NADRA’s Free Deck Consumer Checklist for Homeowners; Helps You Determine if You Should Have a Professional Inspection

We’re jumping the gun on Deck Safety Month, NADRA’s annual month long deck safety awareness campaign, which officially starts on May 1st.

Download NADRA’s consumer checklist, designed to help owners of wood/composite decks to determine if they need a deck contractor or specialized inspection to determine if repairs or replacement of your deck is necessary. Don’t become the next victim and a become a statistic on a ever growing grim listing of deaths and injuries from deck collapses.  Click the link below to open and download the  NADRA_Homeowner Checklist

Need a deck inspector? Find one on our deck inspection page here. (4/18/17) Link/page coming soon Joins North American Deck & Railing Association

NADRA_logo Joins NADRA in our quest to expand the waterproof deck coating market and to promote deck safety.

In our efforts to amplify our influence and voice, 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. 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.

 SB 721 Will Force the Inspections of Decks-Who Should Perform the Inspections? supports the inspection bill for decks. The Berkeley tragedy, the lives lost and the survivors who are left with serious life long injuries, has brought us all to realize the need to implement an inspection & repair program on a statewide level. This “accident” was no accident. 

The collapse at Berkeley was on a path to occur somewhere-the building industry in California and beyond will argue against my points, but this tragedy was years in the making. There are many reasons for this-from architecture schools that don’t teach it’s students the basics of waterproofing.  For example, right here at Cal Poly SLO, many courses, not one on waterproofing. I’ve offered to give a lecture at Cal Poly; my offers have been meet with silence.

The architect who designed the balcony in Berkeley designed it poorly. The glue-lam beams, not supposed to be cut, but he called for them to be. The waterproofing membrane, not supposed to be used on low slope plywood decks, Few architects truly understand waterproofing principles in my opinion. There are those that specialize in repairing deficient buildings and decks, but they are the exception, not the rule.

General contractors don’t “get” deck waterproofing. To them it’s a minor thought, where the cheapest bid is the best for them, it puts more money onto their bottom line. Most I talked with as a waterproofing contractor didn’t understand sequencing/scheduling the waterproofing work. I give seminars at JLC Live Residential Construction show and my room is filled with general contractors who know they don’t know enough. With water intrusion issues the number one issue in construction defect litigation, it’s a serious problem.

Currently the CSLB does not have a license classification for waterproofing contractors. They did, but for some reason it went away. Currently 3 specialty license classifications can perform waterproofing services C-8, Concrete, C-33 Painters D-12 Synthetic Products and B licensed contractors can as well. Reviews of sample tests from CSLB reveal little if any knowledge of waterproofing is required as their tests don’t ask anything about waterproofing. Even more disturbing, D-12 contractors don’t even take a test on the trade portion like the other trades.

The biggest problem I see in the construction industry is the evil practice of “piece work” pay, where a worker is paid by his production rate, rather than being paid by the hour. In piece work, “Joe” is paid a set rate to install the framing for the deck. If it takes an average of 12 hours to frame a deck, piece work pay may be set arbitrarily and only gives “Joe” an incentive to finish faster. If he takes 12 hours to frame the deck he makes the same as he would if he framed it in 8 hours. “Joe’s” incentive is to get it done in 8 hours. If it passes inspection (meeting code is like getting a C- in school) the contractor is happy, Joe is to because he won’t get docked for a “go back” charge to fix the deficiency.

“Tom” also gets paid to waterproof the deck on a piece rate. “Tom’s” incentive is to get the deck waterproofed as fast as possible to maximize his take home pay.

From my experience in working for production waterproofing companies, it’s one big cheating cluster fuck of a mess. The workers cheat to max their pay. Want me to bring a few to a Senate hearing? They’ll tell you. It is not possible to perform the job and make a living wage under piece work pay without cheating.  The project manager? He’s getting a bonus if he delivers the project on time and under budget. On time means to damn bad the deck is wet, waterproof it anyway.

One big question stands out-were the employees of Segue Construction & R Brothers Waterproofing being paid piece rate when that balcony was built and waterproofed?

These problems must be addressed in tandem with implementing laws on decks and balcony inspections.

So who should inspect the thousands of  waterproofed decks and balconies in California? And at the same time, why aren’t wood balconies and decks being included? I read that in a five year period, over 33,000 people were injured in deck collapses.

I don’t believe that pest control inspectors or general contractors are the best qualified people to inspect decks. Architects and engineers are better qualified, but has anyone asked them if they want this job?

Several answers exist; first, a deck inspection checklist needs to be developed that every inspector will use and file with the appropriate authority.

NADRA (North American Deck & Railing Association,  has a comprehensive checklist for inspecting decks. Their annual deck safety month in May helps to illuminate the need for regular deck inspections. NADRA also has a course for qualifying inspectors as “deck inspectors”. These inspectors are capable pro’s who perform deck and home inspections on properties for sale. They certainly could, with some training on waterproof deck membranes, be qualified to inspect decks under SB 721.

