Forensic Engineers and Consultants

Archive: Water Damage

Water Damage from Leaking Shower Stalls

Have you ever had to have a leaking shower pan for a tiled shower stall replaced, only to have a recurrence a few years later? If so, it is likely that it was not properly built and/or repaired. In most installations, the shower stall is constructed with an underlying one-piece flexible membrane of PVC that is attached to the wall studs before the backer board and wall tile is installed. No nails or screws should penetrate the membrane below the level of the curb of the shower stall. The only opening in the membrane below the curb must be the hole for the shower drain to connect to the house plumbing. The shower drain is designed to allow water on top of the membrane to flow into the drain via weep holes for that purpose. Read More

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Graphitic Corrosion – Difficult to determine before a failure!

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Graphitic corrosion is a process that may happen in equipment made of iron, particularly grey cast iron, but also ductile cast iron. Graphitic corrosion can lead to unexpected catastrophic failure of the affected part because the cast iron can lose its strength without a visible warning such as a change in size, shape, or appearance. Read More

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Uninvited House Guests: Mold and Other Fungal Growths

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The wet, relatively warm weather recently experienced in the southeast has caused a high incidence of mold and other fungal growth complaints in homes and other structures.  Engineers at Warren Group are often called upon to investigate the cause(s) of these problems. Read More

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Flood Damage to Electrical Equipment

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As a result of the recent weather, those of us in South Carolina have gained a renewed appreciation of the damage that can result from flooding. Even a few inches of flood water can result in property damage and a loss of services in addition to the immediate risk of physical harm. Read More

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Flooded: South Carolina businesses begin road to recovery

The recent record rain fall in South Carolina is estimated to have caused over a billion dollars of damage to homes, business and infrastructure. Damage assessments of structures, machinery and equipment are underway. While much is damaged beyond repair, a lot can be salvaged with proper timely attention. Read More

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A pipe burst in a heated building: FREEZE Damage??

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Have you ever wondered about the cause of a ruptured pipe inside a structure in the dead of winter, and been puzzled because the pipe burst occurred in a heated area? It may seem counter-intuitive, but the cause may have been due to frozen piping. Read More

Roof drain with membrane installed in opening.

Water Intrusion/Moisture Issues – Finding the Source and Location

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What you see is not always what you get.  This commonality exists in the numerous cases I have investigated for water intrusion and moisture issues in buildings.  The source that appears most obvious and straightforward may not, in fact, be the root of the problem at all. Read More

An overhead view of a building that lost its roof due to the weight of several inches of snow.

Snow/Ice Accumulation Leads to a Roof Collapse

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During the next several months when temperatures start to fall below the freezing point and winter storms packing cold temperatures, heavy snowfall and ice build-ups bear down on various regions of the country, they can and do bring an assortment of unfavorable conditions that could and will affect your insured’s buildings, businesses, and personnel. Some of these regions have already experienced record-breaking snowfalls and bitter cold temperatures, which in turn have increased the danger of roof or partial roof collapses. Roofs that are properly designed and constructed to applicable codes and standards should be built to withstand loading from snow, drifting snow, water-laden snow and ice build-ups. But are they? Building codes and standards that depict the proper roof loads will vary across the U.S.  They will generally be based on local historical data, including the expected frequency and intensity of these winter storms in a particular region as shown and discussed in ASCE 7-10. Read More

The pipe thinned and ballooned before finally rupturing.

Installation can compromise PVC pipe

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PVC pipe is a durable material used in many construction and renovation applications. Despite its widespread use, problems can arise when manufacturer installation guidelines are not followed. This is especially true in applications that involve gluing joints or, using the more technical term, solvent welding. Read More

A view of flood related damage to a crawlspace caused by hydrostatic forces.

Are You Prepared to Adjust a River Flood?

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While working numerous Hurricane Sandy Flood Loss Claims in New York and New Jersey, I met many homeowners who didn’t understand the coverage limitations of their FEMA flood policy.  They were shocked, even mad, when they discovered some damages were not covered by the flood policy.  It pays to be prepared, courteous, kind, and tactful in responding to those adversely affected by any flood related event.
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