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.”
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→
Snow Weighs an Average of 15-20#’s per cubic foot.
Failure to Clear off Decks of Snow Blamed for Many Collapses
Repeated Loading/Unloading Can Cause Great Stress to Framing
Deck Expert Bill Leys Recommends Getting Decks Inspected as Weather Permits Before Spring & Summer Use
Record breaking snow falls, especially out west have created havoc on buildings, especially roofs and decks. Snow has been credited with collapsing roofs and decks after heavy buildups that overload the decks and roofs weight carrying abilities. According to a Google search, snow weighs an average of 15-20#’s per cubic foot.
Decks on the other hand, are often designed to handle 50#’s per square foot of area. So a deck of a size 10′ x 20′ or 200 square feet, should hold 10,000 pounds. Now pile on 4 feet of snow at 80#’s per square feet using 20#’s per cubic foot. At 80″‘s per square foot, that 200 square foot deck may have 16,000 pounds of snow on it. While it might remain standing, the question becomes, what happens with repeated loading and unloading of huge amounts of weight?
That’s really going to depend on a number of things-like how old is the deck, has it been maintained etc. A newer deck is probably better equipped to handle the huge stress placed on it. Older decks with some wear and tear and degradation are likely to become likely victims of failure.
So what can you do to help avoid stressing your deck’s weight limits to their maximum & beyond? Clear off snow as soon as possible. Maybe it has to be cleared of twice or three times in a day depending on snowfall amounts. Look at the deck carefully to see if it’s sagging or swaying. Those are signs of danger and a contractor should be called immediately to assess it. Don’t use decks that sag or sway.
Even if somehow your deck in snow country doesn’t collapse this winter, that doesn’t mean it’s ok to use before summer hits. Deck Expert Bill Leys recommends that decks of every type be inspected this spring by an engineer, an experienced deck contractor, or an independent consultant who won’t be bidding on any repair work.
As winter starts heading into spring you may have looked out at your deck and heaved a sigh knowing you have a choice to make this year…replacing that old rickety wood deck or the fading, sagging composite deck that was supposed to last 30 years. What to do what to do? Go back to a wood deck using exotic Ipe and hope that lasts longer and has less maintenance? Use the newest and “greatest” composite?
While the wood and composite markets currently dominate the deck market, the end user is getting tired of the limited color choices of composite decking available at lumber stores and doesn’t want to wait for a special order with it’s various requirements and doesn’t really like the thought of the maintenance that wood decks require. The newest choice available is actually a choice that’s been around for a long time, it’s just that not many knew about this choice til now.
The new “choice” for decking is rapidly becoming solid surface walking deck systems installed over a plywood substrate on conventional doug fir or pressure treated framing. Solid surface decking systems offer many advantages over it’s wood and composite competitors. Some of those advantages are
Waterproof! These decks can waterproof and give you a walkable surface on a roof deck, dry in a patio below, keep a storage area dry underneath. Increases your homes value!
Cost competitive. Framing costs are the same as for decks receiving wood/composite decking. Plywood and the waterproof coating system often costs less than composite decking and almost always less than exotic hardwoods.
Less Maintenance! No sanding, staining and sealing every year. Most waterproof deck systems require resealing every 3-5 years. Clean them off easily using Simple Green, water and a hose and brush.
Unique Looks! Waterproof decks can look like anything you want-wood (yep), tile, stone, brick, stained, stamped…the designs are virtually unlimited!
Look at our deck finishes, you’ll see some of the many various finishes available that can set you apart from the rest of the pack.
Full disclosure-I just got one to test from Wagner, free of charge.
Wagner Meter, long a renowned manufacturer of moisture measuring tools for the woodworking, logging and flooring industries, has recently introduced a new tool geared for home inspectors and contractors. The Wagner BI2200 Moisture Meter is a handy tool for measuring relative moisture content of many building materials-stucco, plaster, drywall, tile, shingles etc.
As described by Wagner- The BI2200 inspection moisture meter is ideal for building or home inspections and is designed to provide comparative, relative moisture content readings for common building materials – stucco, plaster, drywall, tile, shingles, roofing, linoleum, wood and more. From their website-
Materials to Measure
Stucco, plaster, drywall, tile, shingles, roofing, linoleum, wood and more.
Specifically designed for the building or home inspector, the BI2200, using state-of-the-art electromagnetic wave technology, provides a non-invasive tool for measuring a wide range of materials including wood, synthetic stucco, plaster, drywall, insulation materials, ceramic tile, shingles, linoleum, concrete and more.
The BI2200 Building Inspection Moisture Meter provides a general comparison moisture indication for inspection applications that only require relative* moisture content (MC) readings. By establishing a known baseline dry MC relative reading on a building material, the BI2200 can then compare and pinpoint elevated MC problem areas or conditions.
The BI2200 is programmable for numerous building materials and its two-button control makes one-handed operation simple. Designed with a Teflon pad to protect the sensor area on rough or abrasive surfaces, the BI2200 can provide a relative* MC reading on building materials without damage to the materials surface.
The BI2200, with its Press and Hold feature, lets you get into tight places without needing a visual line to the meter display. Beneath a sink, under a cabinet overhang or in a tight corner, with the Press and Hold feature you can take the relative* MC reading and the display holds the reading once the meter is removed, letting you quickly and easily document the readings during your inspection.
Easy to use and with a wide range of programmable building materials, the BI2200 is a reliable, state-of-the-art tool for the building or home inspection industry. *The BI2200 does not give precise MC percentages but is designed to provide a comparative relative MC reading for each material inspected in order to identify problem or potential problem areas in a building or a home.
Size & Weight:
Length – 4 9/16″; Width – 2 3/4″; Height – 1 1/16″; Weight – .37 lbs Power:
9 volt battery
Auto Power Shut Down – 60 seconds Control:
Two button control for on/off and material settings Press & Hold feature Depth of Measurement:
3/4″ Moisture Content:
Relative 5% – 32% Scanning Area:
1 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ Material Setting:
Selectable setting .20 – 1.0 Calibration:
Verifiable at factory Other
1 Year Warranty
Carry Case with Belt Clip Included
Teflon® pad protects sensor plate from abrasive surfaces
I’ll be testing the unit out thoroughly over the next few months and writing up what I have found with it, limitations, other uses for it, accuracy etc. Watch for more info! Do you have one? Let me know what uses you’ve found for it.