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In construction defect work, experience makes a material difference


Recently, Guardian Group’s Construction Defect Group was asked to defend a General Contractor who was being sued for several million dollars over allegedly defective flooring. The giant manufacturing facility the construction company had built was also intended to house hundreds of administrative offices, but the rubberized flooring utilized had reportedly begun to buckle, blister, and peel up from the concrete slab. In addition to the need to fully repair the extensive project, there was also the question of business interruption. The insurance carrier’s counsel sought Guardian’s forensic construction and engineering expertise, requesting an immediate investigation and advice on their best strategic next steps.


Rapidly deploying to the Midwestern plant, Guardian’s construction and engineering expert walked the buckled floors and inspected their underlayment. The visual inspection revealed there was no moisture barrier in-between the concrete and the rubber floor. On-site testing was performed to determine the amount of water vapor trapped in the concrete. Testing included relative humidity and Calcium Chloride, with both confirming the presence of unacceptable levels of moisture. (Rubber flooring is often desired in situations where there is heavy traffic and one wants to ensure a robust, enduring life, but it is also prone to movement and deterioration when there is water vapor underneath. Typically, a vapor barrier is applied atop the concrete prior to the laying of the floor.) Contrarily, on this construction project the architect had relied upon the concrete itself, a product that purportedly contained a crystalline additive in the concrete. But Guardian’s expert had “been around the (concrete) block” more than a few times. In addition to being immersed in the field on a daily basis and keeping abreast of construction materials trends and news, Guardian’s expert knew of this concrete admixture manufacturer’s product performance claims… and the end results.


Guardian’s forensic reporting helped all parties, including the building owner, understand that it wasn’t the General, nor even his sub, who was responsible for the defective floors. Rather, it was a pure and simple product failure. Though the concrete additive promised moisture prevention for this intended use – the rubber flooring, this proved not to be the case. Based upon the findings in Guardian’s report, all parties decided it was in their best interest to join forces and pursue action against the additive manufacturer directly.


 When construction defect cases, claims, and issues surface, carriers and their counsel rely on Guardian’s over 30 years of complex construction claims experience. You can, too. For rapid response, pragmatic counsel, and time-tested problem-solving expertise, kindly call on Guardian’s Construction Defect Group today.

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