Construction defects are a continuous problem in the construction industry whether the result of poorly trained workers, poorly executed plans and specifications, or inadequate product selection. Our Jacksonville construction lawyers have vast experience litigating cases alleging design and construction defects and we know that contracting parties must be well-prepared to prevent and mitigate the ongoing risks that often arise from construction projects. If you haven’t already, be sure to read part one of our article to learn more.
Foundations and Concrete Slabs
Defective slabs and concrete slabs have a profound effect on the integrity of a building’s structure. There are several reasons for foundation cracks and defects but they can typically be the result of poor design and construction. Horizontal cracking, vertical displacement, or mixing too much water into concrete also causes the foundation to fail. In dry conditions, soils can lose moisture and shrink but may swell when moisture levels are too high. If shrinkage occurs, settlement or expansion can cause a heave.
Improper design and construction of the structural components of a building can threaten the integrity of the entire building and be dangerous to occupants. If an occupant is injured as a result of a construction defect, it’s important that contractors reach out to a Jacksonville construction lawyer for legal advice. Some of the most common structural defects include missing plywood or shear walls, missing drag straps, and insufficient edge and field nailing.
MEP, HVAC, and Insulations Systems
Although Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing (MEP) designs and installations are less prone to deficiencies, defects do happen and can be costly and hazardous. Moisture build-up and the rotting of structural components are telltale signs of improper installation. Since many of these components are hidden behind walls and ceilings, proper installation and interior moisture management are critical. Occupant behavior is also critical to reducing the occurrence of these types of defects.
Who is Liable for Construction Defects?
According to Florida’s statute of limitations, contractors may be held liable for latent defects up to four years post project completion. However, the exception to the rule is that the limitations period does not begin until the latent defect is discovered or should have been discovered and be within 10 years from the last event. Liability for a patent defect is up to four years post project completion. Professionals must ensure they are diligently monitoring the complete design and construction process to ensure the job is done right to avoid a costly litigation.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.