How can foundation damage be considered pre-existing or earthquake damaged without anyone looking under the house?
What specific proof does a property owner need to challenge the determination of the origin of the damage?
Asked: 7 July 2014
EQC assessors are trained to look for indications of foundation damage which would trigger off further investigation. There is more about this in a video that CTV broadcast recently. http://www.rebuildchristchurch.co.nz/videos/covered/covered-episode-3-segment-2
Things assessors look for may include:
- Ground and path damage which can suggest land movement that may have affected foundations
- Recent cracking around the superstructure from the top of the foundation on the outside of the building
- Benchtop levels
- Doors and windows not fitting where previously they did.
If there is an indication of foundation damage as a direct result of the earthquakes, a structural engineer will usually be involved in further assessment.
If a customer has concerns about the assessment of damage caused by the earthquakes and the recommended repair strategy for a house, they should first discuss this matter with the contractor and the Fletcher EQR Contract Supervisor. These people raise your concerns with the hub EQC staff, who may trigger a visit to review the damage and the proposed strategies to repair it. EQC will then either approve or decline changes to the Scope of Works.
Customers also have the option of challenging scope reports by providing an independent report by a qualified practitioner.
Foundation repair methods and assessments are developed on a case by case basis. If you have questions about the foundation damage to your home, speak to your loss adjuster.
Lumley would rely on the information provided by the engineers and other information to hand. If the insured has information which contradicts this then they can supply this to the case manager or claims team and it can be reviewed. In relation to specific proof we would consider things such as date stamped photos, previous building reports if they purchased the house a few years ago or an independent engineers report.
Southern Response advises:
Southern Response will examine the foundations under the floor before a decision is made on the origin of the damage. We use our Rover Robot (see www.southernresponse.co.nz, key word = rover) to carry out inspections for Type A and Type B (piled) foundations. For concrete slabs, we lift the floor coverings as required to examine the damage to the slab.
Southern Response has agreed to homeowners providing evidence from reputable and credible professional sources if they are unhappy with the damage assessment which we have provided.
However, in the first instance, we encourage our customers to talk to us first, so that we have an opportunity to do our best to solve the problem effectively and efficiently.