understanding and speaking with an attorney this would present a major problem for associations who have a report from Deck Inspectors Inc signed by Mr Abkarian that they’ve paid for. It is our belief that the report is invalid and possibly fraudulent due to being signed apparently willingly by Mr Abkarian.

Furthermore customers of Deck Inspectors should know that the owner of this company also owns WICR waterproofing and construction. Our sources have told us the same similar story and that WICR recommended deck inspector for deck inspection work or vice versa without revealing the conflict of interest between the two companies. David Mazor cannot act as an independent consultant and pretend that he doesn’t know Sean Krubinski except as a professional acquaintance.

There are substantial conflicts of interest, possibly fraud and certainly a matter of ethical character that exists here. I have been told by my sources that deck inspectors seems to call out small items and demand major repairs, often in the thousands of dollars that WICR does the work for. So David Mazor is double dipping from your HOA masquerading as a deck inspector/consultant while his construction and waterproofing company do unnecessary work.

I encourage HOAs who feel that they may have been victimized to contact their counsel at law immediately, and to contact me, Bill Leys at bill@deckexpert.com So that I can put all HOAs together for a discussion about a possible class action lawsuit. Contact your local district attorney’s office if you have a contract with WICR file a complaint with the CSLB, contact the department of consumer affairs.

If you want to do your own research I suggest that you start at the California Secretary of State website and look up deck inspectors and WICR and you will see that David Mazor is the owner of both companies. His wife is the agent for service of process.

A screenshot captured from deck inspectors website clearly shows them recommending WICR.

DeckExpert.com recommends that consumers and HOAs stay away from WICR and Deck Inspectors.

For further information on WICR and Deck Inspectors visit http://www.wicrleaks.com

CSLB Announces New Laws Taking Effect January 1, 2022

The CSLB just announced new laws that were passed this past year that will be taking effect as of January 1st this coming year.

Significantly there will be new bond amounts of $25,000 required for license bonds. That amount is $10,000 more than the current $15,000 bond requirement.

As it is very easy to exceed a $15,000 bond limit when a consumer is damaged by a contractor it is understandable that the bond requirement has been increased.

CSLB Industry Bulletin Logo

www.cslb.ca.gov     |     CheckTheLicenseFirst.com     |     SeniorScamStopper.com

December 20, 2021

CSLB #21-21

New Contracting Laws Come into Play January 1, 2022

SACRAMENTO – As we make our way into the new year, CSLB would like to highlight some construction-related laws that will go into effect January 1, 2022.

AB 569 (Grayson)
This bill increases from $5,000 to $8,000 the maximum administrative civil penalty CSLB can assess against a licensed contractor for most violations, and from $15,000 to $30,000 for the most serious violations relating to unlicensed practice and workers compensation insurance violations. This bill also authorizes CSLB to issue a Letter of Admonishment for more than one violation at a time. The bill amends Business and Professions Code (BPC) sections 7099.2 and 7099.9. (Chapter 94, Statutes of 2021) 

AB 830 (Flora)
As it relates to CSLB, this bill defines the responsibilities of the qualifying members of personnel on a contractor’s license regarding their duty to supervise the construction operations of the license entity. The bill provides definitions of “bona fide employee” and “actively engaged” for the purposes of a responsible managing employee’s duty on a contractor’s license. The bill defines the qualifier’s duty of “supervision and control” to mean “direct supervision or control or monitoring and being available to assist others to whom direct supervision and control has been delegated.” The bill authorizes CSLB to require an applicant for a contractor’s license to provide the qualifier’s current employment duty statement describing their responsibilities under the license and allows CSLB to take disciplinary action for failing to do so. As it relates to the Contractors State License Law, this bill amends BPC sections 7068 and 7068.1. (Chapter 376, Statutes of 2021) 

