The Common Culprits of Roof Failure and Defect Litigation Part 2
Roofing defects can range from minor to complex, but each can have a profound effect on the integrity of a building. Preventing defects and understanding your rights and obligations as they pertain to defect litigation is critical. Roofing contractors are strongly advised to reach out to a roofing lawyer in Florida if they are dealing with a claim against their business.
This final section will focus on preventing roofing issues. Refer to part one to learn about common roofing problems that lead to defects.
How Contractors Can Prevent Roofing Issues
Roofing contractors should always be concerned about the potential for a defect claim and proactive in their efforts to decrease the likelihood of defects. Defect prevention methods include:
- Choosing the proper roofing materials based on the unique characteristics of the building.
- Installing materials according to the design details and manufacturer’s requirements.
- Maintaining the roof properly during installation. This includes limiting roof access and ensuring that any necessary roofing activity will not cause damage to the roof.
Time Limitations for Defect Litigation
Roofing contractors are not responsible for a roof’s performance beyond a certain point. Florida’s Statute of Limitations and Statute of Repose places a time limit on when a lawsuit can be filed for construction defects. The Statute of Limitations provides that a claimant has four years to file a lawsuit after a project’s completion or upon discovering a latent defect. The Statute of Repose provides a 10 year limit for filing a lawsuit for latent defects.
Furthermore, effective July of 2018, the Florida legislature amended Section 95.11(3)(c), Florida Statutes, which now states that “counterclaims, cross-claims, and third-party claims that arise out of the conduct, transaction, or occurrence set out or attempted to be set out in a pleading may be commenced up to 1 year after the pleading to which such claims relate is served, even if such claims would otherwise be time barred.”
Protecting Your Reputation
Roofing problems can either be owner-related or contractor-related. Positioning yourself as a reputable contractor requires choosing high-quality materials and providing customers with a warranty claim to guarantee your work. There is no way of getting around the critical components of a strong roofing system. A roof system with a good design, quality materials, proper installation, and a preventive-maintenance program will decrease defect claims against your business and provide your customers with a long-lasting roof system.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.