First let me say that I have a lot of respect for my peers in the waterproofing consulting industry. Many of them are members of trade association groups, have designations as roof and waterproofing consultants and have the highest ethical standards. I salute them and place myself amongst them as a person who puts their client first, above all other interests.
Then there are the people in the balcony inspection industry who are spreading false information, sowing fear and generally lack any moral compass at all. They typically own a contracting business and are in the balcony inspection business to take advantage of unsuspecting managers and Boards of Directors of HOAs.
Case in point, the screen shot above from a deck inspectors website… Saying the inspection must be done by a licensed and certified inspector. There are no requirements set down in SB 326 that an inspector must be licensed or certified. What SB 326 says is the report must be signed by a licensed structural engineer or a licensed architect. There is no licensing entity, such as CSLB or The Board of Professional Engineers that issues licenses or administers tests for EEE inspections under SB326. This competing inspectors website is full of false information designed to frighten you.
Secondly, Associations are not required to file their balcony inspection report with the city or country building department. If, and only if the Structural Engineer or the Architect determines that an EEE is structurally unsound, and is a threat to life/ safety, then that person is responsible to notify the local building department, within 15 days after the inspection about the unsafe structure.
Third, we already caught this “deck inspector” having a balcony inspection report signed by a civil engineer and have reported that to the Board of Professional Engineers for investigation.
When you know the facts you’ll see why we and our fellow peers uphold the highest standards and are your best choice to perform your balcony inspections. Don’t get bamboozled, get educated, ask questions and above all always get 3 bids. Call us today for your free EEE evaluation of your HOA and rest easy knowing we are working in your best interests.
We are proud to announce that we’ve recently signed agreements with Bella Villeta HOA in Santa Barbara and Hueneme Shores HOA in Port Hueneme for SB 326 balcony inspections.
Bella Villeta HOA is managed by The Management Trust Santa Barbara division and Hueneme Shores HOA is managed by Community Property Management of Camarillo.
Bill Leys, president and owner of William Leys Waterproofing Consultants LLC said ” Managers are reporting to us that our bids are very competitive, our proposals are detailed and very informative and that, along with our guarantee of no conflicts of interest, has led the way in Boards of Directors having an increased trust that they are hiring a reliable firm with years of experience in inspecting decks.”.
Leys has been advocating for deck inspections and inspecting decks since 2007… Long before Berkeley happened and has been a front runner in developing inspection standards, testifying at California State Senate hearings on the balcony bills in 2017.
HOAs and managers needing SB 326 inspections should contact us to get their free EEE evaluation and proposal for the required inspections.
We are proud to announce our affiliation with CAI’s Coachella Valley chapter. We look forward to serving the Coachella Valley areas HOAs with our SB 326 Balcony Inspection and roof and waterproofing consulting services.
Bill Leys, president of William Leys Waterproofing Consultants LLC said “I’m looking forward to helping HOAs with their balcony inspections as our main focus, and bringing our No Conflicts of Interest guarantee to the valley. We recognize that many HOAs are in need of inspections by a company that only works for their interests.”
Bill Leys has been a waterproofing contractor for over 15 years and is recognized nationwide as an expert on deck waterproofing. Bill testified at CA Senate hearings when the balcony bills were being written and brought attention to the problems HOAs have with their decks and balconies.
We look forward to serving the Valley and bringing our expertise to managers and HOAs.
After much internal debate inside my head over whether I should publish a copy of our Waterproofing Report here, I’ve decided to. Much of that debate was should I protect our report from our peers and competitors? Part of me said yes, I should protect it, but the better part of me said, no publish it and let it be seen.
First, I want potential clients to be able to see it, how do I do that? By publishing the sample…Second reason to publish it is to share what I’m doing in an effort to bring transparency and education to the industry. With feedback and peer review, we can all get better at saving lives through better inspection techniques, methods of reporting and improving at every opportunity.
