Many people dream of building their own home for years before it becomes a reality. You may own several homes in the meantime, or you may just rent while saving for the cost of land and construction. Regardless of how you finance and plan for building your home, you clearly expect that the home will be safe and pleasantly livable when construction is all done.
Sadly, that isn’t always how home building turns out for people in Florida. With many low-lying lands and swampy areas, as well as heavy levels of annual rainfall, Florida homes are particularly susceptible to flooding, seeping waters and eventually, mold growth. If you’re dealing with these issues in a newly built home, it could be the result of an incompetent or unethical contractor.
Proper foundations require water sealing and drainage
Whether your home plans called for a full basement, a slab foundation or a crawlspace, the contractor putting in the foundation should have taken steps to plan for water issues. Many times, full excavation of a site and careful application of sand and other drainage-friendly substrates are necessary to ensure a dry and functional foundation.
When it comes time to pour the foundation, the contractor should have already taken steps to test the land for drainage, including a perk test. If water is encroaching on the foundation or not draining quickly enough, that’s a sign of serious potential issues in the future. Failing to do such basic tests could be a form of professional negligence, opening the contractor up to liability.
Many times, contractors will also treat the cement for your foundation with certain sealants to reduce water penetration. If you paid for this process, only to have a basement or crawlspace flooded every time it rains and filling with mold, it could mean the contractor cut corners or failed to properly waterproof the materials.
Water damage and mold can affect livability and resale value
Water getting into your home on a regular basis can cause damage to the structure. It can also lead to dangerous mold growth that can impact the health of everyone in your home. If you or anyone in your family has allergies or asthma, mold growth could cause serious respiratory symptoms. If black mold develops, professional remediation will likely be required to make the home safe again.
Even if you decide to sell the home after addressing the leaking and mold growth, you will need to disclose the previous issues you’ve had to potential buyers. That will almost certainly limit the pool of prospective new owners and reduce the overall value of the home. You may need to take legal action to hold the contractor involved accountable for their failure to offset your losses on the property.