County Extends Free Inspections After Two Decks Collapse

Just a few weeks after two deck collapses in Germantown, Montgomery County’s Department of Permitting Services is extending free residential deck inspections into the summer.

One of the reasons has been the rainy weather.

Official observers for Weather Underground report that the area has received nearly 65 inches of rain for the last 12 months.

“What builders are telling us is, it is increasing the rate at which the waterproofing will deteriorate,” said Jessica Fusillo, a spokeswoman from the department.

On May 25, a deck collapsed on Perrone Drive in Germantown. Three people were hurt; none seriously. Then on June 8, a deck collapsed on Liberty Heights Lane in Germantown. Although Fire and Rescue spokesman Pete Piringer said about 100 people were evaluated, Fusillo said only 25 to 30 people were on the deck when it collapsed.

To schedule a free deck inspection in Montgomery County, call 3-1-1 or 240-777-0311. Residents may request an inspection online by visiting the county’s website. Once the request has been received, the homeowner will be contacted by an inspector to schedule a time and date for the inspection.

The county also offers free deck maintenance checklist.

“If a homeowner is concerned about the condition of their deck or if it is showing sign of rot or disrepair — we recommend residents discontinue the use of the deck until it has been inspected and assessed structurally sound,” DPS Acting Director Hadi Mansouri said in a statement.

The county offers deck inspections annually during Building Safety Month, which is celebrated in May. Last month, inspectors scheduled 90 deck inspections around the county. Since the program began in 2009, DPS has inspected 671 decks.

The free deck inspections are available to all Montgomery County residents, except for people who live in the corporate limits of Rockville and Gaithersburg, because the municipalities have their own permitting departments.

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Douglas Tallman

About Douglas Tallman

Reporter with 35 years experience throughout Maryland. Reach me at or via Twitter at @MCM-Doug


3 Responses to “County Extends Free Inspections After Two Decks Collapse”

  1. Avatar
    On June 13, 2019 at 8:53 am responded with... #

    Mr. Tallman:

    With this Black+Decker book on Deck Codes and Standards (2017) ATW.pdf
    homeowners can discover many potential issues on their own. It was written by Bruce Barker, a well-known ASHI author.

    Frank Woeste
    Professor Emeritus
    Virginia Tech

  2. Avatar
    On June 17, 2019 at 9:44 am responded with... #

    The article says that Montgomery County extends free inspections. I would only ask extending the inspections to when? I am writing this on Monday 6-17-19 and I called the 311 number earlier this morning to schedule a deck inspection. The woman at the 311 number told me that the inspections are over and that they only checked them through the month of May. Who is right? Are we getting free inspections into June or are they over?

    Marc Stein
    Montgomery County citizen

  3. Avatar
    On June 18, 2019 at 10:52 am responded with... #

    We reached out to the County Department of Permitting Services (DPS).
    DPS reports they have been getting an overwhelming response to the extension but requests are still being accepted.
    311 should take the information and an inspector will get back to schedule a time for the inspection.
    The information has been updated in the 311 system, according to permitting services.

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