Deck Inspection

What to Keep in Mind While Planning Your New Deck: How to Pass That Deck Inspection

Do you often envision the deck you are planning to build for special outdoor activities and celebrations of the family? Well, you must ensure that the deck is safe and up to the latest regulatory codes. This can be done by performing routine deck inspection.

 

Deck Safety

 

Since your deck is located outside of the house, it is often subject for the harshest elements the entire year. This means that the deck is often exposed to heat and cold weather conditions taking a tool even on the most well-maintained outdoor structures.

 

What You Need to Look Out For

 

Insect damage

    •  Modern day decks are mostly made of wood or a composite of such often treated with chemicals to keep bugs away. You can check for any deterioration if you notice some movement or sound when you first step onto it.

Rusted fasteners or connectors

    • Sometimes the safety of the deck is not visible from the outside. So, you have to look under the deck to ensure that connectors, fasteners, and joists are all in good shape.

Cracks and rotting

    • Wood tends to crack after some time specially between the joints and around the fasteners. This can exploit the weaknesses in your deck leading to serious problems.

Mold and mildew exposure

    • Almost all decks develop a green tint from mildew within its lifespan. In fact, steps are prone to mildew growth making them slippery and unsafe.

 

Deck Inspection

 

Deck framing

    • Inspectors for framing would usually require decks to be built low to the ground. This makes the job of inspectors easy without having to crawl down the structure. During deck inspection, inspectors will have to look at the specific connections assembled across the frame.

 

  • Among the areas to be inspected are the joist and beam spacing, as well as the hardware connections. Before the permit can be closed, you must pass a final inspection when all the work is done.

Deck footing inspection

    • Contractors can save ample amount of time on a project if they coordinate promptly about the footing inspections after the excavations. You can pass the footing inspection by using an inspector measure so that you can verify the base sizes and depths of the holes meet the specifications of the approved plans.

 

Professional Deck Inspection Cost

 

Perhaps the most important areas have been discussed and the remaining item to talk about is the cost. Typically, professional deck inspection cost ranges from $25 for a 30-minute inspection to as high as $199 for an hour.

 

What to Do If You Fail

 

It is possible to make mistakes as even experienced tradesmen can overlook details. Therefore a deck inspection is necessary because an inspector can look for details that others can’t.

 

If you fail, it is guaranteed that the next time your deck is inspected, it will become much safer and ready for use. So, it is not that bad to fail at your inspection after all.

 


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

Exterior Elevated Elements

Types of Exterior Elevated Elements: Differences Between Balconies and Porches

If you think a balcony is synonymous to a porch, then you should spend some time reading this article and get the true difference between the two elevated elements.  Here are basic differences between balconies and porches to begin with.

 

What Is A Balcony?

 

The balcony is a platform built outside the building, commonly enclosed by walls or balustrades, and supported by console brackets or columns. Basically, such a platform is projected from the wall of a particular building mostly above the ground floor.

 

Types of Balconies

 

A typical balcony is typically small and not used for entertainment or social gathering. Here are different types of balconies each one unique from the other.

 

True balcony

    • This one is common to everyone because it is a space with a floor and railings, open to the outdoors. Some can be very big and can hold furniture, such as a table or bench and a couple of chairs.

Faux balcony

    • Designed to look like a balcony, this one doesn’t have a floor. In fact, you can’t stand on it. However, it has some rails to give the impression of an actual balcony. Consider it as a decorative structure intended for making the exterior look more stylish.

False balcony

    • A small regular balcony but not faux balcony. Only a little bit of floor space and railings is available. But it is not built to hold furniture because it is only used to extend a room making it more open and offer breathable space as air can enter through this part of the apartment.

Mezzanine balcony

    • A real balcony located indoors is what best describes the mezzanine balcony. It also has a floor and railings making a space look more interesting as it serves different purposes.

 

What Is A Porch?

 

Just like the balcony, a porch is not all built the same. Here are a variety of porches made in different designs, placement, and purpose.

 

Types of Porches

 

Open porch

    • This one is something that doesn’t have any enclosures or sidewalls. It is just an elevated structure with a roof.

Front entry porch

    • This type of porch is attached directly to the front door, marking the main entrance of the house.

Farmer’s porch

    • Commonly attached to a farmhouse-style structure, this type of porch has a roof and supports beams and railings, going along the front of the house.

Back porch

    • Opposite to the front entry porch, the back porch is situated at the back of the house, commonly connected to the back door.

