Of all the various lawsuits you can face as a contractor, subcontractor, architect or engineer, possibly one of the most complicated is a lawsuit based on alleged water intrusion.
As explained by Harper Brawner, LLC, water intrusion consists of water or vapor moving into a building and causing damage to it, its contents and/or its inhabitants.
Water intrusion causes
Water intrusion can result from any number of causes, including the following:
- Roof or plumbing leakage
- Basement flooding
- Water line rupture
- Sewage backup
- Fire sprinkler malfunction
- Natural disaster
In other words, many things other than a construction or design defect can result in water intrusion. Also, prolonged inclement weather, such as heavy rain, can cause water intrusion because local sewers and streams may overflow.
Failure to properly maintain the roof, plumbing pipes, and equipment and appliances such as water heaters, toilets, sinks, faucets and dishwashers likewise can eventually lead to water intrusion.
Water intrusion issues
Unfortunately, water intrusion can cause both structural damage to the building and health issues for the people living or working in it. Toxic mold is especially dangerous in that it compromises the indoor air quality and can negatively impact occupants’ respiratory functions.
Water intrusion indicators
If someone sues you for water intrusion, claiming that a defect in your design or construction methods caused it, you will, of course, want to thoroughly inspect the property for signs of water damage and its possible causes. Pay particular attention to such things as the following:
- Strong moldy odor
- Discolored ceilings, walls or floorboards
- Buckled or bubbled floors
- Damp carpeting
Any of these may indicate a longstanding problem evidencing a lack of proper maintenance as opposed to an initial defect.