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For Immediate Release
July 22, 2014


Exposure and Seasonal Weather Change Can Put Decks and Porches at Risk of Collapse

Department of Buildings Acting Commissioner Thomas Fariello announced the August 1, 2014 start date of the Department’s No-Penalty Deck and Porch Inspection Program, a citywide initiative that allows New Yorkers to request a free inspection of their decks and porches without the risk of receiving a violation fee. This is the fifth consecutive year the Department has offered free “no-penalty” inspections to ensure that New Yorkers can enjoy a safe outdoor recreation space. Property owners can request an inspection for August 1, 2014 through August 8, 2014 by calling 311.

Under the program, the Department will offer free inspections of porches and decks, which if not properly maintained, can become structurally compromised due to weather, use, and years of exposure to the elements. If an inspection shows that general repairs to a deck or porch are necessary, the Department will defer issuing a violation to allow the homeowner adequate time to correct the conditions. If dangerous conditions are found to pose an immediate threat, the Department will take action to ensure necessary repairs are made as quickly as possible.

“We want to make sure that New Yorkers are safe and secure while enjoying their decks and porches,” said Acting Commissioner Fariello. “This program allows property owners to request an inspection and make repairs without the risk of being penalized for conditions that can be quickly and routinely corrected. Proper deck and porch maintenance is an important part of homeownership, and I urge New Yorkers to take advantage of this free service.”

As part of the inspection, decks and porches are examined to ensure they are structurally sound and in compliance with City regulations. Inspectors will check decks and porches for any evidence of cracks, rotting, failed connections or other warning signs that can lead to a potential structural failure. By law, property owners are required to maintain their buildings, including decks and porches, in a safe and lawful manner at all times. To learn more about the program, visit the Department’s website at

Contact: Alex Schnell (212) 393-2053
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