Detached porch

    • This one is not attached to the house, but its structure is similar to that of a pavilion or gazebo.

Screened porch

    • Enclosed by screens, this porch has a roof, often considered an extension of the living room.

 

As an exterior elevated element, the porch has many other names depending on its design and location inside the property.

 

Thus, the differences between the balcony and porch have been established. This makes each exterior elevated element a special part of the house with specific purpose.

 


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

waterproof deck sealer

Best Types of Deck Sealer

You can protect your wooden deck from any potential damage with the right deck waterproofing and sealer techniques. Take note that decks serve as living rooms of outdoor spaces where you can spend quality time with family to barbecue or enjoy a quiet evening with a glass of wine.

Wooden decks are subject to deterioration from exposure from the rain, snow, sun, or wind. This will wear away the wood, leading to cracks, fading, rot, and splinters. That is the main reason why it is very important to consider deck waterproofing with regular applications of deck sealers.

 

Seal-Once Marine Penetrating Wood Sealer

This is the best type of deck waterproofing. It is a clear water-based sealer that penetrates right down into the wood fibers to provide long-lasting protection against mold growth and moisture damage.

 

Eco Advance Exterior Wood Water Repellent

There is a reason why this product is the easiest to apply. Simply mix the concentrate with 1 gallon of water and use a sprayer to cover your deck with a light coat of the formula. This will not even harm your lawn or outdoor plants.

 

Olympic Stain Smartguard Concentrated Sealant

When it comes to the best value for money, this concentrated sealant is a well-priced that comes in concentrate form. Moreover, this sealer prevents water damage, rotting, splitting, and warping.

 

Olympic Stain Maximum Waterproofing Sealant

Wooden deck sealants typically last a year, but the Olympic Stain sealant lasts up to 3 years. It protects decks from cupping, rotting, and staining caused by humidity and water.

 


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

sb 326

What to Know About SB 326

The long-awaited Senate Bill 326 (SB 326) has finally been enacted by the California Legislature to protect property owners from building defects. According to the bill, there are three main objectives to accomplish.

 

Inspection for Exterior Elevation

Associations having 3 or more multifamily dwelling units now need to meet new requirements in accordance with the Civil Code Section 5551 of the SB 326.

So all exterior elevated elements supported in substantial part by wood or wood-based products must be inspected by a licensed structural engineer or architect every 9 years.

Part of this bill also requires the inspector to submit a report to the association board to provide specified information. This includes the current physical condition and the remaining useful life of the load-bearing components and associated waterproofing systems.

Moreover, the inspector must provide a copy of the inspection report to the association right after the completion of the report. A copy must also be furnished to the local code enforcement agency within 15 days after completing the report.

If the inspection of any exterior elevated element has already been carried out, the inspector advises that the exterior elevated element poses an immediate threat to the safety of the occupants.

In this case, the bill will authorize the local enforcement agencies to recover the enforcement costs in connection to these requirements. Then, the association board will also be able to enact rules or bylaws to impose requirements more than those imposed by these provisions.

 

Membership Vote Requirements to Act Against Developers

The association has the authority to bring formal and informal legal proceedings versus a declarant or developer of the community. Thus, developers can add provisions together with the governing documents limiting or restricting the ability of the association to bring such actions against a developer without the consent of the membership.

Nevertheless, the addition of section 5986 to the Civil Code aims to invalidate the ruling and outright prohibit the governing documents of the association to limit the authority of the board to initiate legal proceedings versus a developer.

Since section 5986 applies retroactively to any association to limit the language in the governing documents, associations are no longer required to comply with the restrictive provisions in the governing documents.

 

Provide Written Notice

Within the Civil Code section 6150, associations looking to bring action versus a developer for construction defects are required to provide written notice. This is intended to discuss problems that may lead to formal legal action and available options to address the problems.

The new bill SB 326 will amend the Civil Code section 6150 to require associations to notify the membership and discuss the potential impacts of filing a civil action, which includes financial impacts.

 

Authority for Legal Proceedings

The act also states that an association has the standing to institute, defend, intervene, or settle in the litigation, arbitration, mediation, or doing administrative proceedings in its own name.

SB 326 requires the board to determine whether an association may start to make legal proceedings versus a builder, declarant, or developer of a common interest development unless specified.

 


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

apartment deck inspection

Benefits of an Apartment Deck for Tenants

Aside from enjoying the perks of turning your apartment deck or patio into an oasis, creating a cozy, stylish spot for tenants can also be beneficial during the pandemic.

