With the balcony bill in force & building owners/HOA’s etc. seeking qualified inspectors, I would like to caution BOD’s & owners to be wary of deck inspectors who refer you to a company for any repairs they found needing to be done. General contractors can perform these inspections, but should not bid to repair any problems the inspection might turn up. To be completely free of bias one cannot be a deck inspector on one side & have an interest in a construction firm fixing decks. I’ve heard from a few past clients of HOA’s asking me about being referred to a contractor by their inspector & I reply every BOD should prepare specifications for repairs, work with a construction manager to obtain 3 bids based on those specifications & then award the contract (the Associations attorney writes, not the other way around) to the most responsible bidder. Note I said most responsible bidder. That’s a different subject for a different post… Let us all remember why this balcony inspection bill exists; just over 5 years ago 6 young people died & 7 others were seriously & permanently injured. Lets also remember those that stood against it… Get an inspection done, obtain specifications, have a project manager, get 3 bids, fix and then maintain…lives are at stake.
We’ve added two new pages to our site recently!
Our first new page is a collaboration with North America Deck & Railing Association and it allows visitors to DeckExpert.com to find deck inspectors that have passed NADRA’s Deck Inspection Training. You’ll go to NADRA’s page when you click on their links.
The second page we’ve recently added is for online web based courses on decks NADRA has an agreement with the Building Code College for you to either audit four courses on deck building, or to sign up and become a certified decking expert. The first version is free and we encourage everyone to audit the courses, Glen Mathewson, a recognized deck expert on building codes, wrote most if not all of the material. If you build/frame decks, this knowledge is very important. Take the time to take advantage of these educational opportunities and lets work towards making decks as safe as they can be.
In our efforts to amplify our influence and voice, DeckExpert.com has joined NADRA, the North American Deck & Railing Association, a non-profit that promotes decking and deck safety. I’m hoping to expand these versatile and all in one solution pedestrian walking deck coating systems to all markets in the US and NADRA is a good vehicle to utilize in that quest. Along with their strong emphasis on deck safety and influence with deck building codes, NADRA’s educational opportunities and strength in numbers makes this group a worthwhile club to be in.
NADRA Mission Statement
The mission of the North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA) is to provide a unified source for the professional development, promotion, growth, and sustenance of the Deck and Railing building industry in North America so that members can exceed the expectations of their customers.
DeckExpert.com encourages our walking deck manufacturer’s to consider joining NADRA and working with us and Duradek to bring our market to deck builders and homeowners.
Arin in Santa Cruz has a deck problem-
The deck in question is 2nd story solid material with a drain partially over the 1st floor living room. I have owned the home for 3 years and our HOA has recently determined that deck maintenance and repair is a homeowner responsibility, not included in the HOA’s responsibility to repair and replace the roof (due to happen this summer). The deck does not drain properly, there is standing water/pooling during and after rain which this winter has been almost constant. I often resort to sweeping the deck with a broom to push the water into the drain. Although I have not yet seen any actual leaking, I am currently repairing other major water damage inside my home and have become very obsessed with preventing potential problems. I know the standing water on this deck is going to cause a problem at some point and I would really like to improve the drainage, but cost is a major issue.
Wolfe & Associates Property Management Co paid a settlement of $1,600,000.00 to students injured when a deck they were on or under collapsed at a party during Deltopia in Santa Barbara CA. The reason Wolfe paid this settlement in my opinion? They knew the deck was flawed after getting a termite report that called out dry-rot, fungus and loose materials on the deck, yet they opted to do nothing.
Let me say it again, they opted to do nothing, no repairs, no notice to the occupants, nothing. They deliberately and IMO maliciously decided to not repair the deck. What scum does that? This goes towards proving my theory that property managers and management companies won’t fix something until someone dies!
Read the story here and read the termite report that led to the settlement. Similar to Berkeley, one of the POS defense lawyers wanted to blame the victims, saying there were to many people on the deck. Excuse me, but f you lawyer. It was your clients fault and you know it.
Lets hope that this case and the upcoming Berkeley lawsuit will teach these management companies a costly lesson. Hell it’s only money, soaked in blood.
We have had a lot of traffic recently to our site from people who are concerned about their decks. We want to assure you that your waterproofed deck probably isn’t going to collapse, but many wood decks do collapse on a near everyday basis in the US. How can you check your waterproof solid surface deck to see if it has any warning signs of danger?
Do use our photograph’s to check your deck for signs of problems and dangerous conditions. If you find these conditions, you’ll want to have a deck inspector review your deck and give you a report with a basic scope of work to use to obtain bids with. Don’t let a deck waterproofing contractor write his scope of work, they may be complete and truthful or they may be adding extra work and profits on.
Even if your deck is in no danger of collapse, water getting under the surface of a waterproof deck can cause damage to framing and the plywood substrate.
1.) Therefore, cracks on a deck are a warning sign. Look at your deck carefully in the field of the deck. Many times plywood moving will cause a deck to crack.
|Urethane deck with seam tape showing through coating.
We recommend a professional inspection and evaluation.
|Long cracks in the field of the deck
should be inspected and repaired.
|Some decks crack because of moving plywood. This deck’s
coating cracked because of plywood not being level.
|Cracks at the edge of a deck may indicate a more serious issue underneath.
Further evaluation is recommended.
2.) Rusted metal flashings on deck edges or at deck to wall areas. Rusted areas in field of deck. Rusted railing bases.
|Rusted railing bases have lost their strength and now may present a hazard
as they won’t be able to retrain you from falling. An inspection and fast repairs
need to be done in many cases to maintain safety.
|Any type of plant growth around a railing bases indicates moisture
|Rust on the metal flashing like this is a sign that further inspection
should be done and a scope of work written.
3.) Ponding Water. After a rain storm, your waterproof deck should be dry within 24 hours to at most 48 hours. Water should not ever pond longer than that. An inspection of the problem areas can help you determine what work can and needs to be done to correct a ponding water issue.
|Ponds in the middle of a walkway always create problems.|
|Water sitting at the wall can attack exposed sheet metal causing rust and leaks.|
|Water sitting on an edge indicates a high edge.|
Watch for future articles discussing drains and scuppers.