SB 607 (Min)
As it relates to CSLB, this bill increases existing as well as adds new licensing and application maintenance and service fees for support of CSLB effective January 1, 2022. The bill additionally reorganizes CSLB’s fee statute by fee type, including different renewal fee amounts dependent on license entity type (the current sole owner renewal fee of $450 is not being increased). Here is a link to a CSLB bulletin about the fee increases. In addition, effective July 1, 2022, this bill requires Department boards and bureaus to waive application and license fees for military family members. Also, effective January 1, 2023, this bill increases the CSLB qualifier, license, and disciplinary bonds from $12,500 and $15,000, respectively, to $25,000 for all three bonds. (Chapter 367, Statutes of 2021)

AB 107 (Salas)
Effective July 1, 2023, this bill requires boards within the Department of Consumer Affairs (Department) to, after appropriate investigation, issue a temporary license to an applicant married to or otherwise in union or partnership with an active-duty military member when the applicant has a current similar license in another state. The bill identifies specified requirements to be met as a condition of issuing the temporary license and it requires a board to issue the temporary license within 30 days of confirming the applicant has met those requirements. The bill provides that the temporary license is not renewable and expires 12 months after issuance or when an original license is issued. The bill additionally requires boards within the Department to publish on their internet website information about the licensing options available to military spouses. (Chapter 693, Statutes of 2021)

AB 137 (Committee on Budget)
The provisions of this bill that affect CSLB add Article 6.5 (commencing with Section 7086) of Chapter 9 of Division 3, of the Business and Professions Code. These provisions create the Solar Energy System Restitution Program within the Contractors State License Law. Together with the 2021 Budget Act, the bill makes available a $5 million General Fund appropriation for CSLB expenditure until June 30, 2024, for the purposes of the program. The bill makes restitution pursuant to specified criteria available for any consumer who used a contractor after January 1, 2016, to install a solar energy system on a single-family residence. Qualifying criteria incudes demonstrating a financial loss resulting from fraud, misrepresentation, or another unlawful act committed by a residential solar energy system contractor that has not been and will not be fully reimbursed from any other source. The bill provides procedures and criteria for implementation of the program. (Chapter 77, Statutes of 2021)

AB 246 (Quirk)
This bill makes a licensed contractor’s unlawful dumping of debris a cause for disciplinary action against the contractor. The bill also reorganizes BPC Section 7110 from paragraph form to an enumerated form to provide clarity and improve readability. (Chapter 46, Statutes of 2021)

SB 757 (Limón)

This bill clarifies that a contract for a residential solar energy system is considered home improvement when installed on a residential building or property, for the purposes of the home improvement contract requirements under the Contractors State License Law. The bill further ensures home improvement salespersons must be registered to the contractor they are soliciting, negotiating, or executing contracts for and they must inform the homeowner on whose behalf they are soliciting. Where existing law prohibits a contractor from accepting payment for work not performed or materials not delivered, this bill extends that prohibition to any such payments from lenders or financiers. Finally, the bill

requires any representations made to a consumer about a solar energy product or performance to be included in the home improvement contract. The bill amends BPC sections 7151, 7152, 7156, 7159.5, 7162, and 7170. (Chapter 249, Statutes of 2021) 

SB 826 (Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development)

This bill makes technical, non-substantive changes to the Contractors State License Law. The bill clarifies that CSLB employs investigators and special investigators, not enforcement representatives. The bill also clarifies that the C-22 Asbestos Abatement Contractor License is an appropriate license classification to engage in asbestos related work. The bill additionally replaces an incorrect reference to law in the section of the Business and Professions Code regulating letters of admonishment with the correct section of law. Finally, the bill clarifies that the consumer’s right to cancel a home improvement contract that is referenced in the solar disclosure document (required by Business and Professions Code section 7169) is three days for most contracts, and five days for contracts with a senior citizen. (Chapter 188, Statutes of 2021)

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Copyright © 2021, CSLB

Excellent Read for Condo & HOA Managers “Footing The Bill Paying for SB 326 Balcony Inspections”

Let’s make balconies safe by building them right with the best materials and skill available.

I stumbled on this article by Rachel Miller Esq and Sarah Brown with Reserve Specialist Dennis Eckert RS PRA on CAI’s website. Here Ms. Miller and Ms. Brown discuss the balcony bill in detail and raise a very good point-that Condo’s less than 10 years old may have additional rights under SB-800. Hidden damage exposed during destructive testing may qualify as a latent defect under SB 800 and therefore repairs might be paid for by the builder.

