Homebuilders are really under the nail gun! They are expected to deliver better homes faster and cheaper than ever before, but must absorb all liability for any problems incurred in achieving this goal.
Today many processes in the construction of the home must take place simultaneously in order to meet the completion deadlines. Walls, floors, and ceilings are built while the roof is still being constructed. If the weather cooperates, everything works fine, but if it rains before the roof is finished, rain water may enter wall,
floor, or ceiling cavities, soaking framing/insulation/sheetrock, and if not dried properly, may lead to mold or finish problems later. Structural materials dampened by initial plumbing failures may be covered before drying is completed and may warp, deteriorate, rot, or mold. Sometimes a structure is enclosed so quickly that a wandering skunk, possum, raccoon, cat, bird, rat, etc. is trapped inside crawlspaces or cavities, creating urine or carcass odors. Other times some materials involved in the construction are off gassing but the gasses or vapors have not been fully exhausted before the building envelope is sealed, creating an odor problem.
In the last few years there has been a sharp increase in court cases where new homeowners are bringing lawsuits against the homebuilders claiming “sick-building syndrome” or structural damage caused by negligence on the part of the builder during construction. A quick look at the daily newspaper or on the Internet will show many new ads for attorneys specializing in such lawsuits by homeowners and condominium owners against their builders.
These threats to the homebuilders are worsened by the fact that most liability insurance for builders is getting more and more expensive and hard to obtain, while removing coverage for many perils such as mold.
Generally the best defense against the possibility of this happening would be to prevent it from happening in the first place, but some storms and accidental leaks will still occur. In that case, rapid response and mitigation followed by rapid drying must be part of the corrective action. Where mold, mildew, or odor have already developed, it is essential to follow through with proper remediation, cleaning, deodorization, and drying following source correction.
Merely covering or painting over the problem is no longer an option. To meet these new challenges, many homebuilders are teaming with water, fire, and smoke damage restoration companies such as AFTERDISASTER® to help them with water extraction and drying, mold remediation, sewage remediation, structural cleaning, odor control, decontamination and deodorization. Restoration companies have the training, equipment, personnel, and solutions to properly deal with damage situations, as well as the ability to monitor and document the corrective progress through satisfactory completion meeting recognized standards. To learn more about these benefits to homebuilders, contact your local AFTERDISASTER Business Center today.