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200 E. Santa Clara St. 4th Floor
San Jose, CA 95113
Phone: (408) 535-7770

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Decks and Balconies Maintenance

balcony with water damageManagers and owners of properties with multiple units should regularly monitor their property's balconies and decks

Here’s a checklist to help you regularly monitor the need for repairs:

  1. Look for cracks in surfaces where water might seep into the framing.
  2. Look for signs of termite damage.
  3. Look for any tilting or leaning; this is an indicator of a serious problem.
  4. Look for deterioration, particularly at joints. Timber usually rots first where two pieces join together. Probe the area with a screwdriver: decaying timber will feel soft under the pressure.
  5. Look for compression of posts, beams or joists.
  6. Check the base of posts and brackets and bolts for rot or rust.
  7. Ensure posts are securely anchored to the foundation in concrete or attached to concrete footings using proprietary metal brackets. It is not enough to just bolt them to the paving.
  8. Make sure that water cannot pool at the base of a post or wall support.
  9. Handrails and balustrades should not be loose, corroded, or rotted.
  10. Flaking or missing chunks of concrete or wood could point to a serious problem.

In addition to monitoring balconies and decks, consider establishing rules with your tenants regarding the placement and movement of heavy items on balconies and decks. Placing or moving large plant-filled pots and heavy tables can affect stability and water-proofing.

If you suspect a problem with your balcony or deck, immediately prohibit access to the space, and contact a structural engineer or architect.