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Thread: Deck attachment

  1. #1
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    Default Deck attachment

    Gentlemen
    Your thoughts and assessment appreciated on the attachment of the deck/balcony of this two story.

    The patio cover joists were attached to a ledger board, which basically ran the full width of the structure, with supporting posts as can be seen. The balcony joists did not appear to be cantilevered and were butted against the stucco, resting on the patio cover ledger board. No nails or other method of attachment to ledger were visible though the joists may have been toe-nailed into the ledger.

    There were significant issues regarding the patio structure as a whole, including lack of flashing of the ledger. The deck/balcony rail was loose, balusters too wide apart, decking was split and deteriorated, overall in generally poor condition. My concern, even though the deck joists were stable and sound, would anyone consider this an appropriate method of attachment and not call it out?

    Also, are lag-bolt placement for patio cover ledger boards which do not have to support live loads, the same as for decking which would have to?

    Due to necessary repairs to to the handrail and other aspects of the structure, I recommended an engineering review with necessary repairs, possibly to the point of tear-down and rebuild. Comments appreciated.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Deck attachment

    So far I have.
    Image 3.
    Ledger flashing. (Missing)
    Ledger bolting requirements. (Bolting not staggered.)
    Ledger to deck joist connection. (lack of mechanical connections)

    Last edited by ROBERT YOUNG; 08-02-2016 at 03:13 AM.
    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Deck attachment

    Lack of flashing at the ledger board would be a major concern, as built there are tons of spots that would be prone to moisture entry. Were the bolts at the ledger lags or through bolts? Any way to access the bolt at the interior? Did you try tapping the bolts with a hammer to see if they sounded solid? I will sometimes use a wrench to give the lag screw a turn, most will turn easily as the wood will be rotted out from moisture.
    I would have issue with the construction of this, if it were not for the deck above and no live load existed it would be slightly less of an issue. I would be looking for water entry into that wall as another major concern also...

    Alton Darty
    ATN Services, LLC
    www.arinspections.com

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Deck attachment

    Crack in the ledger.
    ledger a.jpgknot.JPG

    It appears the car/painter forgot to grade his/her lumber prior building the structure.
    Knot location weaken structure much like boring / notching.


    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Deck attachment

    Quote Originally Posted by Alton Darty View Post
    Lack of flashing at the ledger board would be a major concern, as built there are tons of spots that would be prone to moisture entry. Were the bolts at the ledger lags or through bolts? Any way to access the bolt at the interior? Did you try tapping the bolts with a hammer to see if they sounded solid? I will sometimes use a wrench to give the lag screw a turn, most will turn easily as the wood will be rotted out from moisture.
    I would have issue with the construction of this, if it were not for the deck above and no live load existed it would be slightly less of an issue. I would be looking for water entry into that wall as another major concern also...
    Alton. Thanks for your observations.
    No way of accessing the interior to inspect bolts but they certainly appeared to be lag and somewhat undersized. I did pry the ledger to see if was secure and it seemed to be with no 'give'. I didn't tap the bolts or tweak them but that's a very good tip. Having said that, the ledger was primarily for holding the limited dead weight of the patio cover and not for supporting any deck above. So, back to my original question...would ledger bolting need the same requirements for a patio cover versus bolting for a deck, needing to support live loads?

    This is a So.Cal home, with very little (8"-10" per year) rainfall. Last rain was months ago, next rain not expected for a few more months so very limited moisture intrusion but an issue just the same.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Deck attachment

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    So far I have.
    Image 3.
    Ledger flashing. (Missing)
    Ledger bolting requirements. (Bolting not staggered.)
    Ledger to deck joist connection. (lack of mechanical connections)
    Yep, that and other stuff is what I reported. But are bolting requirements the same for patio structure ledgers versus deck?