To potential clients, please take a look and read a sample supplemental waterproofing report to our Structural Engineers SB 326 structural report. (The SE’s report is not included in this download.) If you like what you see (and I am regularly updating the template to improve it even more) then get in touch for your free EEE evaluation on your HOA.
To my peers and friends, take a look and see what you think. Send me feedback if you care to. The common goal is to never let Berkeley happen again. Feel free to use anything you see. Adopt it into your reporting. If we can help each other our industry benefits and so do our clients.
We wanted to share a few comments we’ve received this month from several clients and peers that we are working with on various projects…
We don’t ask or solicit anyone to complement us, feeling that’s a little pretentious. We simply work as hard as we can for our clients and with our peers, believing that having a good team in place with clients who appreciate what we do is the key to their projects success.
We specialize in working with HOA’s and building owners who have water intrusion issues and want to get them fixed.
Send us an inquiry using the form on the left side of your screen or call us at 805-801-2380. We look forward to helping you solve your waterproofing issues.
I was going to write an article on SB 326 and discuss the bill and it’s intricacies, although not as a lawyer, because I’m not one and I can’t give legal advice-except to advise you to get legal advice…and so while I’m researching and of course reading other experts articles, opinions etc, I came across one article that stood out from the rest. It was written by David Swedelson.
David Swedelson of Swedleson & Gottlieb LLC is located in Los Angeles CA. David and the firm he is a partner in do a lot of HOA related law work and I’ve known him for nearly 18 years as member/vendors of CAI Channel Islands Chapter. David is passionate about the HOA industry and laws governing the industry. He wrote what I’d basically write-an unvarnished opinion that hits all the issues in the bill and addresses the problems a Board/Association could face if they don’t get their inspections done.
Lets look at some points David makes; On pages 2-3 of the article, David points out the fact that some balconies/walkways may be exempt from needing to be inspected. This is absolutely true; however, as David points out, just because a deck is over living space doesn’t mean it and the railing assembly shouldn’t be inspected. We agree, inspect even if it’s not “required” to be inspected. Decks over living spaces are roofs first, and therefore generally the HOA’s responsibility to maintain, repair and replace. Inspections form the basis for maintenance to ensure building components reach their maximum life expectancy. And inspections cost far less than defending lawsuits if something was to happen.
Under “Who Can Make The Required EEE Inspections” on page 3, David is again totally correct saying that inspections MUST BE MADE BY A LICENSED STRUCTURAL ENGINEER OR ARCHITECT and while a contractor may be involved in the inspection process opening up areas for inspection, a licensed contractor is NOT qualified to make these inspections. Further David cites an example that we see happening all the time, contractors telling associations that they will do the inspections and have their inspections signed off by a licensed architect or structural engineer. YES, YES and YES. I have heard of a civil engineer who has been caught signing an SB 326 report. So Associations need to be very careful with whom they have do their inspections with. We as professional SB 326 inspectors work with, and our reports are appended to the Structural Engineers stamped report. We guarantee in writing that we have no conflicts of interest.
On page 4 David addresses an important point under “What Happens If The Expert Finds Dry Rot Or Other Conditions Affecting The Structural Integrity Of The EEE?” Again, David is correct in saying that the inspector must send a copy of the report to the local code enforcement agency within 15 days of completion of the report. If there are structural defects that presents a hazardous condition, or even a hint of a hazardous condition, the structural engineer isn’t going to say well maybe it won’t collapse; no they are going to default to it’s hazardous and needs immediate attention. Why? Surfside. If you don’t know look it up.
David is correct on the dollar figures and as the deadline looms, experts will get booked up. What he doesn’t mention though is that this will be the time when grifters take full advantage of desperate Associations who are trying to meet the deadline for inspections.
On page 5 of David’s FAQ’s “What If A Board Fails To Comply With The New Balcony Inspection Law?”, David’s points are pointed. There could be a lack of coverage for the Board if an inspection didn’t get done, someone gets injured and sues.
