Action Unsafe Condition | Madeira Park

Abstract: Madeira Park Home Inspector notes on a deck that, in the inspector’s opinion, could collapse at any time. Here’s what the we did about it and the real estate agents’ responses. Safety comes first at all times, and its everyone’s responsibility to take appropriate action.

Photo: The base of this post is rotten. The weight of the overhead supported deck beam is crushing the base, to the extent that the rotten wood is expanding outwards. Certainly a ‘red flag’ that the deck is unsafe to walk on and the posts need immediate replacement.

On this particular inspection, the house was located on a hillside with a superb ocean view.

An upper level deck took full advantage of its view. This deck was supported by wooden posts 8 feet high. Upon examination of the post bases, they were severely rotten. In fact one of the posts had already begun to collapse onto itself… clearly visible from the fact that the base was expanding outwards.

During the site inspection I requested my clients the buyers not to walk on the deck because, in my opinion, it was unsafe.

After the inspection I notified both agents by text, that the deck needed to be ‘caution’ taped off to restrict access and the posts should be replaced immediately.

The buyer’s agent thanked me for my pro-active approach.

The seller’s agent did not reply.

Having spent decades in major industrial construction, I come from a safety oriented culture. When inspecting a residential property, our safety standards should be no less.