Decorating a balcony can be a bit tricky, but sprucing up your rental house or apartment can be even harder. Nowadays, since the coronavirus pandemic is affecting the apartment rental industry, it is good to have a better option for tenants.

 

Adapting To the New Normal

An apartment without a balcony is obviously not a popular choice. In fact, many people living with at least one person are becoming more desperate for an escape, particularly from the rising tensions indoors.

Thus, having personal space is now a precious commodity. As a matter of fact, there are lots of benefits to getting from balconies in terms of livability, lovability, mental health, and pleasure of living in urban settings, even before the coronavirus pandemic.

Staying indoors can be the only option for tenants now that 95% of the population in the U.S. is under lockdown. However, it can also take a toll on mental health. Leaving home can be quite a scary option nonetheless.

 

Why Build Balconies

This makes sidewalk widths and balcony depth more significant for people living in the city. If you are going to build bigger balconies, however, it only means that lesser internal space will be left available.

Top offerings that property owners have added or upgraded to their apartment spaces include common outdoor spaces big enough for residents to gather. Thus, you can maximize balcony spaces by hiring apartment deck inspection services.

In some localities, regulations regarding the renovation of balconies have been modified in order to serve other goals. So developers are able to expand the amount of exempted balcony spaces if they can show three improvements, including the livability of the home, architectural interest, and green performance of the property.

 

Balconies Help Lower Energy Use

You can benefit from an apartment balcony as it can provide a passive shade to naturally cool down homes. Thus, it can help lower the use of energy because you don’t have to turn the air-conditioning more often than usual.

 

Help Neighborhoods Engage In Social Connection

Neighborhoods with balconies facing the streets can also be a great way to engage in community resilience and social connection. In some popular cities around the world, many residents engage in nightly cheering for health workers from the balconies. This can also enable them to build connections with their neighbors from their own home without going outside.

 

Offer Pleasant Living Spaces

If you want to have a pleasant living space, it is best to consult an apartment deck inspection service. That is because balconies have become pleasant living spaces with the absence of air pollution due to the reduction in car traffic.

 

Escape From Quarantine Stress

You can actually appreciate stepping into a netted balcony seeing the empty road with deafening silence and hearing the chirping sound of birds in the open. This serves as a quick escape from the stressful experience of the quarantine.

If you want to maximize the benefits of your apartment space, make it a point to seek help from apartment deck inspection professionals. During the coronavirus pandemic, balconies play an important role to provide fresh air without anxiety.

 


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

safety inspection

A Quick Deck Safety Inspection

There are 40 million estimated decks in the United States with half of these existing decks are safety and code compliant. While decks and balconies give added aesthetics to the exterior beauty of your homes, these can also cause tragic accidents or death without a proper safety inspection.

A deck safety inspection can save lives. But for peace of mind and overall safety, certified deck inspectors can do an excellent deck safety inspection.

  • Check for improper or loose connections. Use nuts, bolts, and washer for the new installation of decks. If the wood deck is connected using nails, have this replaced immediately by a certified contractor.
  • Routinely check the joints between the deck and the house for rust or corrosion. If this can eventually cause the deck to collapse.
  • Deck inspectors will check for rotted support posts. Rotted deck supports become weak and can no longer support the deck’s weight. Your hired deck inspector will recommend if deck posts require replacement.
  • Check if your deck wobbles every time you walk across it. Most of the time, deck inspectors will fasten an angle bracing under the deck.

Regular deck inspections carried by certified deck inspectors and corrective measures prevent fatal injuries and accidents from happening.

 


The National Institute of Clinical Research is an SMO/CRO with offices and labs in the following cities and states: New Jersey, North Carolina, Austin, San Diego, San Francisco, Bakersfield 93309, Fountain Valley 92708, Garden Grove 92840, Hacienda Heights 91745, Huntington Beach 92648, Las Vegas 89106, Long Beach 90806, Los Angeles 90048, Ontario 91762, Rosemead 91770, San Antonio 78207, Santa Ana 92704, Upland 91786, and Westminster 92683.

elevated balconies

Guidelines on Inspecting Balconies on High-Rise Buildings

Elevated balconies add more aesthetic appeal to the overall design of your buildings, apartments, cafes, or restaurants. Balconies provide condo residents, and owners, extra room to relax, enjoy the view and entertain.

Modern constructions and high-rise buildings in urban communities often have balconies that add to the selling value of the property; extra square footage to enjoy the great outdoors, or storage to maximize your living space.

