EXPERT WITNESS

CONSTRUCTION DEFECT EXPERT / CONSTRUCTION EXPERT WITNESS

Retaining an expert witness can be one of the most important decisions anyone can make.
One of the areas in which Roberts Consulting Group provides expert witness testimony is as a nationally recognized water intrusion detection consulting firm. Our firm offers you the benefit of years of experience with water damage in residential as well as low-rise to high-rise buildings. Our experienced licensed and fully credentialed professional experts offer practical advice for new and existing construction projects, including material selection, water intrusion problems, and construction defect litigation.

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Over the years, many construction defects have led to water damage. Attorneys are now combining allegations of such defects with complaints of toxic mold, resulting in large awards for punitive damages, including pain and suffering.

Window leaks are the leader of claims throughout the landscape of America. One area of our expertise is window leak detection. Many window damage cases at first may appear to be window related, but we have found that this is not always the case. Determining the primary source of water intrusion is the key to understanding the exact problem and providing the correct repair recommendation. Many of the larger consulting firms or those designated as construction experts or so-called expert witnesses do not visit up to 50 percent of the scheduled onsite investigation dates.

Roberts Consulting Group has made a commitment to our clients to visit 90 to 100 percent of onsite investigation dates. Why is that important to you?
The main reason is that each construction defect expert or forensic expert must be an eye witness and be familiar with all the testing and not rely on second- hand information from others.

Commercial construction buildings have some of the most complex intersections of different components that lead to water intrusion. Our past experience has proven that the transitions of different components is the leader of primary water intrusion.There are many different construction claims that are noticeable by visual investigations alone. At Roberts Consulting Group we have a trained eye for seeking many of the underlying defects within the structure and of the exterior building envelope as it pertains to water intrusion. Water intrusion (which then leads to mold) is the number one cause of construction damage to the building structure. Most mold inspections are identified with destructive testing investigations of windows, roofs,
waterproof decks and below grade water proofing systems.

A building or home is one of the biggest investments that most of us make in a lifetime, and construction defects can greatly affect that investment. Construction disputes or construction defect litigation should not be a battle of wits or a chess game between “experts”. Each issue should be evaluated by a professional with the experience, integrity and clear understanding of how best to repair each issue. All construction estimating should be performed by an experienced cost estimator in possession of a valid contractors license. When retaining a cost estimator be sure to do your due diligence by asking for the cost estimator’s resume and identifying his or her contractors license and each classification of the license. It is also important for an expert to have studied construction law. This will allow an expert to understand and support the complexities which lawyers must confront in any construction defect claims case.

Construction Defects Roof
Roof construction defects have some of the most complex intersections of all construction assemblies of an exterior building envelope. It is extremely important to have a qualified expert who is familiar with the proper installation of roofing penetrations, which are often the cause of roofing leaks. Roof leaks can be confusing to many consultants, with respect to the various roofing designs, complex intersections, and roofing penetrations of sub-contractors. Roof damages have lead to many building structural failures and law suits. The key is to have a roofing expert inspect the roof utilizing creditable roof leak detection standards. The ASTM 2128 isolation water testing method, for example, is the most precise standard for evaluating water leakage of exterior building envelopes.

Construction Expert
Construction defects experts and expert witnesses come in many different varieties of education and construction experience. The best expert witnesses come from the trenches of construction, along with their journeyman’s experiences. Who is better to identify a general or subcontractor’s mistakes than someone who has walked in their shoes himself?

When designating a plastering expert always ask for a resume and make sure that he or she has a plastering contractors license.

Robert R. Tellez has a current plastering/stucco license and has extensive experience with stucco cracks. He was also personally involved in developing the current State of California Contractors License Board Plastering and Drywall examinations and is considered by his peers to be an industry plastering expert and his expert testimony is highly regarded.

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Window Expert
When it comes to water intrusion of any assembly, a true forensic expert will always identify the primary source of water intrusion. Window leaks are responsible for most water damages found in today’s buildings and is the major cause of damage to the framing structure and other building components. The construction of windows by the factory can be a problem if the design of the window does not meet the performance and class rating for your area. Many mistakes have been made by not choosing the correct performance and class of each window with respect to wind speeds also known as kinetic energy. Water intrusion is associated with many building assemblies and building components such as windows, doors, balconies, roofs, etc. An experienced window expert will always identify the primary source of water intrusion, otherwise known as the first line of defense. When investigating a window leak, the first question to ask is how did the water get to the weather barrier. The weather barrier is the second line of defense, so we must determine how the first line of defense failed. The reason this is so important is that the second line of defense components such as the weather barrier are not waterproofing materials.

Therefore once water reaches the second line of defense even the best weather barrier will not keep water out of the building assembly. An experienced window expert can identify if the product (window) is leaking or if the window installation is the cause of the leakage (or both).
Robert Tellez was a guest speaker at WESTCON 2008.
Read his presentation:
Why Windows Leak. Window Design Considerations & Performance.

 

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Copyright © 2010 Robert R. Tellez. All rights reserved.