Tag Archives: building inspection

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)

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 The order to leave has been rescinded after the first engineers report declared the property and immediate hazard and recommended evacuating units was found to be lets say “over cautious”.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

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.

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

CONSUMER ALERT- PALM SPRINGS AND SAN DIEGO BASED COMPANY PREVIOUSLY KNOWN AS WANKE INDUSTRIAL COMMERCIAL RESIDENTIAL IS TERRORIZING THEIR CLIENTS.

I have heard from several clients of the company formerly known as Wanke Industrial Commercial Residential who have told me horror stories about their 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. The scummy owner 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 the company formerly known as Wanke Industrial Commercial Residential 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?

Continue reading CONSUMER ALERT- PALM SPRINGS AND SAN DIEGO BASED COMPANY PREVIOUSLY KNOWN AS WANKE INDUSTRIAL COMMERCIAL RESIDENTIAL IS TERRORIZING THEIR CLIENTS.

When Words Kill: Lessons From The Champlain Tower Collapse

The author makes some very good points for consultants to consider… Using language that everyday people will understand. Especially when it comes to condominium boards of directors.

There are many things to consider when doing a visual inspection and certainly one of them is how bad is the degradation of concrete? Since a visual is only limited to what we can see and we don’t have x-ray vision there can certainly be damage inside of concrete that we are not aware of… Unconsolidated concrete rebar that isn’t properly tied sized etc. Hidden water damage may also exist.

Continue reading When Words Kill: Lessons From The Champlain Tower Collapse

IT’S DECK SAFETY MONTH, AND THE BALCONY COLLAPSES CAN’T STOP/WON’T STOP UNTIL AND UNLESS…WE DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

Removal of the deck boards against the building reveals a seriously deteriorated set of beams.
They died because of poor workmanship and failing to inspect the deck. #NeverAgain

The North American Deck & Railing Association (NADRA) has declared May as “Deck Safety Month”, although IMHO, every month should be Deck Safety Month.

Rarely does a day go by without my Google alerts, “deck collapse” & “deck fire” sending me an email about another balcony collapsing somewhere or someone’s grill or fire pit on their deck was the cause of a major house fire.

Two weeks ago the headlines were about the Malibu balcony collapse, where 16 people fell to the rocks 15 feet below while at a house party on the coast. Fortunately no one died. This time. Six years ago, six students died and seven were seriously and permanently injured…broken backs, crushed lungs, featured bones, when the balcony they were standing on to take a picture for a birthday celebration suddenly collapsed.

Continue reading IT’S DECK SAFETY MONTH, AND THE BALCONY COLLAPSES CAN’T STOP/WON’T STOP UNTIL AND UNLESS…WE DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!