Tag Archives: deck inspection

ATTENTION HOA CUSTOMERS OF DECK INSPECTORS INC YOUR INSPECTION REPORT MAY BE INVALID AND FRAUDULENT!

Consumer Alert! Attention all Southern California HOA managers, reserve study specialists, HOA attorneys, CAI and CACM

For immediate release !

DeckExpert.com, after investigation and information provided by anonymous sources has formed the opinion that HOA/condominium balcony inspection reports signed off on by Deck Inspectors Inc. may be invalid and fraudulent. The company, owned by David Mazor, who also owns WICR waterproofing and construction, is performing balcony inspections for condo and apartment complexes in the Southern California area.

A copy of a report from Deck Inspectors Inc that we reviewed has a signature on it by a Raffi Abkarian with a license number of 36207 listed next to the word “engineer” on the “qualifying title” line. Strange that an engineer seemingly can’t remember his own license number? Even stranger to me is that he didn’t state structural engineer just engineer… Or place his stamp on it. Of course obviously he cannot stamp it with a civil engineer stamp. Calls to two phone numbers listed for Mr Abkarian went to voicemail or was disconnected.

A redacted copy of the report we received from our anonymous source.
Deck Inspectors report signed by a Raffi Abkarian, civil engineer, with an incorrect license number.

Our investigation proceeded to look up the license number listed on the report. Needless to say it does not belong to Mr Abkarian. A search by name found Mr Abkarian with a license number of 36027. The license status is listed as clear with an expiration date of June 30th 2022 and it says license type is civil engineer.

According to this license listing Mr Abkarian is a civil engineer.

According to the balcony bill SB 316 only a licensed structural engineer or an architect may sign the report for a common interest development deck inspection. Being that Mr Abkarian is “only” a Civil Engineer”, he isn’t eligible from our understanding of the balcony bill to be eligible to sign off on a report of inspection. Interestingly one source told us that they never saw Mr Abkarian on site inspecting decks at the HOA where they live.

From our understanding and speaking with an attorney this would present a major problem for associations who have a report from Deck Inspectors Inc signed by Mr Abkarian that they’ve paid for. It is our belief that the report is invalid and possibly fraudulent due to being signed apparently willingly by Mr Abkarian.

Furthermore customers of Deck Inspectors should know that the owner of this company also owns WICR waterproofing and construction. Our sources have told us the same similar story and that WICR recommended deck inspector for deck inspection work or vice versa without revealing the conflict of interest between the two companies. David Mazor cannot act as an independent consultant and pretend that he doesn’t know Sean Krubinski except as a professional acquaintance.

There are substantial conflicts of interest, possibly fraud and certainly a matter of ethical character that exists here. I have been told by my sources that deck inspectors seems to call out small items and demand major repairs, often in the thousands of dollars that WICR does the work for. So David Mazor is double dipping from your HOA masquerading as a deck inspector/consultant while his construction and waterproofing company do unnecessary work.

I encourage HOAs who feel that they may have been victimized to contact their counsel at law immediately, and to contact me, Bill Leys at bill@deckexpert.com So that I can put all HOAs together for a discussion about a possible class action lawsuit. Contact your local district attorney’s office if you have a contract with WICR file a complaint with the CSLB, contact the department of consumer affairs.

If you want to do your own research I suggest that you start at the California Secretary of State website and look up deck inspectors and WICR and you will see that David Mazor is the owner of both companies. His wife is the agent for service of process.

A screenshot captured from deck inspectors website clearly shows them recommending WICR.

DeckExpert.com recommends that consumers and HOAs stay away from WICR and Deck Inspectors.

For further information on WICR and Deck Inspectors visit http://www.wicrleaks.com

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.

Here is an excerpt-

A NATIONAL CALL for action in response to the devastating Library Gardens deck collapse in Berkeley is now a matter of California law. The collapse of a deck extending off the exterior of a fourth-floor residential apartment building in Berkeley in 2015 led to a heightened awareness of the danger posed by elevated decks, walkways and balconies in multi-unit residential construction. In response to an otherwise preventable tragedy, Senator Gerald A. Hill of San Mateo most recently introduced Senate Bill 326, now signed into law.

The “Balcony Bill” is now codified in the new Civil Code Section 5551, and requires California condominium associations with three or more units to conduct visual inspections of not just balconies, but all “exterior elevated elements,” which may include balconies, decks, stairways, elevated walkways and railings. Any components that extend beyond the exterior walls of the building to deliver structural loads and are supported in whole or in part by wood, or wood-based products, are included in these inspection mandates.”

Read the whole article at CAI’s website. A new page will open Allowing you to return to Deck expert.com after reading

https://www.caicommunicator-digital.com/caiq/0220_volume_13_issue_2/MobilePagedArticle.action?articleId=1583796#articleId1583796

CONSUMER ALERT- PALM SPRINGS AND SAN DIEGO BASED WICR WATERPROOFING ALSO OWNS DECK INSPECTOR INC THAT TOGETHER ARE TERRORIZING THEIR CLIENTS.

I have heard from several clients of Deck Inspector inc and or WICR waterproofing who have told me horror stories about David Mazor’s 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. David 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 WICR or David Mazor 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?

Do your research before you contract with anyone for balcony inspections and make sure that there are no conflicts of interest with your inspector and if there are, to spell them out so you have full knowledge and the ability to make prudent business decisions.

Deck Inspector LLC in S California is owned by David Mazor who owns WICR waterproofing and I am told that he and his apparent grifter sin Sean Krubinski are not disclosing that crucial fact to their clients. It’s a matter of ethics. Clicking the links below will show that both entities are owned by David Mazor and leave little doubt for consumers about the actual conflicts of interest.

