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How construction defects lead to costly problems with balconies

Condo owners often romanticize balconies. They imagine themselves taking in fresh air while drinking their morning coffee, or having friends over and using the balcony for additional seating.

While you may be in love with the idea of a balcony, the associated risks can keep you up at night. Because a balcony projects from the building, common problems such as moisture, structural defects or improper installation can be deadly. And in many cases, these issues arise from construction defects, whether during the initial construction/conversion or following major repairs and renovations.

What are the common problems?

  • Moisture: A common problem in any structure is unwanted moisture. Dampness is the perfect breeding ground for fungi, which causes otherwise sound wood to weaken. Unless properly guarded against moisture, a structure, such as a balcony, is subject to failure. Construction defects such as improper drainage and inadequate sealing can contribute to these issues.
  • Structural deficiencies: Even good workmanship can go awry with time. For example, if unwanted moisture goes unmitigated, structural failure is likely to occur without intervention. Structural issues can also arise from defects with the design, subpar materials and countless other causes.
  • Other construction defects: Any deficiency that affects the design, structural integrity, materials or workmanship of a condominium could be at the heart of balcony problems. It often takes a thorough investigation to uncover the root of the problem.

Dealing with defects

When a structure in a condominium has a construction defect, it often impacts every unit. In Florida, owners and associations can pursue legal action, provided they comply with the notification requirements of Chapter 558.

Owners, associations and property managers of high-rise condominiums are responsible for monitoring the safety of the property. For owners with balconies, it is imperative to know the warning signs and what your options are in the event of any defects.

Signs that a balcony is failing

  • Large cracks in the wood
  • Separation from other elements
  • Rot
  • Rust
  • Corrosion
  • Instability
  • Loose railings, bolts, brackets, etc.
  • Loose concrete
  • Loose or missing flashing

Tips for condo associations and managers

If you have any concerns regarding the structural soundness of your balconies, you should immediately consult an experienced Florida attorney - one who understands construction defect law - to assess the situation. You may have the right to pursue compensation through Chapter 558.

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