How To Perform Deck Inspections Video Course

Research & Writing Assignment:

Read inspecting a deck, Illustrated. Good article with a lot of good information. almost every house i insect seems to have a deck of some sort. people love their outdoor spaces. But, I see a lot of improperly built structures that are underbid for the loads that they are trying to carry.

Inspection & Writing Assignment:

I chose to attach an image showing “soil to wood contact” on a deck on the rear side of the residence. This can prematurely deteriorate the wood as it will rot and decay much sooner with constant moisture within the soil packed against it.

Research & Writing Assignment:

I chose to read an article pertaining to a general deck inspection, containing some interesting facts about decking. One that I found interesting, was that most deck collapses happen during the summer. Being from Florida, I would imagine that snow load would cause a significant amount of collapses or issues.

Inspection & Writing Assignment:

Handrail is not graspable and is made of 2x6 wood. Horizontal infill for the handrail is not recommenced. Vertical infill balusters are recommended and to not allow the passage of 4-1/2 inches in diameter. Posts are also in direct contact with soil it is not recommended that posts be in direct contact with soil as it can promote deterioration and rot. Recommend further evaluation from a qualified decking professional and re-painting after corrections are made.

Research & Writing Assignment:

I chose to read and write about child-proofing windows and staircases. Because I have a two year old son child safety for decks and stairs are very important to me. At a young age scaling steps are difficult for children, having proper handrail and baluster placement helps protect in the event that they lose balance. Usually the parent is right behind them so they are there to protect them from falling backwards but not always from the sides.

Inspection & Writing Assignment:

here in this picture we have a front porch that is sinking. the cracked location is also a tripping hazard as one side of concrete is higher that the other side. needs a professional to come and take a look and see they can fix.

Research & Writing Assignment:

an unsafe balcony or deck should be called out during an inspection if you find issues. you should tell everyone that is on site with you and possibly put some sort of caution tape or cation sign up to let people know not to go onto balcony or deck

Inspection & Writing Assignment:

Deck: This deck is a combination of a raised wood/Trek surface raise 7 inches off the ground and two steps up to a spa. Hand rails are not required for two steps. Most decks do not have a covering but this one has a spacial open roof of sorts just for an aesthetic look like a Gazebo. It is made of treated wood on ground pillars and Trek for the upper floor covering with painted wood surrounding the spa for privacy and seating. It is a nice unique treatment for yard and spa.

Research & Writing Assignment:

Ceiling fans: Came to be around the 1860’s. Fans do not cool air they just move air which makes you feel cooler like outside temp "feels like"10 degrees less when wind blows. Fans have problems if not properly secured to a sufficient ceiling stud or proper electrical brace box. Fans can wobble if their not properly balanced. They can look nice but we’ve decided for no fans in the new house because we rarely use them. We use A/C instead in FL.

Research & Writing Assignment:

Inspecting aluminum branch wiring is important because of it’s less than desirable qualities as opposed to copper branch wiring. Aluminum branch wiring was used between 1965-1973 due to rising costs for copper. In those years of use aluminum wiring’s weaknesses became apparent. Compared to copper, aluminum wiring degrades faster undergoing galvanic corrosion when coming in contact with different types of metals in the presence of moisture & will oxidize a lot faster than copper wiring making aluminum wiring less conductive. Other undesirable qualities are higher resistance which requires larger aluminum wiring to be used for the same load as smaller sized copper wiring, less ductile than copper which will cause fatigue in the wire sooner, more malleable which makes aluminum wiring deform when over-tightened, thus creating a loose connection and possible fire hazard, greater thermal expansion and excessive vibration which also contributes to loose connections.

Aluminum wiring can be identified by it’s color and/or the word aluminum or AL on the wire jacket. Other ways to identify aluminum wiring are by wiring terminals marked CO/ALR which means copper/aluminum revised or by the date a home was built.

The best way to correct aluminum wiring is to replace it with copper wiring. Another method and the second best way is to use copalum crimps. Pig tailing, CO/ALR connections and alumiconn are other ways to correct the aluminum wiring, but are only recommended as a temporary fix. Replacing failure prone devices with one’s that are compatible with aluminum is an option as well. It’s also recommended that ignitable materials are not near the connections.

As we can see by the hazards that aluminum wiring presents it’s very important to verify whether or not it is present. If aluminum wiring is found to be present, it is required to be reported.

Hi, I’m about to take the How to perform a deck inspection training and exam.

taking the course

Try “Pilling with wood frame”

Joe Schmieder, EnTrust Home Inspection, Inc. Taking course as elective for IL CE requirements. Thanks. Joe