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Defective construction materials (part 1): Lumber/timber

Wood is a prevalent material in construction. Whether used for core elements like framing, or finishes like the wood-beamed ceilings that are so popular these days, timber often features prominently in common elements of condo communities and residential developments.

Wood can also be at the root of many construction defects. As we've covered in previous posts, subpar materials can be at the heart of serious issues like water intrusion, mold growth, structural problems and the like. It's thus important to understand the various ways that wood might be defective.

When and how wood defects happen

The journey from harvesting timber to completing construction is a long one, and lumber defects can happen at any stage of the process. Some defects are naturally occurring (but nonetheless get overlooked). Some happen during seasoning or processing. Some are due to improper storage or mishandling, and some happen during installation.

Examples of common lumber defects include:

  • Natural cracks or calluses that can, if significant enough, compromise the structural integrity
  • Seasoning-related defects like bowing, twisting, warping and honeycombing
  • Dry/wet rot or staining due to fungi
  • Holes or pocks due to termites, borers and other insects
  • Chips or torn grains from mishandling

As you can see, some of these defects are merely cosmetic, while others have a more far-reaching impact. In either case, though, compensation may be available.

If you suspect that defective lumber is affecting the common areas of your condo community or residential development, it's important to speak with a Florida attorney who's knowledgeable about construction defects. You may have important legal rights that are time-sensitive.

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