Tag Archives: deck inspection

We’re Growing Again! Two New Page’s Added to Our Site!

We’ve added two new pages to our site recently!

Our first new page is a collaboration with North America Deck & Railing Association  and it allows visitors to DeckExpert.com to find deck inspectors that have passed NADRA’s Deck Inspection Training. You’ll go to NADRA’s page when you click on their links.

Click here to find a deck inspector in the US & Canada. 

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The second page we’ve recently added is for online web based courses on decks NADRA has an agreement with the Building Code College for you to either audit four courses on deck building, or to sign up and become a certified decking expert. The first version is free and we encourage everyone to audit the courses, Glen Mathewson, a recognized deck expert on building codes, wrote most if not all of the material. If you build/frame decks, this knowledge is very important. Take the time to take advantage of these educational opportunities and lets work towards making decks as safe as they can be.

Click here to start your way to becoming code proficient.

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CA Senator Jerry Hill Introduces SB-721 Contractors: decks and balconies: inspection

DeckExpert.com Supports Requiring Deck Inspections

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.”

My thoughts-

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

Decks in Snow Country Throughout the US At Risk of Collapsing From Being Overloaded

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

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A deck lies buried under the weight of snow after it collapsed in Colorado.  Photo Credit Mark Mannheimer Used by permission from cbsdenver.com

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.

Watch this video by Matt Kroschel. Connect with Matt on Facebook

http://up.anv.bz/latest/anvload.html?key=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

 

California Adopts Emergency Regulations Governing Balconies and Walkways

 

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.

Following the collapse of the balcony in Berkeley, that killed 6 and seriously injured 7 others, the California Building Safety Commission adopted me regulations on building and waterproofing Elevated Exterior Elements EEE for short.

The adoption of these emergency regulations will increase balcony safety standards by increasing load design, using decay resistant wood and Inspections of waterproofing before covering with other materials, such as a concrete overburden.

Testimony from the Irish families and victims has helped cause these changes. Jackie Donohue, mother of one child killed in the collapse has been leading the charge in bringing changes to  balcony construction along with requiring inspections.

After Berkeley adopted ordinates requiring inspections, over 800 balconies in that city alone have been found to be deficient.

https://www.dgs.ca.gov/dgs/Newsroom/tabid/72/ArticleID/146/California-Adopts-Emergency-Building-Standards-Regulations-Aimed-at-Preventing-Repeat-of-Berkeley-Balcony-Tragedy.aspx

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.

 

Property Management Company KNEW DECK WAS FLAWED, DID NOTHING! Students Injured as a Result Get 1.6 Million Settlement.

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Dry-rotted Framing Where Deck Attached to Building.                                                                            Photo courtesy of Robert Clayton Attorney

Wolfe & Associates Property Management Co paid a settlement of $1,600,000.00 to students injured when a deck they were on or under collapsed at a party during Deltopia in Santa Barbara CA. The reason Wolfe paid this settlement in my opinion? They knew the deck was flawed after getting a termite report that called out dry-rot, fungus and loose materials on the deck, yet they opted to do nothing.

Let me say it again, they opted to do nothing, no repairs, no notice to the occupants, nothing. They deliberately and IMO maliciously decided to not repair the deck. What scum does that? This goes towards proving my theory that property managers and management companies won’t fix something until someone dies!

Read the story here and read the termite report that led to the settlement. Similar to Berkeley, one of the POS defense lawyers wanted to blame the victims, saying there were to many people on the deck. Excuse me, but f you lawyer. It was your clients fault and you know it.

Lets hope that this case and the upcoming Berkeley lawsuit will teach these management companies a costly lesson. Hell it’s only money, soaked in blood.