Water problems in Chicago area

Given the recent record rain fall in the Chicago area, the remnants of Hurricane Ike, we have had many instances of “wet building syndrome”.

The condition is caused by many issues, both together and in combination:

  1. The use of split faced block. Not a good material for this area.
  2. Failure to seal, or properly seal, the block.
  3. Improper or missing flashing (walls, weep wicks, windows, coping stone on parapet wall, deck connection, etc).
  4. Improper sealing of exterior wall penetrations.
  5. Just plain bad workmanship.
  6. Roof decks.

See a sample of a report, here: http://deckerhomeservices.com/Condo%20Sample.pdf

I have, personally, seen 6 buildings (2 single family, 4 condo), all built in the last 1 - 3 years, that are complete mold farms, inside, with mold formation not only on the drywall, but also on the floor / ceiling joists, with deep penetration. All of these buildings will have to be torn down.

Chicago has an addenda to the building code, called the “split block ordinance” which is interesting. Simply put, it states that if the building leaks (through the walls) that the builder is responsible, regardless of the building technique used.

A copy can be found here: http://egov.cityofchicago.org/city/webportal/portalContentItemAction.do?contentOID=536889105&contenTypeName=COC_EDITORIAL&topChannelName=Dept&blockName=Buildings%2FOrdinances%2FI+Want+To&context=dept&channelId=0&programId=0&entityName=Buildings&deptMainCategoryOID=-536883465

I attended 3 hearings in building court, last week, where the hearing officer just plain slammed the builders. They claimed that, since they built the buildings under LLCs and that the LLCs were now disolved, they were not liable. The hearing officer would have non of it. They where held personally responsible and were ordered to fix the situations within the next month or go off to Cook County Jail :mrgreen:.

Bout freakin time!

Meanwhile, with home sales and inspections down, I had many such inspections. Good money and very good learning (and teaching) opportunities.

Home inspectors are not just for pre-purchase home inspections any more. I have linked up with a few lawyers and they use me for their cases. I also refer them when the owners or associations hire me.

Litigation inspections can be very lucrative.

Hope this helps;