Here is an excerpt-

A NATIONAL CALL for action in response to the devastating Library Gardens deck collapse in Berkeley is now a matter of California law. The collapse of a deck extending off the exterior of a fourth-floor residential apartment building in Berkeley in 2015 led to a heightened awareness of the danger posed by elevated decks, walkways and balconies in multi-unit residential construction. In response to an otherwise preventable tragedy, Senator Gerald A. Hill of San Mateo most recently introduced Senate Bill 326, now signed into law.

The “Balcony Bill” is now codified in the new Civil Code Section 5551, and requires California condominium associations with three or more units to conduct visual inspections of not just balconies, but all “exterior elevated elements,” which may include balconies, decks, stairways, elevated walkways and railings. Any components that extend beyond the exterior walls of the building to deliver structural loads and are supported in whole or in part by wood, or wood-based products, are included in these inspection mandates.”

Read the whole article at CAI’s website. A new page will open Allowing you to return to Deck expert.com after reading

https://www.caicommunicator-digital.com/caiq/0220_volume_13_issue_2/MobilePagedArticle.action?articleId=1583796#articleId1583796

Catching Up With Life Specialty Coatings

I recently had the pleasure of catching up with Joe Devlin of life deck now known as life specialty coatings… We’ve known each other for approximately 15 years now. Time flies when you’re having fun.

It’s been a while since we hung out and it was great to catch up and see what life has been doing. With some new hires and some new positions for marketing they have made a big push in revamping their waterproof deck lines and revised the website and marketing materials.

http://www.lifespecialtycoatings.com is their new web address where One can find all the information and data that they need for various deck projects. Life of course continues to make its line of sealers and paints for residential and commercial markets as well.

Gone is the old system of metal lath over bituthane in favor of metal lath direct to the plywood substrate. Life now has four systems for plywood decks,b3 oh which use metal lath. AL System -ICC ESR 2701, AL Flex System ICC ESR 2701 and AMAC System, as well as FM-X System with fiberglass over the plywood deck.

Joe tells me the company has expanded and has obtained several buildings next door to their headquarters in Santa Fe springs. With a long family-owned history and personal service Life Specialty Coatings is a great company to work with. Be sure to check out their new website and find their products and applicators near you.

Thanks for lunch Joe look forward to seeing you guys again soon!

CONSUMER ALERT- PALM SPRINGS AND SAN DIEGO BASED WICR WATERPROOFING ALSO OWNS DECK INSPECTOR INC THAT TOGETHER ARE TERRORIZING THEIR CLIENTS.

I have heard from several clients of Deck Inspector inc and or WICR waterproofing who have told me horror stories about David Mazor’s tactics. Threats that if they don’t “fix balconies” that they will send a report to the city saying that the decks are dangerous etc. David likes to use his wife’s law firm lindborg and Mazor LLP to bully clients. I can’t give you legal advice but I would tell you to go get legal advice and do not allow WICR or David Mazor try to push you around. I would encourage you to file complaints with the CSLB the attorney general’s office as well as the department of consumer affairs. If you receive threatening letters from his attorneys I would suggest that you go to the state bar and file complaints against them.

Is it a conflict of interest to do deck inspections under the balcony bill laws in California without disclosing that the company you are being referred to make the repairs or do the destructive testing is owned by the same person?

Do your research before you contract with anyone for balcony inspections and make sure that there are no conflicts of interest with your inspector and if there are, to spell them out so you have full knowledge and the ability to make prudent business decisions.

Deck Inspector LLC in S California is owned by David Mazor who owns WICR waterproofing and I am told that he and his apparent grifter sin Sean Krubinski are not disclosing that crucial fact to their clients. It’s a matter of ethics. Clicking the links below will show that both entities are owned by David Mazor and leave little doubt for consumers about the actual conflicts of interest.

