Structural steel framing is frequently used in the construction industry to build a wide variety of structures because of its immense strength and flexibility. However, structural building failures often give rise to claims of defectively designed or installed structural steel. In the event of a construction defect lawsuit, a structural steel expert is often required to determine if faulty welds or poorly fabricated steel may have been the cause of the failure. Those involved in a construction defect dispute should consult with a structural steel expert to get an estimate of the damages before litigation or settlement negotiations begin.
When there is any structural failure of a building, a structural steel expert can perform an onsite inspection and apply their knowledge of construction techniques to determine the likely cause or causes of the structural failure. The causes of structural failure are varied and can include:
- Faulty Construction
- Unexpected Failure Modes
- Extraordinary Loads
- Foundation Failure
- Combination of Causes
Faulty construction work is the most significant cause of structural failure. The substitution of inferior steel for that specified, poor riveting or incorrect tightening torque of nuts, excessive use of the drift pin to line up holes, bad welds, as well as other negligent construction practices can ultimately lead to various types of structural failures. A structural failure can be described as a breakdown in the operation, function, quality, or appearance of a structure, system, component or material. However, a failure is not necessarily the same thing as a defect. Rather, a defect is what causes a failure. When these types of failures occur and result in a construction defect dispute, a structural steel expert can be hired as a consultant to assist you with an insurance claim, settlement negotiations, or function as an expert witness if the problem results in a lawsuit.