It is no secret that several deaths and fatal injuries have occurred due to falls from balconies or as a result of collapsed balconies.

Just like any other structure, decks and balconies need extra care and maintenance to preserve its beauty, and at the same time ensures safety. A new installation of patios, verandas, or decks, must meet safety standards.

Inspectors carry out balcony inspections to check the safety of these structures; if these are built according to the professional and technical standards set by the industry.

Below are the things to look for in inspecting high-rise balconies to see if these are building compliant or potentially unsafe.

  • Loose connections – inspectors will look for connections that may have degraded over time. Elevated balconies with wobbly railings, stairs that may seem to be pulling away from the main structure can compromise safety. Improper use of connections may cause railings or stairs to collapse. Balcony connections that meet building codes must be used with fasteners for overall safety and durability.
  • Corrosion – metal connectors and fasteners will corrode over time due to exposure to elements. Regularly check the connectors and fasteners or better have a professional assess the condition of your balcony. High-rise buildings located near the moisture-prone areas must use stainless steel connectors and fasteners.
  • Cracks – as the building ages, it is common to develop cracks and other signs of wear and tear. Balconies, railings, stairs, or decks with cracks must be repaired immediately. Regardless if it is just a small crack, eventually it will expand which can weaken the balcony.
  • Railings – railings are made of different materials and come in different shapes which are required to be 36 inches high for homes and 42 to 48 inches high for business or commercial establishments. Basically, railings are added for safety especially for balconies 18 inches from the ground.

The industry standards set a maximum opening for the gaps between balusters; enough where a 4 diameter ball will not fit through the railings. Building inspectors will run tests on the railings of your elevated balconies to determine industry codes are met and if railings are properly installed.

  • Flashing – for new installation of balcony or routine check-up, flashing needs to be considered. The water leak under the flashing can cause cracks or connectors to corrode. Your balcony may look OK until a major issue may occur due to an untreated problem.

Elevated balconies that are inadequately constructed or illegally built with inappropriate materials can cause tragic accidents. Engineers, contractors, and building inspectors must exercise absolute judgment when constructing, designing, and inspecting balconies.

 


The National Institute of Clinical Research is an SMO/CRO with offices and labs in the following cities and states: New Jersey, North Carolina, Austin, San Diego, San Francisco, Bakersfield 93309, Fountain Valley 92708, Garden Grove 92840, Hacienda Heights 91745, Huntington Beach 92648, Las Vegas 89106, Long Beach 90806, Los Angeles 90048, Ontario 91762, Rosemead 91770, San Antonio 78207, Santa Ana 92704, Upland 91786, and Westminster 92683.

elevated walkways

Safety Benefits of Elevated Walkways

Pedestrian lanes and walkways are an integral part of a community’s identity. Pedestrian infrastructures are a part of progress and are integral to people’s safety. Elevated walkways provide health and safety benefits to pedestrians and those who explore destinations on foot.

 

Safety for Pedestrians

According to the U.S Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, there are around 4,500 pedestrians killed in the United States due to traffic crashes with motor vehicles.

Almost 8 percent of these deaths are pedestrians walking along the roadway. But these mishaps are avoidable through walkways separated from vehicle lanes. These accidents can be prevented through the availability of pedestrian walkways.

  • Health safety – making a living these days and the pressure to keep up with the fast-paced society can be very stressful. Proper and safe walkways provide a readily accessible venue for residents to exercise and de-stress. Everyday walks to and from the parking lot, grocery, cafes, or nearby establishments is a cheap yet effective way to reduce stress, improve health and mood.
  • Pedestrian safety – elevated walkways offer a safe environment for pedestrians local and tourists alike for travel and exercise. Walkways keep pedestrians from any road danger, at all times. Children in the community can also walk safely to school.
  • Improved Life quality and safety – better quality of life is not only based on monetary. Quality of life also includes environment, physical and mental health.

Providing safety walkways to pedestrians give them the peace of mind that the neighborhood is safe from a lot of potential road accidents. By providing a safe environment for adults and children helps motivate people to socialize and be more active.

 

Residential Properties

Walkways for pedestrians do not only offer safety benefits but improves property value. The same with schools, hospitals, and other public amenities, safe walkways augment residential home values.

According to case studies, residential properties near well-maintained walkways have higher property value. A safe walkway is highly regarded as a place for recreation or physical activity promoting healthy life and community.

Also, safe elevated walkways provide better transportation options for people who do not have cars or cannot drive.

