July, 2008
You Tell Us
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

There's Always More to Say About Decks


To the editor:

Yesterday I received my copy of the ASHI Reporter and had the chance to read the article about safe deck inspections. I was disheartened to find no mention of flashing at the deck ledger board connection to the house. 

The article does mention rot as a contributing factor in the failure of decks but, strangely, nothing pertaining to what is perhaps the single most important cause of deck failures; that being the failure at the deck/house connection caused by moisture damage, be that in the form of rot or corrosion. 

I do realize that this article was written by a representative of Simpson and, in that capacity, he was promoting his company’s products, but I feel that as this article represents a “product” of ASHI, that we as inspectors, and the general public as well, were short-changed. I know that the building codes still do not address the proper construction practices of deck building as I wish they would, but at least in my part of Washington state, my county has finally come up with a fairly rigid set of requirements and they do include proper flashing. Proper installation of flashing saves lives. Other than the omission of flashing, I enjoyed the article. Thank you for your time.

William J. Long, ASHI Certified Home Inspector
Bumbershoot Home & Pest Inspections, Inc.
Port Orchard, Wash.

Send your comments to Sandy Bourseau at sandyb@ashi.org.