David cites several relevant cases where that happened, and so the judicial deference rule will not protect Boards under all circumstances. Probably not something you as an Association want to be the example on…
All in all, the issues David brings up, the examples etc, all show how important it is for HOA’s to get started sooner rather than later-2025 is 2 years away; far but not that far. It’s going to get busier and busier for balcony inspection companies, and that’s not something that can be changed quickly. There’s only so many us professional and ethical balcony inspection companies and we can only do so many inspections. They take time and so do reports.
Call us today for a free EEE evaluation at your HOA, and take David Swedelson’s words with you as you seek to get your inspections done. We’re at 805-801-2380 or email us through the contact box on the left side of the screen.
Lots of people are confused about the SB 326 balcony bill. Inspectors sometimes are too. We get lots of questions about whether an Association EEE’s must be inspected under the bills inspection requirements.
To make it a little easier we compiled this series of photographs showing what types of EEE’s must be inspected and which are exempt. We hope this helps a bit in understanding.
Do you need an SB 326 deck inspection? Call me, Bill Leys, The Deck Inspector today at 805-801-2380 to discuss and set up an appointment to personally evaluate your Associations EEE’s as to whether they must be inspected or if they are exempt.
Starting with decks ad balconies, here are some examples that need to be inspected….
Next are examples of stairs and landings that need to be inspected, with one example of steel stairs that don’t need to be inspected (but the connection of them to the wood framing does need to be inspected).
Walkways supported by wood framing need to be inspected, such as these examples.
So what type of deck/balcony/stair or walkway doesn’t need to be inspected? Anything that is less than 6′ high off the ground (don’t be surprised though is it’s 5′ off the ground and we want to inspect it), made of concrete or steel. And any deck supported by 4 walls like this one below. A solid wall (no columns) must support the deck all the way around for it to be exempt.
This pictorial is not meant to be exhaustive; if you aren’t sure after looking through our pictures, give a call or fill out our contact form. Sending us some pictures always helps too! We are here to help and guide you through the SB 326 process.
We’ve seen a lot of hype over balcony inspection vents here in California. This new product is the result of the SB 326 & SB 721 Balcony Inspection bills that were passed after the deaths of 7 young adults and severe injuries to 6 who survived the collapse of a balcony in Berkeley in 2015.
Essentially balcony inspection vents allow one to easily inspect the interior cavities of a deck enclosed underneath in stucco or other materials. Balcony inspection vents are designed to be installed in a retrofit fashion or on new construction across the bays on a deck. Most are set up with a piano hinge that allows the vent to be opened and the joists and substrate can be observed. Several other less expensive types require the vent to be pulled down after removing several screws.
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.
For an HOA’s reserve accounts there is no word that could be possibly any more dangerous than the word free. Board members hear that word and everything else becomes a dull roar.
“Well they said they were going to do a free inspection if we contracted for the work and we know we have work to do anyway so we may as well kill two birds with one stone.” Well not an actual quote but close enough to what I’ve been told a couple times. My response has been simply there is no such thing as free.
First question is are they inspecting with a structural engineer or an architect on stage 1? If not then the report is not valid if it’s robo stamped.
Second question Is aren’t you supposed to get three bids for the repairs? Why are you not following the CC&Rs that require three bids on any capital expenditures?
Last question is do you really think that you were getting the best price on the repair work? Reality is is they have found an easy mark and are ready to separate your HOA from its money.
Don’t fall for free. You get exactly what you pay for. The experts at William Leys Waterproofing Consultants LLC Do not give away their services for free but we also don’t contract for any work. We work in the association’s best interests and ensure that your money is spent well on repairs that are necessary. With our no conflict of interest guarantee you know that we are working for you and will advise you to the best of our ability with the knowledge that we have so that you can make the best decisions for your association.
Call us today at 805-801-2380 or go to the contact box to the left and send us a message.
SB-326 Deck inspections, roofing & waterproofing consultants who specialize in working with HOA's and building owners.