Confidential sources tell us that Deck Inspector LLC is failing decks with even a small crack, demanding that they must make repairs immediately and WICR is charging fees that are exceedingly high. Unless a deck has structural issues that are life threatening, decks can be repaired on the property management company or HOA’s decision within a reasonable time.

Remember, investigate your inspection company and make sure they are independent with no conflicts of interest.

See our page of independent and unbiased balcony inspectors that have been vetted and determined to have no conflicts of interest in doing balcony inspections by clicking here QUALIFIED Deck Inspector’s FOR SB 721 & SB 326 DECK INSPECTIONS

I would also warn consumers that if Mark Marsch Consulting is involved, he has close personal relationships with ownership of these companies and was found to be a biased expert by a Judge in San Bernardino Superior Court.

These links go to the California Secretary of States website and are recent filings clearly showing the same owner on both business listings.

ttps://businesssearch.sos.ca.gov/Document/RetrievePDF?Id=202019910332-30019991

https://businesssearch.sos.ca.gov/Document/RetrievePDF?Id=02035745-28689110

Magnesite Decking Is DEAD, LONG LIVE MAGNESITE! Asbestos Warning!

Magnesite from circa 1961 on a deck in Goleta.

I’m not sure when Hill Brothers Chemical Company first started manufacturing Magnesite, however, it’s safe to say it’s been around California, Arizona, Nevada and other Western states for a long long time…it’s distinctive bull nose edges are a sure sign of what the deck has on it.

What I do know is that up until 1977, Magnesite was manufactured using Asbestos as an ingredient. Hill Brothers sold millions of square feet of the material as interior and exterior flooring. This 1999 article from the LA Times discusses the allure of Magnesite, although it doesn’t discuss Magnesite’s little problem of asbestos in it… https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1999-jul-11-re-54828-story.html

Fast forward to 2002 and Hill Brothers was found liable for 20,000,000.00 after losing a suit brought by a women who had Mesothelioma from asbestos in the floors of the home she grew up in. https://www.kazanlaw.com/verdicts/20000000-verdict-for-woman-exposed-to-asbestos-in-her-own-family-home/

RIP Magnesite. Today Magnesite is not sold by Hill Brothers anymore. From what they told me, a key ingredient was difficult and costly to source due to demands for it from other industries. As a result, they halted manufacture of Magnesite and are no longer supporting the product.

However, the product is still found everywhere in homes, mult-families and older condo’s. This leaves a huge number of people at risk to exposure to Asbestos due to unknowing owners and contractors just treating it like any product and ripping it out, releasing friable asbestos into the environment.

DeckExpert.com recommends to any owner of a property with Magnesite on it to have asbestos testing done on the product no matter when it was installed. It’s better to be safe than sorry and it is a risk reduction for the owner against future claims.

Only Cal-OSHA approved Consultants can test, only Cal-OSHA asbestos certified contractors can remove it. In speaking with several people, they all said that remediation and sealing areas up to prevent release of friable asbestos when demolition is taking place is paramount. Special respiratory breathing apparatus is required, your dust mask from Home Depot will not help you. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REMOVE MAGNESITE YOURSELF!

Bottom line, owners of multi-family buildings with Magnesite on them should not attempt to have the product restored or repaired. The service life of Magnesite is up and it’s time to replace it. Magnesite is dead, long live Magnesite!

Deck Collapse Kills One Person, Seriously Injures Another Person

https://www.wrde.com/story/44011555/woman-dead-after-dewey-beach-balcony-collapse

A deck collapse has led to the death of a woman who fell 10 feet to the deck below. Another oh so avoidable accident, 6 years after Berkeley… And that terrible anniversary is this month.

It’s time to institute deck inspections nationally… It’s time to end deck collapses. Looking at this photo, the joists were nailed into the butt ends.

Wood Decks Are Not Your Friend In Fire Country, Ever.

“The deck that we had off the house,” she said. “It was a two-tiered deck, and it was redwood, and that’s what brought down our house.” Corey and Danusia Larsen of Malibu CA of the Woolsey Fire that burned over 600 homes.

I’m still trying to find it but I remember seeing a quote from a firefighter in California describing wood decks as organized kindling. That quote sticks in my head and won’t budge. I’ve reviewed hundreds of pictures of homes that are burned and often you can see the outline of a wood deck or the remnants of…

To me the ideal fire resistant home would be stucco or concrete or Hardie board with a metal of concrete roof any decking on it would be a division 7 traffic coating that is fire rated for use in California fire zones.

This article describes the new house that was built by the Larsen’s after the Woolsey Fire. https://spectrumnews1.com/ca/la-west/wildfires/2021/05/21/malibu-couple-fireproofs-home-after-losing-everything-in-woolsey-fire

It is my opinion that Cal Fire and other fire authorities will not specifically say or seek to ban wood framed and wood decks as the deck industry would be up in arms. However I will say that wood decks and wood framing exposed does not belong anywhere on a building particularly in a high fire hazard zone. Decking manufacturers will say that their products have passed tests under ASTM standards that is required by ICC-ES to get a report… My counter argument is let’s take an aged outdoors 5 years wood frame deck with wood boards or composite boards and put it into a real life type situation IE ember storm, fire wood stacked underneath the deck, plant growth around it etc and let’s see if that deck really is fire resistant. I will say outright that it is not.

Wood decks and composite decks are not your friends in fire country. If you are in fire country the only thing that will help you in my opinion are concrete decking systems and systems that rely on concrete backer board for their fire rating.

This article won’t make any friends in the deck industry that sell composite and wood decks but I’m just truth telling here.