Common Construction Defects
 

The following list of common construction defects is not intended to identify every possible defect found in some new home developments in California:
 

 

Air Conditioning

Common Defects:

     • Undersized units
     • Air ducts not sealed
     • Pans leak
     • Power surges
     • Freon leaks

Possible Damage:

     • Inability to adequately cool
     • Excessive energy usage and costs
     • Freezing of units
     • Mold
     • Dry rot

Asphalt

Common Defects:

     • Improper design
     • Improper thickness
     • Too cold before installation
     • Overheated before installation
     • Improper sloping
     • Inadequate drainage

Possible Damage:

     • Subsidence
     • Vertical displacement
     • Trip and fall hazards
     • Cracks
     • Alligatoring
     • Water Intrusion
     • Trip and fall hazards

Balconies and Decks

Common Defects:

     • Improper drainage or slope
     • Improper coatings
     • Improper installation of scuppers
     • Improper flashings and deck to wall transitions
     • Improper door threshold installations

Possible Damage:

     • Interior leaks
     • Stucco cracking and staining
     • Dry rot
     • Mold
     • Structural failure

Concrete

Common Defects:

     • Improper Design
     • Too wet before installation
     • Too dry before installation
     • Improper sloping
     • Inadequate drainage
     • Vapor barrier is missing or compromised

Possible Damage:

     • Subsidence
     • Vertical displacement
     • Cracks
     • Water Intrusion
     • Structural failure
     • Driveways are too steep causing cars to scrape
     • Vertical displacement
     • Trip and fall hazards

Crawl Spaces

Common Defects:

     • Insufficient cross ventilation
     • Inadequate clearance between earth and wood structural members
     • Exterior grade slopes towards the structure
     • Lack of code required access

Possible Damage:

     • Water intrusion and/or moisture in crawlspace
     • Mold
     • Dry rot
     • Structural damage

Drainage

Common Defects:

     • Unsealed gas line penetrations
     • Insufficient chimney height
     • Missing or incomplete firestops
     • Insufficient clearance between fireplace and combustive materials
     • Improper installation of chimney caps

Possible Damage:

     • Fire hazard
     • Smoke entry into living areas
     • Voiding of manufacturer’s warranty
     • Water intrusion

Framing

Common Defects:

     • Missing fire stops
     • Upper floor is slanted or sags
     • Stairs are too steep
     • Inconsistent riser heights

Possible Damage:

     • Excessive fire risk
     • Stairs become a trip and fall hazard
     • Vertigo effect created

Foundations and Slabs

Common Defects:

     • Cracks
     • Missing, incomplete or torn vapor barrier
     • Improper water proofing or no water proofing
     • Excessive capillary moisture through concrete

Possible Damage:

     • Water Intrusion, water vapor
     • Buckling of hardwood floors
     • Discoloration of hardwood floors
     • Damage to carpeting and pad
     • Mold

Hold-Downs

Common Defects:

     • Missing nails
     • Missing hangers

Possible Damage:

     • Excessive earthquake damage
     • Structural failure

Joist and Beam Hangers

Common Defects:

     • Missing nails
     • Missing hangers

Possible Damage:

     • Excessive earthquake damage
     • Structural failure

Landscaping

Common Defects:

     • Sprinklers spray buildings
     • Inadequate drainage
     • Trees are located too close to buildings and walls

Possible Damage:

     • Water intrusion, mold
     • Ponding
     • Structural damage
     • Soil erosion

Paint

Common Defects:

     • Watered down paint
     • Wrong type of paint

Possible Damage:

     • Peeling
     • Discoloration
     • Fading

Plumbing and Bathrooms

Common Defects:

     • Excessive noise when water is turned on
     • Improperly installed toilets leak
     • Shower pans leak
     • Drain pipes leak
     • Improperly installed tile leaks
     • Improper venting to exterior

Possible Damage:

     • Leaks, water intrusion
     • Staining
     • Mold
     • Dry rot
     • Structural damage
     • Corrosion

Roofs

Common Defects:

     • Improper slope to drains, ponding
     • Inadequate drainage, ponding
     • Under layment is torn, short, missing or exposed
     • Gutters are missing or leak
     • Inadequate flashing
     • Tiles are not fastened down
     • Tiles are overextended
     • Improper installation of parapet caps
     • Unsealed penetrations
     • Inadequate ventilation

Possible Damage:

     • Water intrusion
     • Stains
     • Destruction of ceilings, walls, insulation and other components
     • Structural damage
     • Destruction of personal property
     • Mold
     • Dry rot

Shear Walls

Common Defects:

     • Inadequate nailing
     • Substitution of incorrect nails
     • Missing or inadequate coverage

Possible Damage:

     • Excessive earthquake damage
     • Stucco cracks
     • Drywall cracks
     • Water intrusion and mold

Soil

Common Defects:

     • Failure to adequately compact
     • Inadequate drainage

Possible Damage:

     • Stucco cracks
     • Patio cracks and movement
     • Slab cracks
     • Interior tile cracks
     • Water intrusion and mold

Stucco and Weep Screeds

Common Defects:

     • Unflashed penetrations
     • Missing weep screeds
     • Buried weep screeds
     • Weep screeds filled with stucco
     • Improper installation of foam trims
     • Inadequate attachment of the lath
     • Corroded metal lath
     • Insufficient embedment of lath
     • Holes and tears in building paper
     • Brick and stone wainscots improperly installed

Possible Damage:

     • Water intrusion
     • Water trapped in wall cavities
     • Staining
     • Mold
     • Dry rot
     • Stucco cracks
     • Drywall damage
     • Bricks and stones fall off building

Subterranean Garages and Storage Rooms

Common Defects:

     • Lack of water proofing
     • Exterior grade slopes towards the building
     • Lack of proper drainage
     • Inadequate ventilation

Possible Damage:

     • Water intrusion and ponding
     • Structural damage to steel reinforcing
     • Excessive moisture and mold
     • Efflorescence and water stains

Windows and Doors

Common Defects:

     • Improper installation or damaged product
     • Improper window and door flashings
     • Improperly installed building paper around windows and doors
     • Improper installation of alarm components

Possible Damage:

     • Excessive condensation
     • Water Intrusion
     • Staining
     • Mold
     • Dry rot
     • Fogging between glass sheets in double paned windows
     • Excessive energy usage and costs

 


 

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