Home Inspector: Half of all decks in "failure" mode, risk collap - CBS46 News

Home Inspector: Half of all decks in "failure" mode, risk collapse

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Half of the country's 40 million house decks pose a safety danger and may not be covered by homeowner insurance policies, according to a code certified home inspector. 

Stan Garnet, of Inspector Associates, Inc. of Atlanta, said decks built in the 1990s or earlier risk possible collapse in part because they were constructed before today's stricter building standards were adopted.

Allan Viscardi, of Suwanee, said he had no idea his deck was teetering on collapse until he came home from a trip in February. His deck, built when his house was constructed in 1996, crumbled 10 feet to the ground.  No one was on the deck when it fell. 

Country Financial denied Viscardi's insurance claim, citing poor workmanship and improper engineering.

Viscardi said he doesn't understand how Country Financial could use that excuse when his home with the deck had been approved for occupancy by Gwinnett County Department of Planning and Development in 1996. 

"Insuring my property for five years and leading me to believe that I had insurance and then to come back after the fact and say my property wasn't insurable because it wasn't properly built, is lame. I think they have a greater duty to me," said Viscardi.

Viscardi said he thinks insurance companies have a responsibility to inform homeowners that policies may not cover older decks because they weren't built to modern specifications. 

Country Financial would not comment about Viscardi's case to CBS Atlanta News.

Garnet recommended homeowners have their deck inspected if it is older than 10 years and replace it if necessary.

Garnet said, "just because you look at the deck and it's standing does not mean it will be standing five seconds later."

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