Tag Archives: deck inspection

Surveillance video shows ashtray catching fire at a NJ Moose Lodge

Well here it is folks, the proof of how dangerous a cigarette can be. Extinguish your butt and discard it properly. In water. Watch the video. Then read the article and see how this building narrowly escaped burning to the ground.

Luckily the fire department saved the building. Others aren’t so lucky.

Surveillance video provided to the New Jersey Herald shows an ashtray igniting on the deck of the Moose Lodge in Newton. https://uw-media.njherald.com/embed/video/10131151002?placement=snow-embed

My Words From 2017 Still Stand Today

I stumbled upon the minutes of A Building Standards Commission meeting from January of 2017…and I spoke out four times during that meeting. I still stand by these words today.

AND STILL TOTALLY TRUE TODAY!
ARCHITECTS OR AT LEAST 98%, DON’T UNDERSTAND WATERPROOFING BECAUSE THEY DON’T TEACH IT AT ARCHITECT SCHOOL!
HELLO, IS IT ME OR IS IT ARCHITECTS? CAN CAL POLY AND OTHER ARCHITECTURE SCHOOLS ACTUALLY TEACH WATERPROOFING FIRST TO THEIR STUDENTS?

And then there’s this, from the Irish Sun, where I put it bluntly. And I have to wonder, are things really any better today?

YEAH THE IRISH SUN QUOTED ME, ALMOST…THEY CAN’T PRINT MY EXACT WORDS ABOUT BERKELEY

The Seventh Anniversary of The Tragic and Avoidable Berkeley Deck Collapse is June 16th. We Shall Never Forget You…

Ashley Donohoe, Olivia Burke, Eoghan Culligan, Niccolai Schuster, Lorcán Miller, Eimear Walsh and sadly Aiofe Beary, who was badly injured but survived the initial fall, sadly passed away recently. Seven lives cut short. Six lives permanently altered.

Last weekend I was in Berkeley. I stayed right around the corner from 2020 kittredge Street where the balcony collapsed. I was looking for a place to park my vehicle and they have a parking area there. It didn’t even strike me at the time when I drove in and parked that this was holy ground.

I walked outside of the garage and was on the sidewalk… I looked at it and then I looked up. When the place was library gardens there were two decks, one of which fell. As I walked down that sidewalk where they lay I trembled.

The Berkeley deck collapse was entirely preventable…and must not happen ever again. I call upon every state in the nation to implement deck inspections. Lives are at stake.

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)

MY OPINION – THE SB 326 & SB 721 BALCONY BILLS NEED TO BE COMBINED & AMENDED

I am a balcony inspector the company that I work for does inspections under the two balcony bills. I speak often with other people in my industry including other balcony inspection company inspectors. We pretty much all agree that there is a lot of confusion amongst owners boards of directors and even the attorneys on interpreting the language in the balcony bills.

SB 326 regulates balcony inspections for condominiums. It requires inspections every 9 years by a structural engineer or an architect. It also requires a much higher percentage of balconies be inspected as opposed to what is required for apartment balcony inspections.

SB 721 regulates balcony inspections for apartments. Under this bill a general contractor can perform balcony inspections.

Continue reading MY OPINION – THE SB 326 & SB 721 BALCONY BILLS NEED TO BE COMBINED & AMENDED

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