Forensic Engineering Investigation Of Freeze Damage To Buildings
AbstractThe Cause Of Property Damage To Buildings In Northern Climates Due To Frozen/Burst Pipes Can Be Especially Difficult To Identify. The Reasons For This Include The Lack Of Witnesses In Vacant Or Unoccupied Homes, False Or Misleading Statements By Property Owners And Service Technicians, And The Inherent Damage To Boilers And Furnaces As A Result Of Flooded Basements. The Basic Origins Of Freeze Losses Will Be Discussed Including: Mechanical Failure, Piping And Appliance Installation Errors, Utility Failure, And Excessive Thermostat Setback. The Methodology Presented Details A Comprehensive Approach To The Investigation Of Freeze-Damaged Buildings, Including A Forensic Assessment Of The Heating Appliance And System. These Findings Will Be Verified Against A Fuel Usage Analysis Calculated Specifically For The Damaged Property, Which Should Display A Usage Pattern Consistent With The Physical Site Findings And Occupant Reported Testimony. The Methodologies Of Fuel Usage Estimation And Analysis Derived, As Well As Those Presented In Ashrae And Other Sources, Will Be Discussed, Along With Their Strength As An Investigative Tool In Examining These Types Of Losses. Case Examples Will Be Briefly Summarized That Were Actually Litigated.
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