Confidential sources tell us that Deck Inspector LLC is failing decks with even a small crack, demanding that they must make repairs immediately and WICR is charging fees that are exceedingly high. Unless a deck has structural issues that are life threatening, decks can be repaired on the property management company or HOA’s decision within a reasonable time.

Remember, investigate your inspection company and make sure they are independent with no conflicts of interest.

See our page of independent and unbiased balcony inspectors that have been vetted and determined to have no conflicts of interest in doing balcony inspections by clicking here QUALIFIED Deck Inspector’s FOR SB 721 & SB 326 DECK INSPECTIONS

I would also warn consumers that if Mark Marsch Consulting is involved, he has close personal relationships with ownership of these companies and was found to be a biased expert by a Judge in San Bernardino Superior Court.

These links go to the California Secretary of States website and are recent filings clearly showing the same owner on both business listings.

ttps://businesssearch.sos.ca.gov/Document/RetrievePDF?Id=202019910332-30019991

https://businesssearch.sos.ca.gov/Document/RetrievePDF?Id=02035745-28689110

Reputations and Brands Take Years to Build, Why is This One Allowing Their Good Name to Be Abused?

Imagine driving into a Ford dealership; you are looking to buy a new car…

After taking your new Ford home and driving it for a couple months you have a problem with it. No problem you think, I’ll go to the dealership and they’ll fix it under the factory warranty right? Away you go and the dealership looks at you and says, we’re sorry, your warranty was for only 30 days and 30 days has passed…we can fix it for $X,XXX.xx.

You stand there in disbelief, saying wait this is a Ford dealership, I bought the car from you and have a factory warranty. The service manager says no you don’t, we warranty the car but only for 30 days after you buy it. So you call Ford and say hey I bought a car from X dealership and they say there’s no factory warranty available, what’s up with that?

The rep on the phone says, oh yes that Ford dealership, yes, we sell them the parts to assemble into a car with the Ford badge on it but there’s no factory warranty…they just warranty it on their own, we have nothing to do with it. You ask them to have a Ford rep look at your car because you see that other people are having similar problems with this dealership from your searches on Google and Yelp! etc. The rep comes over, reluctantly, and looks at the car and says yeah there’s a couple problems, but it’s not to bad and all they need to do is polish the paint…and you are thinking wait, the paint? No it’s the engine that’s no good…and off the rep goes telling the dealer to polish the paint and you he’s very sorry but it’s not Ford’s problem.

You’d probably never buy another car from Ford and you certainly will never be back to this dealership advertising that they are a Ford dealer. No one can blame you…but meantime you’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars and have a POS car.

Now what does the above have to do with waterproof decking? Nothing except as an example to set the tone of this story. Ford would never allow the above scenario, where a dealer buys parts, assembles the parts, calls it a Ford and sells it as a Ford. Ford doesn’t know if that dealer might have bought made to fit parts from someone else that looks real but isn’t, and leave it’s reputation in tatters because of an unscrupulous dealer. Ford is a brand everyone associates with quality, durability and backing up their product.

Enter Crossfield Products, AKA Dex-O-Tex, a well known and trusted pedestrian traffic coating manufacturer in the Los Angeles CA area. Long known for high quality walking deck systems, Dex-O-Tex has made it’s name by building a network of trained and factory authorized applicators to install it’s signature systems. I myself was a Dex-O-Tex applicator and I can tell you that it takes a craftsmen to install their slip sheet system. Done properly, a Dex-O-Tex system properly maintained can last 50+ years-I saw a project in LA some years ago that was one of their first large projects, and it needed repairs but not replacement and it was around 40+ years old. Crossfield has in the past basically required their contractors to register their jobs with the company and that way knew where their products were and could easily see what the warranty was, when it expired etc. Customers are happy to have factory warranties as it gives them assurance and peace of mind that they have a waterproofing system installed in accordance with the manufacturer specifications for a certain time period and even of their contractor goes out of business, Crossfield has other approved applicators who can perform warranty and maintenance work. Just like Ford does…

In my chain of logic thinking, if I’m a contractor and can say I’m an authorized Dex-O-Tex applicator; that carries weight. Crossfield has put a lot of time and money into building their reputation, and consumers recognize the brand. Generations of applicators have put down millions of square feet of Dex-O-Tex. As an authorized applicator I am in elite company. For instance at World of Concrete some years ago I attended a Dex-O-Tex event with contractors all over the US. Consumers know that authorized factory applicators are a better choice. There’s always that Ford dealership right heh heh?

