Building Forensics & Defect Investigation


Construction defects can occur almost anywhere in any property. Examples include mold in the woodworking, leaks in the plumbing, toxins in the soil or even dangerous gaseous emissions originating from your duct system. There are way too many defects to list in one location, but the bottom line is that repairing any construction defect can be extremely expensive. This becomes especially true for homeowners or businesses that have made a large financial commitment such as purchasing a property or home. Often it takes the skill of a building forensic scientist to identify construction defects in order to understand why the building has failures or water infiltration problems. Building forensics is the science of evaluating the source and extent of building related failures. 

IHC, Corp's building forensic services are designed to evaluate the structural and environmental integrity of the property due to construction defects, building envelope failures, stucco and masonry defects, moisture infiltration, moisture related deficiencies, HVAC and plumbing related failures.  Building forensic evaluations can be performed to identify singular issues or problems or be part of a larger investigation process related to moisture or mold remediation and reconstruction. Construction defects in a home or property can be caused by a variety of issues. Determining if an issue is actually a construction defect is sometimes the biggest challenge facing an owner.  However, once you have determined that you have a construction defect, then a strategy to perform the repair can be developed as well as possibly determine who is responsible to repair the issue(s). One cause of a construction defect could be construction deficiencies (poor quality or substandard workmanship).

Builders today work fast. They have a timeline and a budget. Their goal is to complete a housing development on time while saving where possible. Where can they save? They can cut corners by hiring contractors who may not be the most qualified and do not have the skills to get the job done right. This is what it means to have an issue like construction deficiencies (poor quality or substandard workmanship). Construction deficiencies (poor quality or substandard workmanship) can cause some of the most serious construction defects. If a roof is not built correctly, the result could mean mold or mildew. If windows are not installed properly, your home could have inefficient insulation or moisture buildup. With moisture comes mold. The construction defects could be numerous. Negligent construction is unfortunately, a common occurrence.  A builder has to be very careful when choosing a contractor or subcontractor.  A builder will sometimes use one contactor for various projects. A contractor may have skills to install plumbing but not the know how to build a roof. The responsibility can fall on several parties when there is a defect, and that's up to your attorney to determine. Designers sometimes have a role in the cause or prevention of construction defects.  A designer can create a design that may be aesthetically pleasing but weak on functionally. This is where the other building professionals need to evaluate a structure for any design deficiencies. Some design deficiencies can be easily discovered while others will not be evident until implementation. 

There are a lot of building issues that can happen because of the actual material used in construction. They can be defective building materials, negligent construction, design deficiencies, or material deficiencies.  Defective building materials can be a root cause of many building issues or construction defects. If a highly-skilled contractor builds a wall with defective building materials, it doesn't matter how good his workmanship is. The wall will be a potential construction defect. The wall or windows may leak, allowing for moisture to seep in, causing structural rot to occur, allowing for mold or microbial contamination to grow and cause other related problems. A builder should inspect all products for material deficiencies. Any of these construction defects are hard to investigate since there are so many professionals involved.

If you suspect that any of these could be issues in your property, you need to contact IHC, Corp. to assist you with a forensic evaluation.  IHC, Corp. can help you take the right steps to determine what caused your construction defects and what you need to do to take care of it.

IHC, Corp.’s expertise and services includes the following:
- Building Envelope Deficiencies and Failures
- Corrosion-Related Failures
- HVAC Problems and Failures
- Building Condensation Problems
- Litigation and Claims Support
- Solving High Humidity and Mold Problems
- Expert Witness Support
- Buildings Commissioning and QA/QC Services
- Remedial Design and Corrective Implementation
- Window Failures and Remedial Design
- Building Pressurization Repair and Avoidance
- Building envelope evaluation
- Moisture intrusion analysis
- Invasive investigations and destructive testing
- Product and materials research and specification

Other Services: