Moisture intrusion represents one of the most common construction defect issues. That being the case, Guardian Group’s Construction Defect Group has certainly seen its fair share of leaky roofs, curtain walls and podium decks in our nearly 30 years’ construction and engineering claims experience. On one recent claim the volume of rainwater entering the subject building was less like a leaky faucet and more like… Niagara Falls.

To understand what occurred, a little history and background on the structure proves beneficial. The building once served as the municipality’s City Hall, with employees and visitors afforded the opportunity to park their cars on the rooftop parking garage. In need of both greater, revenue-producing office space and more parking, the city had decided to renovate the building, build an at-grade parking lot adjacent and use the former rooftop parking as a solar collection deck.

On behalf our client, the law firm representing the city’s carrier, Guardian’s Construction Defect experts rapidly deployed to the scene. A thorough visual inspection revealed multiple leaks at the interior. An even deeper investigation into the project’s background revealed that waterproofing the deck had proven problematic even for its initial parking use. Prior to the addition of the solar panels, what was previously a troubling leak had become a full-on deluge. In addition to facing an estimated $3MM re-installation, there was approximately $1MM in interior damage and the costs of business interruption to the building’s private tenants.

A review of contract documents uncovered that a clear plan had been stipulated as to how to perform the waterproofing work: by working in sections. But the contractor, in an attempt to accelerate production, removed the entire old roof in a single step, leaving the building completely unprotected. Guardian’s expert was able to draw a clear through-line between the plans and specs not followed by the contractor and the deficiencies evidenced throughout the project.

In close collaboration with counsel, our defect claims expert ensured that the roof work was corrected and assisted the city in pursuing subrogation against the General Contractor.

When issues of moisture intrusion become claims, attorneys, carriers and owners need a construction defect expert with a reputation for constructing a water-tight case. Call on Guardian Group’s Construction Defect Group today.

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