What I'm Seeing Now

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Magical Deck Support!

This is the case of magical deck support!

And what is the support for one side of this deck?

Three  6D nails!

Two undersized beams!

One  strap!

And air.

The left side of those two beams has a small gap and the other side of the strap is jammed into that gap.  A photo did not do justice, but I could not see any nails (or even screws) anywhere in there.

That strap is improperly used, improperly nailed, and improperly positioned.

Anchor - noun - a person or thing that provides steady support.

Siding is not anchor material.

Nails are not anchor agents.

Air inside the wall is not anchor ready.

I say those are 6d nails because of the size of the heads.  They are very small.  They are loose.

And that none appears to be stuck into anything but siding says to me that there is nothing inside the wall into which they are set.

One might argue that this deck has been there for a while, so what's the problem?

This home inspector would argue back that it doesn't matter.  Deck codes are specific and change regularly as jurisdictions want better and more support.  Decks don't fall straight down.  They come loose and fall away from the house.  Weight makes them come loose.  And gravity works.

The principle works too - more weight, more time, more loosening action.

We hear the news stories all the time.  This or that party and a deck collapses.  Gee, why?

My recommendation:  so often, so VERY often, I see unsafe or unprofessionally built decks.  Some people think physics can be avoided.  Time works its magic on everything.  But I assure you, magic won't hold this deck up.  There is NO such thing as magical deck support!

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 12 commentsJay Markanich • April 03 2016 03:59AM

Comments

Yes, that doesn't look good.  Safety is so important.

Posted by Women of Westchester Working Together, Women helping Women get ahead (Women of Westchester Working Together) over 3 years ago

Good morning Jay. Once had a balcony off the Masrter bedroom that was not properly secured! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) over 3 years ago

I feel your pain my son....

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) over 3 years ago

The most important Debbie.  A big deal on home inspections.

Been there Wayne!  Once on an inspection I went out and the balcony sagged under my weight (rock hard 225).  Ummm....

Thank you Father.  I was thinking 50 or so Hail Marys and this still would not be overcome.  Except, maybe, just maybe, by magic.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Jay Markanich As I have said on numerous occsions, Blame HD and L for making these disasters so commonplace by empowering everyone into thinking they are contractors.

Posted by Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI, Presence, Persistence & Perseverance (HomeSmart Realty West & Geneva Financial, Llc.) over 3 years ago

S&N - I have said for years that HGTV is a big problem in our society!  Look at how easy that is, Honey!  I can do that!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Hi Jay - That reminds me of a deck a couple of idiots built for a client that had the entire decking structure attached to the supports with drywall screws - thanksfully, he caught it before anyone was injured.

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) over 3 years ago

Ah, Dick, the ubiquitous drywall screw!  Used for everything except drywall!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Jay, what could go wrong, right? Afterall, the weight of the deck should hold it in place. Yeah, right.

Posted by Mike Cooper, GRI, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) over 3 years ago

Like a suspension bridge, Mike?  The old suspension deck!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

I'll keep watching the news for this deck collapse.  From what I see here, it shouldn't take too long.  Don't people know how dangerous this situation is?

Posted by Stephen Weakley (Nationwide Mortgage Services) over 3 years ago

My clients do Stephen!  And they backed out of this house.  This was the house with the linen closet/shower arrangement!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

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