Securing existing deck against house

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Old 10-01-13, 10:44 AM
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Securing existing deck against house

I have purchased a home that has an existing deck/balcony. During the home inspection, we have realized that the deck may not be properly secured to the house. (see attached photos).

The joists are attached to a piece of wood with a hanger before it gets attached to the ledger beam. The ledger is attached against the wall with cement/mortar from what I can see in the photo - I have not seen such a joint before between a ledger and a wall. I wouldn't want to take the whole thing apart, but I am trying to find an easy way to properly secure it, which would then allow me to remove the 4th column next to the house.
 
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Old 10-01-13, 11:37 AM
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That looks like spray foam sealing the gap between the ledger and house. I have no idea what's holding the ledger up.

1. It looks like the joists were cut too short and the spacer board underneath the hanger brackets is not correct.

2. The ledger should be through bolted, not lag bolted, to the houses rim joist with 1/2" (minimum size) hot dip galvanized bolts every two feet.

3. It also commonly required to have galvanized steel flashing between the ledger and house.

4. Why did they use such short pieces for the ledger? Would a 12' or 14' piece have been too difficult?
 
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Old 10-01-13, 04:38 PM
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Free standing decks are allowed. In fact, that's the new design. You may not have to do anything.
 
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Old 10-01-13, 06:22 PM
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I don't know. Free standing on what? There are no mid nor left vertical members. In addition to the 1/2" carriage bolts, you need to use 3/4" washers on the head end to gain added pull out support. I think free standing makes a better deck.
 
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Old 10-01-13, 08:49 PM
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I agree, you need posts near the house to be free-standing. One 2x8 joist in the middle of all 2x6's is different... add lag screws if your AHJ permits them, Fig. 20, on-center spacing chart based on joist length, lateral shear resistance tied to house may be required, appears you have some flashing- clean the crud below ledger, add backer rod/caulk/sealant, add a bead of it along outer bottom edge of ledger for water drip-edge along whole length, add post caps/doublers hardware, post can be removed if one of last doubled joists are hangered at ledger; min. code- http://www.awc.org/Publications/DCA/DCA6/DCA6-09.pdf

Gary
 
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Old 10-01-13, 09:19 PM
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As noted, the deck is missing some columns to be considered (truly) free-standing. Based on the photos, I think the OP would do well to consider adding columns instead of removing any of them. And if the so-called ledger is attached to the house's framing through what appears to be a surface coating of stucco, that is also somewhat questionable. Although not specifically prohibited by the IRC DCA-6 Deck Construction Guide, which states that there is to be no attachment over brick, masonry or stone veneers, stucco is not structural in any way, and is usually bonded to a house's sheathing with sporadic washer-headed nails (with spacers)and metal lath.

Contrary to what another poster said, but as per DCA-6, deck ledger boards may be attached to a house's framing members using either 1/2" dia. lag bolts or through bolts. However, lag bolts would be my last choice for such fasteners, as they tend to loosen somewhat over time. The possibility exists for pull-out failure if periodically re-tightened to the point that enough of them experience thread grip crushing of the wooden structural members they are bolted to. Not a good scenario, as such presents the potential for complete deck collapse.
 
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Old 10-02-13, 05:10 AM
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I just noticed that the OP is in Mission Viejo, CA. Are there any seismic concerns?
 
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Old 10-02-13, 01:35 PM
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Yes this is in CA. Seismic Zone 4.

Free standing is definitely doable, but I am trying to avoid such a scenario if I can.

I could drill 1/2" lag screws 10" o.c. into the ledger board but I am not sure that will solve the issue since the joists are somehow attached to spacer boards which are screwed into the ledger. This connection somehow is incorrect in my opinion and I am trying to find a way to fix it. I could not really tell what Gary is suggesting (free-standing deck?). I also do not see a flashing underneath the deck.
 
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Old 10-02-13, 07:14 PM
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The flashing in #4,5,6 pic. is under the decking boards showing about 1/2" past the ledger board. If it was missing, you have have water intrusion signs for sure... no idea on the 1/2" thick shims behind the joist ends... strange. Ask the AHJ, be prepared to bring it up to code, post bracing, picket spacing, etc. $$$$

Gary
 
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Old 10-03-13, 01:48 PM
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Gary, the only thing I can think of on the joist hangers, is a design that hangs over the top of the ledger. I see no side entrances for nails to keep it tight to the ledger, and the spacer??? What's up with that? Possibly because the hangers' hook was too deep. Ideas?

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Old 10-03-13, 06:26 PM
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Thanks Chandler! Never seen one of those before...

As in CA, the hangers do appear to be older "shear" hangers (from the two "V" notches (1970's) at hanger lips- front/back from stamp-cutting in manufacture) requiring a 3" nail in the joist sides on a 45* angle; LUS26- Face Mount Hangers Load Table for Solid-Sawn Lumber (Douglas Fir&Southern Pine)

And notice the shadow next to the joist nails on the ledger side (warranting an angled nail with head higher in back) in picture of "H" clip used at the deck board crack/check by original builder probably. Notice the sides of hanger stop short by 1/2" of top of joist in the pic, face mount hanger. He felt bad enough using the bad board he added that out of guilt- but saved a trip to yard for another board, lol. I stand corrected, it appears they used same size field joists, just one wrong (bigger) hanger and added a filler under the joist to use it anyway. I'm thinking more that a HO did the work, appears unclean in different areas... the shims look to be cedar, with pictured one split in middle. A 1/2" shim will restrict shear nail depth into ledger but with a 6' deck depth- only 3' of load at ledger; IMO- not too big a deal. If worried, change out the nails for longer ones.

Gary
 
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Old 10-04-13, 11:48 AM
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On further thought... today's hanger (LUS28) requires only a 10d nail into the joist at a 45, using a longer- 16d- 1/2" longer nail as per manufacturer back then, it is probably fine as the extra length matches the 1/2" extra material, minus about -1/4". So the nail may be undersized only 1/4", OTOH, they appear to be missing nail heads exposed on the hanger nailing flange against the ledger.... so much ado about nothing. Need to pull a hanger/nails, measure them; evaluate for loads if using.

Gary
 
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