Balcony Maintenance & Repairs
Adams Stirling PLC


Inspections Required. Starting in 2025, Civil Code §5551 requires condominium associations to conduct visual inspections of load-bearing components six feet above ground, supported substantially by wood. All structures must then be reinspected every nine years. The inspector must submit a report to the board providing the physical condition and remaining useful life of the load-bearing components and associated waterproofing systems. Once inspections commence, older associations will likely discover deterioration in structural components that require unexpected repairs and replacements.

Waterproofing Membranes. Waterproofing membranes will eventually become worn and damaged. Damage occurs naturally over time from sunlight during the summer and rains in the winter. Problem signs to look for include:

  • bubbling of the deck surface,

  • cracks in the membrane,

  • soft spots in the deck that sag when stepped on,

  • flashing that is pulling away from the wall,

  • water that does not flow to the drains.

Premature Failure. In addition, owners can cause premature failure by moving heavy items across the surface, such as large plant-filled pots, sharp legs on chairs and tables, etc. Charcoal grills should also be prohibited--in addition to being fire hazards and creating nuisance smoke, any hot coals dropped onto the surface will burn through the waterproofing membrane. Decks should be kept clean since sand and grit, when walked on, will grind into the surface and damage the waterproofing.

Rules & Regulations. If owners are responsible for maintaining their own decks, guidelines need to be written into the association's rules to cover the following items:

  • what to look for when inspecting the decks for damage,

  • how to avoid damage to the waterproofing membrane,

  • how often the deck should be resealed (waterproofing products such as Dexotex require recoating every 5 years--sooner if there is heavy usage or damage from patio furniture, etc.),

  • the kinds of waterproofing systems that are acceptable to the association,

  • prohibited deck systems, such as carpet and tile,

  • deck drain maintenance,

  • deck to wall flashing maintenance.

ASSISTANCE: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us. To stay current with issues affecting community associations, subscribe to the Davis-Stirling Newsletter.

Adams Stirling PLC