Tag Archives: balcony bill

Condos That Are Less Than 10 Years Old Should Do An EEE Inspection Before You Pay For a Full SB 326 Balcony Inspection

SB 800  allows for condos to file claims for construction defects within 10 years of completion of the buildings. SB 326 adds additional language that strengthens some of that Bill and improves upon it. While condos may want to pursue construction defect claims, they may want to postpone their Balcony inspection if they suspect they have defects. Why?

Simply because the balcony inspection report becomes part of the association’s records for a minimum of 9 years and is  part of the reserve study. A report showing numerous deficiencies may be a red flag to buyers, your insurance company and could cause unintended problems.

One attorney  I know recommends pre-inspections of the EEEs and inspections of the building envelope in general. “I strongly recommend a pre-inspection. Open 2 or 3 locations and if there are issues,do repairs first. That way the report isn’t a surprise (and protects property values) and if the project is under 10 years old, the builder pays for inspections and repairs.”  We concur and so we offer our clients pre SB326 inspections of EEE’s that are suspected of having damage/ defects.

We will open up several decks/ balconies for inspection of the structural elements. If there are damages and repairs are necessary then the beginning of an SB 800 claim can be started with the developer/builder. At the time of opening the decks and balconies we will document all conditions prior to destructive testing starting and then document while removing materials and exposing structural elements. Items removed will be documented, logged in and  retained for evidence in our secure storage location. We will then issue a report to the Board on our findings.

As a structural engineer is not involved at this point and the number of elements that are being opened are limited, the cost to do this is much lower than a SB 326 stage 2 inspection would be.

If you would like a proposal for a Pre-SB326 Inspection, contact us today for a quote.

Bill Leys Has Been Inspecting Decks Since 2005, and Has Been A Leader In The Deck Inspection Field Since

After a boroscope camera saw some damage, full destructive testing reveals the horror show lying hidden away, a collapse waiting to happen; that could have happened without a deck inspection.
Photo courtesy of American Restore, Inc.

As the owner of William Leys Waterproofing Consultants LLC, I’ve been a proponent of doing deck inspections for a very long time. Deck collapses have been happening long before the shocking Berkeley deck collapse that left 6 dead and 7 severely injured on the sidewalk below and they continue with alarming frequency today.

With SB-326 in place, it is important to find the right inspector for your HOA. There are a lot of new inspection companies that have popped up with dubious track records and many have conflicts of interests by also owning a waterproofing company that can just happen to give you a bid… and there are the established firms like William Leys Waterproofing Consultants LLC that have been doing deck inspections, forensics and construction defect investigations for years and have no conflicts of interest because we don’t bid for any repair work that we may discover.

In 2006 I presented a Powerpoint presentation on decks at the Association of Professional Reserve Advisors (APRA) annual symposium in Rancho Mirage. It was there that an HOA manager approached me about doing deck inspections for his client Associations. My first deck inspection was Montecito HOA in Walnut Creek, an Apartment to Condo conversion. That inspection found numerous defects and deficiencies on the balconies.

From there my inspection business took off and I have been inspecting decks and balconies on buildings all over California for 16 years now. We are recommended by HOA management firms, Reserve Study companies such as CACM Services in Long Beach, B&W Management in Arroyo Grande and Facilities Advisors International LLC.

Read our reviews from over the years I’ve been doing inspections here- Reviews & Recommendations and you’ll see the same consistent theme, how our expertise made a difference.

Put our expertise to work for your Association today, starting with a free SB-326 EEE evaluation of your property. We’ll calculate what EEE’s need to be inspected and give you a free proposal for the work. I think you’ll find our pricing competitive and our work exceptional. Email Bill Leys at LeysWaterproofingConsultants@gmail.com today to get started.

Horizon West Condominiums in Waukesha WI Proves Why Concrete Balcony Inspections Are Essential and Should Be Included Under “The Balcony Bill” aka SB 326 – Don’t Wait For That, Get Going On Getting Inspections Now

Berkeley was the first warning with 7 dead and 6 seriously injured after a concrete topped wood frame balcony catastrophically failed, Surfside was the second warning, leaving 100+ people dead, now Horizon West Condominiums in Wisconsin is the third. All are poster children of management and BOD failures to inspect, maintain, repair & replace their buildings. Both Surfside and Horizon Wests associations knew for quite a while that there was deferred maintenance, refusal to pass special assessments to fix the deferred maintenance and then inevitable finger pointing when “it” hit the fan. On the positive side, at least Horizon didn’t collapse and no one died. On the negative side Horizon West HOA has to pull their building down as it has been condemned. That’s right the damage to steel reinforcing is so bad inside the building that it can’t be fixed.

“After inspections and the removal of unsafe balconies revealed rusted support beams, engineers sounded the alarm.” “They determined the six-story building had deteriorated to the point that it could collapse.”

Screen shot from Milwaukee Sentinel Journal shows workers removing balconies at Horizon West Condominiums

There are plenty of buildings in California that have concrete balconies. Many have some type of waterproofing applied to them, with varying degrees of success. Many builders don’t feel that concrete needs to be waterproofed. The bad news is it does. Concrete is porous, it allows water to soak into the deck and when that water is in the concrete it is now attacking the metal reinforcing holding the balcony together.

While the “balcony bill” doesn’t require that balconies made of concrete have to be inspected, It is my opinion that excluding these balconies was a grave mistake. Concrete gets attacked everyday by the elements.

