Different kinds of construction flaws

Laura Haber

September 6, 2022

There are four types of construction defects. These are Latent, Progressive, Workmanship, and Sub-surface deficiencies. These defects are caused by poor artistry and defective building material. Courts categorize these defects into four main categories: design, material, construction, and subsurface deficiencies.

Latent defects

Latent construction defects are issues that do not appear immediately upon inspection yet may cause considerable damage. These problems range from substandard drywall or roofing shingles to faulty electrical wiring. Unlike patent defects, which can be easily detected during construction, latent construction defects are not readily apparent and may remain unnoticed for years.

To avoid litigation, contractors should learn the difference between a patent and latent defects. This will help them determine the appropriate course of action. The difference between a patent and latent defects is critical because different contract provisions apply to each type of defect. A patent defect, on the other hand, is a defect that was noticed during the work or the defect liability period. A latent defect might not be detected until years later and could not be remedied until a later date.

Progressive defects

Progressive defects in construction are caused by hidden problems that gradually deteriorate over time. These problems may be caused by the deterioration of materials or natural forces. For example, if the concrete is not cured correctly, it will rust over time. Likewise, if a roof leaks, it will damage the building’s components and allow mold growth.

In New Jersey, the Appellate Division addressed the appropriate trigger for coverage under a third-party claim for progressive construction defects. The court based its analysis on the continuous trigger theory of insurance coverage, a theory that applies to any property damage caused by a construction defect.

Artistry defects

Artistry defects in construction can affect the structural integrity of a building. For example, poor artistry can result in water intrusion through the foundation, cracked or unsound foundation walls, dry rot in wood framing, pest infestation, and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing failures. In some cases, faulty artistry can result from a lack of proper training and expertise.

A contractor may fail to follow construction documents and industry quality standards, leading to defects in the building. These defects can occur in many areas, including soil compaction, concrete finishing, and weatherproofing systems. They may also result from improper flashing or drainage around the foundation footings.

Subsurface deficiencies

Subsurface deficiencies are construction defects that can affect the integrity of a building. These problems can occur if the subsurface is not compacted correctly. In addition, as the subsurface expands, it can compromise the structure and cause it to shift. Therefore, consolidating the subsurface properly and adhering to building codes is essential.

Construction defects can be caused by various factors, including design and planning. A typical example of a construction defect is an improperly built foundation. In other words, the foundation is not level enough, or the building is not structurally sound. Another typical example of a construction defect is a cracked wall or foundation. Defective construction can also cause a building to leak.

Water penetration

Water penetration in construction defects occurs when fenestration fails to prevent water from entering a building. This can be due to improper installation, poor construction, or improperly shipped products. When water penetrates a window, it can cause costly repairs. A water penetration resistance test can help identify the deficiencies in the building envelope, including improperly installed fenestration.

A building envelope consulting firm can help identify potential problems. Full-scope testing can reveal these issues before ordering a replacement. One-day testing can also reveal similar matters.

Lack of structural support

Lack of structural support is a common construction defect that can lead to severe injury and damage to buildings and structures. It can lead to crushing injuries and can even result in the collapse of entire buildings. Several different issues can cause a lack of structural support. Here are some common examples.

The first step in a structural support failure case is determining the cause. The cause can be anything from a problem with the construction materials or the design of the building itself. It could even be a problem with the original plan. Either way, a thorough investigation is necessary.