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  1. #1

    Default Home with deck over water (not troubled I hope!)

    I got an inspection soon with something new to me, a deck built over water.

    As far as the submerged portions of the posts and associated footings are concerned, who could I refer the client to for further evaluation?

    Also, any thing else out of the ordinary that I should be on the look for?



    waterhouse.jpgwaterhouse2.jpg

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Home with deck over water (not troubled I hope!)

    No bulkhead. What is keeping the soil from washing into the canal?


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Home with deck over water (not troubled I hope!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Potter View Post
    I got an inspection soon with something new to me, a deck built over water.

    As far as the submerged portions of the posts and associated footings are concerned, who could I refer the client to for further evaluation?

    Also, any thing else out of the ordinary that I should be on the look for?



    waterhouse.jpgwaterhouse2.jpg
    Refer them to a pest inspector who is certified in SCUBA.

    I would think the standard, obvious stuff would be what to look for. Corroded hardware. If coastal, the metal may be heavily corroded. If it isn't, it will be.

    Also, salt water will deteriorate concrete. If the foundation was constructed with unwashed sand or if the concrete is in contact with salt water, it could be in poor condition.

    Disclaim the stuff under water and let them know that it would be necessary to get a diver to look at them. Maybe one of the marine services that scrape barnacles off of boat hulls can do this.

    One thing I find in coastal areas is leaks at walls. Windows, doors, etc. I make a general note in my reports that the house is in an area that can have severe weather and is a corrosive environment. Electrical panels are often in poor shape.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Home with deck over water (not troubled I hope!)

    That's a good add on service - dock inspections, seawall inspections, etc.

    I had a dock and seawall contractor do my docks and seawalls - try to get the inspector to be there at the same time you are ... observe and ask questions.

    After a few such inspections you should have good basic knowledge of docks and seawalls and what their problems are / what repairs are needed. That will let you compare what you see with what they find.

    I learned a lot from my two dock and seawall inspectors, but I kept using them because they either went into the water or used a Jon Boat, depending on condition present. I stayed up on dry land.

    Depending on where you are and the water (saltwater or freshwater) the pilings may be worm eaten at the water line. Below water and above water is usually not too bad.

    Could have embedment/scour issues where the pilings are embedded.

    Also the corrosion others mentioned.

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 10-10-2014 at 11:31 AM. Reason: added last couple of lines
    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #5

    Default Re: Home with deck over water (not troubled I hope!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    That's a good add on service - dock inspections, seawall inspections, etc.

    I had a dock and seawall contractor do my docks and seawalls - try to get the inspector to be there at the same time you are ... observe and ask questions.

    After a few such inspections you should have good basic knowledge of docks and seawalls and what their problems are / what repairs are needed. That will let you compare what you see with what they find.

    I learned a lot from my two dock and seawall inspectors, but I kept using them because they either went into the water or used a Jon Boat, depending on condition present. I stayed up on dry land.

    Depending on where you are and the water (saltwater or freshwater) the pilings may be worm eaten at the water line. Below water and above water is usually not too bad.

    Could have embedment/scour issues where the pilings are embedded.

    Also the corrosion others mentioned.
    Thanks to all who got me going in the right direction.

    The place for me to look was for someone in the Float and Dock construction and repair area.

    This would be a great add on service, I agree.... Not sure if there is any certification needed or not......


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Home with deck over water (not troubled I hope!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Potter View Post
    The place for me to look was for someone in the Float and Dock construction and repair area.

    This would be a great add on service, I agree.... Not sure if there is any certification needed or not......
    A licensed contractor who does that work should be good. Most that I knew would do inspections because they had to first 'inspect' the jobs they were going to do work at to give an estimate for the work. Like with everything else, some are good, some are bad, and some are okay/so-so.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Home with deck over water (not troubled I hope!)

    This type of construction would have required permits and approvals by local and maybe federal authorities.

    Even if you don't see any issues, it is always prudent to advise your client to check for all required permits and approvals.

    Don't forget to advise them to investigate flood zone and insurance issues.

    Ken Amelin
    Cape Cod's Best Inspection Services
    www.midcapehomeinspection.com

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Home with deck over water (not troubled I hope!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    Don't forget to advise them to investigate flood zone and insurance issues.
    Likely the reason for using that type of construction.

    The photos are so small and low resolution that zooming in to look for a high water line is basically useless (although I think I may see one, the low resolution limits my suspicions to just mentioning that he should look for a high water line on the pilings and the block walls.

    Are the pilings wood, concrete, concrete block?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Home with deck over water (not troubled I hope!)

    And you should be equally cautious about that roof.
    I would take a 4 foot level to see if the pilings and foundation are sinking at all.
    Maybe a big pond on the roof will tell you which end is low.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Home with deck over water (not troubled I hope!)

    I had a similar job years ago. Went to the local marina and talked with some people who install and disassemble docks year in, year out. Found the right guy and it worked out. I would assume there is a marina somewhere near there?

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