It has been a long time since my last blog (2008) talk about brain freeze so lets break the ice with a subject I care about that involves saving lives.
Back in 2003 13 people died when a porch deck in Chicago's Lincoln Park collapsed.The porch was not built to support the weight of those on it and was built incorrectly.This led to a citywide crackdown on porch code violations
The city had a special task force to crackdown for 3 years but old news and fading memories caused them to disband it in 2006.
Not sure what they did during those 3 years as it seems like half the porches I inspect are not safe or are violating city code.
Last month we had another one with injuries and many before that but this one made bigger news as the same thing happened in Tinley Park the night before.
There are many different problems making them unsafe but the biggest I see are ledger board connections.
Contractors often with little skills come in and nail these supporting boards in to brick.Nails are not made to be used in brick and these boards must be bolted in.
If you are not sure what a ledger board is this photo shows the picture on an actual porch I inspected the day after that last collapse in September.
The board is nailed in and is pulling out of the wall causing tears in the wall covering which in turn just happen to be causing water intrusion and mold to be introduced to the inside walls.
This very same day I went to visit the site of a porch collapse where 10 people were injured at the 3700 block of north Ashland here in Chicago.
I was in luck as the clean up crew allowed me on to the property to inspect the site.
Most of it had been cleaned up but from what I saw a large reason for the porch falling was due to lack of once again improper ledger board support.
Here are a few pics what I saw. Bear in mind 10 people were on it at the time and 4 went to the hospital.
Why does the city let this stuff go under the radar.
I have done a few inspections for Condo associations that got fined by the city up to 10 years after buildings were rehabbed by developers and passed by city inspectors then the association gets left holding the bag years later.
Think your client does not need the inspector to look at the whole building and inspection is between the walls? (wrong)
These porches are not cheap and the last one I looked at was costing the association 18,000 per porch to rebuild.
Talk about special assessments.
Stay tuned as I am not anywhere near finished here and I would like to go over the codes and show thumbnails of the newspaper headlines once I go over the Active Rain rules on that.