Of all the house components we inspect decks due to their size, weight and height has the greatest potential to injure or kill out clients. In an effort to educate the home buyers and manage their expectations on the limitations of deck inspections performed as part of a normal home inspection I have developed this draft statement to include in my reports. I would like some feed back if you have time.
**Note: **The inspector will make an attempt to point out visible deck defects discovered during the course of a normal home inspection. However, every deck is unique and determining the overall structural stability and load carrying capacity of individual members and connections is outside the scope of this inspection. Many critical items and details that affect the stability and load carrying capacity can be hidden from view such as:
• Existence and condition of flashing between the ledger board and the house.
• Condition of bolts nails and screws, including rust and corrosion.
• Grade, moisture content and extent of decay in wood members.
• Condition of columns and members in contact with soil.
• Depth and size of footings below ground.
Detailed structural engineering analysis is a separate service available that may involve drilling, removing members and connections to determine engineering properties needed to perform a thorough analysis. This service is typically available only to the homeowner and is performed under a separate agreement.