After months of planning and preparation, not to mention the construction of your home, you are ready to move in. Blueprints have transformed into an actual structure. Your house is ready to live in. For any home or building owner, walking through the doors for the first time is a major milestone. The excitement of that moment can turn to frustration and regret when you discover serious construction defects.. Dealing with builders, contractors, developers, and manufacturers on your own is a slow and tedious process. Protect your rights. Hold construction professionals accountable with the help of McDonald Worley.
Defects in construction reduce the value of both commercial and residential properties. These defects also threaten the health and wellbeing of the occupants. Although homeowners, builders, contractors, and product manufacturers may have different opinions as to what exactly constitutes construction defects, they are generally defined as the design defects, material defects, or poor workmanship that make a structure unsuitable or unsafe for its intended purpose. Often, if not corrected, the defects will cause permanent or increasing damage to the property.
Commercial buildings and residential housing naturally experience degradation as they age. However, when a recently built structure exhibits unusual leaks, cracks, or failures of roofing materials, the source can often be attributed to construction defects in design, materials, or workmanship. When serious problems with a new residential or commercial structure threaten the value of the property, its structural integrity, or the safety of its occupants, the designer, builder, contractor or product manufacturer should be held accountable.
Construction Defects and Design Defects
Our Texas law firm has represented buyers and owners who discovered construction defects the hard way. Additionally, our attorneys have successfully represented builders and design firms who were facing substantial exposure to disputes concerning construction defects. Our lawyers have litigated a wide range of commercial, industrial, and residential defect cases including:
- Collapsing foundations
- Leaking doors, windows or roofs
- Soil settling and erosion
- Plumbing, electrical and HVAC failures
- Security hazards
Concrete & Asphalt Damage
Foundation preparation and drainage are key elements of proper concrete and asphalt construction. Defects in these areas can result in damage and can become safety hazards.
The sub-base is the material upon which the asphalt or concrete is placed. If the sub-base is not properly prepared, or if the weight of the overlying concrete is too great for the sub-base materials that are used, the damage is likely.
How Drainage Impacts Concrete And Asphalt Damage
Drainage is also crucial. Where water is allowed to collect on asphalt, it can compromise the oil binder that holds the asphalt together. This will allows water to penetrate the sub-base resulting in damage due to settlement or heaving of the sub-base. Also, where poor drainage allows water to penetrate into the sub-base beneath concrete, similar damage occurs. Often, this damage is seen where concrete curbs meet asphalt streets, or where concrete is adjacent to landscaped areas.
Structural Damage Lawyers
Soil movement can greatly impact your home’s foundation walls, interior slabs, and other structural components. Due to the highly expansive nature of the soil in Texas, structural damage can be significant. It is imperative that proper measures are taken during construction. If not, it can lead to damage and you might require a structural damage attorney.
When To Contact A Texas Structural Damage Attorney
To prevent structural damage, the builder must select the appropriate foundation system and floor slab appropriate for the soil conditions. It is crucial that the builder correctly installs all structural elements and ensures that there is adequate drainage around the structure. If the drainage is not correct, it will allow water to penetrate the soils around the foundation, causing heaving and/or settlement that can lead to structural damage.
If your property has suffered damage from swelling (or expansive) soils, settling (or consolidating) soils, or a combination of these conditions, you may need representation. Signs and symptoms of structural damage may include cracking drywall or other interior finishes, doors, and windows that won’t open or close, cracked basement slabs, cracked foundation walls, and cracked exterior stucco, concrete, and asphalt.
Mold and Water Damage
Mold and water damage often occur because of “building envelope” and drainage defects.
The outside barrier of the building is also known as the “building envelope.”. It includes the roof, windows, exterior cladding, such as the stucco, siding, EIFS and/or stone that covers the building, and the flashings and sealants that connect these building components with each other. The building envelope should prevent water and air from getting into the building cavity (framing, insulation, etc.) and ultimately reaching the interior of the home.
Mold And Water Damage
Building envelope defects allow water in. This may or may not be visible to the naked eye. For example, the absence of critical membrane flashing around the windows may be undetected because the defect is being hidden by siding covers those areas. Water that penetrates the building envelope can lead to serious problems including framing decay, insulation damage, dry rot, and mold growth. The damage can be even worsened if undetected for long periods of time.
To prevent water from penetrating near the foundation, the area around the structure should slope away from the building. Improper drainage can cause serious structural damage.
