Water Intrusion Defects in Homes & Businesses
Water intrusion defects can result in costly property damage and health complications. Water intrusion into a home or commercial property can result from several causes. Regardless of the cause however, water intrusion is a serious problem that can cause permanent damage to structures and have long lasting health implications for occupants.
When moisture finds its way into a structure from a leaking roof, plumbing, 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. It is easy to spot where water is standing or when a section of wall / 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 not be apparent. Causes of water intrusion can be as wide ranging as the use of defective materials to poor workmanship in the installation to poor planning / design of landscaping and drainage. Whatever the cause, when water finds its way into a new house or commercial property it may be a construction defect that the builder or their contractors can and should be held accountable for.
Impact of Water Intrusion on Structures & Buildings
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.
Mold damage can be extensive because microscopic mold spores are easily distributed throughout the structure via the air handling systems. Anywhere there is adequate moisture to support mold growth, the spores can germinate and reproduce leading to unsafe mold levels that can threaten the health of occupants.
Some types of mold can be toxic to humans even in small quantities. For this reason, water intrusion defects must be taken seriously and repaired as soon as 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.
Visible mold is easily identified, but mold growth hidden behind walls and beneath flooring, in AC ducts, and other out of sight places can be impossible to identify without the assistance of expert technicians such as an industrial hygienist. An industrial hygienist can take surface and air samples throughout the structure, analyze them in a lab, and quantify the levels of mold in the structure. If unsafe mold levels are detected, remediation will be necessary.
Talk to a Houston Construction Defect Lawyer
If you have suffered a financial loss from property damage caused by a water intrusion defect in your home or commercial property, you may be entitled to claim compensation from those responsible. Contact an experienced Houston litigation attorney to learn more about your options. A Houston construction defect attorney from Arnold & Itkin LLP can help you build a strong case against a construction company, architect, contractor, engineering firm, or manufacturer who is responsible for losses you incur from a water intrusion defect.