The Roof Consultants Institute ( is an international association of building envelope consultants. It’s members specialize in design, investigation, repair and management of roofing exterior wall and waterproofing systems. As waterproof decks are indeed roofing systems keeping the interior dry, these consultants are well qualified to perform deck inspections.

Lets also not forget that there are the deck waterproofing companies themselves who inspect decks daily as I do as a deck inspector, who have personnel that are qualified to perform inspections.

It’s my belief that before the state arbitrarily designates who is “qualified” to inspect, that the state determines if in fact general contractors, pest control companies, architects and engineers are actually qualified.

To accomplish that, testing and certification is necessary.

I hope to enlist NADRA and RCI in this endeavor to develop and certify deck inspectors.

Thank you for the opportunity to provide my input. I hope that together we can all work towards ensuring that balcony collapses and the injuries and deaths that come with them become a thing of the past in California and nationwide.

Duradek Announces Home Show Dates

Duradek has announced their home show and trade show dates for spring. If you are at any of these stop by you can learn all about Duradek’s products, commitment to excellence and see their lines of decking and available colors.

April 7 – 9, 2017 | Fredericton Home Show | Fredericton, NB
Venue: Capital Exhibit Centre | Look for Duradek Dealer Beaver Construction

April 8 – 9, 2017 | Sydney-Riverview Y Service Club Home Show | Sydney, NS
Venue: Cape Breton County Recreation Centre | Look for Duradek Dealer Deck It Ltd.

April 21 – 23, 2017 | Victoria Spring Home Expo | Victoria, BC
Venue: Westshore Park & Recreation | Look for Duradek Dealer Victoria Deck and Rail

April 21 – 23, 2017 | Sudbury Home, Cottage & Reno Show | Sudbury, ON
Venue: Garson Community Centre | Look for Duradek Dealer NorDeck

April 26 – 30, 2017 | Vancouver Home Show | Vancouver, BC
Venue: Pacific Colosseum | Look for Duradek Dealer Aces Vinyl Decking

April 28 – 30, 2017 | North Bay Home Show | North Bay, ON
Venue: West Ferris Arena | Look for Duradek Dealer NorDeck

Oct. 26 – 27, 2017 | R | D | J Show (Deck Expo) | Nashville, TN
Venue: Music City Center | Visit us and distributor
Duradek MidAtlantic at booth #1441

Oct. 26 – 29, 2017 | Vancouver Fall Home Show | Vancouver, BC
Venue: Vancouver Convention Center West | Look for us at booth #122

Jan. 9 – 11, 2018 | International Builders Show | Orlando, FL
Venue: Orange County Convention Center | Visit us at booth #S728

Feb. 14 – 15, 2018 | Buildex Vancouver | Vancouver, BC
Venue: Vancouver Convention Center West | Visit us at booth #307

Feb. 21 – 25, 2018 | BC Home & Garden Show | Vancouver, BC
Venue: BC Place Stadium | Visit us at booth #1764

HOA Shirking It’s Responsibilities? A Reader Writes Us.

ask the deck expert
Ask the Deck Expert for advice on your deck issues.

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.

Our Answer-

Hi Arin,
Sounds like the HOA is shirking it’s duty. A deck over living space, IMO is a roof primarily and secondarily is walkable. Based on your description, this is a total redo with many many factors that must be considered.
I’d recommend getting the owners together to face off with the Board, sounds like they are being stupid and trying to avoid responsibility. Owners don’t maintain, (neither do most Associations) They shouldn’t just slough off work onto owners who’ve been expecting repairs that never happened. Maybe if they fixed everything right first, then after a vote of the majority of owners on a CCR amendment, maybe then give the owners responsibility.
If you’d be interested, I offer deck inspections and reports that may help you win your battle against the HOA.
See for more info.
Don’t go it alone! Get an expert on your side who has HOA experience.


Dex-O-Tex Announces Trade Shows They Will Be Displaying At in 2016

Dex-O-Tex announced a series of trade shows they will be appearing at on the show floor with their lines of decking and flooring systems.

Be sure to check them out of you’ll be at any of these shows, and remember, if you want to learn how to install waterproof decking systems, provides on the job training. Learn more on our training page here


ASHE (American Society of Healthcare Engineering) San Diego, CA Mar 20-23    1202   
Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo Philadelphia, PA May 3-6        1262
AIA National Expo Philadelphia, Pa May 19-21         4114
NRA (National Restaurant Association) Chicago, IL May 21-24          263
TRA (Texas Restaurant Associaion) Marketplace Houston, TX June 26-27 818

Waterproof decorative pedestrian decking systems beats wood & composite in looks, maintenance, costs & lifespan.