Tag Archives: construction defect

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.

Read Frank Woeste’s article by clicking here on deck connections here https://awc.org/codes-standards/publications/dca6/deck-connection

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.

I remember waking up the morning of June 16th 2015 to see the grisly photograph of blood pooled on the sidewalk, a balcony laying flipped over on the balcony below and staring at the broken cantilevered beams that had rotted away and breaking down in tears. Today I still tear up at the thought of what happened. Berkeley was so avoidable. Malibu was so avoidable. Every balcony collapse is so avoidable.

Something else happens when I read about another balcony collapse-I get angry…very angry. In my opinion, a deck inspection by a competent inspector should be able to find the small clues that a deck about to fail leaves…and my anger is directed at the homeowner, property manager, whoever is in charge, who did not opt to spend $300-1000 on a deck inspection but is willing to spend tens of thousands on legal fees to defend their lack of due diligence.

Many decks, especially wood decks are older and worn. Wood rots, nails rust, supports become weaker, and if additions have been added on top of the deck, then extra weight that probably wasn’t factored into the engineering calculations creates additional stresses on the structure.

Before your next party, before you rent the house with the “large expansive deck” on AirBnB, before another deck collapses with people on it and are injured or killed, for God’s sake, get your deck inspected.

Forget the money it costs, think about the guilt you’ll feel having blood on your hands.

Builder of Collapsed Berkeley Balcony Accused of Failing to Follow Plans by CSLB!

The balcony that collapsed in June of 2015 in Berkeley, killing 6 and severely injuring 7 other Irish students has been found, after analysis by forensic scientists,  to have been constructed improperly. As a result, the Contractors State License Board has filed through the Attorney General’s Office an accusation against Segue Construction, the general contractor.

The allegations are serious, not following plans without an architects approval will land you in hot water with CSLB.  It has also resulted in 6 dead people and 7 injured. The weight of that alone would crush me, yet these people running Segue are conscienceless snakes that sought to blame the victims. How do they look in a mirror?

The accusation lists out specifically the contractors failures, from not using pressure treated materials, to using OSB board where their project manual said it was specifically not acceptable, to failing to cover and protect the deck until it could be waterproofed to failing to waterproof it properly.

Read the accusation by clicking here.  Alternately you can read the specific allegations below. The accusation is a public document and the CSLB has posted it as a public service to help warn consumers, as they feel that Segue is a threat to the public. Segue is afforded due process and can defend against the accusation, including even if/when their license is suspended or revoked. Another case I’m familiar with has dragged on since October of 2013 and still proceeds today so justice may take a while here too.

 

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6 died and 7 seriously injured when the Berkeley balcony collapsed. Inspections may have caught the problem before the tragedy occurred.
6 died and 7 seriously injured when the Berkeley balcony collapsed. Inspections may have caught the problem before the tragedy occurred.