condo balcony decks

Responsibility for Repairs on a Condo Balcony Deck

You might have been wondering if your balcony decks should be repaired or remodeled, who is going to be responsible for it. Perhaps this is a question that many citizens are not aware of the answer.




The Owner or the Association?


Generally, it is important to note that when the property is within the separate interest that belongs to the homeowner, then it is his or her responsibility. However, when the balcony decks are within the common are property, then it should be within the responsibility of the association.


In other words, if your drainpipe from the sink leaks, then it is your responsibility. Nevertheless, when the pool heater breaks down, then it is the association that will be responsible for it.




Hybrid Elements


You may also consider a more ambiguous issue that involves hybrid elements of the complex. These are known as exclusive use common areas, wherein they are outside of the airspace that defines the separate interest of the homeowner. The homeowners are the ones who can benefit from these and may only be used by a particular homeowner. Such would include balconies, garages, and patios, among others.




Assembly Bill 968


Assembly Bill 968 was introduced in order to clarify the declaration of the common interest and the separate interest development. So the association will be responsible for any repairs in the common interest development. On the other hand, the owner will be responsible for the maintenance of the separate interest and any exclusive use common area belonging to the separate interest.




Deck Inspectors for Southern California is happy to offer our services in Los Angeles, Orange County as well as San Diego and all Southern California surrounding areas like: Glendale, Pasadena, Burbank, Santa Monica, Anaheim, Temecula, Vista, Escondido, Carlsbad, and El Cajon

deck inspection services

How Often Should You Have Your Deck Inspected

Decks have a lifespan so it is important to consider deck inspection services on a regular basis. In fact, it is advised to have an annual inspection or safety check for any deck over 10 years old.



According to the National American Deck and Railing Association, over 40 million decks in the United States are over 20 years old. This is because they were built before the code requirements were even put into place.



As a result, many decks were not built tough enough to last that long. In fact, many residents got hurt due to deck-related incidents, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.




Deck Safety


There are many things to check when you are concerned about the safety of your deck. Such would include the following factors that may affect the overall safety.


  • Corroded or missing fasteners or screws
  • Excessive wobbling
  • Missing flashing and weak railings
  • Split or decaying wood
  • Weak joints



You may check for wood decay by exposing the post where it goes into the ground. There should be a problem when you are able to push a screwdriver into the wood.



If you need professional deck inspection services, it is essential that you contact a deck building professional. It is his/her obligation to ensure that the ledger is properly secured, and if the footings are huge and tough enough to support the structure.




Deck Inspection Cost


There are various costs when it comes to deck inspection services, which depending on the location of your structure and how detailed the inspection will be. Thus, it can range from $25 to $199, from a 30-minute review to an hour of inspection. The details of the inspection will include structural checkup, general safety check, and common building code violations.



The knowledge of the current building code and the deck-building expertise and experience are among the deck inspection services you are going to pay. This will ensure that your deck will not collapse due to natural causes. On top of it all, a written inspection report must be furnished to you so that you are updated of the current condition of your deck.



Overall, you are not obliged to get professional deck inspection services to do repairs right away. In fact, the written report can be supported so that you can get a second opinion or compare repair quotes. So you can hire your own contractor to do the job or you can do it yourself if you think that you can do better.




When to Hire a Professional?


If your deck has aged and shows signs of wear, including wobbly stairs, separating planks, or softwood, then that is more than enough proof that your deck has become structurally unstable.


Unless you are a professional deck repair specialist, it is best to hire a licensed deck building professional to do deck inspection services. He or she will be able to identify problems, including improper construction, rot, or sinking foundation with exact details.


If you want to target your efforts and avoid wasting money on a particular deck repair or remodeling project, then you should hire a professional right away.




Deck Inspectors for Southern California is happy to offer our services in Los Angeles, Orange County as well as San Diego and all Southern California surrounding areas like: Glendale, Pasadena, Burbank, Santa Monica, Anaheim, Temecula, Vista, Escondido, Carlsbad, and El Cajon

balconies - deck inspectors

Dangers to Be Aware Of With Second Floor Balconies

When you are going to build second-floor balconies, there are certain requirements that you need to meet in order to prevent accidents. This includes Senate Bill 721 or the SB 721 inspection requirements that building owners associated with balconies and decks.



SB 721


This bill covers balconies and decks and their associated railings and supports. At the same time, it covers all exterior elevated elements such as the following:

  • Balconies
  • Decks
  • Porches
  • Stairways
  • Walkways
  • Entry structures extending beyond the exterior walls of the building



The said bill will require owners of buildings affected to ensure that the first inspection is done before January 1, 2025. Subsequent inspections are also needed every 6 years after the said date or on or before January 1, 2031.



Risks Involved


Quite frankly, there are risks involved when it comes to building balconies in your home. That is why SB 721 inspection is necessary so that second-floor balconies should be built and monitored according to specifications. Here are examples of incidents that you may not see coming.



Accidental fall


Children often play around the house, including but not limited to second-floor balconies. In fact, you may never see your child getting curious as he or she climbs the railing and falls off onto the ground.



Take note that falls at moderate heights can injure anybody seriously or kill a small kid. You can’t even deny the fact that pets can get out through the balcony door and fall to the ground, resulting in serious injury if not death.



Instability of the Balcony


When damage is not immediately visible, particularly at second-floor balconies, it poses a threat to the safety of anyone who frequents that area. You can just imagine when someone walks onto the second-floor balcony through a rotting wooden floor, for instance.



Collapsing Of the Balcony Floor


If the second-floor balcony has serious damage or weak spots, it could collapse under pressure. This is due to the fact that is not anchored directly into the ground for support, so balconies have weight limits. Obviously, when a group of people would enter at once, then the balcony could collapse.



Falling Items from the Balcony


If you are fond of keeping heavy items on the balcony, there is a possibility that the second-floor area could pose a risk to passersby. This is because strong winds can knock items onto the ground below.



On the other hand, somebody might trip over some objects from the second-floor balcony and get injured or fall over a short railing. Thus, it is important to keep items on the balcony out of the way and close the railings.



Fortunately, though, there is a balcony bill that regulates the inspection of structures that might be prone to damage or collapse. Thus, it is important to abide by the requirements of the SB 721 inspection so that costly incidents can be avoided. After all, it is your own safety and investment you should be concerned about.




Deck Inspectors for Southern California is happy to offer our services in Los Angeles, Orange County as well as San Diego and all Southern California surrounding areas like: Glendale, Pasadena, Burbank, Santa Monica, Anaheim, Temecula, Vista, Escondido, Carlsbad, and El Cajon