Improper drainage can also allow water to pond against the building and seep into basements and crawl spaces. These conditions cause damage to the building exterior, mold growth, and damage to framing, drywall and interior finishes.
Roofs can leak and lead to other major problems. Roofs can be the source of some of the most damaging of all the defect types and, for the homeowner, certainly one of the most concerning. Roof leaks can sometimes appear as stains on the interior drywall and ceilings. They may also be hidden within the structure itself and not visible to the home or building owner. After major storms, check for staining that may appear on the ceiling or adjoining wall surfaces. Some of the most common sources for water intrusion are inadequate grout and sealants applied to the roof ridge, inadequate flashing and counter-flashing, and improper eave construction.
Due to the complex design and assembly of windows, window problems are common and can result in water intrusion. Defects may be caused by improper flashing installation, paper application, and improper use or absence of sealants. Additionally, the window itself may be defective in its design and factory construction. Damage can be severe if corrective measures are not taken immediately.
Defects can result in damages ranging from staining and cracking of interior drywall surfaces to structural member damage which ultimately leads to dry-rot and mold infestation.
Lofts and High-Rise Defect Lawyers
The popularity of lofts & high-rises in Texas has resulted in a rush by builders to meet the increasing demand. High-rise construction has gained in popularity with builders as they struggle to maximize the number of units they can build on available land.
Loft and high-rise construction presents numerous challenges for new construction as well as converting existing structures. Typically, problems first present themselves as water intrusion. Below are some of the most common signs and causes of water intrusion:
- Water enters the building around windows and sliding glass doors due to a lack of flashing and waterproofing details.
- Complications caused by increased winds and the failure to account for structural demands due to the height of these buildings. These result in the deflection of the framing for the windows and doors which leads to water intrusion.
- Roofing systems with major mechanical components on the top of the building can be improperly installed, allowing water to enter the building.
- Many lofts and high-rises have below-grade parking. These often experience significant water intrusion due to the failure to properly waterproof the exterior walls and/or properly waterproof the concrete deck above the garages.
- Many lofts and high-rises are built with an exterior insulation and finish system (EIFS), which requires special installation techniques to prevent water intrusion into the walls.
If You Have Water Intrusions You Might Need To Hire A Texas Construction Defects Lawyers
In addition to these waterproofing issues, many lofts and high-rise projects have complex mechanical systems. Many of these projects use a “loop” system where the hot and cold water runs through a loop connecting throughout the entire building. Some loop systems also feed the water necessary for individual heat pumps and air conditioners in each unit. They don’t often proper these systems are not properly balanced, installed and/or powered.
At McDonald Worley, we provide experienced representation for individuals and companies faced with construction defects. Our attorneys have successfully resolved cases involving synthetic stucco, negligent design, inferior materials, and poor workmanship. Our firm works with architects/engineers, contractors, and inspection professionals in conjunction with personal, hands-on, on-site investigations in order to protect our clients’ interests and maximize their recoveries. If you suspect that your home, manufacturing facility, office building, or other real estate improvement was constructed or renovated using inferior or defective materials or workmanship, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Our lawyers assist homeowners associations and individual home and property owners in lawsuits seeking compensation for construction defects such as:
- Leaking and prematurely deteriorating roofs
- Defective shingles
- Defective plumbing
- Leaking windows
- Siding and exterior surface failures
- Real and synthetic stucco installation problems
- Water intrusion
Resulting Damage & Seeking Compensation
The resulting damage from incorrect construction design or a manufacturing defect can be devastating. On top of the costs of construction, a building owner will have to worry about repair costs sooner than they had expected. Defects in the design of a structure can result in everything from electrocution injuries because of faulty wiring to mold because of poorly placed piping. You may be unsure whether or not you have a case, but that is exactly why our firm is here.
McDonald Worley offers free consultations so you can discuss your specific situation with us. Should you become our client, rest assured, we will fight to help you recover the financial losses you suffered. One factor that can be indicative of a design defect is a serious problem in a home less than three years old. If you would like to investigate the possibility of a claim further, please do not hesitate to contact our firm today.
The difficulties faced by property owners are exacerbated when their property is for sale. Most states have now adopted a version of the Uniform Real Property Disclosure Act. This requires real estate sellers to deliver a signed statement regarding the condition of their property to the potential buyer. Undisclosed problems frequently result in lawsuits.
Contact a Texas Construction Defect Attorney
If you retain our firm for your construction-related claim, you can be confident that you will be represented by an experienced trial lawyer. To speak with an attorney about a contract dispute or construction defect, contact McDonald Worley.