Of late however, one Dex-O-Tex authorized applicator appears to be following a strange business model and uses the Dex-O-Tex name to sell consumers deck waterproofing jobs. The company’s contract states Dex-O-Tex will be installed, inferring to that consumer that a brand they know and trust is going to be protecting their property. Is that what they put down though? Clients trust that they are getting genuine Dex-O-Tex products, but how do they know of they are?

Then, fast forward into the future-3 months, 6 months whatever it might be…you have bought the Dex-O-Tex job from this contractor, and now there’s some problem-a crack, peeling, chipping, outright failure in some areas. You call this contractor and tell them what’s happening and they basically say sorry, not our problem it’s out of warranty. Read your contract they say…so you do and you realize it says 30 days from substantial date of completion (CSLB says 4 years minimum for performance) . Bewildered you call Crossfield and the rep comes out to look and says it’s ok but a few things “need correction”. Pressing them, you ask about the warranty…and the Crossfield rep tells you that Crossfield only has a “materials only” warranty for your job, that it wasn’t registered with them and as such, unless it’s shown that the materials installed were defective in manufacturer, you are out of luck because they won’t replace materials installed improperly. So this contractor installs the Dex-O-Tex system wrong, leaves the customer hanging and Dex-O-Tex good name gets hammered on. What’s wrong with this picture?

So now you go out and find a consultant who knows waterproof deck systems and the many codes and requirements for their installation. They do an inspection for you. Their findings are not good. retry much everything that could be wrong, is wrong. Months of time, hundreds of thousands of dollars spent, to find out that you got screwed.

Turns out that this contracting company does this time and time again. Customer has a problem, waterproofing company exerts pressure on customer via their illegal contract and customer calls Crossfield to get the news that their deck isn’t factory warranted; that the contractor warrants the work and there’s nothing they can do. Customer is now probably lost and will not use Dex-O-Tex again.

Two contractors of Crossfield Products have told me they are moving away from bidding jobs using Dex-O-Tex and instead substituting with like kind systems or refusing to bid a project when a certain San Diego and Palm Desert based contractor is bidding, because they know they won’t get it because they are bidding full factory systems and the other contractor isn’t. I spoke with several clients of this company who uses Crossfield’s name to sell jobs but doesn’t register the job with Dex-O-Tex, one of whom gave us the reports you can read down below. Two others asked not to go one the record and remain anonymous but both told us the same similar story of problems with their job, calling the contractor, getting shined on and then calling Crossfield to find out Crossfield can’t help them. One said he felt betrayed and was not likely to use Dex-O-Tex contractors again.

I also spoke with Justin Watt at Crossfield a while back and he said that they know that this contractor buys their materials but doesn’t generally registers the job, that they warranty it themselves. Justin also admitted that they have had other clients call about this contractors work and have to send a rep to look at the job. The clients I’ve spoken with have told me that they feel the rep for Crossfield is trying to protect the contractor. Why? Unless this customer, no wait, scratch that…there is no excuse to cover the tracks of bad apples.

It is my opinion that our industry needs to clean itself up; stop selling material to any contractor just to sell material. Find, train and retain excellent contractors who are committed to customer service, repeat business and high moral standards who will represent your brand well. It will pay dividends now and in the future. Companies that use your Brand’s name and products without providing factory backed warranties are conning people with their sneaky tactics.

For the consumer who found out how badly he had been screwed over, it was the equivalent of buying a new Ford without a Ford factory warranty and having no recourse due to Draconian and illegal terms in the contractors contract. Read the worst construction contract I’ve ever read right here…and tell your friends, tell everyone.

Read the reports on this San Diego project here from a consulting firm here.