Screen shot from a Reddit post. Concrete balcony hanging off a building after failing.

At William Leys Waterproofing Consultants LLC, we beseech our legislature to amend the balcony bill and include concrete balconies. While we are waiting for that to happen with bated breath, in the meantime we are encouraging condo boards and their management companies to get on board now with inspecting their concrete balconies.

Our structural engineer and our waterproofing experts at William Leys Waterproofing Consultants LLC will inspect your concrete balconies for signs of deterioration, spalling. cracking and rusting steel along with its waterproofing system to ensure that your balconies are safe. We think it’s extremely important to get ahead of the game rather than being behind. Trust me you don’t want to be that board of directors that has to announce to its membership that “due to past and present failure to inspect, maintain and repair, and prohibitive cost to fix it now, the building is condemned and everyone has to move out.”

Call me, Bill Leys, The Deck Expert, at 805-801-2380 for a fast response and quote on inspecting your concrete balconies and decks. While inspections aren’t cheap, they are certainly a lot less than paying to pull down a condemned building or defending a negligence lawsuit.

Our Promise To Our Clients-No Conflicts of Interest When it Comes To SB-326 Balcony Inspections Under Civil Code 5551

We Find the Leaks Because Our Experience Tells Us Where the Leaks Are

We know that there are companies out there, owned by a waterproofing company or a general contractor, that suddenly opened up a “deck inspection company” after the balcony bill became law, in order to feed their real business-contracting. I won’t name names, however I invite you to copy and paste the following into a word document, print it out and ask any competing bidders to sign this No Conflicts of Interest pledge.

if you are my customer, you get this pledge from me. Ethical inspectors should only be working for their client and not have any hidden agenda’s. To that end, all of our proposals will have this signed certification and promise from us.

AFFIDAVIT OF NO CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

On the HOA/Apartment Community property being inspected at: ____________________________________________________________

I, _______William Leys__________ affirm and attest that I and others associated with my firm:

  1. Shall not provide a bid to repair any adverse conditions noted in our report
  2. Have no direct or indirect financial interest in the building materials that may be specified
  3. Do not receive financial benefits from contractors that may perform any work specified by us; and
  4. Will not accept compensation or benefits from any party except you my client for services pertaining to this inspection.

As an ethical professional I certify in writing that:

Our Only Obligation Is to You,  the Client

Inspectors shall conduct themselves in a fashion which brings credit to themselves, their employers and their profession. In addition to upholding the behavioral standards described above, an inspector/consultant

  1. Shall preserve the confidence of his/her client or employer and serve each in a professional and competent manner.
  1. Shall exercise unprejudiced and unbiased judgment and conduct when performing all professional services and inspections;
  1. Shall practice only in his/her area of competence;

IV. Shall decline any activity or employment, avoid any significant financial or other interest, and decline any contribution if it would reasonably appear that such activity, employment, interest,     or contribution could compromise his or her professional judgment or conduct, or prevent him/her from serving the best interest of his/her client or employer, without making full disclosure to the client and obtaining the client’s consent thereto;

  1. Shall neither offer nor make any payment or gift to any public official, private client or industry representative with the intent of influencing that person’s judgment or decision in connection with an existing or prospective inspection/consultation I am interested in; and

By submission of this Affidavit, I affirm the above are true and accurate statements.

William Leys

Signature

Does your SB 326 deck inspector measure up? If they won’t sign this Declaration of No Conflicts of Interest, that might be a warning sign. Other warning signs are their contract has a clause that has a $10,000 penalty if anyone in the HOA writes a negative review, or if you see an ad that says “free with mail in rebate”.

I invite you to experience William Leys Waterproofing Consultants LLC’s personal service, expertise and guarantee of no conflicts of interest. I’m Bill Leys and I put my name on the company and it’s my reputation. I’ve partnered with a top rated structural engineer and can provide you with a balcony inspection report that is better than my worthy competitors and far far better than the wanna be inspectors.

Remember, there’s no such thing as a “free inspection if you contract with us to fix your decks”. It’s called a ruse. They lure you in with BS that is designed to make you feel like you are getting a deal and pack on the costs on the other side.

With William Leys Waterproofing Consultants LLC, your SB 326 balcony inspection under Civil Code 5551 is guaranteed to be free of conflicts of interest-you as the HOA are our only client. Call me now at 805-801-2380.

Thank you, Bill Leys

Deck Inspections For Real Estate Transactions-Ethics and The Law

  1. SLO & Santa Barbara Realtors-Do you know William Leys Waterproofing Consultants LLC inspects wood and waterproof decks for buyers (and sellers)? We are the only company that does deck inspections where our duty and interest is only to the client, we do not bid for repairs! Why is this important? Because it’s the law. Contractors performing inspections for real estate transactions may not bid on work found to be needed. “Free” inspections predicated on doing the repair work is included. B&P Code section 7195 imposes certain duties and constraints, including prohibitions on repairing properties on which an inspection was performed in the last 12 months, accepting kickbacks and payments of referral fees to agents. Beyond that, it’s simply not ethical. We work for your client; that’s it. If your client, after getting our inspection, wishes to verify that the repairs to the deck or buildings weather resistant barriers are being installed correctly, they have the option of retaining us to perform quality assurance visits to observe and record a contractors repair procedures, materials used and following the plans and manufacturer’s specifications. Learn more about our services here in our website.
Careful checking if the integrity of the woods found this problem at a post connection.