SB 721 (Deck/Balcony) Inspections

Follow this link to the full bill:

SB 721 became law in late 2018. This bill requires an inspection of exterior-elevated elements (elevated more than 6 feet above ground level) that rely in whole or in substantial part on wood or wood-based products for structural support or stability for buildings with three or more multifamily dwellings units by an inspector.

That includes balconies, decks, porches, stairways, walkways, and entry structures that extend beyond the exterior walls of the building.

The first inspections and any ensuing repairs require completion by January 1, 2025. Re-inspection is required every six (6) years.

Inspectors and Property Owners need to understand this law and its impact on the inspection industry to be properly prepared. Those outside California should be aware of this new legislation as it could carry over to other states.

Understanding the Timeline for Inspection

Not much has changed since the bill’s passage in 2018, but we are halfway to the deadline for the first inspections. However, that is about to change as property owners set their timelines and budget for inspections.

Understanding the bill and what would occur if repairs are required helps define the inspection timeline for property owners. Below are two models that outline the time required to complete the inspection process for a best and a worst-case scenario.

Best Case Scenario: No Repairs Needed

A qualified inspector completes the deck inspection and finds no damage or need for repairs. The inspector will document and report the results to the appropriate governing body.

Estimated Time: 45 Days

Worst Case Scenario: Repairs Needed

A qualified inspector completed the desk inspection and finds damage or a need for repairs. These repairs must be completed, re-inspected, and documented before the deadline.

Estimate Time: 285 Days

Estimation Breakdown

  • Reporting Initial Inspection Results: 45 Days
  • Applying For a Repair Permit: 120 Days
  • Completing Repairs (If Permit Approved): 120 Days

Property owners have until January 1, 2025, to complete and file the inspection report. They should plan a buffer of 45 to 285 days before the deadline, depending upon the condition of their property. That means properties likely to fail the inspection and require repairs should start the process in early 2024, which is a little over a year away.

Inspections will create new opportunities. Are you ready?

The deadline is approaching sooner than expected for some property owners. As 2025 gets closer, the demand for SB 721 inspections will ramp up, but how much demand will there be?

According to housing information for California, there are over 14 million properties, and over 3.5 million (28%) are properties with 3+ units. It is fair to assume that many properties will pass inspection. However, there is likely to be a small fraction that requires extensive repairs. 

That small fraction of properties is about 5%, according to a study of US property repairs. Using that as a baseline, we estimate that roughly 175,000 properties in California will need repairs to pass the SB 721 inspection.

Inspectors who are ready to provide SB 721 inspections and perform remediation repairs now, stand to see a significant increase in the demand for their services. Utilize this information to learn more about SB 721 and how you can leverage this into an opportunity to expand your business and increase revenue.

NRCIA Inspectors can perform SB 721 inspections and property owners can utilize our network of reliable professionals to find an inspector near them.

What Next?

If you are interested in learning how to provide quality SB 721 Inspections, considering joining the NRCIA and earning your certification

If you are looking for an NRCIA Inspector to complete a SB 721 inspector, click the button below.

What happens when a LeakFREE® Certified Roof has a leak?

LeakFREE® Roof Certifications provide property owners an assurance that their roof will remain leak-free for the duration of their certification period. But what happens if a leak does occur during that period?

We are going to follow a recent example provided by an NRCIA Inspector. Below we will break down the steps the property owner took from the start of the certification to fixing the leak.

Receive a LeakFREE® Roof Certification

Over a year ago, a property owner contacted an NRCIA inspector requesting an inspection and roof certification. An NRCIA Certified Inspector then completed a LeakFREE® Roof Inspection, during which the Inspector highlighted several repairs required before the roof could be certified.

The property owner completed the repairs, and upon re-inspection of the repairs, the Inspector issued a LeakFREE® Roof Certification. With roof assurances in place, the homeowner was ready for whatever the future may hold.

Active Leak Found in a LeakFREE® Roof

Recently, the property owner found an active roof leak. The roof is still within the certification period. They contacted the NRCIA Inspector that issued the LeakFREE® Certification and requested a diagnostic inspection. Diagnostic inspections are for certificate holders, and they entail a 3-zone inspection process to determine if the damage is covered by the certification.

In this case, the damage was covered by the roof certification. Specifically, there was a leak from damaged underlayment at a valley location. The damaged underlayment could have been identified and repaired during the first initial inspection (before issuing a certificate) but was missed by the inspector.

Damage Covered by Certification

Since the damage is covered by the LeakFREE® Roof Certification, the inspection fee and repair fees were waived for the property owner. Certifications will have different monetary limits of liability depending upon the roof system and other factors. The limits-of-liability outline the maximum monetary amount of damages covered by the issuing Inspector.

The NRCIA Inspector then worked with the property owner to outline the repair plan. After the repairs were completed, the certification will continue until the end of the period. After that period, re-certification is possible after re-inspection. This cycle helps set up a great roof care plan for property owners.

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Roof Assurance

When trouble did arise, the homeowner had no out-of-pocket expenses to repair this unforeseen issue. Trusting your roofing professionals and the organization that stands behind the inspection process is essential for every property owner.

In summary, this property owner saved money, time, and stress by originally contacting an NRCIA Inspector. NRCIA Inspectors are the only inspectors authorized to complete LeakFREE® Roof Inspections & issue LeakFREE® Roof Certifications.