Here on the Gulf Coast, we are in constant contact with water. We have high humidity, frequent rain, annual hurricanes, and groundwater, not to mention the Gulf of Mexico. It can be a battle for our homes and commercial buildings to keep the water outside where it belongs. Water intrusion damage can take place when the water leaks or seeps into a structure from the exterior or because of leaking pipes inside.
Water intrusion can damage a building and make it unhealthy for people to live or work in the structure. Toxic mold can lead to severe or fatal illnesses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). You should not delay addressing water intrusion problems. If your insurer denies your claim or tries to pay you less than you think they should, a water intrusion damage property claim lawyer in Pensacola can help.
Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine today at 1 (800) 747-3733 for a free consultation.
Causes of Water Intrusion Damage
When water is where it should not be in a building, you have water intrusion. Water can enter the structure from the exterior, through the building “envelope”. The building’s envelope is the outside layer of components, including things like the roof, exterior walls, windows, doors, sealants, waterproofing, decks, and both at-grade and below-grade conditions.
When you think about how many individual pieces go into the construction of a home, commercial building, or high-rise structure, it is surprising that there are not more water intrusion problems. Every spot where the different components come together is an opportunity for a leak. The entire exterior, or envelope of the building, needs to work as one cohesive, watertight unit.
Shoddy Construction Leads to SWIPE
Both older buildings and new construction can develop “SWIPE,” which is Systemic Water Intrusion Problems Everywhere. In a structure built within the last five years, SWIPE is usually the product of shoddy construction, use of sub-standard materials, or a design that gives inadequate attention to our area’s need for waterproofing. For example, a newer structure can develop SWIPE when:
- A subcontractor did a sloppy job of applying sealant when installing the windows.
- The team that framed in the building used lumber that had gotten wet in a rainstorm and had not dried completely.
- The roofer cut corners on labor, using inexperienced workers who made mistakes that allowed water to leak into the building.
- The grading outside sloped toward the structure instead of away from it, allowing gravity to carry excessive rainwater to the foundation or crawl space.
With an older building, some parts need replacement eventually. Caulk and other sealants can shrink, crack, dry out, or split. Window frames can deteriorate, allowing the absorption of water that leads to rot. The roof will need regular maintenance.
The danger of water intrusion damage is that the leaking can continue for a long time in areas of the structure that no one sees. The damage can be extensive by the time someone discovers the water intrusion. What looks like drywall damage might be toxic mold inside the walls, out of sight.
Why Insurance Companies Often Deny Water Intrusion Damage Property Claims
Insurers give many excuses for denying claims for Pensacola water intrusion damage property claims, but the bottom line is money. These claims are often quite expensive. You might need:
- An expert to investigate with high-tech specialized equipment to discover all of the damage and find the sources of the leaks.
- A team to remove all of the damaged building components.
- A mold remediation company to safely remove all the toxic mold.
- A contractor to correct all the water intrusion sources (to prevent future water intrusion) and rebuild the areas where the other workers had to remove damaged walls and other building parts.
These things can cost tens of thousands of dollars or much more. It is not unusual for water intrusion damage to cost well into the six figures for a home. The work can run into millions of dollars in a high-rise or other commercial structure. Toxic mold can add medical costs and personal injury liability to the physical building costs. With all that money at stake, the insurance company is motivated to find ways to deny your claim.
The insurer might blame the policyholder for the water intrusion, accusing the property owner of poor building maintenance. Sometimes insurance companies tell their customers that they have to pursue compensation from the construction company or sub-contractors if water intrusion happens on a building that is less than five years old. You might have to work with a water intrusion damage property claim lawyer in Pensacola to get the insurance company to pay you a fair amount for your loss.
What to Do if You Have Water Intrusion Damage
One of the best ways to protect your right to compensation for your Pensacola water intrusion damage property claim is to make the first phone call to your insurance company and your second phone call to a lawyer. The insurer might try to deny your claim for untimely notice if you do not let them know about the situation immediately.
A lawyer can deal directly with the insurer on your behalf and help you avoid the traps that many people fall into when they try to handle these claims on their own. The insurance carrier has teams of lawyers trying to figure out how to avoid paying your claim. To even the playing field, it helps to have a lawyer guide you through the minefield of a property damage claim.
How to Get Legal Help for Your Pensacola Water Intrusion Damage Property Claim
A water intrusion damage property claim lawyer in Pensacola can negotiate with the insurer so that you do not have to. You can focus on other aspects of your life and business while we take care of your legal matters. At the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, we work hard to provide attentive, responsive legal services for our clients.
You will not feel like a number with us. We care about what happens to you and will go the extra mile to get you the justice you deserve. Call us today at 1 (800) 747-3733 to get started.