Every time I bring up deck flashing on an inspection I get called out!
I have had homeowners tell me that only roofs need flashing. One said he has seen window flashing but had never heard of deck flashing. Another called me a "$&*%%#@!" and that "you inspectors are just looking for stuff to mention on your reports whether they are true or not!"
Deck flashing is crucial to a deck installation. Without it water can seep into the house via the lag or through bolts. They are called "through bolts" because they go through the house to the interior.
Deck flashing, sometimes called "Z" flashing, fits under the siding and OVER the ledger beam, which is the beam attached to the house. It forces the water to the outside, where it has little chance of entering the house. It is made of metal.
Tonight I got an interesting email and phone call. On a recent inspection I mentioned that the deck flashing was missing. I further mentioned that the product I saw on the house was improperly placed and of an indeterminate material.
It seems the seller and listing agent know better. They told my client and client's agent that the deck was "built to code" and that "the flashing is indeed there, simply cut off at the top to make it look better."
Yes, that's the quote in the email...
Here are photos of the "flashing" in question. YOU be the judge!
That is the left and right view of the same ledger beam. It includes a very pretty hole extending into the interior. I would LOVE to see the wording of that code!
Ignorance is bliss I guess, but while there is no interior damage yet (the deck is only a year old) there likely will be and my client will inherit it. My job is the purchaser and his protection. My report doesn't speak to the code, onto to proper installation. And what sellers and listing agents say really has no bearing on my report.
But, who am I to question that job above?!
My recommendation: Don't buck the home inspector! And when people want to make fools of themselves, get out of the way. Just be sure to stand your ground...
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560