Insurance coverage or warranty provisions may help you pay for some of the restoration costs of your building.
Insurance policies are usually intended for “sudden and accidental” claims like fire, wind, and storm damage, but we have found many older policies are providing their insured coverage for things like hidden damage or collapse claims. Depending upon the language of those policies, they can provide broad coverage for things ranging from “wind driven rain” to “substantial structural impairment” to just plain “water intrusion”. While these claims are more complex, we recommend you have your attorney review your past insurance documents for potential coverage for potential coverage of these items.
All states have passed a “Condominium Act”, and many of them provide additional coverage to the unit owners that provides certain warranties like good workmanship or adherence to building codes etc. These warranty periods can extend up to 10 years. Claims for warranty violations can result in coverage to fix the problems. Our invasive inspections will reveal if your warranty was complied with or not. Once you have our report, we recommend you have your attorney review your specific laws and give their opinion to you.
What You Can Do
The first step you can take on your own is to inspect your own properties with a critical eye. Look at the exterior of your buildings and notice signs of leaks or deterioration (use our free inspection guides for multifamily or commercial). If you see damage and signs of water intrusion it is time to take action. Water leaks on wood frame buildings cause exponentially more damage the longer they go untreated. The typical causes of wood damage are construction defects, wind driven rain, and the natural aging and weatherization of construction products. Unprotected, your wood framing begins to deteriorate, requiring repairs. Weatherization failures left untreated have a compounding impact on the structure as the deterioration spreads under your siding, often times unbeknownst to the owners or management. The durability of siding commonly gives the appearance of a healthy building even where substantial rot and decay lies just beneath it. That is why it is important to inspect your buildings with an understanding of the subtle signs of water intrusion and deterioration.
At your request J2 will visit your property at no charge to determine the access requirements and provide a budget for a thorough building envelope inspection.