When you pack up and leave the construction site for the last time, you don’t want letters and e-mails down the line about post construction problems. The financial cost of rectifying some of these issues can be a real nightmare for builders, so taking out the right insurance is essential.
In this series, we’ll cover the various types of defects you should look out for and here we discuss the pressing and often underestimated issue of water ingress and water egress.
Firstly, If you’d like to get an overarching idea on different types of latent defects, check out previous article here.
What are latent defects?
At its core, a latent defect represents an imperfection or fault in a property that isn’t immediately apparent upon inspection after completion. Such defects remain concealed, often evading detection during the construction phase or even during the early years of a building’s life.
The origin of these defects can vary, ranging from flaws in design, workmanship errors, or the use of substandard materials. Latent defects can compromise the integrity, safety, and value of a property.
For building firms, these hidden flaws can culminate in a range of issues, from mere inconvenience to serious safety hazards that lead to complaints from residents. This underscores the importance of being protected against the unforeseen and underscores why insurance negotiated by BuildSafe is so crucial for construction projects.
What is water ingress and egress?
Water ingress means the uninvited and often insidious penetration of external water into a structure. Envision the persistent dampness that shadows the base of a wall after persistent rainfall, permeating its way through imperceptible cracks and crevices.
Think of the unfortunate scenario of a basement submerged and overwhelmed due to an inability to cope with torrential downpours. Even more subtly, picture the concealed accumulation of moisture in cavities and recesses within a structure, invisible to the naked eye yet silently wreaking havoc.
In stark contrast, but equally detrimental, is water egress. Egress is the ineffectual evacuation or drainage of water. Where one might imagine ingress as the unsolicited guest, egress is the guest that overstays its welcome.
It’s the pool of water that lingers in a roof valley because of a blocked gutter, the puddle that forms in a sunken part of the patio refusing to drain, or the moisture that gets trapped within the walls due to poor or deteriorated waterproofing.
Egress-related challenges arise when water, instead of being channelled away efficiently, finds spaces to linger, often in areas where its presence is least desired.
The damage done by water
The repercussions of unchecked water ingress and egress are manifold and far-reaching. On the surface level, they might seem aesthetic in nature: unsightly damp patches, water stains on walls and ceilings, and the peeling or blistering of paint and wallpaper.
Within the confines of walls, unchecked water ingress or trapped moisture from poor egress can initiate a series of structural complications. The presence of moisture weakens the fabric of a building, deteriorating construction materials like reinforcements and accelerating the decay of wooden components.
The damp and humid environment resulting from these water problems is the perfect incubator for mould and fungi. These biological pests, aside from staining and damaging surfaces, can lead to serious health issues.
From an economic perspective, the ramifications are just as dire. The costs for your business in rectifying water damage, especially when it has been left unchecked over time, can be high. Repairs are not limited to mere cosmetic touch-ups; you could find yourself back on-site with serious financial burden.
Insurance is vital for construction credit
You should take out the right construction insurance before the project even begins.
For developers and construction companies, latent defect insurance isn’t just a protective measure; it often plays a pivotal role in the financial scaffolding of their projects.
Many mortgage providers for example, will mandate the presence of such insurance before lending on any property under ten years old. It serves as a reassurance that their investment is safeguarded against unforeseen structural flaws.
This insurance, thus, not only offers peace of mind but can also be a beneficial aid in the selling process.
The insurance solutions that help
When you think of your next project you ought to have peace of mind in imagining residents living in the final build happy and free of complaint. The last thing you need as a business is grievances over water issues that have surfaced long after you signed off the project.
These structural issues can strike a hard blow financially to any construction company. That’s why latent defect insurance, championed by the likes of BuildSafe, is an indispensable shield for builders.
Our Consultants specialise in finding bespoke solutions for your project needs and work to provide the best independent advice possible.
We regularly work with developers on project values ranging from £200,000 to £100,000,000, and our team have a wealth of experience in all types of development projects. With BuildSafe at the helm, builders find not just an insurance provider but a steadfast partner committed to making sure their projects don’t sink under the water.