Decks, porches, and patios provide extended functional spaces to thousands of homeowners in California. While these add beauty and value to properties, many owners overlooked the importance of deck inspections to maintain safety.
Many accidents like failed railings, slips, and falls have resulted in severe injuries and traumatic loss of life. Decks are a place for family and friends to gather, entertain, and relax. So, they need regular inspections to ensure they are strong, safe, and durable.
Why Do We Need Deck Inspections?
Exterior structures like decks are exposed to elements that cause cracks, rotting, and other damages. Whilst these decks follow local building codes, they do wear and tear over time.
Being a heavily-used area at home, regular deck maintenance will detect conditions that pose hazards to the occupants. Deck inspections help prevent stair problems, railing breakages, or possible collapses. Lastly, this will save money from costly repair and more importantly save lives.
California Balcony Inspections Law
In California, the state requires periodic deck inspections on properties with balconies, decks, porches, or patios. The requirements may vary by the type of building and elevated space you have.
The recent signing of Senate Bill 721 and Senate Bill 326 raised a lot of concerns about the new inspection requirements. The below details will give an idea as to what the new laws entail.
Senate Bill 326
SB 326 requires all multi-family, HOA (Homeowners Association), and condo units to have EEE inspections. An apartment that is going through condominium conversions needs an inspection before the first close of escrow.
Deck inspections for exterior elevated elements under SB 326 can only be done by a licensed architect or structural engineer. The first inspection must happen before or on January 1, 2025, and subsequent inspections happen once every nine years.
Senate Bill 721s
The new state law requires all buildings in California with three or more multifamily residential units to have their exterior elevated elements such as porches, balconies, stairways, decks, and walkways.
Any structure designed for human occupancy with entry structures that extend beyond the exterior walls of the building, and with an elevated walking surface of at least 6 feet above the ground must comply with the new law.
The initial inspection will be on the first of January 2025 and with regular deck inspections every 6 years. A licensed architect, structural or civil engineer, certified building inspector, or licensed contractor holding A, B, or C-5 license qualifications with at least 5 years of experience constructing multistory wood frame buildings can complete the inspection.
The minimum inspection includes the condition of waterproofing elements, the condition of load-bearing components, and the evaluation of projected service life and future performance.
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