The wider the separation of pedestrian sidewalks from the roadways means more comfort for individuals. Comfort and physical exercise contribute to healthier mental and physical well-being.

Sidewalks should be best designed to make sure pedestrians are safe from traffic and any road dangers at all times. Walkways should be pleasant and comfortable to walk; should be well-maintained.

Providing sidewalks in the community motivate people in the community of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities, knowing that their needs are being met.

 

Developing Elevated Walkways

Safe walkways should not only be considered in urban areas but also for rural areas. Development and progress must always be considered in areas where there is less pedestrian traffic.

Less developed areas with occasional pedestrian traffic should not forget the importance and benefits of elevated walkways. Sooner or later, these will serve its purpose; providing comfort and safety to pedestrians: adults and children.

 


The National Institute of Clinical Research is an SMO/CRO with offices and labs in the following cities and states: New Jersey, North Carolina, Austin, San Diego, San Francisco, Bakersfield 93309, Fountain Valley 92708, Garden Grove 92840, Hacienda Heights 91745, Huntington Beach 92648, Las Vegas 89106, Long Beach 90806, Los Angeles 90048, Ontario 91762, Rosemead 91770, San Antonio 78207, Santa Ana 92704, Upland 91786, and Westminster 92683.

deck repair

Repairing an Old Deck

Elevated decks are always exposed to the elements making them more prone to wear, tear, and damage. So if your deck has been around for a while, here are some simple repair steps to get it back to its pristine condition:

 

Clean your deck

Sometimes elevated decks just need some deep cleaning to get them back to their former glory.

Depending on the material of your deck, you can choose from cleaners containing oxalic acid for removing tannins and iron stains on redwood and cedar decks, sodium hypochlorite that removes tough mildew, and sodium percarbonate that’s perfect for removing weathered wood, dirt, and mildew.

 

Replace damaged boards

Damaged boards can easily make your deck unsafe. Replace rather than repair is the best option here. Pull them out by removing the fasteners and lifting them straight up to avoid damaging other boards. You can then replace them with newer boards of the same color and type as the ones used in your deck.

Finally, you should check screws and bolts for rust and loosening so you can replace them right away. Any rusting or loose screws and bolts could mean disaster if not addressed immediately because they can make your deck weak, especially when they have too much weight on it.

 


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 railings

5 Useful Tips in Building Railings for Your Deck

A railing is an essential part of any deck not only for aesthetics but also for safety. In fact, it’s one of the elements that qualified deck inspectors look for, which is why it’s very important to invest in good railings for your deck if you want to fully enjoy your outdoor living space.

Now if you’re building your own railings, here are five useful tips that you can keep handy for your project:

 

Take your measurements first

The size of your deck railing will depend on the size of the deck itself and it’s also very important to incorporate an anchored handrail system to make this area safer, especially if you have young children or seniors in your house.

Take your measurements first to know exactly what materials you need and how you should cut them. The standard height for deck railing posts is 10 inches while the rail height should be between 36 and 42 inches.

You can also ask your qualified deck inspectors about the ideal measurements for your deck railings so you can stay within the rules.

 

Choose the right materials for your railings

There are many options for deck railing materials depending on what matches the rest of your deck and of course, your budget. Aluminum railings are considered the most durable and they also need very little maintenance, although they could be pricier than other options.

Tempered glass railings are also another great option, especially since they give the illusion of a wider space while still keeping your deck secure. Of course, there are classic wood railings that have always been the go-to choice for many homeowners because of their timeless look.

 

Cut and secure your posts

You can start by cutting the posts according to your measurements and securing them inside the rim joists. Keep in mind that bolts should not be places less than 5-1/8 inch apart and posts need to maintain a maximum space of 72 inches in between.

 

Install your top and bottom rails

If you’re doing the installation yourself, make sure that the top and bottom rails are secured properly inside the posts by placing two 3-inch screws diagonally 2 inches apart.

When the time comes, elements like this will be checked closely by qualified deck inspectors so it really helps to follow the ideal measurements to avoid any hassles later on. You can then attach the top cap to the posts using the same screws.

 

Secure your balusters

To complete the installation, screw the balusters into the top and bottom rails. Proper baluster spacing is indicated on your local building code so it’s very important to read about it or ask your qualified deck inspectors. The standard maximum baluster separation, however, is about 4 to 5 inches in the center.

Having the right decking will allow you more freedom to move in your deck without having to worry about any accidents. This makes a deck railing the perfect investment for your outdoor living space.

 


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