Ceiling Collapse Accident Attorneys Cite Water as One of the Most Common Causes of these Accidents
There are a number of reasons why ceilings collapse. A structural weakness brought about by a building code violation, excess snow buildup on a flat roof, or hurricane force winds collapsing a roof with weak gables are just a few causes. However, if you ever experience this misfortune, the most likely culprit will be water explain New York ceiling collapse accident attorneys at the F&A injury law firm.
Wood, drywall, and plaster are common building materials used in ceilings. All of these materials are installed dry and will absorb water like a sponge. When this happens, the water both weakens and adds extra weight to the ceiling. A sudden pipe burst that dumps gallons of water to the top-side of a ceiling can quickly cause a collapse from the extra weight. It only takes 12 gallons of water to add an extra 100 pounds.
On the other hand, a slow water leak can cause wood rot and mold growth on the wooden joists. This weakens the joists and can lead to a catastrophic ceiling collapse. Because water wicks into wood like a sponge, entire joists will become soaked and rot over time. Even without wood rot, wet wood is weaker than dry wood and may collapse if its loading is sufficiently high.
Signs of Water Leakage
- Ceiling stains. A patch of ceiling soaked with water will have a darker shade of color than the rest of the ceiling. Dried water will leave behind a brownish stain. If it has dried, it doesn’t mean the problem has gone away. The damage has already been done and it may affect ceiling structures that you can’t see.
- Swelling or bubbling. A localized area of swelling, bulging, or a bubble is evidence of water collecting in that area. Bulging of this kind can indicate a lot of water buildup that may lead to a collapse of that part of the ceiling.
- Sweating. This is an early sign of water leakage. As the ceiling material absorbs more water, it starts to leak through in the form of droplets that appear like large beads of sweat.
- Mold. Mold will start growing in water damaged material within 48 hours to a week of initial water exposure. Mold is a sure sign of water leakage because it requires wet conditions for growth. In addition to indicating water leakage, mold itself is a problem for those with allergies and respiratory conditions. Some species of mold can cause serious health problems in otherwise healthy people.
If you live in an apartment or rented room and notice the above signs of water leakage, notify your landlord immediately. A ceiling collapse can cause serious injury, especially if it involves failing structural supports such as wooden joists.
A landlord who fails to maintain his or her rental properties is negligent. If a ceiling collapse injures you or a loved one, ceiling collapse accident attorneys can advise you how to proceed to get the compensation you deserve. Contact us at Frekhtman & Associates for a free consultation.