Porches collapse because of different reasons, but it doesn’t change the fact that they can inflict serious injuries, and on the worst cases, even deaths. There is a body of law that requires property owners to make their places safe for themselves, visitors, and passersby. Failure to comply may result into lawsuits. This is called premises liability. If you want to know more about premises liability just click here. It is important to know more about premises liability because porch collapse is included in its scope.
Common Causes of Porch Collapse
Overweight: Porches and other similar structures are designed to carry a specific maximum weight. Going over this threshold may make the structures collapse, possibly causing injuries to visitors or unsuspecting passersby. This may occur because of the property owner’s deliberate attempt to put too much weight to the structure or lack of knowledge concerning the structure’s weight capacity.
Insufficient Support: Porches are structurally designed to have supports to complement their weight capacity. Supports such as ledger boards, posts, beams, and even tiny materials like joist hangers, should contain the proper materials and are installed properly to avoid support issues and collapse.
Poor Conditioning: Sometimes, even sturdy materials can weaken because of time and weathering. This is particularly true on materials that involve wood and other products that may rot. To avoid porch collapse associated with poor conditioning, it is important to maintain the porch and get it checked regularly to identify the weak spots, so you can conduct repairs or replacements.
Weak Foundation: Foundations are supposed to be strong and reliable. Weak foundations can cause porch collapses, primarily because of a support issue as well. It is important to follow construction rules and building regulations in the jurisdiction, and the best way to do this is consulting or hiring the persons who have adequate knowledge of construction and building codes.
Injuries from Collapsing Porches
It is not uncommon for porch collapse accidents to result into serious injuries, such as head or brain trauma, skull damage, neck strain, spinal cord injury, and fracture. The fall associated with collapsing porches can have enough force to inflict these injuries not just to those who are at the porch at the time of collapse, but also to those who are below the porch and get hit by porch materials. This is particularly damaging if the porch is in an elevated space and if the materials used to build it involve metal or cement.