If you watched the news this weekend, you probably heard about the deck collapse that happened in Coon Rapids on Friday.  On WCCO news, they even had an expert speculate that the deck collapsed because it wasn't properly secured to the house.  When I hear news stories about a deck collapses, they usually say they'll come back to the story once they learn what the problem was, but they never do…

so I decided to inspect this Coon Rapids deck myself.  Here's what I found:

Epic Fail

Coon Rapids Deck Collapse 1 

According to WCCO, there were only five people on this deck when it collapsed.  The problem wasn't that the deck was improperly attached to the house – this deck was completely missing a post.

I marked up two photos to show exactly what went wrong.  Click on the photos to get a large version.

Coon Rapids Deck Collapse Ledgerboard 

Coon Rapids Deck Collapse Explanation
 
As you can see, one corner of the deck wasn't help up by anything.  The floor joist that was closest to house is what was actually holding up that entire corner of the deck.  It's a wonder this deck even supported it's own weight.

While most advice about deck safety deals with proper bolts, nails, brackets, etc, it's just as important to take a step back and look at the big picture.  Proper nails and bolts aren't a substitute for a proper load path back to the ground.

Reuben Saltzman, Structure Tech Home Inspections - Email - Minnesota Deck Inspections

Facebook Reuben's LinkedIn Page Follow StructureTech on Twitter ASHI Certified Home Inspector - Click To Verify Click to subscibe to Reuben's Blog

About Reuben Saltzman

Reuben is a second-generation home inspector with a passion for his work. He grew up remodeling homes and learning about carpentry since he was old enough to hold a hammer. Reuben grew up thinking he was going to be a school teacher because he enjoyed teaching others so much. In a sense, that’s a lot of what home inspections are about, so Reuben truly does what he loves. Sharlene has worked with Structure Tech since 2000 and Reuben has been contributing to her blog since 2008.

Related Posts

Don’t Poke Holes In Your Pipes

Saddle valves allow for a very fast, cheap, do-it-yourself installation of a ¼” water supply line. There has to be a catch, right? There is. They leak, and saddle valves are prohibited by the Minnesota State Plumbing Code.

Read More

Water heater replacement: pros and cons of powervent water heaters

Powervent water heaters have become the new standard for new construction homes here in Minnesota, but are they really that great?

Read More

A DIY Test For Furnaces

If a furnace can’t pull enough air through the ductwork to dissipate the heat that’s created, it will run too hot. Here’s an easy inspection procedure that homeowners can conduct to help determine if there’s a problem.

Read More