Tag Archives: oakland deck inspection

IT’S DECK SAFETY MONTH, AND THE BALCONY COLLAPSES CAN’T STOP/WON’T STOP UNTIL AND UNLESS…WE DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

Removal of the deck boards against the building reveals a seriously deteriorated set of beams.
They died because of poor workmanship and failing to inspect the deck. #NeverAgain

The North American Deck & Railing Association (NADRA) has declared May as “Deck Safety Month”, although IMHO, every month should be Deck Safety Month.

Read Frank Woeste’s article by clicking here on deck connections here https://awc.org/codes-standards/publications/dca6/deck-connection

Rarely does a day go by without my Google alerts, “deck collapse” & “deck fire” sending me an email about another balcony collapsing somewhere or someone’s grill or fire pit on their deck was the cause of a major house fire.

Two weeks ago the headlines were about the Malibu balcony collapse, where 16 people fell to the rocks 15 feet below while at a house party on the coast. Fortunately no one died. This time. Six years ago, six students died and seven were seriously and permanently injured…broken backs, crushed lungs, featured bones, when the balcony they were standing on to take a picture for a birthday celebration suddenly collapsed.

I remember waking up the morning of June 16th 2015 to see the grisly photograph of blood pooled on the sidewalk, a balcony laying flipped over on the balcony below and staring at the broken cantilevered beams that had rotted away and breaking down in tears. Today I still tear up at the thought of what happened. Berkeley was so avoidable. Malibu was so avoidable. Every balcony collapse is so avoidable.

Something else happens when I read about another balcony collapse-I get angry…very angry. In my opinion, a deck inspection by a competent inspector should be able to find the small clues that a deck about to fail leaves…and my anger is directed at the homeowner, property manager, whoever is in charge, who did not opt to spend $300-1000 on a deck inspection but is willing to spend tens of thousands on legal fees to defend their lack of due diligence.

Many decks, especially wood decks are older and worn. Wood rots, nails rust, supports become weaker, and if additions have been added on top of the deck, then extra weight that probably wasn’t factored into the engineering calculations creates additional stresses on the structure.

Before your next party, before you rent the house with the “large expansive deck” on AirBnB, before another deck collapses with people on it and are injured or killed, for God’s sake, get your deck inspected.

Forget the money it costs, think about the guilt you’ll feel having blood on your hands.

Balcony Collapse in Malibu

https://ktla.com/news/local-news/balcony-collapse-in-malibu-residence-sends-almost-a-dozen-people-onto-rocks-below/

A balcony overlooking the Pacific collapsed in Malibu California over the weekend. Nine people were injured and four people went to the hospital.

Balcony Inspections on condos and apartments with 3 or more units are now required to have their decks balconies and stairs be inspected after a deck in Berkeley collapsed 5 years ago, killing 6 and seriously and permanently injuring 7 other people.

Find a deck inspection company at our website at http://www.deckexpert.com

From Davis-Stirling.com a Reader Asks A Question Whether Co-ops Need to Inspect Their Balconies

THE BALCONY BILL
AND STOCK COOPERATIVES

QUESTION. Does Civil Code §5551 apply to co-ops? -Maury J.

RESPONSE: Good question. A stock cooperative is a common interest development governed by the Davis-Stirling Act. Section 5551(l) of the Civil Code states that inspections of elevated wooden structures apply to multi-family structures with three or more units. If a co-op’s buildings are multi-family structures with three or more units, it would seem to apply…

Read more by clicking this link https://arborescens.eocampaign.com/web-version?lc=a6c657f7-2409-11e9-a3c9-06b79b628af2&p=21af816c-9ac0-11eb-a3d0-06b4694bee2a&pt=campaign&t=1618145000&s=808c5c7e8174bf9c2dce156c5b05b4a57473a465286d859bd0dc1f3f83d7de07

Davis-Stirling.com On Balcony Inspections

The questions on balcony inspections continue to come in in California and Adrian Adams of Davis-stirling.com continues to answer them on his weekly newsletter. The importance of doing balcony inspections is without dispute however confusion reigns for many.

We appreciate cooperating with Davis-Stirling.com and helping to bring this important information to the public.

BALCONY DRY ROT
REPAIRSQuestions continue to come in about balcony inspections. To understand the importance of inspections, we start with a small science lesson. -Adrian
QUESTIONfungi.jpgYou keep referring to dry rot. What is it? Why do we have to inspect the waterproofing if it doesn’t stop wood from rotting when it’s dry?

ANSWER: The term “dry rot” is a…  Read the Rest by clicking here. https://arborescens.eocampaign.com/web-version?lc=a6c657f7-2409-11e9-a3c9-06b79b628af2&p=35924a2c-6eca-11eb-a3d0-06b4694bee2a&pt=campaign&t=1613311191&s=38043020ead20ad3c07e83a9510c76fb3709b6ea8afe1dae1461c5f6abdd6a69

California Balcony Inspections; Inspectors Should Not Be Bidding On The Work

With the balcony bill in force & building owners/HOA’s etc. seeking qualified inspectors, I would like to caution BOD’s & owners to be wary of deck inspectors who refer you to a company for any repairs they found needing to be done. General contractors can perform these inspections, but should not bid to repair any problems the inspection might turn up. To be completely free of bias one cannot be a deck inspector on one side & have an interest in a construction firm fixing decks. I’ve heard from a few past clients of HOA’s asking me about being referred to a contractor by their inspector & I reply every BOD should prepare specifications for repairs, work with a construction manager to obtain 3 bids based on those specifications & then award the contract (the Associations attorney writes, not the other way around) to the most responsible bidder. Note I said most responsible bidder. That’s a different subject for a different post… Let us all remember why this balcony inspection bill exists; just over 5 years ago 6 young people died & 7 others were seriously & permanently injured. Lets also remember those that stood against it… Get an inspection done, obtain specifications, have a project manager, get 3 bids, fix and then maintain…lives are at stake.