Tag Archives: deck safety

Deck Inspection’s Save Lives! Consumers, Download A Free 10-Point Deck Safety Checklist & Check Your Deck Today!

URGENT! CONSUMERS ADVISED TO HAVE THEIR DECKS INSPECTED    

DECK COLLAPSES INJURE THOUSANDS EVERY YEAR    

Deck inspections are advised for every deck every 3 years. The rate of deck collapses is alarming and more must be done to prevent injuries and deaths.

Watch this short video on deck inspections and why they are so important-the first hand experiences from survivors of deck collapses are chilling. Please download the safety checklist and get an inspection done ASAP if you find anything questionable.

DeckExpert.com, as a member of the National Deck & Railing Association, encourages professional deck inspections. Download NADRA’s consumer checklist, designed to help owners of wood/composite decks to determine if they need a deck contractor or specialized inspection to determine if repairs or replacement of your deck is necessary. Don’t become the next victim and a become a statistic on a ever growing grim listing of deaths and injuries from deck collapses.  Click the link to open and download the  NADRA_Homeowner Checklist

Inspect your deck before that party you are planning, be safe, be sure!

 SB 721 Will Force the Inspections of Decks-Who Should Perform the Inspections?

DeckExpert.com supports the inspection bill for decks. The Berkeley tragedy, the lives lost and the survivors who are left with serious life long injuries, has brought us all to realize the need to implement an inspection & repair program on a statewide level. This “accident” was no accident. 

The collapse at Berkeley was on a path to occur somewhere-the building industry in California and beyond will argue against my points, but this tragedy was years in the making. There are many reasons for this-from architecture schools that don’t teach it’s students the basics of waterproofing.  For example, right here at Cal Poly SLO, many courses, not one on waterproofing. I’ve offered to give a lecture at Cal Poly; my offers have been meet with silence.

http://www.catalog.calpoly.edu/collegesandprograms/collegeofarchitectureandenvironmentaldesign/architecture/#courseinventory

The architect who designed the balcony in Berkeley designed it poorly. Continue reading  SB 721 Will Force the Inspections of Decks-Who Should Perform the Inspections?

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

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Deck Safety Tips For a Safe, Fun Filled Summer

We don’t want to be Debbie Downers, but when it comes to deck safety, we are Debbie Downer…

You might be too if you get the amount of Google Alerts I do on deck fires and deck collapses.

Everyday, somewhere a deck collapses or catches fire from a grill, smoking materials or a fire pit…or a heat lamp for the dog house, sparks from welding, you get the picture. So a few safety tips from me, to help you not be the next statistic;

  • No smoking on a deck.
  • No grilling on a deck.
  • NO FIRE PITS ON A DECK!
  • Smoke, grill or have a fire pit a minimum of ten feet away from the building. Make sure everything is out by dousing grills/pits in water. Yes your neighbors might be pissed because of the smell, but they will be even more pissed if that fire pit catches their house on fire!
  • Have your deck inspected. So many accidents could be avoided if inspections were done by competent people.
  • Any wobbling railings, stairs or deck is a bad sign. Get it inspected and fixed ASAP.

Consumers/homeowners, click below to use NADRA’s handy self inspection checklist to see if further professional inspection should be done.

NADRA Consumer Checklist