Tag Archives: home inspection

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

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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HOA Shirking It’s Responsibilities? A Reader Writes Us.

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Ask the Deck Expert for advice on your deck issues.

Arin in Santa Cruz has a deck problem-

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.

Our Answer- Continue reading HOA Shirking It’s Responsibilities? A Reader Writes Us.

Opinion – The California State License Board (CSLB) Has a License Classification Problem For Deck Waterproofing

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?

Continue reading Opinion – The California State License Board (CSLB) Has a License Classification Problem For Deck Waterproofing

Wagner Meters Introduces New BI 2200 Moisture Meter For Home Inspectors and Contractors

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The new moisture meter for building materials allows an inspection without demolition of materials.

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I opened the box, read the easy instructions and was testing my stucco a minute later. Very easy to use, lightweight and only 2 buttons!

Full disclosure-I just got one to test from Wagner, free of charge.

Wagner Meter, long a renowned manufacturer of moisture measuring tools for the woodworking, logging and flooring industries, has recently introduced a new tool geared for home inspectors and contractors. The Wagner BI2200 Moisture Meter is a handy tool for measuring relative moisture content of many building materials-stucco, plaster, drywall, tile, shingles etc.

As described by Wagner-  The BI2200 inspection moisture meter is ideal for building or home inspections and is designed to provide comparative, relative moisture content readings for common building materials – stucco, plaster, drywall, tile, shingles, roofing, linoleum, wood and more. From their website-

Materials to Measure

Stucco, plaster, drywall, tile, shingles, roofing, linoleum, wood and more.

Specific Applications

Specifically designed for the building or home inspector, the BI2200, using state-of-the-art electromagnetic wave technology, provides a non-invasive tool for measuring a wide range of materials including wood, synthetic stucco, plaster, drywall, insulation materials, ceramic tile, shingles, linoleum, concrete and more.

The BI2200 Building Inspection Moisture Meter provides a general comparison moisture indication for inspection applications that only require relative* moisture content (MC) readings. By establishing a known baseline dry MC relative reading on a building material, the BI2200 can then compare and pinpoint elevated MC problem areas or conditions.

The BI2200 is programmable for numerous building materials and its two-button control makes one-handed operation simple. Designed with a Teflon pad to protect the sensor area on rough or abrasive surfaces, the BI2200 can provide a relative* MC reading on building materials without damage to the materials surface.

The BI2200, with its Press and Hold feature, lets you get into tight places without needing a visual line to the meter display. Beneath a sink, under a cabinet overhang or in a tight corner, with the Press and Hold feature you can take the relative* MC reading and the display holds the reading once the meter is removed, letting you quickly and easily document the readings during your inspection.

Easy to use and with a wide range of programmable building materials, the BI2200 is a reliable, state-of-the-art tool for the building or home inspection industry. *The BI2200 does not give precise MC percentages but is designed to provide a comparative relative MC reading for each material inspected in order to identify problem or potential problem areas in a building or a home.

Meter Specifications

Size & Weight:
Length – 4 9/16″; Width – 2 3/4″; Height – 1 1/16″; Weight – .37 lbs
Power:
9 volt battery
Auto Power Shut Down – 60 seconds
Control:
Two button control for on/off and material settings Press & Hold feature
Depth of Measurement:
3/4″
Moisture Content:
Relative 5% – 32%
Scanning Area:
1 1/2″ x 2 1/2″
Material Setting:
Selectable setting .20 – 1.0
Calibration:
Verifiable at factory
Other
1 Year Warranty
Battery Included
Shock Resistant
Carry Case with Belt Clip Included
Teflon® pad protects sensor plate from abrasive surfaces

 

I’ll be testing the unit out thoroughly over the next few months and writing up what I have found with it, limitations, other uses for it, accuracy etc. Watch for more info! Do you have one? Let me know what uses you’ve found for it.