Construction Defects: Landscape and Soil Defects
If a construction defect is found, it can severely impact a contractor's business. Any condition that reduces a home or building’s value could be considered a defect. Depending on the project site’s soil profile, Florida’s sandy soil can be difficult to build on and may be prone to defects if the proper measures aren’t taken.
In this article, a Ft. Myers construction defect attorney discusses landscape and soil defects in Florida.
Florida’s soil is primarily composed of sand and comes with its own set of construction difficulties. While other states primarily have loam, the perfect combination of silt, sand, and clay, Florida’s common soils are less than ideal. Under the umbrella term of sand, this soil can possess many different physical properties and range from larger pieces that are nearly gravel to finer grains that are more like silt.
Sandy soil generally has excellent drainage, so it doesn’t have as much trouble with expansion and collapse. However, sand is easily washed away and can lead to voids where there should be soil to support a structure. Because sand is greatly variable in its composition, its suitability as a building site also varies.
Areas of Defect
Sandy soil requires planning to landscape or build on. Proper site surveys are necessary and soil tests may be needed to ensure that land can be leveled and hold a structure. Here are some examples of structures that could fail if they are built on sandy soil without the proper precautions:
- Retaining walls
- Poor drainage
If these structures fail, there are often collateral failures. If a foundation fails, it can crack concrete block walls or interior drywall. If a retaining wall fails, it may allow the soil to spill out and displace structures
Defects fall into two categories: patent and latent. Patent defects are obvious, like leaking pipes, and latent defects take longer to discover. The contractor may be liable for latent defects found up to 10 years after the structure is built. If your work is accused of having a construction defect, it’s vital to have an experienced construction lawyer on your side.