If you suffered property damage or physical injuries from a defective roof design, contact Arenson Law Group, PC immediately to discuss your legal options. You might be entitled to compensation for necessary repairs and completion of your construction project.
A roof can protect a home or business from outside elements. Unfortunately, a design flaw could render the roof useless and lead to extensive damage to the interior. The cost of repairing a leaking or collapsed roof can be expensive and result in economic struggles. If you can’t afford the repair bills, you could face significant debt.
You should not be responsible for any expenses involving the repair or replacement of your damaged roof. The contractor or their insurance company could be liable for the losses you suffered. Property damage isn’t the only issue. You could have also sustained an injury during the incident. For example, a roof designed with flimsy materials could collapse during heavy rain, causing cuts, broken bones, and other physical injuries.
At Arenson Law Group, PC, our Cedar Rapids roof defect lawyers understand the challenges you face. We have more than 70 years of combined experience in architect and design law. You can depend on us to protect your rights during the legal process and fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.
For a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you with a defective roof claim, call us at (319) 363-8199 today.
Common Types of Roof Defects
The architect, contractor, or another professional must create a safe and effective design for a roof when preparing for a construction project. They should ensure they use the correct materials and perform durability and safety tests to discover potential hazards. They open themselves up to civil liability if they don’t take the necessary precautions while designing a roof for a client and injuries or damage occur.
The most common types of roof defects during the design phase include:
- Incomplete or inadequate inspections
- Negligent preparing of the design plan
- Failure to oversee construction of the roof
- Violating building or safety codes
- Using dangerous or ineffective materials
- Errors in measurements
Any of these design defects can cause a roof to collapse, blow away during strong winds, or become punctured by debris. Designers could be held liable for repair expenses and additional costs if they were at fault.
Common Roofing Issues from Design Defects
A range of scenarios can result from a defective roof design. The most common include:
- Standing water – Standing water can occur on a flat roof. If there aren’t any slopes, the water can pool in a specific area. The roof might buckle under the build-up, causing flooding to the home or business.
- Puncturing – A flimsy design leaves a roof vulnerable to adverse weather and debris. Fallen tree branches could create a hole in the roof, allowing debris and water to get inside.
- Blow-off – A roof could blow off a structure entirely if the designer didn’t use sturdy materials or proper attachments.
- Cracking – Natural wear and tear is expected. However, the structure of the roof could become compromised with an inadequate design, causing cracks.
- Leaking – Leaks often happen when a poorly designed weather barrier fails to keep out moisture. Over time, holes, cracks, and other damage can result from rainwater leaking into the building.
This isn’t a complete list of all roofing problems you could experience due to a design flaw. You should consult an experienced Cedar Rapids roof defect lawyer from Arenson Law Group, PC to determine if you have a case you could pursue.
Who is Liable for a Roofing Defect?
Multiple parties could be at fault for the defective design of your roof. They include:
- General contractor
- Design company
- Manufacturer of design materials and parts
Any of these parties could become financially responsible for your losses. It depends on their involvement in designing and overseeing the construction of your roof. Arenson Law Group, PC can investigate the circumstances and determine who we can pursue compensation from on your behalf.
Proving Fault in a Defective Roof Design Case
You must provide a legal basis to pursue compensation for a defectively designed roof. Under Iowa construction laws, multiple claims exist depending on the circumstances of your case:
- Breach of contract – A property owner can file a breach of contract claim against the general contractor or a subcontractor. A breach of contract means the at-fault party failed to meet their obligations stated in the written and signed agreement.
- Negligence – Negligence is the legal standard involving a person’s failure to provide a reasonable degree of care to avoid harming someone else. If you only suffered an economic loss, state law prohibits financial recovery from a contractor in a negligence claim.
- Misrepresentation and fraud – General contractors should exercise due care when disseminating or acquiring information to perform their job duties. You must show clear and convincing evidence of their fraudulent misrepresentation to hold them liable.
- Strict liability – State law limits strict liability claims in certain situations. The courts allow this type of claim if one party engages in an activity on the land that results in another’s invasion of the land, causing damage.
- Breach of warranty – A builder typically makes implied or express warranties within a contract to use specific materials, meet specifications and quality standards, and provide a product in good working condition. You must prove the contractor, builder, or another party asserted these warranties in the contract to make this claim.
Iowa Statute of Limitations for Roof Defect Cases
You must follow a statute of limitations if you want to sue the at-fault party for the losses you suffered. The timeframe depends on the circumstances of the incident. They include:
- Injury to a person – If the defective roof caused bodily harm, you would have two years to file your lawsuit from the date of the incident.
- Injury to property – If property damage occurred from the roof defect, you would have five years from the date of the damage to pursue legal action.
- Breach of contract – You would have ten years to file a lawsuit if your losses result from a breach of a written contract
- Fraud – There’s a five-year statute of limitations for cases involving fraud.
Once the statute expires, you could lose your right to compensation. It’s critical to begin preparing your case immediately after suffering any losses from the defectively designed roof.
If you were injured or suffered damage to your personal property from the defective design of your roof, call Arenson Law Group, PC at (319) 363-8199 now.
One of our architect and design attorneys can meet with you for a free consultation to determine how we can help you hold the at-fault party liable. We will fight hard for the justice and compensation you deserve.
Written by James H. ArensonLast Updated : October 13, 2023