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.
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.
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.
The deck in question is 2nd story solid material with a drain partially over the 1st floor living room. I have owned the home for 3 years and our HOA has recently determined that deck maintenance and repair is a homeowner responsibility, not included in the HOA’s responsibility to repair and replace the roof (due to happen this summer). The deck does not drain properly, there is standing water/pooling during and after rain which this winter has been almost constant. I often resort to sweeping the deck with a broom to push the water into the drain. Although I have not yet seen any actual leaking, I am currently repairing other major water damage inside my home and have become very obsessed with preventing potential problems. I know the standing water on this deck is going to cause a problem at some point and I would really like to improve the drainage, but cost is a major issue.
Multiple Classifications of Contractors Can Waterproof Decks, But Few Have to Pass a Written Proficiency Test
D-12 Synthetic Products Classification Doesn’t Require a Proficiency Test
Manufacturer’s Accept D-12 License’s to Become Authorized Applicators
If you want to be a general contractor, plumber, electrician, earth mover, well driller, roofer.. CSLB requires you to have 3 years certifiable experience in that trade, plus take a legal exam on CSLB and state contracting laws AND pass a 3 hour test on your proficiency in that trade. You have to prove you know what your doing before they give you a license to do it. There’s a risk to consumers from people who don’t know what their doing. CSLB goes out of their way to run sting operations on unlicensed contractors, running press releases and posting hidden videos of their stings.
However, if you want to be a contractor that installs waterproofing for foundation walls and decks, decks like say the balcony in Berkeley, you don’t need a license that has a test that proves you have some knowledge; you can obtain a D-12 Synthetic Products license like this author has. A D-12 Synthetic products contractor does not have to pass a written test of proficiency in the subject of waterproofing! You just need to apply for it if your licensed in another trade and add it to your classifications and start waterproofing decks and foundations as most of the deck manufacturer’s accept the D-12 classification to sell and install their products.
How do I know this? Because I have/had a D12 license classification with which I used it to waterproof decks and balconies. But I’m not the only one, there are many contractors out there waterproofing decks using a D12, as well as using a C8 (concrete) or a C33 painting license improperly apparently, and CSLB seems to have a lassez faire attitude about this issue.
Will CSLB change the licensing requirements for becoming a deck waterproofing contractor?