You may have wondered what caused the cracks in the concrete floor of your patio. Then it dawned on you that construction is going on nearby.
Could the construction work cause vibration damage in the form of cracks?
Ongoing new construction
If you are a resident of Maricopa County, you are no doubt well-aware of the many construction projects going on here. In terms of population, ours is the fourth-largest county in the nation. It is also the fastest-growing county, and new residential housing is always in demand. Perhaps you live in a community where new housing is being built and have had to become accustomed to the noise of construction equipment such as pile drivers and jackhammers. Now you wonder if heavy-duty work is behind the cracks in your patio.
Heavy construction can cause ground vibrations that are significant, and it is possible that such vibrations could result in cracks to a nearby building. The cracks could appear in window or door frames, slab floors or, as in your case, a concrete patio.
Your first thought may be about your insurance coverage. Keep in mind that there could be an “earth movement” exclusion in your homeowner’s policy, which refers to earthquake and similar types of damage. You may also consider pursuing a claim against the construction company or the subcontractor doing the heavy-duty work at the building site. The first question to ask, however, is whether there could be another reason for the patio crack. Was the concrete poured properly? Was the soil beneath the concrete compacted properly? The next question to ask is how much the repairs will cost.
If the estimate of damage to your patio is $10,000 or more, you may wish to seek guidance from an attorney experienced with construction matters as to how best to proceed. Prepare to state your case by providing any documentation you can, such as dated photographs of the patio, a report from a structural expert and any communication that you may already have had with the construction company. Has ground vibration caused the damage to your patio? Further investigation will likely be in order.