Category Archives: deck inspection

We’re Growing Again! Two New Page’s Added to Our Site!

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.

Click here to find a deck inspector in the US & Canada. 

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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.

Click here to start your way to becoming code proficient.

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CA Senator Jerry Hill Introduces SB-721 Contractors: decks and balconies: inspection

DeckExpert.com Supports Requiring Deck Inspections

Bill Duplicates Berkeley Bill Langauge in Who Can Perform Inspections

Should structural pest control operators, general contractors, architects or engineers inspect deck inspections as the state of CA is proposing?

They will be if the consulting and inspection industry doesn’t act quickly and object. Senator Hill has just introduced a bill that uses much the same language Berkeley’s city ordinance does.

“The inspection shall be performed by a licensed general contractor, structural pest control licensee, licensed architect, licensed engineer, or other licensee as approved by the Department of Consumer Affairs. The purpose of the inspection is to verify that all of the balconies and other elevated walking surfaces covered by this section are in generally safe condition, adequate working order, and free from hazardous dry rot, fungus, deterioration, decay, or improper alteration to the extent that the life, limb, health, property, safety, or welfare of the public or the occupants is not endangered.”

My thoughts-

Structural Pest Control Licensee-pest control licensee’s inspect buildings for termites/wood destroying organisms. They do not test roofs (or balconies) for water tightness, nor are they qualified to do so. Roof contractors can do so, but generally exclude themselves from inspecting decks. Pest control licensee’s do not know about waterproof coated decks, how they are installed, what problems to look for when doing an inspection and even if they do see a problem, don’t understand what caused it, what degree of a problems it is or how to repair it. Continue reading CA Senator Jerry Hill Introduces SB-721 Contractors: decks and balconies: inspection

American Society of Home Inspectors Publishes Draft Document-Standard of Professional Practice for Deck Inspections-Wants Your Input

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ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors, has posted a draft standard for deck inspections on their website and is seeking input from it’s members and non members alike.

From ASHI’s website- ”

The Standards Committee is accepting comments about the proposed ASHI Standard of Professional Practice for Residential Deck Inspections. The committee encourages members to read this proposed standard and provide comments to the committee. Please direct comments and questions to Bruce Barker at Bruce@DreamHomeConsultants.comBruce@DreamHomeConsultants.comBruce@DreamHomeConsultants.comBruce@DreamHomeConsultants.com. The comment period ends on 30 November 2016.
Click the link below to read the draft document.

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The objective of this proposed standard is to provide the public with a valuable additional service that can improve deck safety. The intent of this standard is that members will provide this service to homeowners who want a thorough inspection of their deck using the most current deck construction guidelines.Date : 10/11/2016



Signs Your Deck Needs To Be Inspected

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
conditions underneath. 

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.

New San Francisco Chronicle Article Reports Witnesses Say Balcony That Failed in Berkeley Had "Unusual Slope"

Award winning reporter Jason Van Derbeken in his latest article reporting on the Berkeley deck tragedy reports-

“Attorneys representing the family of a Berkeley balcony collapse victim have contacted prosecutors to alert them to witness accounts that the deck had a “seemingly unusual slope” before it gave way during a party.”

Decks are required to have a minimum of 2 percent slope to them do water will drain of and away from the building. If the deck pitches much more than 3 or 4 percent, anyone standing on the deck will feel like they are being pitched forward and will have to make adjustments to their posture, but will remain uncomfortable. Imagine walking down a steep hill; it’s not comfortable and you make adjustments in your gait and posture.

The same feeling will occur on a deck with a high degree of slope on it. To me this indicates a warning sign of problems in the deck. It wouldn’t necessarily indicate that the deck was ready to fall, but I would, if I was inspecting a balcony with that condition, raise a red flag.

Read the Chronicles article here http://m.sfgate.com/crime/article/Berkeley-balcony-had-unusual-slope-before-6353451.php