Do You Ever Have That Sinking Feeling?............................An OMG FIle.
Do you ever feel like you are just floating along, not connected to any thing. Not grounded. Well you might not be if you are on a deck like the one shown below.
You can see that the support beam that's been added to this deck at mid-joist span to support and stiffen it is doing neither. It's not even touching the joists or the footing post below itself.
It could be removed and it would have no effect on this deck. You'd never know it was gone.
Usually as support beam is larger than the joists it is supporting (or supposed to be supporting). This one IS a double thickness built up beam, but it's 2/3s the size of the joists. The original joists and decking are pressure treated.
The footing of course is the floating type on the surface of the ground. That means it's going wherever the frost takes it. So this deck will be having its ups and downs. A footing below frost depth is the only thing that is stable in this climate.
So you can see that nothing is touching here like it should be. You can also see there are no connectors. No nails, no screws, or no brackets.
Footings and foundations for buildings and structures, like decks, that are not anchored below the frost depth are described as floating footings.
In this case the structure might be more accurately described as flying rather than floating.
So when you buy a home you want to know you wont be sinking under repair bills. Get a full professional inspection.