Construction defects that result in water intrusion produce
consequential damages that by far exceed the relatively minor
nuisance of soaked studs, drywall and carpet. The presence of
excessive moisture often results in magnification of microbial
growth (mold, mildew and fungus infestation). Why be concerned? The
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently cited microbial
contamination as the most common cause of building related illness.
Any type of water intrusion into a given indoor environment has
the potential for causing magnification of fungus growth. Fungi
thrive in environments with little ventilation and large quantities
of no moisture control and organic material. Almost any
carbon containing material (dirt, paint, wood, plastics, paper, carpeting,
etc.) can provide nutrients to fungi. Water, on the other hand, is
not always readily available in large quantities, particularly
in indoor environments generally inhabited by people. Water intrusion into
any given environment is, therefore, the single most important
cause of fungus contamination.
Some fungi are toxic to humans. Toxic fungi produce metabolites
known as mycotoxins which may have a variety of toxic effects when
inhaled, ingested, or when they come into contact with skin.
However, all fungi, regardless of toxin producing capabilities, can
cause allergic respiratory disease in sensitive individuals. It has
been reported that 10 to 20% of the general population is allergic
to various fungi. The types of disease that can be caused by fungi
in sensitive individuals include humidifier fever, hypersensitivity
pneumonities, asthma, and allergic rhinitis.
Another significant problem posed by magnification of fungus
growth is the damage to wood structures that is caused by some
species of wood destroying fungi. This type of damage is
particularly insidious since it can go undetected for long period of
time resulting in unexpected structural failure and potential injury
to building occupants.
The expert witnesses available at The Solender Group Inc., are
environmental scientists, as well as certified industrial hygienists
with extensive experience as expert witness with litigation
experience in construction defect, personal injury cases, including
investigation, analysis, compilation of remediation specifications,
mediation and expert witness testimony for residential (single homes
to 500 units), commercial and industrial buildings.
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