Lightweight Concrete Deck Failure Not Uncommon

By
Home Builder with Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 CSL#642819
http://actvra.in/Hzx

 

Lightweight Concrete Deck Failure

 

The most common form of second story decking in apartment communities in the Sacramento Region is lightweight concrete poured over a plywood base. The concrete surface is a low maintenance surface that will typically last a few decades. Over time the lightweight lightweight concrete deck Sacramento sinkingconcrete decking will fail, and eventually be in need of repair or replacement.

 

The failure is usually not the lightweight concrete itself initially; it is usually the result of the wood rotting below. When the plywood or supports start to rot the concrete will crack and the deck will quickly begin to fall apart and become a injury risk.

This photo shows how a deck can look when it has begun to sink as a result of a rotting support beam. The concrete is supported at the building perimeter, but the beam that supports the span has started to sink as a result of wood rot at the metal hanger in the stucco wall. Since the fibers in the wood beam have weakened the beam continues to sink until it can find strength. Over time the beam slowly sinks.

Sinking lightweight concrete deckAs you can see the damage is visible from the top also. Not only has the concrete gotten a more aggressive slope, but the concrete has cracks as a result of the shifting wood beam. The design of this deck has also created a railing safety hazard. The 3-4 inch drop in the decking has weakened the strength of the railing. If someone were to stumble toward the railing, the railing may not support the force of a human pushing against it.

Whether the lightweight concrete decking is in Sacramento or anywhere else in the country, it needs to be corrected. The damaged materials must be removed and replaced with new, solid building materials. Contact a qualified general contractor in your area for a professional opinion about your lightweight concrete deck.

 

 

 

Sacramento Pocket Area

 


View Larger Map
close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the scissors to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Topic:
Home Improvement
Location:
California Sacramento County Sacramento Pocket
Groups:
The Lounge at Active Rain
Posts to Localism
Property Management Professionals
Sacramento Real Estate
BananaTude
Tags:
apartment
hazard
damage
dry rot
failure
lightweight concrete

Comments 10 New Comment

Anonymous
Post a Comment
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the world to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Show All Comments
Ambassador
829,306
John McCormack
AlbuquerqueHomes.com
Albuquerque Homes Realty * www.AlbuquerqueHomes.com

Good morning Tom -

You have provided another interesting and informative post on lightweight concrete failure not being uncommon.  We see this problem in many Condo complex communities.  I can't recall running into it in a home but condo's yes.  Good job on bringing a serious situation to light.

Have a great day out there my friend.

September 11, 2012 06:18 AM
Rainmaker
627,324
James Quarello
Connecticut Home Inspector
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

I can have never recall seeing a deck or balcony constructed with a concrete surface like you show here in Connecticut. 

September 11, 2012 06:26 AM
Rainmaker
1,190,819
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366

John - Thanks for the feedback. 

We occasionally see the lightweight concrete in some larger homes but not too often. Condos, apartments, and offices, all seem to have it.

September 11, 2012 06:39 AM
Rainmaker
1,218,430
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

I have never seen that kind of a deck/balcony either!  What an odd way to attach a beam!  How long before the kind of failure you describe Tom?

September 11, 2012 06:41 AM
Rainmaker
1,190,819
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366

James - I'm wondering why that is...

Maybe it have something to do with the amount of freezing in other parts of the country. The lightweight concrete is poured about 2" thick, maybe it can't handle to East Coast temporatures.

September 11, 2012 06:43 AM
Rainmaker
1,190,819
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366

Jay - You and James need to come visit us on the left coast.  :)

I meant to mention how long these decks last in the post, but forgot.

It has been my experience that the failures are happening about twenty years after the original construction. There was a boom in building in many areas 20-30 years ago, so the failures are pretty common now.

September 11, 2012 06:46 AM
Rainmaker
1,218,430
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

That is hardly thick enough for rebar to have any effect!  IF they use rebar!  It might be a screen that they put in there.  I would be afraid of that over time - your thoughts about temperatures may be right on too.  I don't know.

September 11, 2012 07:15 AM
Rainmaker
358,974
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Tom, I have to laugh because I have seen this design. Must be a west coast thing ; ) At least that was not cantilevered, it could have much bigger issues.

September 11, 2012 10:10 AM
Ambassador
832,303
Connie Harvey
Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate
Pilkerton Realtors

Tom, can't they use something stronger to support the concrete? doesn't really make sense to me when Plywood is so weak.

September 11, 2012 03:01 PM
Rainmaker
1,190,819
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366

Jay - There is no rebar in these floors.

Donald - I will have to check some past photos, I may have had a cantilevered lightweight concrete deck.

Connie - I guess they could, but plywood is pretty strong in this application. The problem arrises when the waterproofing fails and the wood rots.

September 12, 2012 12:51 AM
Anonymous
Post a Comment
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the woman to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Show All Comments
Rainmaker
1,190,819

Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366

General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage
Find out how a contractor can help you!
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the house to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Additional Information

Licensed Remodeling Contractor

Service Area •Acampo, CA •Amador City, CA •Angels Camp, CA •Antelope, CA •Auburn, CA •Avery, CA •Cameron Park, CA •Campo Seco, CA •Carmichael, CA •Cedar Ridge, CA •Ceres, CA •Citrus Heights, CA •Clarksburg, CA •Colfax, CA •Davis, CA •Diamond Springs, CA •Dixon, CA •El Dorado Hills, CA •Elk Grove, CA •Elverta, CA •Emigrant Gap, CA •Escalon, CA •Esparto, CA •Fair Oaks, CA •Fairfield, CA •Folsom, CA •French Camp, CA •Galt, CA •Georgetown, CA •Gold River, CA •Granite Bay, CA •Grass Valley, CA •Herald, CA •Hood, CA •Ione, CA •Isleton, CA •Jackson, CA •Jamestown, CA •Keyes, CA •Knights Landing, CA •Lathrop, CA •Lincoln, CA •Linden, CA •Live Oak, CA •Lodi, CA •Loomis, CA •Manteca, CA •Marysville, CA •Mather, CA •Modesto, CA •Newcastle, CA •North Highlands, CA •Nut Tree, CA •Oakdale, CA •Olivehurst, CA •Orangevale, CA •Penryn, CA •Placerville, CA •Rancho Cordova, CA •Rancho Murieta, CA •Rescue, CA •Rio Linda, CA •Rio Vista, CA •Ripon, CA •Rocklin, CA •Roseville, CA •Sacramento, CA •San Francisco, CA •Shingle Springs, CA •Sonora, CA •Stockton, CA •Sutter Creek, CA •Sutter, CA •Thornton, CA •Tracy, CA •Tuolumne, CA •Turlock, CA •Twain Harte, CA •Twin Bridges, CA •Vacaville, CA •Victor, CA •Walnut Grove, CA •West Sacramento, CA •Wilton, CA •Winters, CA •Woodland, CA •Yolo, CA •Yuba City, CA •Zamora, CA" style="overflow:hidden;" seamless scrolling="no" id="custom-widget-content" onload="resizeIframe()">Your browser does not support iframe.