    Thanks for your imput.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    Crack in the ledger.
    ledger a.jpgknot.JPG

    It appears the car/painter forgot to grade his/her lumber prior building the structure.
    Knot location weaken structure much like boring / notching.
    Good call...but I don't think it was constructed by an auto body shop employee...but you never know🤔🤔🤔🤔


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Deck attachment

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Page View Post
    Alton. Thanks for your observations.
    No way of accessing the interior to inspect bolts but they certainly appeared to be lag and somewhat undersized. I did pry the ledger to see if was secure and it seemed to be with no 'give'. I didn't tap the bolts or tweak them but that's a very good tip. Having said that, the ledger was primarily for holding the limited dead weight of the patio cover and not for supporting any deck above. So, back to my original question...would ledger bolting need the same requirements for a patio cover versus bolting for a deck, needing to support live loads?

    This is a So.Cal home, with very little (8"-10" per year) rainfall. Last rain was months ago, next rain not expected for a few more months so very limited moisture intrusion but an issue just the same.
    Also no way to determine how far the cantilevered supports extend at the structures interior either, so it is possible that the patio cover is supporting, or at least partially supporting the deck above. I would err on the side of caution on this, tons of decks collapse each year and I would think that you were right in calling for an engineering assessment of the work that was done.
    I am in the Arkansas Delta with the Mississippi river just over a mile from my home, heavy rains, flooding, high winds, the occassional tornado and expansive "gumbo" soils are all factors that relate heavily to building construction in this region. Moisture intrusion, expansive soil and wind uplift all bear on deck and even patio cover construction here...

    Alton Darty
    ATN Services, LLC
    www.arinspections.com

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Deck attachment

    In areas where there is no snow load a roof has a design load requirement of 20 psf. That is one half of a deck design load, so the lag bolt spacing could be twice that used for a deck.

    - - - Updated - - -

    In areas where there is no snow load a roof has a design load requirement of 20 psf. That is one half of a deck design load, so the lag bolt spacing could be twice that used for a deck.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Deck attachment

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Reinmiller View Post
    In areas where there is no snow load a roof has a design load requirement of 20 psf. That is one half of a deck design load, so the lag bolt spacing could be twice that used for a deck.
    Mark,

    Even areas with high wind loads?

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

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Deck attachment

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Mark,

    Even areas with high wind loads?

    I was referring strictly to gravity loads.

    Wind loads are often in the range of about 20 psf, but with an open structure they would be more. You can use up to 60 percent of the actual dead load to offset that. Depending on calculations, wind load could govern and require closer lag bolt spacing. I'm thinking uplift. We have not gotten into lateral wind or seismic loads. That could affect bolting also, but not likely.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Deck attachment

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Page View Post
    Yep, that and other stuff is what I reported. But are bolting requirements the same for patio structure ledgers versus deck?

    Thanks for your imput.

    - - - Updated - - -



    Good call...but I don't think it was constructed by an auto body shop employee...but you never know樂樂樂樂
    Thanks Jim.
    I was hired to act as lead builder in a rural setting. I was young, It was my first home from the slab up. IMO, a plumb-bob, square and tape and chalk line was all I required to build rough carpentry properly, or so it seemed until I gathered many tools, ha ha ha....

    On that site I organised, sorted, all the lumber into sizes and stacked them tight into bundles every night when we closed the site down for the day. I constructed a lumber size crib to fit the lengths of 2x3 - 2x4 - 2x8 and so on to fit tight in crib slot. Once a bundle was delivered it was sorted. I removed unusable sicks and cut to length what could be used and placed it in the crib. I purchased the materials as well on that job.
    Add weight at the top of the lumber where needed, or even wrap twisted ends together with straight stick of lumber to straighten out the lumber that started to twist and deform and you have straight lumber sticks to work with during the say.
    I was 24 or 25 years old.

    Later on I ran site crews. Then I was 25 years old and back in the unions.
    I was detailed and had personalized my own checklists.
    There is nothing worse than waiting for materials or working with less than adequate materials.


    Ha ha ha. I guess you are right about the car/painter but the painting would be better applied by a professional IMO.

    Any one can buy lumber and call them-self a deck builder.

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Deck attachment

    Sorry I could not note more defects last time. There are many by the way.

    Missing anti sway connections as well.
    I concur with Alton, the ledger placement is an open opportunity to trap water and re-saturate the end-grain joists and other lumber cut ends at that spot.

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.

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