Forensic Construction Consulting
Some examples of forensic construction consulting include, but are not limited to the following:
The source of a roof leak can sometimes be difficult to locate. Some roof systems utilize multiple layers of roof covering materials and underlayment materials. Within these layers exist separate penetration flashings and accessories designed to manage roof drainage and keep the interior of the building dry. Proper identification of the leak source can be as simple as a visual inspection or may requires water testing, infrared thermography and/or destructive testing.
An experience forensic construction consultant with an extensive background in roofing and roof leak investigations can locate the source of a roof leak where others have failed. The investigation includes photo documentation and references to the applicable industry standards.
Exterior window, door, and wall leaks:
As with roof leak investigations, the source of an exterior window, door and/or wall leak can sometimes be difficult to locate. In most cases water spray testing is needed to verify that a leak is present. Water spray testing is typically performed in calculated and timed steps beginning at the lowest point of an exterior window, door or wall and continuing to the highest point of the suspected leak source. Information is gathers and documented at each step prior to proceeding to a higher level.
In addition to the water spray testing, some level destructive testing is required to locate the source of the leak. Exterior wall cladding systems, including stucco, are typically constructed of various layers including a water resistive barrier (WRB), flashings, foam insulation boards and the exterior wall cladding itself. Exterior window and door installation require a system of flashing materials that are integrated into the exterior water resistive barrier. Pin pointing the source of a confirmed exterior wall leak requires examination of each of the exterior window, door, wall, and flashing components after the water spray testing is completed.
Tub and shower leaks:
Suspected shower leaks typically begin with a shower pan flood test. A test ball is placed in the drain pipe beneath the shower floor and inflated to create a seal. The shower floor is then flooded with water to test for leaks. This test can last as long as 24 hours to observe for leaks or water loss in the shower pan.
Upon completion of the shower pan test, water spray testing can then be performed on the tub or shower walls. Infrared thermography, moisture meters and/or destructive testing can be used to check for potential leaks.
Inspect floor coverings or floor coatings for compliance with industry standards and/or manufacturer installation instructions. Investigation can include installation tolerances, levelness, straightness, bonding and/or moisture issues.
Some flooring issues may require inspection of the substrate to determine if underlying issues exist. Concrete floor slabs can be tested for moisture vapor emission by way of electronic moisture meter, relative humidity probe and/or calcium chloride testing.
Owners representative/construction progress inspections:
Perform visual inspections at various stages of new construction or remodeling for compliance to the project drawings, project specifications, local building codes, industry standards, manufacturer installation instructions and regional standard of care.