Given the number of communities and Exterior Elevated Elements throughout the states, it has become laborious and expensive to schedule the required inspections and for the contractors to make any necessary repairs within a timely manner. However, our inspection program is designed to offer both the minimum inspection requirements and a complete package of services consisting of repair design, repair inspections, and even annual inspections to extend the serviceable life of every element.
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On September 17, 2018, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law SB 721 – the Balcony Inspection Bill. This bill was in direct response to the tragic deaths of six (6) UC Berkeley students who died on a balcony that collapsed. Owners of multi-family apartments/condos with three (3) or more units have until January 1st, 2025, to complete the first inspection. Learn More
Given the number of communities and Exterior Elevated Elements throughout the State, it has become laborious and expensive to schedule the required inspections and for the contractors to make any necessary repairs within a timely manner. However, BV's inspection program is designed to offer both the minimum inspection requirements and a complete package of services consisting of repair design, repair inspections, and even annual inspections to extend the serviceable life of every element. BV can be a small component in an already established capital repair program or a reliable partner who manages small and large portfolios for compliance with California Senate Bills 721 (SB721) of the entire infrastructure.
KEY BENEFITS OF USING BV'S INSPECTION PROGRAM
- Experts you can trust.
- Support, planning, budgeting, and cash flow projections to the Owner or designated Owner's representative.
- Turnkey solutions: repair design, bid document preparation, permitting, construction management, and inspections to ensure repairs are completed comply with design details, code, and product manufacturer specifications.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What are Exterior Elevated Elements?
A: Exterior Elevated Elements are load-bearing components and their associated waterproofing system.
Q: What are load-bearing components?
A: Load-bearing components are components that extend beyond the exterior walls of the building to deliver structural loads to the facility from decks, balconies, stairways, walkways, and their railings, that have a walking surface elevated more than six feet above ground level, that are designed for human occupancy or use, and that is supported in whole or in substantial part by wood or wood-based products.
Q: What are associated waterproofing systems?
A: Associated waterproofing systems include flashings, membranes, coatings, and sealants that protect the load-bearing components of Exterior Elevated Elements from exposure to water.
Q: When does the first inspection have to be completed?
A: The first inspection must be completed before January 1, 2025, then every six years after that.
Q: What is the urgency? Do I have three a half years to get the first inspection done?
A: Given the number of communities and Exterior Elevated Elements throughout the State, it will become increasingly complex and expensive to schedule the required inspections and contractors to make any necessary repairs resulting from those inspections.
Q: Do all Exterior Elevated Elements at each community need to be inspected?
A: The law requires inspection of at least 15 percent of each type of Exterior Elevated Element. This means not all elements will be inspected and the number of elements inspected will vary based on the total number of factors in each community. Elements are selected randomly using a validated random selection process.
Q: What does an Exterior Elevated Element inspection entail?
A: Each selected element must be inspected to determine the overall condition of the load-bearing (structural) components. This includes support framing extending beyond the structure's exterior wall, walking surfaces, attachment points, hardware, railings, and the associated waterproofing systems. Associated waterproofing systems include flashings, membranes, coatings, and sealants that protect the load-bearing components of the Exterior Elevated Element from exposure to water.
Q: What does the inspection report include, and who receives the report?
A: Based upon the inspections, the inspector shall issue a written report containing the following information for each inspected element:
- The building components' identification comprises the load-bearing components and associated waterproofing system.
- The current physical condition, including whether the situation presents an immediate threat to the health or safety of the occupants.
- Recommendations for any necessary repair or replacement of the load-bearing components and associated waterproofing system.
- The written report must be presented to the Owner of the building within 45 days of completion of the inspection.
Q: Do all dwellings need to be inspected?
A: Only buildings containing three or more multi-family dwelling units must be inspected.
Q: How do you complete the inspection?
A: Our team will evaluate a community before beginning inspections. The process includes the following:
- A review of the Exterior Elevated Elements by type and construction.
- For open-framed elements, the inspection is visual and will consist of a moisture reading probe of the elements.
- Closed soffit elements require penetration of each joist bay at both outboard and inboard locations to assess the concealed structural elements. This is done using a high-definition bore-scope.
- The number of inspection is relevant to the size of the element.
Q: What happens if you find damage?
A: Damage to the structural elements can be classified as minor, moderate, or significant. The damage cannot be adequately evaluated using just the borescope. If the damage is significant and the element is at risk of failure, the element is declared an immediate hazard, and access to the element is restricted. SB721 requires written notification to the Owner and Building Official having jurisdiction within 15 days of determining an immediate hazard.
HAVE MORE QUESTIONS ON CALIFORNIA BALCONY AND DECK INSPECTIONS?
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