Houses on steep slopes frequently are subject to problems caused by movement of the hillside. This retired gentleman lives in a home which cantilevers over a steep hillside, and, of course, provides a rather nice view from his rear deck. The deck is supported on fairly tall wood posts, with cross braces for stability, all supported on concrete grade beams and driven piles on the slope. Recently, he noticed some new cracks in the grade beams, and called us out to make an evaluation.
It turned out that the cracks are minor, and presented no particular concern or danger. We did observe that a couple of the wood braces had undergone the initial stages of dry rot deterioration. This happened because leaves and other organic matter had gathered around the wood, keeping it moist full time. So, we recommended filling the minor cracks with epoxy, and paying more attention to keeping debris away from the wood.