Water intrusion is a serious problem that can cause permanent damage to structures and have long lasting health implications for occupants.
Water intrusion defects can result in costly property damage and health complications.
When moisture finds its way into a structure from a leaking roof, leaking plumbing, leaking doors or windows, poorly draining landscape, or other cause, it can result in immediate damage to floors, walls, furniture, and other property. In the most extreme cases, water intrusion is obvious and easy to spot where water is standing or a section of wall or ceiling actually collapses. In other cases, the evidence of water intrusion may be more subtle, appearing as stains on a ceiling, wall or floor, damp carpet, swollen wood trim, or rust stains. These symptoms suggest the presence of water intrusion, but the cause of a leak may still not be apparent.
Causes of water intrusion can be as wide ranging as the use of defective materials in a roof, to poor workmanship in the installation of doors and windows, or poor planning and design of landscaping and drainage. Whatever the cause, when water finds its way into a building, the results can be serious damage to the property and health issues with the occupants.
The immediate impact of water intrusion is apparent in its impact on structures and materials. But anytime moisture is present in building materials, there is also the possibility for the outbreak and growth of dangerous molds. Unfortunately, damage from mold growth is often hidden behind walls, in insulation, and beneath floor coverings.
Some types of mold can be toxic to humans even in extremely small quantities. For this reason, water intrusion defects must be taken very seriously and repaired as soon as possible after they are identified. If the water intrusion defect has resulted in mold growth, immediate remediation measures should be taken. In severe mold cases, remediation may require constructive eviction from the property until the health threat is contained and the property is again safe to occupy.
Remedial efforts have often proved to be very time consuming and costly. Investigative efforts to determine available and appropriate fixes are usually exhaustive and detailed. Because of the specialized nature and usual restricted working conditions, repair costs typically exceed costs associated with new construction. Additional costs are often incurred in meeting current code requirements, locating comparable materials, obtaining new warranties, etc.
Mr. Albers is an expert witness in a court of law, but is not an attorney. If you have legal questions related to any of these topics, please consult an Attorney.