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What is a structural defect and when may I file a claim?

On Behalf of | Dec 20, 2022 | Homeowner Claims

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development defines a structural defect as a “major” failure that threatens a building’s components or its structural integrity. As noted by HUD, flaws in workmanship or materials may classify as structural defects.

A defect may include the components that make up a building’s structure or foundation. Discovering cracks in your building’s frame, for example, may reveal a structural defect left by a contractor. If you begin experiencing problems with your property’s floors, roof, walls or plumbing, you may file a claim for relief.

Defects that may remain unnoticed until they present issues

Hidden or “latent” defects may go unnoticed at first. As described by Bankrate.com, certain issues may not show until after an owner has taken control of a property. Substandard wiring or plumbing installations may remain unseen during a visual inspection. After tenants begin using these systems, they may break down.

Electrical or plumbing system problems could reveal a construction crew’s negligence. The malfunctioning systems may reflect the work of a crew that “rushed through” a building’s construction to meet a completion time frame.

Issues and defects that may lead to damage claims

According to Risk & Insurance, commercial builders have experienced an increase in on-site job injuries. Because of labor shortages, more builders hire unskilled contractors. The increase in workplace accidents has led to more construction defects.

Less experienced employees might install defective piping and wiring. The defective installations may not present serious problems until tenants have moved in. Poor materials and delays could contribute to faulty construction. Homes, apartments or offices constructed with substandard materials or labor may cause structural deficiencies.

Property owners may file claims against negligent builders or developers. Poor materials and labor shortages may not serve as a defense; a lawsuit may provide an affected property owner with a remedy for damages.