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Building failures can result from a number of causes. A failure can be explained as much by weather as bad construction. For example, ice dams resulting in water and roof damage are common in colder regions. As a result, it is essential to be aware of the interaction between construction deficiencies and the environment in order to address weather-related failures.

The takeaway in many instances is that certain types of construction do not work in certain weather conditions. This is readily apparent in the tropics. For example, wood frame structures are subject to failure in regions of high heat, rain, and humidity. Steel or concrete construction is preferable.

Another example is the improper use of stucco in a tropical green environment. Exposure to marine air, salts and elevated temperatures can cause effervescence in stucco and concrete requiring the replacement of the entire building envelope.

Stucco corrosion of property in Hawaii due to exposure to marine and high temperatures

Another everyday exposure in tropical climates is marine oxidation of exterior metal. Systems such as window frames, window door frames, and metal hardware exposed to salt, marine air and high heat routinely corrode. Finally, temperature inversion, the relationship between hot outside air and interior air cooled by air conditioning and HVAC systems can lead to numerous defects.

For all these reasons, it is essential to consider what building materials and types of construction should be used in tropical conditions.

Lether Law Group’s Hawaii Office Is currently involved in several construction defect matters in Hawaii. We are proud to have several attorneys born or raised in Hawaii and licensed to practice there.

Lether Law Group has the advantage of over 35 years of construction insurance coverage and litigation experience, coupled with local know-how and an affinity for Hawaii.

If you are involved in any construction claims in Hawaii or other tropical zones, feel free to contact us with any questions.