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Old 02-01-2008, 12:39 PM   #1
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Builder Liable for Ice Dam damages?


Hi,

Last Summer my wife and I purchased a newly build home in Lake Tahoe. I just learned that ice dams caused water leakage from the roof and caused damages in the house (walls, hardwood floors, etc).

Is the builder liable for this? He said damages from ice dams are "technically" not cover under new construction warranty?

Is he correct?




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Old 02-01-2008, 01:34 PM   #2
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Builder Liable for Ice Dam damages?


I don't know for sure, but I'm assuming that Ice Dams would fall under the "act of God" type thing because it's more weather related. Perhaps homeowners insurance would cover it?

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Old 02-01-2008, 02:13 PM   #3
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Builder Liable for Ice Dam damages?


Ice dams are usually caused by inadequate insulation and/or improper roof ventilation.
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Old 02-01-2008, 02:14 PM   #4
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Builder Liable for Ice Dam damages?


Homeowners Insurance should cover water damage from ice damming.

I'd talk to a lawyer about the builder's liability though, because you don't only need to fix the water damage, you need to fix the condition that caused the ice dam in the first place. Certainly that is the builder's fault, but I have no idea whether his warranty covers it.

Your roof either is improperly ventilated or insulated, or maybe doesn't have ice and water shield extending over the interior wall, or some other mistake. Don't fix the water damage, and miss the cause. Otherwise you'll be in the same situation next year.
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Old 02-01-2008, 06:19 PM   #5
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Builder Liable for Ice Dam damages?


lake tahoe? lots of snow? did you remove the snow from the roof to help prevent the ice dams?
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Old 02-01-2008, 06:28 PM   #6
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Builder Liable for Ice Dam damages?


you might want to have an independent building inspector do a home inspection to verify whether or not there is actually a problem (didn't you have an inspection done by an independant inspector when you bought the home ?). There should definitely be an ice shield protecting at least the bottom 3' of the roofline (in your area, possibly more). I have no knowledge about improper ventilation or insulation of roofs causing ice damming (?), but hey, what do I know. good luck with the insurance company etc.
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Old 02-01-2008, 06:29 PM   #7
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Builder Liable for Ice Dam damages?


It's our 2nd home. So we're not there very much.



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Old 02-01-2008, 06:34 PM   #8
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Builder Liable for Ice Dam damages?


Quote:
Originally Posted by yung View Post

Is the builder liable for this? He said damages from ice dams are "technically" not cover under new construction warranty?

Is he correct?

Ever hear of as builder say "you're absolutely right, we messed up, we'll be there to inspect and repair the damage first thing Monday?"
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Old 02-01-2008, 07:52 PM   #9
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Builder Liable for Ice Dam damages?


We just did a multitude of repairs from ice dams at a complex. All work was covered, by the company that built it.

Because the structures were still under their one year warranty, from the builder (corporation).
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Old 02-01-2008, 07:53 PM   #10
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Builder Liable for Ice Dam damages?


Quote:
Originally Posted by yung View Post
...He said damages from ice dams are "technically" not cover under new construction warranty?
Have your lawyer check that policy over...
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Old 02-01-2008, 08:36 PM   #11
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Builder Liable for Ice Dam damages?


check with your Building Dept, N.Y.S. Residential Code (Sect 905.2.7.1)
Ice protection.

Ice shield must be installed at least 24" from out side wall. a lot contractors install from edge of roof. GOOD LUCK
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Old 02-01-2008, 08:42 PM   #12
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Builder Liable for Ice Dam damages?


Generally the builder is responsible for the initial problem, if the ice dams are a defect from the build he must fix them. Secondary damage is not, your homeowners ins. policy is for that.

It is a real fine line, most builders will fix the initial problem and it's building related damage (drywall, paint, etc.), damages to personal effects they won't touch.
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Old 02-01-2008, 09:08 PM   #13
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Builder Liable for Ice Dam damages?


Quote:
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Ice shield must be installed at least 24" from out side wall. a lot contractors install from edge of roof. GOOD LUCK
Maybe I am missunderstanding you?

They are supposed to install from the edge of the roof.

Code requires the membrane to be installed 24" beyond the exterior wall. That means a 3'-0" roll of I & W shield, installed from the roof's edge, will generally always extend to the required 24" (beyond the wall).

Additonally, the "proper installation" of the membrane should be so that it "wraps" over the eave-edge of the plywood.
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Old 02-01-2008, 11:20 PM   #14
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Builder Liable for Ice Dam damages?


A new house shouldn't have ice damming if the builder knew what he was doing. Stupidity isn't an "Act of God". If this is a development, contact your neighbors, they might have the same problem. A class action suite will get this clowns attention.
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Old 02-02-2008, 12:26 AM   #15
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Builder Liable for Ice Dam damages?


right I have seen it many times not go the 24"

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